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Posts tagged ‘RESPECT FOR MARRIAGE ACT’

If Marriage Can Mean Anything, It Will Soon Mean Nothing


BY: STELLA MORABITO | NOVEMBER 29, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/29/if-marriage-can-mean-anything-it-will-soon-mean-nothing/

Sen. Cynthia Lummis speaking on the Senatea floor prior to voting on the Respect for Marriage Act
The Respect for Marriage Act lets the government establish a permanent presence in your personal life while redefining your relationships.

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No matter how you define “marriage,” there is zero respect for it in the so-called Respect for Marriage Act. You may believe it serves to federally codify the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision that rejected marriage as a male-female union. Maybe it would do so temporarily. But that’s not the endgame.

If you’re paying attention, you can see that the Senate’s recent 62-37 vote for cloture on HR 8404 puts us one step closer to abolishing state recognition of marriage entirely. That’s where this train is headed.

This will happen the same way such things always happen — through a demonization campaign that frames skeptics as bigots who are guilty of discrimination. That’s how you get Democrat-pliable Republicans such as Mitt Romney and craven Supreme Court justices like Anthony Kennedy to sign on. That’s how you manufacture a public opinion cascade, warning average Americans that they’ll be pummeled with lawsuits and ostracism if they dare think out loud.

And that’s how Democrats in Congress are likely in the not-too-distant future — via HR 8404 — to make the case that marriage actually comes with privileges that discriminate against the unmarried. Disagree? You’re a bigot who deserves to be socially ostracized! Self-censorship in the face of such accusations will pave the way, as always

Collectivists Hope to Destroy Private Life and Regulate Relationships

Once they’ve gotten to that point via HR 8404 and Republicans who supported the measure, congressional Democrats will doubtless push us to agree that marriage is a discriminatory institution. We’ll start seeing more anti-marriage initiatives supported by singles, millennials, Julias, and gen Z, all well-groomed for the moment by teacher’s unions, academia, and media.

They’ll fall for the pitch that we can all just write up domestic partnership contracts instead. “Marriage” would then become nothing but a legal relationship (a contract) between two (or more) people for any purpose at all. Bureaucrats would broker those contracts. This proposal is all mapped out in Sunstein and Thaler’s 2008 book “Nudge.” It’s also been promoted for decades by internationally acclaimed feminist legal scholar Martha Fineman who writes that a system of contracts replacing marriage will help the state “regulate all social interactions.”

Under a system that abolishes state recognition of marriage, the family could no longer exist autonomously or unmolested by the state. How could it if the state no longer recognizes marriage as the foundation of the family unit? The government would have no requirement to recognize religious rites of marriage as valid. Thus, it would meddle more deeply in religion and religious communities that recognize bonds of kinship through blood ties.

We Become Atomized Individuals in the State’s Eyes

The atomization resulting from this will have repercussions that go beyond the bill’s guarantee to treat any difference of opinion as a federal crime. If we continue on this path, the government will no longer have to recognize any biological relationships. It need not recognize any legal right you might have as the parent of your biological child. Why should it? It would have already abolished its recognition of the union that produced the child. 

Some of this process has already been completed through gender-neutral language in documents like passports, birth certificates, or the rules of the 117th Congress that do not recognize the words “mother,” “father,” “son,” or “daughter.”

Much groundwork has also been laid by surrogacy and abortion laws that treat children as chattel to buy, sell, and dispose of at will. And why would the state have to recognize any other relationships resulting from marriage if it no longer recognizes marriage? It could ignore your blood relationships to brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or any familial bond. In this scenario, you’d likely need a license to raise your own child, an old communist goal that the so-called Respect for Marriage Act conjures up.

When all there is are bureaucratized domestic partnership arrangements, the government would no longer need to recognize spousal privilege and thereby could legally coerce spouses to testify against one another in court. It could also abolish the default path of survivorship through which your inheritance goes to your spouse or next of kin. Instead, the state would be free to redistribute your nest egg at will in its great bureaucratic wisdom.

Indeed, there is no reason to doubt that the Respect for Marriage Act serves as a midwife to the radical left’s long-held goal of abolishing state recognition of marriage. It will allow the government to regulate our relationships, rendering each of us naked before its power. 

We are each being set up for a pre-arranged marriage with Big Government operating as our abusive spouse. 

