Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., says he won't support the Senate's marriage equality bill in its current form, reversing course from July when he said he saw "no reason to oppose" the Respect for Marriage Act.
"I always support civil unions [and] never felt this bill as necessary," Johnson told reporters on Wednesday in Washington, reported The Hill. "This is just Democrats opening up a wound that doesn't need to be opened up. And now that I've talked to people there are some very serious concerns on religious liberty."
Johnson, the Senate's most vulnerable incumbent this fall, surprised many lawmakers last month when he said he saw "no reason" to oppose the bill, which has already passed in the House.
Politico in late August said Johnson hedged on whether he would vote yes and pushed for the bill to be amended.
"During the time he's been back in Wisconsin over recess, he has spoken with a number of constituents who have concerns about the bill and the risk it may pose to religious liberty," said Alexa Henning, Johnson's spokesperson. "He is working with other senators on an amendment to try and remedy those concerns. The [same-sex marriage bill] is just another example of Democrats creating a state of fear over a settled issue in order to further divide Americans for their political benefit."
The Senate is looking to take up the marriage equality bill before the midterm elections. The legislation would protect marriage equality on the federal level and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which acknowledged that marriage is only "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.