Sen. Johnson: Reversing same-sex marriage ruling would harm more people than abortion ban

Sen. Johnson: Reversing same-sex marriage ruling would harm more people than abortion ban

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said he believes more Americans' lives would be disrupted if same-sex marriage were made illegal than the impact of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the constitutional right to an abortion.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) made the comment while further explaining why he believes it's "unnecessary" to codify same-sex marriage into federal law as some fear other rights are at risk after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

"Unlike Roe v. Wade, this is pretty much settled law," Johnson said about the 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage. "People relied on that and if you overturn it…it would really disrupt people's lives. Roe v. Wade is a law that affects people in the future."

Philip Shulman, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement, “Ron Johnson has spent his career in the Senate trying to undermine LGBTQ rights and now takes credit for overturning Roe v. Wade, which has triggered a ban on nearly all abortions in Wisconsin."

The Oshkosh Republican said Democrats are "stoking fear" in Americans, arguing same-sex marriage and other rights are not being threatened. Johnson spoke on the issue to reporters after securing an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Businesses during a campaign stop at Rolled Threads Unlimited in Waukesha.

Johnson has said he has "no reason to oppose" legislation introduced by Democrats that ensures same-sex marriages are valid in states they occurred in. The Respect for Marriage Act comes in response to conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas signaling support to review Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that legalized same-sex marriage.

"When that decision was made, I thought this issue was settled," Johnson said. "I see no scenario in which the Supreme Court would take up that decision and reverse it."

House Democrats, including 47 Republicans, passed the proposal (267-157) late Tuesday. Pressure is now mounting among GOP senators to show support for gay rights during an election year.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the first openly gay senator, is primarily leading the effort to get at least 10 Republicans on board to reach the 60-vote threshold to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Baldwin said she's making progress.

"We need to protect the freedom and rights of same-sex and interracial marriages, and I am hopeful we will receive the support we need to pass our marriage equality legislation," Baldwin said in a statement.

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