Only five Republican Senators have come out in support of legislation to codify protection for same-sex marriage after 47 House Republicans voted in support of the legislation.
With only 50 Democratic Senators, 10 Republicans would need to break ranks from the rest of their conference to overcome the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster.
Many Republicans actively oppose the legislation. Senator John Cornyn of Texas told reporters earlier this week that “I don’t support it” while Senator Lindsey Graham said “I support the Defense of Marriage Act”, the 1996 law that prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.
Since then, Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have come out against it.
Here are the five Republican Senators who have supported same-sex marriage:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has supported same-sex marriage since 2014 and is a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act.
Susan Collins of Maine
Ms Collins has supported same-sex marriage since 2014. She is currently the main Republican sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act in the Senate, along with Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. In a statement, she touted the fact she supported the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the policy that prevented openly gay people from serving in the US miltary. “This bill is another step to promote equality, prevent discrimination, and protect the rights of all Americans.” Ms Collins overwhelmingly won reelection in 2020 in a state President Joe Biden won despite her votes for Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom joined the Dobbs v Jackson ruling that overturned Roe v Wade.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2013.
Rob Portman of Ohio
Senator Rob Portman will leave the Senate on 3 January of next year. But same-sex marriage is incredibly personal to him. In 2013, he became the first Republican senator to support it after his son Will came out as gay. Like Ms Collins, he is a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act. “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 toldThe Independent earlier this week.
Thom Tillis of North Carolina
When he was speaker of the North Carolina state house of representatives, Mr Tillis supported an amendment to the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. But now, Mr Tillis – who recently helped pass bipartisan gun legislation – now said he would support legislation to codify same-sex marriage. “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 of Alaska
The Alaska Republican has long supported same-sex since 2013. Lisa Murkowski is running for reelection and next month will face Alaska’s first ranked-choice primary, wherein the top four winners will advance to the general election regardless of party. Ms Murkowski is facing Kelly Tshibaka, whom former president Donald Trump endorsed after Ms Murkowski voted to convict Mr Trump for his role in the January 6 riot at the Capitol last year. “I’m looking at that legislation, seeing it, how it has, how it might compare to the House bill,” she told The Independent earlier this week.
Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
Like Ms Murkowski, Sen Ron Johnson faces a tough re-election in a state Mr Biden won in 2020. Earlier in the week, he told The Independent “I’ve always thought that was pretty much a settled issue”, but on Thursday, even as he faulted Democrats for “creating a state of fear”, he indicated he would vote to support it. Many Democrats hope to flip his seat in November.