Which Republican senators would support the the same-sex marriage bill?
The majority of Republicans are against the legislation as Democrats seek to be a step ahead of a Supreme Court ruling.
Days after the House passed the Respect of Marriage Act, aiming to enshrine gay marriage into law. This issue has quickly sprung up the Democrat agenda after the reversal of Supreme Court protection for the right to an abortion. It is feared that the Court could use its conservative majority to restrict other hard-fought civil rights that Americans have been fighting for for decades. Codifying laws puts them beyond the influence of the Supreme Court.
However, to get the law codified, Democrats will need the support of nine Republican senators. So far, it seems they can count on five: Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Whether they will bring more of the GOP to vote with the Democrats remains to be seen.
Here is a lowdown on the views of the five senators in question.
Susan Collins, Maine
Collins is one of the co-sponsors of the bill, making her vote in its favour a certainty.
“This bill is another step to promote equality, prevent discrimination, and protect the rights of all Americans,” she has said.
Rob Portman, Ohio
Portman has a personal stake in the passing of this bill; he became the first Republican senator to support it after his son Will came out as gay in 2013.
“We haven’t done a whip count or anything. But I think it’s the right policy and I think it’s an important message to send”, he told The Independent.
Thom Tillis, North Carolina
Thom Tillis used to be an advocate against same-sex marriage, but his position has shifted and he has said he would support the bill.
“Back then we were having the discussion of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman and civil unions”, he said. “What we’re talking about here is basically codifying what I think is settled law.”
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Since a statement released in 2013, Murkowski has been a supporter of equal rights in marriage.
“I have suggested to others that not only would I like to see Roe, Casey, and Griswold on contraception codified but I’ve also made clear my support for, for gay marriage years ago,” she said.
She faces strong primary opposition by supporters in the Trumpian wing of the GOP.
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
Despite not being a firm supporter of the bill, Johnson has said he would not be opposed to it should it come to him. He said he did not expect the Supreme Court to overturn the agreed laws around the issue.
“Even though I feel the Respect for Marriage Act is unnecessary, should it come before the Senate, I see no reason to oppose it,” Johnson said.