Republican senator: Time for the GOP to quit fighting same-sex marriage

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) AP

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)AP

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

A Republican U.S. Senator from Wisconsin said Monday it was time for the GOP to beyond social issues such as same-sex marriage and focus on economic policy ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections, arguing that the party should allow voters and states to enact marriage equality.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said in an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box that he opposed same-sex marriage, but that if voters approve same-sex marriage, he would accept it, reports Think Progress.

“I’m pretty traditional guy, almost 60 years old. I think marriage is between a man and a woman. But again if the voters decide that they want gay marriage I’m not going to oppose it.”

“Social issues are going to primarily be decided in the states through democratic process and that’s the why it should happen… I’ll certainly go with the judgement of the American people in terms of where they want to fall on, whether it’s abortion issues or gay marriage or wherever.”

Earlier this month, more than 500 gay and lesbian couples married in Wisconsin after a federal judge struck down that state’s same-sex marriage ban. The marriages were put on hold a week later pending a appeal by the state.

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While a federal judge considers a challenge to Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage, a new poll finds a majority of the state’s residents support marriage equality.

A Marquette University poll in May found that 55 percent of Wisconsin residents favor legalizing same-sex marriage.

To date, only three GOP U.S. Senators have publicly stated they support marriage equality: Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

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