Faith Leaders Call upon Republicans to Vote Against Same-Sex Marriage Bill: ‘Corrosive’ to Religious Freedom

Faith leaders are calling upon Republicans to uphold their party’s platform that declares “the union of one man and one woman” to be the “cornerstone of the family.”

The leaders are reacting to the fact that 12 Senate Republicans joined with Democrats Wednesday to advance legislation, dubbed by Democrats the Respect for Marriage Act, that would codify the Supreme Court‘s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal across all 50 states.

“The 12 Republican senators who voted to codify same-sex marriage have unavoidably marginalized people of faith who hold to traditional biblical values,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in comments on The Star News Network.

Donohue observed the legislation would cast Americans of faith as “outliers”:

While an amendment to protect religious liberty is welcome, the fact that the bill speaks glowingly about homosexual marriage—as if it were on a moral par with marriage between a man and a woman—is disturbing. In doing so, religious Americans will now look like outliers, opening the door to more expressions of anti-religious bigotry.

As The Star News Network reported Thursday, Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) amendment to the measure that would have provided rigorous protections for religious liberty, was rejected.

Lee called the amendment to protect religious freedom, presented by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the first openly gay senator, and pro-abortion-rights Susan Collins (R-ME), as “woefully insufficient” to provide religious freedom protections.

“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,” Lee asserted.

CatholicVote President Brian Burch also called the vote on the legislation “politically motivated and timed.”

The measure “offers zero benefits, but plenty of harm,” Burch said, adding:

The Act violates the First Amendment rights of Americans everywhere, but most directly those who live out their beliefs in the public square where their contributions to society are irreplaceable. This includes those who are explicitly motivated by their faith to advance their community’s wellbeing – like churches and charities – but likewise individuals whose faith informs the everyday work they do – like web designers, wedding cake bakers, and others.

“This bill that so viciously attacks religious freedom is corrosive to our rights and our society and it should be rejected,” Burch asserted.

The Republican Party’s 2016 platform declares the “American family” to be “the foundation of civil society,” and that “the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman.”

The platform continues:

The data and the facts lead to an inescapable conclusion: Every child deserves a married mom and dad. The reality remains that millions of American families do not have the advantages that come with that structure. We honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the burdens of parenting alone and embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with dignity and respect. But respect is not enough. Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society. For that reason, as explained elsewhere in this platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states. We oppose government discrimination against businesses or entities which decline to sell items or services to individuals for activities that go against their religious views about such activities.

Writing at Ethics & Public Policy Center, fellow Patrick T. Brown urged Republicans not to be “tempted to vote for a quick lame-duck passage,” hoping not to be saddled with being on the “unpopular side of a hot-button social issue”:

The Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell cut short the democratic process, and voting to affirm this act of judicial overreach would give the Biden administration a quick win and demoralize socially conservative voters. But beyond the political considerations, there are deeper reasons to oppose the bill.

While Republicans should work to ensure all couples have access to healthcare benefits, visitation rights, and other “material privileges that married spouses can enjoy,” Brown wrote, marriage itself, as an institution, “is intimately bound up with the act of creating and raising children.”

“Marriage, at its core, is the social institution most fundamentally oriented towards procreation,” he explained. “It is society’s way of harnessing, binding, and supporting the relationship that creates a new life, and it gives the child produced from that union (and his or her parents) the best chance at a stable life.”

Brown observed that, for same-sex couples, having a natural-born child must involve a third party.

While he asserts such a “biological reality should never be an excuse for discrimination against LGBT couples (or straight couples who cannot or choose not to get pregnant),” that truth, he said, must be spoken aloud.

Brown asserted Republican senators who are considering a vote in favor of the legislation should be asked why he or she no longer agrees with the GOP platform statement on marriage and family.

“A vote to codify Obergefell would be a vote to pretend that biology doesn’t matter,” Brown warned. “While the Supreme Court’s decision stands, its ramifications are still in the hands of courts. Formally enshrining its logic in law would hamstring future efforts to do what’s right for kids. Republicans should take a tough stand.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]

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