U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer was the only Minnesota Republican in Congress to vote for a bill that would codify federal protections for same-sex couples, despite his previous opposition to gay marriage.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed by the House Tuesday was a direct response to concerns that the U.S. Supreme Court could target same-sex marriage after overturning Roe v. Wade. Emmer joined 46 other House Republicans and Minnesota Democratic Reps. Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, Betty McCollum and Ilhan Omar in voting in favor.

Emmer, who represents the Sixth District, also chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. As a state representative in 2007, Emmer sponsored a bill proposing a constitutional amendment for Minnesota to only recognize marriages between men and women. And as a candidate for governor in 2010, Emmer got the backing of the National Organization for Marriage for his opposition to same-sex marriage.

A spokeswoman for Emmer did not respond to requests for comment about his congressional vote.

Republican U.S. Reps. Pete Stauber and Michelle Fischbach voted against the bill.

"The ability for people to marry whomever they choose already exists," Stauber, who represents northern Minnesota's Eighth Congressional District, said in a statement. "Congress should be focused on providing relief to American families from 9.1% inflation and record high gas prices."

Fischbach, who represents western Minnesota's Seventh Congressional District, offered a similar statement.

"The Democrats put forward this unnecessary piece of legislation as a political stunt as they attempt to distract from their disastrous policies that have been wreaking havoc on our economy," she said.