WASHINGTON (NBC 26) — Wisconsin Congressman Bryan Steil was the only Wisconsin Republican in the U.S. House who voted to protect same-sex marriage nationwide.
Tuesday’s vote was 267 to 157, with 47 Republicans supporting the bill, called the “Respect for Marriage Act.”
Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land ever since a Supreme Court ruling in 2015, but Democrats pushed through Tuesday’s vote after the Supreme Court's recent ruling on abortion that overturned Roe vs Wade. In that decision, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to reverse its same-sex marriage ruling.
The House bill now goes to the Senate, where it will need at least 10 Republican votes to pass.
NBC 26 reached out to Wisconsin representatives to discuss their vote on the bill. Below are their responses:
Representative Gwen Moore: “Clarence Thomas’s radical opinion supporting the repeal of Roe made it clear that other freedoms are at-risk, including same-sex marriage. This right must be protected from a conservative and extreme Supreme Court majority who have already chipped away at equality and taken us back in time. Today, House Democrats are responding to this threat by passing the Respect for Marriage Act, which safeguards legal protections for same-sex couples and interracial couples. I have always thought it was wrong for the government to tell people who they can or can’t marry. Marriage equality is a right I have championed for decades and will continue fighting to protect. That’s why I supported the Respect for Marriage Act, which helps preserve the dignity and freedom that comes with being able to marry who you love – no matter their gender or skin color.”
Representative Thomas Tiffany: “Instead of addressing the record-breaking inflation, skyrocketing gas prices, rising crime, and the worsening border crisis that the Biden administration created, House Democrats are attempting to distract the American people. This legislation is nothing more than a cheap attempt to fearmonger Americans into believing that every Supreme Court decision is under threat. We all know that’s not true. The holding in the Dobbs decision clearly distinguishes Roe and Casey, from Loving and Obergefell, despite the attempts made by some to draw a conclusory connection from the opinions of the Justices. As Justice Alito noted, 'Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.' It’s time to end the distractions and reverse course from the failed economic policies of President Biden and Pelosi’s House Democrats."
Representative Mike Gallagher: “The Supreme Court made it clear that its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson was limited to abortion. The Supreme Court also made clear that any attempt to mischaracterize the decision would ‘stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil other rights.’ This bill is a prime example of what the Justices warned against and is nothing more than a brazen attempt to fearmonger.”
Representative Ron Kind: “In his concurring opinion overturning Roe, Justice Thomas invited a challenge to marriage equality. No Wisconsinite should have to worry about losing the right to live freely and marry the person they love. That’s why I voted for legislation to enshrine and protect equal marriage."
Other lawmakers didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.