Senate battle over same-sex marriage could hinge on two Wisconsin lawmakers who don't see eye to eye
As Republican lawmakers launch legislative attacks on federal protections for same-sex marriages, one report is explaining how the outcome may hinge on two Wisconsin lawmakers who have a history of disagreeing.
According to NBC News, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), who made American history as the first openly gay senator, are at the center of the brewing legal battle.
The report, co-written by Scott Wong and Frank Thorp V, offered a brief timeline of the lawmakers' stances on the highly debated issue.
"There was a point months ago when it appeared the two — who typically shun the media — could agree on something else, too, when Johnson left the door open to supporting Baldwin’s same-sex marriage legislation," they wrote. "But since then, what's been a challenging relationship has grown all the more fraught — even as Baldwin remains optimistic that she can ultimately get him on board. And interviews with both senators show a strain."
Baldwin has emerged as one of the lawmakers leading the initiative to ensure the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't subject same-sex marital rights to the same fate as Roe v. Wade.
With the help of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Baldwin, according to the news outlet, has "drafted compromise language to address concerns from conservatives who have warned that the Respect for Marriage Act could infringe on religious liberty or allow polygamous marriages."
However, details about the amended pieces have not been made public which is why lawmakers like Johnson have remained mostly mum about where they stand.
During a brief interview on Tuesday, Johnson weighed in on the proposed piece of legislation as well as his professional relationship with Baldwin.
“She texted me one time, and then she leaked the text to The New York Times, so that’s not a good way to deal with a fellow senator,” Johnson said. “It’s the first time somebody’s actually leaked my texts. … We’ve been cordial, but again, I’ve never leaked texts between senators. It’s just the improper thing to do.”
He also insisted: “I actually listen to constituents. There are some very legitimate concerns about religious liberty, and those concerns would have to be properly addressed.”
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