(AP Photo/Scott Bauer)
(AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – the legal precedent ensuring women have the freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions – Americans have been left wondering what other fundamental freedoms may be at risk.

Chief among them – in no small part due to a concurring opinion from conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that explicitly called for revisiting (and overturning) the Obergefell decision that gave same sex couples the freedom to mary – is marriage equality. 

If Roe, which stood for nearly 50 years, can be overturned, is Obergefell next?

Maybe. Which makes codifying marriage equality in federal law the surest way to protect the freedom of every American adult to marry the person they love.

Enter Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is leading the fight to pass marriage equality legislation before the midterm elections. Baldwin’s Republican colleague Susan Collins of Maine is aiding Wisconsin’s junior senator in identifying at least 10 Republican Senators to support such legislation. With 10 Republican Senators on board the bill would be able to break any filibuster and be virtually assured of becoming law.

Baldwin and Collins seem confident they will find those 10 Republicans.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin – up for re-election this fall – will not be among them. 

Johnson recently declared that he would not vote to protect marriage equality despite signaling he was open to doing so as recently as this summer.

According to Johnson, his initial response on the issue of marriage equality was merely about getting the media “off my back.”

Now, Johnson has made his position clear. When marriage equality comes before the U.S. Senate, Johnson will vote no on one of the signature civil rights issues of our time.