12 GOP Senators Join with Democrats on Same Sex Marriage Bill

A total of twelve Republican senators joined ranks with Democratic colleagues on Wednesday to move forward with legislation protecting same-sex marriages.

The vote was 62-37 as the Senate advanced “The Respect for Marriage Act” which repeals the Defense of Marriage Act and codifies into federal law same-sex and interracial marriages.

The senators who voted across the aisle with Democrats are:

  • Roy Blunt (Mo.)
  • Richard M. Burr (N.C.)
  • Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.)
  • Susan Collins (Maine)
  • Joni Ernst (Iowa)
  • Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.)
  • Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  • Rob Portman (Ohio)
  • Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
  • Mitt Romney (Utah)
  • Thom Tillis (N.C.)
  • Todd Young (Ind.)

Work on the bill was starting in Congress in the summer after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. They felt pressure to codify the right to same-sex and interracial marriage based on fear that the Supreme Court would overturn the previous landmark cases that legalized both types of marriage unions.

Justice Samuel Alito made it clear in his opinion that the court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade would not impact same-sex or interracial marriage.

Judge Alito wrote: “The Solicitor General suggests that overruling Roe and Casey would threaten the protection of other rights under the Due Process Clause. The Court emphasizes that this decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

Romney explained that he voted for the bill on legal principles, though he personally disagrees with same-sex relationships.

“While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the land upon which LGBTQ individuals have relied,” Romney said in a statement. “This legislation provides certainty to many LGBTQ Americans, and it signals that Congress—and I—esteem and love all of our fellow Americans equally.”

This move was driven by fear, let’s hope it is the last.