Such Atomization Is a Totalitarian Necessity

The path to human atomization is the natural arc of all totalitarian systems in the making. They must always first isolate people in order to control them through terror, as Hannah Arendt noted in her work “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” Tyrants always mask their intentions by borrowing from tradition, using words like “respect for marriage,” “love,” or “equality” as they march us all into virtual solitary confinement

There’s nothing new about this trajectory. It’s a long-standing vision of all totalitarian systems, which first came into the open with the Communist Manifesto’s proclamation, “Abolish the family!” Communists referred to traditional religion as “the opiate of the people” while setting up communism as a pseudo-religion that demanded unquestioning loyalty. The resulting dependency then truly becomes the fentanyl of the people.

Such deceptions are why Schumer and company talk about marriage as though the government has some sort of litmus test for “love.” But anyone with half a brain knows that love’s got nothing to do with a functioning state’s interest in marriage. Marriage is an institution that exists to allow for a structured society and for the protection of children. 

Of course, we easily forget such facts while living in a nation that increasingly promotes infanticide, assisted suicide, recreational drug use, child pornography, and other ways to torture and kill our children. In fact, virtually all of their policy positions are tailor-made for family breakdown, community breakdown, and for hostility toward religious communities.

But maybe you like feeling lonely and alienated, like the idea of a childless and hopeless future, and are all for the state regulating your personal relationships and conversations. Well, then, you’ll like the “Respect” for Marriage Act.

But the destruction of bonds of affection and loyalty in the private spheres of life makes sense from the point of view of statists. Those loyalties get in the way of their ambitions for power and social engineering. They are invested in isolating us so that we become dependent upon them.


Stella Morabito is a senior contributor at The Federalist. She is author of “The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer.” Her essays have appeared in various publications, including the Washington Examiner, American Greatness, Townhall, Public Discourse, and The Human Life Review. In her previous work as an intelligence analyst, Morabito focused on various aspects of Russian and Soviet politics, including communist media and propaganda. Follow Stella on Twitter.

12 GOP Senators Help Democrats Erode Americans’ Right to Act on Religious Convictions About Marriage


BY: JORDAN BOYD | NOVEMBER 29, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/29/12-gop-senators-help-democrats-erode-americans-right-to-act-on-religious-convictions-about-marriage/

wedding rings
The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ enables LGBT activists and the DOJ to bring civil action against anyone they say violates the legislation.

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Twelve Republicans disregarded their constituents’ wishes and aided Democrats in deriding the First Amendment rights of religious Americans by passing the deceptively-named Respect For Marriage Act without including any of their colleagues’ proposed protective amendments.

Of the 12 Republicans who voted to advance the RFMA to a vote on the floor, three needed to change their minds before a final vote on the bill to keep the bill from passing. It is clear from the 61-36 vote on Tuesday night that Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Todd Young of Indiana did not change their minds.

Instead of using amendments as prerequisites for their support, these Republicans opened the door for their congressional colleagues to reject three separate attempts to give the bill robust legal protections for religious Americans who believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

The RFMA as it stands doesn’t just repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between male and female, by codifying the Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. It goes further by enabling LGBT activists, who have already made a habit of exploiting the legal system to target religious Americans, and the politically motivated Department of Justice to bring civil action against anyone they say violates the terms of the legislation.

Under the guise of vague language, the RFMA could allow for the legal victimization of wedding vendorsadoption agenciesbakeries, and any other entities run by people of faith who refuse to offer services condoning same-sex marriage based on religious convictions.

Despite the RFMA’s problems, the 12 GOP senators echoed their support for the legislation by once again voting in favor of it.

For their willingness to cave to the Democrats’ agenda, those Republicans were thanked by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from the Senate floor ahead of the vote.

I also want to acknowledge my Republican colleagues who voted in favor of advancing this legislation. Because of our work together, the rights of tens of millions of Americans will be strengthened under federal law,” he said. “That’s an accomplishment we should all be proud of.”

Other Republican senators, however, understood the risks the RFMA poses to Americans and offered solutions in the form of amendments that sought to clarify the bill’s cushioned language.

Sen. Mike Lee put forth an amendment that explicitly stated that the federal government “shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person speaks, or acts, in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief, or moral convictionthat marriage is between one man and woman. The amendment would have also allowed anyone who is wrongfully targeted by the government over their beliefs about marriage to sue.

