A House-passed law codifying protections for same-sex marriage is dividing Republican lawmakers in Congress after support for marriage equality hit a record high last month.
Forty-seven of 211 House Republicans voted for the bill Tuesday, which Democrats pushed forward amid fears the Supreme Court would reverse its 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage as it did for abortion rights. was.
The Senate is now under pressure to enact legislation, which has garnered the support of a handful of Republican senators.
“I want to bring this bill into the House and we’re working to get the Senate Republican support needed to get it passed,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DNY) said Wednesday.
Schumer, however, didn’t commit to getting the bill on the floor any time soon. Democrats are racing next month to pass several other laws ahead of the annual August recess, including a package that would lower health care prices.
Scheduling a vote on the bill would be an easy victory for Democrats, whether it passes or not. At least, it will reflect GOP divisions ahead of the November midterm election.
Only four Republican senators have expressed support or openness to codifying protections for same-sex marriage: Susan Collins (Maine), Rob Portman (Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Thom Tillis (North Carolina).
Supporters of the bill would need at least six more GOP votes to crack a filibuster in an evenly divided Senate.
But several Republicans on Wednesday declined to state a position on the House law, dodging the question, saying they had not yet read the four-page bill. Others called it unnecessary, saying there is no active threat to same-sex marriage right now.
“It’s the law of the land,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) repeatedly if he would support the bill.
The Iowa senator did not respond when a reporter noted that Roe v. Wade also used to be the law of the land.
Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said, “Given the fact that there’s a law on this. .
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) also rebuked reporters for asking about it.
“I’m so disappointed that the press is taking so long into this. They’re trying to divert attention from inflation,” he said of the Democrats.
Many Republicans evaded questions about federal protections for same-sex marriage, even though they expressed support for it.
Mike Rounds (RSD) said, “I think there’s a difference between a marriage as a sacrament and a legal marriage, and so if someone wants to have that type of partnership, I’m not opposed.”
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) said he sees no need to “legislate” same-sex marriage, before adding: “I want to live life the way you want it. It’s a free country.” ” Asked if he supports gay marriage, Tuberville said, “Yeah, if that’s what you want to do, that’s fine.”
Some Republicans made it clear that they opposed codifying protections for same-sex marriage.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is facing re-election this year, called the effort a “waste of time” and said it was not a priority amid high consumer prices.
“But I know a lot of gay people in Florida who are angry about gas prices,” Rubio said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (RSC) said that he supported the legislation of the Defense Act, 1996, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. A House bill codifying protections for same-sex marriage would repeal DOMA.
One major bellwether has yet to weigh in: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). He told reporters he would wait to comment until the bill is introduced in the Senate.
Some Democrats want to shorten the August recess if it has to do so in order to pass same-sex marriage protections.
“I think it would be really cool to do that, I was excited by the number of Republican votes yesterday. [in the House]Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said.