Sen. Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (D-S.D.) announced his support for same-sex marriage on Monday, leaving just three Senate Democrats opposed to gay marriage.
“After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage-equality legislation,” Johnson said in a statement. “This position doesn’t require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom.”
Over the last several weeks, a dozen Democrats and two Republicans have endorsed gay marriage, which polls suggest is now favored by a majority of voters.
Gay-rights advocates are hopeful that the growing public support will herald the striking down of prohibitions on same-sex marriage throughout the country.
The Supreme Court last month held hearings on cases challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies some benefits to same-sex partners.
Johnson follows Sens. Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyTrump’s vow on Medicare in doubt after HHS choice Red-state Dems face tough votes on Trump picks Red-state Democrat: I'll oppose Trump's health chief MORE (D-Ind.) and Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampTrump flirts with Dems for Cabinet Trump meets with Dem senator amid Cabinet speculation Dem senator shares Trump Tower elevator with Naked Cowboy MORE (D-N.D.), who announced their support for gay marriage on Friday. Sens. Mark KirkMark KirkBattle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Women make little gains in new Congress MORE (Ill.) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanGOP debates going big on tax reform Who is Tim Ryan? A closer look at Pelosi’s challenger Battle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates MORE (Ohio) are the only Republicans to publicly back same-sex marriage.
In March, Johnson announced that he would not run for reelection.