Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) is the latest Republican to come out against the Respect for Marriage Act.
Lankford appeared on the Family Research Council podcast “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Wednesday to announce he will “absolutely oppose” the legislation.
“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” Lankford said. “That’s not just a biblical concept and a worldview concept, but that’s a historic concept, as well.”
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Ten Republican senators have now indicated they’ll vote against the bill, while 35 are undecided or haven’t announced their intentions.
Five Republican senators have said they’ll likely support the RMA. Democrats will need ten Republicans to overcome a potential Senate filibuster.
Reasoning varies among those opposing the legislation.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), says the RMA is “another attempt by Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats to distract the American people from the inflation crisis, energy crisis, and the southern border crisis they’ve created.” Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) claims the bill is “an attempt by Democrats to score political points by manufacturing hysteria and panic,” while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called the RMA a “non-issue” that he’ll nevertheless oppose.
Lankford took a different tack.
Tax-exempt groups that advocate for traditional marriage “will be challenged on their tax policy and will immediately become a target of this federal government.”
Lankford claims left-wing groups “are no longer saying, ‘We demand recognition’ of same-sex marriage. Now they’re saying, ‘We’re going to crush anyone that opposes our belief in gay marriage’.”
“They want to take it the next step and then use” the bill “as a weapon [against] others” after the RMA passes, Lankford predicted.
Senators publicly opposed to the RMA include Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Lankford’s fellow Oklahoman Jim Inhofe (R-OK), plus Daines, Boozman, and Rubio.
Republican senators in support are Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Johnson leavened his support with some a la carte logic from colleagues in opposition.
The Respect for Marriage Act is “another example of Democrats creating a state of fear over an issue in order to further divide Americans for their political benefit.” While Johnson feels “the Respect for Marriage Act is unnecessary,” he added, “should it come before the Senate, I see no reason to oppose” the bill.