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Republican Reps. Bryan Steil, Mike Gallagher join Democrats in supporting same-sex marriage bill

Wisconsin's other Republican representatives - Scott Fitzgerald, Glenn Grothman and Tom Tiffany - voted against the legislation.
Bryan Steil, Mike Gallagher
Posted at 12:49 PM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-08 13:49:54-05

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Republican Congressmen Bryan Steil and Mike Gallagher joined Democrats in supporting a bill protecting same-sex marriage nationwide.

Steil (R-Janesville) and Gallagher (R-Green Bay) broke with Wisconsin's three other Republican members of Congress when they threw their support behind the legislation.

The "Respect for Marriage Act" requires every state in the country to recognize same-sex marriages. The legislation would also protect interracial unions, by requiring states to recognize legal marriages regardless of “sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin," according to the bill.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. House passed the measure 258-169, following the passage of the bill in the U.S. Senate.

Gallagher opposed the bill due to concerns it would allow polygamy as well as issues over religious freedom protections. But after the measure was modified to address those concerns, Gallagher switched his vote, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Kenosha News.

Steil, meanwhile, was the only member of Wisconsin's Republican delegation in the House to vote in support of the bill last July, until Gallagher recently joined him.

Wisconsin's other Republican representatives - Scott Fitzgerald, Glenn Grothman, and Tom Tiffany - voted against the legislation. So did Wisconsin's Republican Senator, Ron Johnson.

Wisconsin's Democratic delegation in Congress has supported the Respect for Marriage Act: Reps. Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan, and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who was a standard bearer for the bill in Washington, D.C.

According to The AP, several religious groups including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints supported the bill. Thursday's vote came as the LGBTQ community faced attacks including the shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado that killed five people and injured at least 17.