Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Ron Johnson no, Tammy Baldwin yes on same-sex marriage bill

  • Updated
  • 0
Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson, right, and Tammy Baldwin.

After saying earlier this year that he saw no reason to oppose the measure, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson on Wednesday voted against advancing a bill to codify the right to same-sex marriage.

Calling the effort a Democratic scare tactic, the Oshkosh Republican said the measure did not provide enough protection for religious groups.

Enough lawmakers voted for the measure for it to overcome the filibuster, putting it on track for future passage.

Wisconsin produces more cranberries than anywhere else. And nowhere in Wisconsin is the tart red fruit more ubiquitous than the central sands area in Jackson, Monroe, Juneau and Wood counties, where cranberries are grown on about 270 farms spread across 21,000 acres. See how one of those farms, Wetherby Cranberry Company in Warrens, harvests this fruit that is unique to North America.

“Today, we took a step forward in our fight to give millions of loving couples the certainty, dignity, and respect that they need and deserve,” said U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, who helped lead the effort to pass the measure in the U.S. Senate. “A bipartisan coalition of Senators stood with the overwhelming majority of Americans who support marriage equality.”

During his reelection campaign in July, the Oshkosh Republican said he supported civil unions for gay couples and signaled support for the measure as Baldwin was urging her GOP colleagues to sign on to it.

“I’ve never said I would support it,” the Oshkosh Republican later told Axios in August. “I said I didn’t see a reason to oppose it.”

Later than month, Johnson’s spokesperson told Politico that some of his constituents had concerns about risks the bill could pose to religious liberty, adding that he was working with other senators on an amendment to address that issue.

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Baldwin and other senators this week proposed an amendment that, she said, “protects all religious liberty and conscience protections available under the Constitution or Federal law.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has since made clear that it supported the measure.

Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning said the amendment doesn’t provide enough protections to shield churches and nonprofits from targeted lawsuits and IRS denials of their tax exempt status.

“For example, churches may provide and receive funding from the government to carry out services like day care and counseling — this could prohibit the church from receiving such funding,” she said. “This law could also exclude these organizations from various public benefits or programs and be used as a weapon to challenge religious schools’ participation in school choice programs administered by state governments.”

The bill would require the federal government to recognize marriages that are valid in the state where they were performed. The measure would also repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman and allowed states to ban same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court struck down that law, which was signed in 1996 by Democratic President Bill Clinton, but it remains on the books.

The legislation already passed the House of Representatives with all of Wisconsin’s Democratic representatives, as well as Republican Bryan Steil, of Janesville, voting in favor. But the amended bill, if passed, still must return to the House for approval.

Democrats introduced the bill for fear that the Supreme Court, which overturned Roe v. Wade in June, could overturn other precedential cases that rely on the same right to privacy justices determined the U.S. Constitution provided in Roe.

Baldwin has largely driven the Senate effort to bring Republicans on board to pass the legislation. Given the 50-50 makeup of the U.S. Senate, 10 Republicans had to support the bill for it to overcome a filibuster. Twelve Republicans voted to advance the legislation Wednesday.

“I am proud to have worked across the aisle to earn broad, bipartisan support for this legislation, and look forward to making marriage equality the law of the land,” Baldwin said.

Election recap: Get full results and exclusive coverage of Tuesday's election

  • 0
breaking alert top story
  • 0

"Unfortunately the math doesn’t add up," Michels told supporters. "I just called Gov. Evers and I conceded."

topical alert top story
  • 0

Leading by around 40,000 votes with an estimated 93% of ballots counted early Wednesday, Johnson said he's confident Barnes cannot make up his deficit.

topical alert top story
  • 0

In a race centered around abortion and his public safety record, Kaul's showing notched Democrats another statewide win Tuesday night. 

topical alert top story
  • 0

Democrat Barrett defeats GOP challenger Hamilton in the first competitive Dane County sheriff’s race in eight years.

alert
  • 0

Stoughton and Waunakee referendums were among those heading toward passage.

web only
  • 0

Results reflect outcomes in all precincts unless otherwise noted.

0 Comments
0
0
0
0
0

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News