Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Do Americans Need to Choose Between Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom?

As soon as Roe v. Wade was overturned, Democrats rushed to pass a law to protect same-sex marriage. The House of Representatives passed HR 8404 – Respect for Marriage Act -- in July 2022. According to Mary Margaret Olohan, this bill “provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.” The bill also “repeals and replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages form other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right to claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin,” allows “the Department of Justice to bring a civil action,” and “establishes a private right of action for violations.” 

The U.S. Senate voted today to advance the so-called Respect for Marriage Act with 62 “ayes” votes and 37 “no” votes. I am sorry to report that Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan, both senators from Alaska, voted to advance the bill. They were joined by ten other Republican Senators: Roy Blunt (Missouri), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Shelley Capito (West Virginia), Susan Collins (Maine), Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Thom Tillis (North Carolina), Joni Ernst (Iowa, and Todd Young (Indiana). Olohan reported that most of the named Senators did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Signal. Are they ashamed of their vote?

Democrats claim that the bill will promote equality, but religious leaders do not agree. According to several sources, the senators named above do not understand what the bill will do. Ernst told The Daily Signal that she believes “this bill protects religious freedoms and will simply maintain the status quo in Iowa.”

Sullivan stated that the “vote was unnecessary.” He believes that “marriage should be an issue left up to the states.” He claimed that he worked “relentlessly to include in the bill considerable advances in much stronger religious liberty protections for millions of Americans that previously were not in federal law and were not in the Obergefell decision.”

Sources condemning the vote include Republican senators, religious leaders, and commentors who pushed back on the above rhetoric. Kristen Waggoner, President of Alliance Defending Freedom, warned, “Make no mistake, this bill will be used by officials and activists to punish and ruin those who do not share the government’s view on marriage.

Senator Mike Lee (Utah) said that he voted “against the motion to proceed to the ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ because the religious liberty protections were severely anemic and largely illusory. He continued, “While I respect the efforts and emotions surrounding this issue, the bill does not simply codify Obergefell as its proponents claim.”

Lee continued his statement, “And despite the proposed amendment from Senators Collins and Baldwin, the religious-liberty protections are woefully insufficient. Religious Americans will be subject to potentially ruinous litigation, while the tax-exempt status of certain charitable organizations, educational institutions, and non-profits will be threatened. My amendment would have shored up these vulnerabilities. It is a shame it wasn’t included.”

Kevin Roberts, President of The Heritage Foundation, accused the Republicans Senators voting for the bill as “betrayal.” “Conservatives are deeply disappointed by the betrayal of Senate Republicans to protect Americans’ religious freedom and won’t soon forget the votes of the 12 Republican senators who cast aside an essential right in a bill that will weaponize the federal government against believers of nearly every major religion.”

Christians are already being persecuted and sued simply because they choose to live according to their core beliefs. Codifying same-sex marriage will lead to more persecution.

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