Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is a lesbian, wasn’t going to let Sen. Marco Rubio’s remark on a same-sex marriage bill slide.
As he was walking into an elevator on July 20, Rubio told CNN that voting on the bill was a “stupid waste of time” in front of Baldwin, who is the first openly LGBT United States senator.
The Respect for Marriage Act passed in the House last week 267-157, with 47 Republicans joining Democrats.
"You probably would have loved to be on the elevator to see the exchange after," Baldwin told CNN.
"I said that, 'The recent Supreme Court decision eroded a constitutional right to privacy. There are a whole bunch of cases that have been decided based on a constitutional right to privacy that are in jeopardy,' which he disagrees with,” she added.
Baldwin did not reveal what Rubio said in response, nor did she say if she was offended or not.
"We're not going to get into [that]," Baldwin said. "I'm counting votes."
Baldwin predicted they would have 10 Republican votes to break a filibuster attempt when the bill eventually heads the floor, CNN reported.
“What Senator Rubio insists is a ‘waste of time’ is something over 70% of people support: the freedom to marry who we love,” Brandon Wolf, press secretary of Equality Florida, told SFGN. “That freedom has been targeted in a recent opinion penned by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and has been called into question by right-wing politicians across the country.”
Sen. Ron Johnson, along with four other Senate Republicans, has indicated support for the same-sex marriage bill, according to CNN. Although calling the bill “unnecessary,” he said he sees “no reason to oppose it” if it comes up for a vote in the Senate.
Sen. Rick Scott, however, told CNN that he will “wait and see” when asked if he would support the bill, and believes the Supreme Court has already decided what to do with the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said he wants to bring the bill to the floor soon, but did not announce when he would schedule a vote, CNN reported. He said he was "impressed” by how much bipartisan support the bill got in the House.
The Senate leaves for its August recess in two weeks, making it unlikely Schumer will be able to get the floor time before then, especially as senators are already trying to pass a bill to boost production of semiconductor chips and a separate economic package.
Taking it up after August moves the debate closer to the midterm elections and will allow Democrats to highlight what they believe are key social issues important to voters, according to CNN.
“Guaranteeing in federal statutes the freedom to marry has broad, bipartisan support — and is the right thing to do,” Wolf told SFGN. “Senator Rubio should stand with his constituents and vote yes on the Respect for Marriage Act.”