Here are the 12 Senate Republicans who helped pass same-sex marriage legislation

Twelve Senate Republicans on Tuesday backed final approval of a bill that would ensure federal protections for same-sex marriage, allowing it to surpass the 60-vote threshold needed for passage.

The Republicans in the upper chamber who supported the bill were Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Thom Tillis (NC), Mitt Romney (Utah), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Richard Burr (NC), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Todd Young (Ind.).

The GOP senators’ support came as no surprise, as they all supported advancing the legislation in a series of recent votes, and Tuesday’s 61-36 vote now sends the legislation back to the House, which previously passed a similar version.

Three of the bill’s Republican sponsors — Collins, Portman and Tillis — served as lead negotiators.

The five-member group, which also included Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), had tabled the legislation until after the midterm elections to improve its chances of passage, and also added provisions to ease some Republican concerns to religious freedom.

“Tonight, the Senate took a historic step to help prevent discrimination, promote equality, and protect the rights of all Americans by passing the Respect for Marriage Act that @SenatorBaldwin and I wrote,” Collins wrote on Twitter. “Our bill will help ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity.”

Blunt, who had publicly expressed support for the delay, cited the additions to protect religious freedom in voting for the bill.

Blunt, Portman and Burr did not seek re-election this year and will retire from the upper chamber in January.

Some Republicans who supported the bill, including Lummis, said they did so while personally disagreeing with gay marriage.

“Wyoming is the equality state, and while I firmly believe that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman, I respect that others have different beliefs,” Lummis said in a statement, referring to her state’s constitution.

Romney, who earlier this fall remained undecided about the bill, similarly expressed approval after the Mormon Church announced its support for the legislation. Romney is a longtime active member of the church.

“While I believe in traditional marriage, Obergefell is and has been the law of the land that LGBTQ people have trusted. This legislation provides safety for many LGBTQ Americans, and it signals that Congress—and I—value and love all of our fellow Americans just the same,” Romney wrote in a statement after an earlier vote to advance the legislation.

With the exception of Sen. Raphael Warnock, who missed Tuesday’s vote as he campaigned for Georgia’s upcoming re-election, all Senate Democrats supported the legislation.

Outgoing Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who previously opposed a procedural vote on the bill, also missed the vote, in addition to Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

Leave a Comment