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November 17, 2022

Yesterday, 12 Republican Senators joined with all the Democrats to pass the “Respect for Marriage Act.” It got 62 votes, two more than needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. It now goes back to the House, which will almost certainly pass it, since they already passed their version with the support of 47 Republicans, and then President Biden will sign it into law. There’s not much that can be done about it, even though this is one of those bills like the “Inflation Reduction Act” where the sunshine-and-lollipops name has little to do with the actual contents.

The RFMA codifies the Supreme Court decision in which a majority of Justices miraculously found a right to same-sex marriage hiding in the Constitution where nobody else had noticed it for over two centuries (I wish I had these guys with me for Easter egg hunts, or when the TV remote is lost.) It doesn’t force states to issue same-sex marriage certificates, but it does require them to recognize those issued in states that do.

Republicans justified their votes for it because it includes a GOP amendment exempting religious nonprofit organizations such as churches, synagogues, mosques, religious schools and faith-based social service organizations from lawsuits for not recognizing same-sex marriages. That's good, as far as it goes. However, critics pointed out that it does nothing to protect the religious rights of private citizens and business owners, a number of whom have been hounded, smeared and bankrupted by malicious lawsuits and prosecutions to force them to compromise their religious beliefs and participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies, somethat that the activists who pushed for same-sex marriage claimed would never happen. Remember, "If you oppose same-sex marriages, just don't participate in them"?

If they were going to issue such a ruling, the SCOTUS should have at least affirmed clearly that the enumerated, fundamental, First Amendment right to religious freedom takes precedence over a right they just suddenly found hiding behind a dangling participle. They did not, and ever since, it’s caused incredible grief, expense and persecution for a number of Americans of faith. Now, Congress is about to write that mistake into law.

How many more years of legal persecution must religious people endure before the SCOTUS finds this law unconstitutional? Or will they, at long last, finally do their duty even then?

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Comments 1-2 of 2

  • Rick Wilkins

    11/22/2022 10:20 AM

    I see that you are aware of HR0848. I have been since November 15th. God bless you.

  • Anne Turner

    11/19/2022 12:30 PM

    Most people are able to accept same sex marriages so far as a cultural norm. I know of no conservatives that exclude gay couples from their social life just for being gay. The problem is that acceptance is not sufficient for some people. One must celebrate the relationships way beyond celebrating heterosexual marriages. Very few area of this country do not have access to multiple bakers, churches, florists, printers, etc. But some gay people seem to choose that one vendor that has religious objections to participating in same sex marriages. It is as if everything must be tested to make sure a business is woke. If people are comfortable with their relationships, whatever they may be, why have to choose the firm that objects just to validate your preferences? How about a mutual respect for others belief systems? If I visit a Buddhist temple, should I insisted that Jesus be worshiped also. If I go to a store selling petite clothes, should I, as a larger woman, insist that they carry clothes to fit me?