WI Sen. Baldwin to play key role in marriage equality bill

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin will play a key role in getting the marriage equality bill through the Senate. She spoke about that role with CBS 58.

"I think there are a lot of folks who feel that their own marriages are in jeopardy right now," Sen. Baldwin said.

On Wednesday, July 20, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor that he would enlist Baldwin's help.

"This bill is so important, I spoke to Senator Baldwin, who was one of the leaders of this bill in the Senate this morning, and she is talking to Republicans to see where the support is," said Schumer.

The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act on Tuesday, July 19, which would establish federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. The bill passed 267-157, with 47 Republicans, including WI Rep. Bryan Steil, joining every Democrat voting in favor.

"I'm very hopeful, especially given the strong vote in the house," Sen. Baldwin said.

While it passed the House easily, it might face a tougher road in the Senate. Texas Senator Ted Cruz says he doubts ROMA will get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

The push to pass the Respect for Marriage Act is a response to the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v Wade, and the concurring opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas that other rights, like same-sex marriage, could fall next.

"Maybe you think it is unlikely that this court would do this, but if you respect marriage equality, you should sign on to this bill and pass it. It's insurance," Sen Baldwin said.

No word yet on when the Respect for Marriage Act will go to a Senate vote. CBS 58 reached out to Sen. Ron Johnson's office to find out how he would vote on the bill. His office did not respond before our story aired.

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