TAKE ACTION: The U.S. House Voted to Redefine Marriage — Senators Threatening to Follow Suit!

On Tuesday the House passed a bill to codify the redefinition of marriage in law. Senate Majority Leader Schumer is threatening to take it up in the Senate, and many Republicans are wavering.


TAKE ACTION: Click here to contact your Senators, and ask them to protect the definition of marriage in federal law!


Every House Democrat, and forty-seven House Republicans, just voted to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which was approved in 1996 by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress (342-67 in the House, 85-14 in the Senate) and signed into law by President Clinton.

The so-called Respect for Marriage Act would also codify the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) to legalize same-sex marriage. Such a clear statement by Congress in favor of same-sex marriage would not only legislatively cement a harmful, anti-family policy, but would unleash further religious freedom violations and threaten the tax-exempt status of religious entities.

Even before Obergefell, examples of government coercion and prosecution of those with sincerely held beliefs regarding marriage were already numerous and growing. They include:

  • Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington state florist who was sued by the state and would eventually be forced to sell her business in order to avoid government confiscation of all of her personal assets, simply because she could not make custom floral arrangements for her long-time customer’s same-sex wedding.
  • Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa, who were sued by the state and fined $135,000 for declining to bake a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.
  • Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who has been to the U.S. Supreme Court twice to defend his First Amendment right not to make expressive cakes celebrating same-sex marriages. He is now being sued a third time by the state because he cannot create a gender transition cake in good conscience.
  • Dick and Betty Odgaard, whom the Iowa Civil Rights Commission tried to force to rent their gallery space (a former church) to a same-sex couple for their wedding ceremony. As a part of a settlement agreement to end the litigation, Dick and Betty agreed to pay the couple thousands of dollars and to not host any more weddings.
  • Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who were fined $13,000 and ordered to implement staff re-education training classes that contradicted the couple’s beliefs on marriage. The couple had been willing to make their farm available for a same-sex wedding reception but not the ceremony itself.
  • A Methodist congregation that ceased making a pavilion located on church-owned property available for weddings after the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights held that the church was required to host same-sex weddings.
  • Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, who was suspended and ultimately fired from his job for authoring and giving away, on his own time, a devotional book that touched on the biblical model of marriage being one man and one woman.
  • Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who declined to sign the marriage license (as then required by state law) for a same-sex couple. She was willing for her staff to sign the form, but that accommodation was not allowed by state law at the time. Writing about her case, Justice Clarence Thomas said, “those with sincerely held religious beliefs concerning marriage will find it increasingly difficult to participate in society without running afoul” of Obergefell “and its effect on other antidiscrimination laws.”
  • The (reportedly dozens) of magistrates in North Carolina that the attorney general forced to resign in 2014 for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. One finally won her case in 2018 for $300,000.
  • The judge in Washington state who was admonished by the state bar for daring to express his preference not to perform same-sex marriages.
  • The (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act increases the threat of legal liability of those who decline to affirm same-sex marriage.

In Bob Jones University v. United States, the Supreme Court looked to whether a school’s actions were contrary to a “fundamental national public policy” to determine whether tax exemption can be denied to that school. If this bill becomes law, the executive branch could argue that same-sex marriage is a “fundamental national public policy” to justify denial of tax-exempt status of schools and other entities that decline to affirm same-sex marriage.

Natural marriage is part of the very fabric of a free society. It is a pre-political institution that has existed for millennia. Nothing has changed; it is still in children’s best interest to be raised in homes with a married mother and father. Our nation’s laws should be shaped by what is best for society as a whole and especially for children. The 2015 Supreme Court ruling to try to redefine marriage was both procedurally and substantively wrong. Some homes are fatherless or motherless, and we salute the hard work of single mothers, single fathers, and blended and adoptive families who heroically serve their children. But the law should never be manipulated, by the courts or by Congress, to sanction intentionally fatherless and motherless family structures. It was wrong of the Supreme Court to overrule over thirty states that recognized natural marriage in 2015, and it is wrong for Congress to attempt to legislate the redefinition of marriage now.

Every American deserves respect and dignity, because each of us is created in the image of God. Respecting and acknowledging natural marriage, the biological complementarity of men and women, and the noted benefits of natural marriage to society as a whole and to children in particular do not undermine anyone’s God-given human dignity.

The (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act denies these realities by repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (which recognized natural marriage in federal law) and forcing every state to accept the definition of marriage of other states, pushing a “lowest common denominator” on all of the states. For example, should any state legislature or court choose to recognize polyamorous marriage, every state would be effectively forced to accept that new standard, without regard for the well-being of children and families.

It is vital that you reach out to your senators right now regarding this bill.


TAKE ACTION: Click here to contact your Senators, and ask them to protect the definition of marriage in federal law!


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