After a survey of all 50 Republican senators, CNN reported July 21 that five said they will vote for or are likely to vote for the legislation: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine; Ron Johnson of Wisconsin; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Rob Portman of Ohio; and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
Fifteen GOP senators indicated they are undecided or did not signal support for the bill, while eight said they will vote against it, according to CNN. The news network reported 22 senators had yet to respond to its requests.
Democrats pushed for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act after the Supreme Court’s June 24 reversal of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 opinion that legalized abortion nationwide. Supporters of same-sex marriage expressed concerns a future high court might also overturn the Obergefell ruling and called for a legislative remedy to try to prevent such an action.
In promoting passage of the proposal, Democrats cited language by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in an opinion concurring with the Supreme Court’s decision that overruled Roe. The high court “should reconsider” all precedents regarding “substantive due process,” including Obergefell, Thomas wrote.
In the majority opinion, however, Associate Justice Samuel Alito denied the ruling to overturn Roe would affect the justices’ decisions in other cases. “[W]e have stated unequivocally that ‘[n]othing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion,” he wrote. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh reiterated that view in his own concurring opinion.
Under the judicial doctrine of substantive due process, specific rights that are not spelled out in the U.S. Constitution are still considered protected.
Although same-sex marriage is the focus of consideration regarding the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill’s language prohibits denial of the recognition of marriage between two people on the basis of their “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.” The Supreme Court struck down state prohibitions on interracial marriage in its 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision.
By enacting DOMA in 1996, the federal government defined marriage as only between a man and a woman and protected the right of a state not to recognize a same-sex marriage that occurred in another jurisdiction. President Clinton signed DOMA into law after it gained passage unanimously in the House and by 97-3 in the Senate.
This article originally appeared here.