That amendment, which required 60 votes to be adopted, ultimately failed.

Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. James Lankford also introduced amendments designed to clarify language and ensure religious liberty protections for all Americans.

Lankford’s amendment guaranteed that the RFMA’s obscurity would not be wielded against organizations with traditional marriage beliefs. Rubio’s amendment eliminated the private right to sue from the RFMA.

Both amendments required a simple majority but failed.

Now that the RFMA has passed the Senate, the House is expected to vote on the updated bill as soon as this week.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who will likely assume the position of House speaker in January, told reporters early on Tuesday that he agrees with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) which says that the RFMA would “betray our country’s commitment to the fundamental right of religious liberty.

Catholic Bishops say religious protections in the Respect For Marriage Act are insufficient and far from comprehensive and treat religious liberty as a second-class right. As you know, that’s currently in the Senate. Do you agree with that assessment by the Catholic Bishops?” one reporter asked.

I agree with them, yes,” McCarthy confirmed.

McCarthy’s willingness to signal strong opposition to the bill, which garnered support from 47 House Republicans earlier this year, shows that he is listening to conservative voters who overwhelmingly reject this legislation.


Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

‘Deceptive’: Franklin Graham warns Christians about ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ ahead of Senate vote


By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor | November 28, 2022

Read more at https://www.christianpost.com/news/franklin-graham-warns-christians-about-respect-for-marriage-act.html/

Courtesy Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Evangelist Franklin Graham is warning Christians that the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, which is set to be voted on by the Senate Monday, is a deceptive smoke-screen that would change the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman while not protecting those who hold a traditional view of marriage.

The Respect for Marriage Act “could impact you, your family, your church, and our nation,” Graham wrote on Facebook during the weekend. “The name is a smoke-screen. Very deceptive.”

He compared it to the Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act that “did nothing but increase inflation and further hurt our economy.”

“The current version of the Respect for Marriage Act being pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer is designed to provide strong protections for same-sex marriage — but it fails to protect those of us who believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” explained Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

“It is dangerous legislation that would be used against individuals, churches and organizations who honor traditional marriage.”

The bill to enshrine the right to same-sex marriage into federal law cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Senate earlier this month, with critics saying that a religious freedom amendment added to the legislation doesn’t adequately protect those with deeply held beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman. Graham said Republican Sen. Mike Lee’s proposed amendment “can improve” the legislation and “bring critically-needed protection for religious liberty and rights of conscience.”

He continued, “Many say this is a long shot, but we desperately need senators to demand the Lee Amendment be added to the current version of the Respect for Marriage Act before it is finalized.”

The measure would codify the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges, which established a right to same-sex marriage, into federal law and formally repeal the unenforced Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman at the federal level.

Graham urged Christians to call their senators “as soon as possible and ask them to vote YES for the Lee Amendment — or to vote NO to the Respect for Marriage Act if it doesn’t have this amendment.”

He warned, “Time is short — freedom-loving people have to take action before it’s too late.”

The Respect for Marriage Act previously passed the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives in July with the support of all Democrats and 47 House Republicans.

The legislation would require all states to give “full faith and credit to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State pertaining to a marriage between 2 individuals, on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.”

Passage of the bill has become a top priority for congressional Democrats following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, determining that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t contain a right to abortion. In a concurring opinion in Dobbs, Justice Clarence Thomas described the substantive due process as “legal fiction,” suggesting that the justices should “reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents,” including Obergefell

In a recent op-ed for The Christian Post, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, also warned that the bill “opens the door to American persecution.”

“As the mainstream culture moves further and further away from a Christian worldview, I’ve witnessed the hostility to moral truth creep closer to our shores,” he wrote. “The West, once the safe haven of free speech and religion, is turning cold to the foundations that made our countries thrive.”

He cited an FRC report released in July, which tracked 99 incidents of government attacks on religious freedom against Christians or Christian institutions across 14 Western countries in the last two years alone.

The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ Is an Exercise in Tyranny, And Everyone Knows It


BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON | NOVEMBER 22, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/the-respect-for-marriage-act-is-an-exercise-in-tyranny-and-everyone-knows-it-2658765809.html/

Obergefell rally in front of SCOTUS
The 12 Republicans who voted to advance the bill last week are gaslighting the American public about its real purpose.

