Democrats Need 10 GOP Senators To Codify Gay Marriage

( Democrats in Congress are hoping to codify gay marriage into federal law so that the Supreme Court can’t overturn cases in the future that would remove that federal protection.

In order to do so, though, they’ll need to get the support of at least 10 Republican members of the Senate, in addition to all the Democratic members of the upper chamber.

In the House, 47 Republicans voted to support codifying gay marriage along with every Democrat. By doing so, they sent the bill onto the Senate for debate and a possible vote.

If the bill ends up passing through the Senate, it would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. It would also codify interracial marriage, and end up supporting the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell.

Every Democratic member of the Senate has publicly said they would support the House bill to codify same-sex marriage. Now, their job is to get at least 10 Republican Senators to do the same so that President Joe Biden can sign it into law.

Thus far, four Republican senators have publicly said they would support the bill — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Rob Portman of Ohio. Collins is working with Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian member of the Senate and a Democrat, to get support from at least six other Republicans.

As Baldwin tweeted recently:

“If you are a Senator who supports marriage equality then you will support our bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act to protect this freedom and right for same-sex and interracial marriages. Let’s stand together and protect the progress we have made.”

More recently, Wisconsin’s senior Senator, Ron Johnson, said he would support the bill as well. That brings the total to five Republican senators on board. In announcing his reasoning, Johnson stated:

“Unlike Roe v. Wade, this pretty well is settled law from the standpoint that people have relied on that and if you overturn it, that’s a big part of Stare Decisis, it would disrupt a lot of people’s lives. Roe v. Wade was about affecting people in the future … as I look at that piece of legislation from the House right now, I don’t see any reason why I should oppose it.”

Still, there is going to be some major opposition from the GOP in the Senate. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, for example, said he wouldn’t support the new bill and would stand by the Defense of Marriage Act.

John Cornyn, the Republican Whip in the upper chamber, seemed to say he wouldn’t support it because it’s not necessary for Congress to act on it.

Many other Republican senators, including Ted Cruz, are expected to reject the bill altogether.

So, do the Democrats have five more Republicans in the Senate to support the bill? Time will tell, of course.

But, they better hurry and get it done. Should the GOP retake control of the Senate following November’s midterm elections, it’s possible the bill won’t even make it to the floor for a vote.