Issue: H.R.8404, Respect for Marriage Act. Question: On Passage of the Bill (H.R. 8404, as amended, 3/5 vote required).
Result: Passed in Senate, 61 to 36, 3 not voting. Senate version passed in House 12-8-22 (Roll Call 513). Became Public Law 117-228 (signed by the President, 12-13-22). Democrats and GOP scored.
Freedom First Society: The Respect for Marriage Act should more correctly be termed the Disrespect for Marriage Act. The Act addresses a non-existent threat to same-sex marriage. It will nevertheless have severe consequences for people of faith. President Biden signed the legislation at a celebratory event at the White House with more than 2,000 attendees.
We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)
Congressional Research Services Summary:
Public Law (12/13/2022)
Respect for Marriage Act
This act provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.
Specifically, the act replaces provisions that define, for purposes of federal law, marriage as between a man and a woman and spouse as a person of the opposite sex with provisions that recognize any marriage between two individuals that is valid under state law. (The Supreme Court held that the current provisions were unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor in 2013.)
The act also replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right or claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin. (The Supreme Court held that state laws barring same-sex marriages were unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015; the Court held that state laws barring interracial marriages were unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia in 1967.) The act allows the Department of Justice to bring a civil action and establishes a private right of action for violations.
The act does not (1) affect religious liberties or conscience protections that are available under the Constitution or federal law, (2) require religious organizations to provide goods or services to formally recognize or celebrate a marriage, (3) affect any benefits or rights that do not arise from a marriage, or (4) recognize under federal law any marriage between more than two individuals.
Analysis: Proponents of this now public law regularly tell us that this is only a first step toward full equality for gays and their total acceptance in the marketplace. But their real agenda is revolution. And that work will not be completed until a totalitarian world government has total control and freedom is eliminated.
We are also experiencing the strategy of Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci and his disciples, who pointed out that the way for Communism to come to power in the more advanced countries was not by violent takeover but by subverting their institutions.
In his testimony before the Senate, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) summarized what was wrong with this law:
On the one hand, there’s no existing threat to same-sex marriage. It is and will remain legal nationwide regardless of the outcome of this legislation before us, the Respect for Marriage Act.
On the other hand, we have current, real, sustained ongoing assaults on religious freedom. How we proceed today will do nothing to the status quo of same-sex marriage in this country. It’s legal and will remain legal regardless of the outcome of this legislation.
It will, however, if enacted, have profound consequences for people of faith….
If accepting grants and licenses from the government makes you an actor under color of law, then many of our religious charities and schools will be threatened by this legislation, which relies on that un-narrowed, undefined phrase. Either the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops can cease operating according to its religious tenets or abandon its God-given mission to care for the refugee.
In at least three other cases, religious child care service agencies deemed to be acting under color of law are being shut out of foster care and adoption. These religious ministries can either abandon and cease to act according to their convictions, their religious convictions about marriage, or they can abandon the orphan. This nation and our orphans rely on these charities….
My [failed] amendment prevents the Internal Revenue Service, among other things, from revoking the tax-exempt status of these charities and organizations simply because they act according to their beliefs about the divine purpose of marriage.