It’s not hard to game out what happens if the misnamed Respect for Marriage Act passes, codifying Obergefell and enshrining gay marriage in federal law. Everyone, including the dozen Republican senators who voted to advance the legislation last week, knows exactly what will happen. It’s not some big mystery. 

What will happen is this: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and anyone else who dares maintain that marriage is a lifelong conjugal union between one man and one woman — the definition of marriage for thousands of years until the U.S. Supreme Court descended from Mount Sinai with Obergefell v. Hodges inscribed on stone tablets — will be branded a bigot and driven from the public square and marketplace.

Anyone who owns a small business related to the wedding industry — photographers, bakers, website designers, venue owners, caterers, florists — will be sued into oblivion if they refuse services to same-sex couples. Religious colleges and universities will lose their tax-exempt status. Religious institutions of every kind, if they hold to their teachings and traditions about marriage, will face an onslaught from the Department of Justice and the federal bureaucracy. 

To paraphrase George Orwell’s famous line, if you want a picture of the future under the Respect for Marriage Act, imagine a boot stamping on Jack Phillips’ face — forever. 

The untrammeled exercise of power and the vigorous crushing of dissent is the entire purpose of the proposed law. There can be no other possible justification for it. Michael New, an assistant professor at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America, recently told The Daily Signal that Catholic colleges and universities in particular might face ruinous lawsuits and loss of federal funding if the bill is signed into law.

“Suppose a Catholic college refused to allow a same-sex married couple to live in college owned graduate student housing for families, they might be subject to all kinds of litigation,” he said. “Such a college might lose its nonprofit status. Their students might lose eligibility for federal financial aid and their faculty might lose eligibility from research grants from government agencies.”

Well, yes. Of course all that would happen. Democrats and left-wing activists hear these kinds of concerns from people like New and think, “Good. Let them face ruinous litigation. Let them lose funding. Ghettoize them. Crush them. Grind their institutions into dust. They deserve it, the bigots.”

All the more appalling, then, that 12 Republican senators voted to advance the bill knowing full well what it will do. One wishes the explanation is just that these lawmakers are too stupid to understand what the purpose of the proposed law really is and what its effect will obviously be, but that’s wishful thinking. If they’re going to support this bill, though, do they have to pretend that we’re all too stupid to understand how it will work? Does Dan Sullivan, the second-worst U.S. senator from Alaska, who once supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the long-ago of 2014, really believe that the Respect for Marriage Act makes “important advances” in religious liberty? Does Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who 10 years ago as speaker of the statehouse supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in his state, really think the anemic amendments he and other GOP senators offered to the bill will “advance religious freedom” and “age well”?

All the Republicans who voted to advance the bill last week issued some version of the nonsense Sullivan and Tillis spouted. None of them believe a word of it. They just hope you buy it.

But you don’t have to. Roger Severino of the Heritage Foundation helpfully walked through these specious claims one by one, explaining why they’re wrong. No, the bill won’t provide religious institutions with meaningful protections. Yes, the bill could certainly be used as a basis for the Internal Revenue Service to deny tax-exempt status to religious organizations that don’t toe the line on gay marriage. Yes, it could also be used to deny grants, licenses, or contracts. No, weak language about preserving the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not enough to prevent harm to religious liberty. And so on.

The justification for the bill is just as outlandish and offensive as the argument that it presents no danger to religious Americans. In the wake of the Dobbs decision this summer, we were warned that some future Supreme Court opinion, following Justice Clarence Thomas’s logic, could overturn Obergefell and other substantive due process rulings such as Loving v. Virginia, which struck down state laws banning interracial marriage.

The purpose of this claim, in case it isn’t bone-crushingly obvious, is to lump opponents of gay marriage in with opponents of interracial marriage, to smear them as bigots who aren’t just on the wrong side of history, but who are about to be on the receiving end of a federal government empowered to go after them.

And if you think that can’t really be how proponents of the Respect for Marriage Act think about traditional-minded Americans, go ask Jack Phillips how he’s faring after winning his Supreme Court case in 2018.


John Daniel Davidson is a senior editor at The Federalist. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Claremont Review of Books, The New York Post, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter, @johnddavidson.

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