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Conservatives Must Reject the Democrats’ 'Respect for Same-Sex Marriage Act'

The Conservative Action Project (CAP) just released a Memo for the Movement entitled "Conservatives Must Reject the So-Called 'Respect for Marriage Act.'" By introducing the “Respect for Marriage Act” mandating that social and religious conservatives accept same-

sex marriage under threat of law, Democrats have taken another step in their campaign to destroy the foundational unit of society – marriage between one man and one woman.

Conservatives must oppose this latest intrusion of sexual politics into the religious life of Americans. The nearly 100 signers of the CAP Memo for the Movement and many other conservatives oppose the bill, and we join them by urging CHQ readers and friends to call their Representative and Senators (the Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) to demand they vote NO on the Democrats’ inaptly-named Respect for Marriage Act.


The CAP Memo for the Movement and list of signers follows.


July 26, 2022

Washington, DC


The inaptly-named Respect for Marriage Act seeks to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA) and codify the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) to legalize same-sex marriage. Such a troublesome policy pronouncement by Congress in favor of same-sex marriage would not only legislate a harmful, anti-family policy but also would unleash further religious freedom violations, threaten the tax-exempt status of religious entities, and wrongly marginalize social conservatives.

Even before Obergefell, government actors were using the levers of state power to go after those who disagreed with this new orthodoxy:


* 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 said couple’s 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 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 civil unions.

* 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.


Yet that was only the beginning. The Court’s decision in Obergefell unleashed religious freedom violations across the land, launching a new era of harassment and coercion of millions of Americans who hold a sincere religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is, or ought to be, between one man and one woman. President Barack Obama’s solicitor general signaled at this during oral argument in the case, saying that it was “certainly going to be an issue” if schools with a moral code of conduct prohibiting extramarital sexual involvement, including homosexuality, wanted to retain their tax-exempt status in the wake of the ruling.

The Respect for Marriage Act will further usher in this new era of oppression. Not only does it increase the threat of legal liability for those who decline to affirm same-sex marriage, but it would help cement a “national public policy” on same-sex marriage that would have drastic consequences. In Bob Jones University v. United States, the Supreme Court looked at whether a school’s actions were contrary to a “fundamental national public policy” to determine whether tax exemption could 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 the denial of the tax-exempt status of schools and other entities that decline to affirm same-sex marriage.

DOMA, which recognized natural marriage in federal law, was approved in 1996 by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress (342-67 in the House, 85-14 in the Senate). Nothing has changed about the science behind natural marriage; it is still in children’s best interest to be raised in homes with a married mother and father. This was true thousands of years ago, twenty-five years ago, and is still true today.

Further, the Respect for Marriage Act doesn’t “merely” codify United States v. Windsor, which struck down Section 3 of DOMA; it fully repeals DOMA, which has never been done. Under this bill, if any state recognized polyamorous marriages, the federal government would be forced to recognize them as well (as a matter of federal law).

Natural marriage is part of the very fabric of a free society. It is a pre-political institution that has existed for millennia. It was wrong of the Supreme Court to rule against the federal definition of marriage in Windsor, it was wrong to overrule over 30 states that recognized natural marriage in Obergefell, and it is wrong for Congress to attempt to legislate the redefinition of marriage now.

The Respect for Marriage Act must be rejected.


The Honorable Edwin Meese III

Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan (1985-1988)


The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell

Chairman, Conservative Action Project

Chairman, CNP Action, Inc.

The Honorable Tony Perkins

President

Family Research Council

Terry Schilling

President

American Principles Project

The Honorable Russ Vought

Director, Office of Management and Budget (2020-2021)

Kelly J. Shackelford, Esq.

President and CEO

First Liberty Institute

Chad Connelly

Founder and President

Faith Wins

William L. Walton

The Bill Walton Show

Resolute Protector Foundation

Marty Dannenfelser

Vice President for Government Relations and Coalitions,

Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)

Lori Roman

President

ACRU Action Fund


Ed Corrigan

Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project and

President & CEO, Conservative Partnership Institute

Kevin Roberts, Ph.D.

President

The Heritage Foundation


Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.

President

The Ethics and Public Policy Center


Travis Weber

Vice President for Policy

Family Research Council

Anne Schlafly Cori

Chairman

Eagle Forum

Michelle Easton

President, Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women

Jon Schweppe

Policy Director

American Principles Project

Guillermo J. Aragon

Chief Strategy Officer

Martin Capital

Lourdes Cosio

Campaign for the American Future

Shawn A. Mitchell

Former National Chaplain, National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Karen England

President, Nevada Family Alliance & Capitol Resource Institute

Dr. Paige Patterson

President

Sandy Creek Foundation

Peggy Dau

Co-Founder

Nationsnet.org

Gary Marx

President

Madison Strategies

Richard H. Wright

Owner

R & S LLC

Allen J. Hebert

Chairman

American-Chinese Fellowship

Steve Berger

President

ASI

Alan Sears

Founder

Alliance Defending Freedom

Dr. E. Calvin Beisner

President, Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation

Ron Pearson

Executive Director

Conservative Victory Fund

Richard D. Hayes

Partner

Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant

James L. Martin

Founder/Chairman

60 Plus Association

Rick Rounsavelle

Trustee

MRC

Kielle C. Horton

President

The Lindsey Foundation

Jay Mount

President

MDS Communications Corporation

Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel

William W. Pascoe, III

Our Man in Washington

Tea Party Patriots Action

Sheryl Kaufman

Board Member

Americans for Limited Government

Dr. Chris Hughes

Founder & Chairman

Citizens for America Foundation

Jonathan M. Alexandre, Esq.

Senior Counsel for Governmental Affairs

Liberty Counsel Action

Tom DeWeese

President

American Policy Center

Joan Holt Lindsey

President

Lindsey Communications

Tim Throckmorton

President

Lifepointe Ministries


Cleta Mitchell, Esq.

Senior Legal Fellow

Conservative Partnership Institute

The Honorable Morton C. Blackwell

President

The Leadership Institute

David N. Bossie

President

Citizens United

David Bozell

President

ForAmerica

The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.

Chief Domestic Advisor

President Ronald Reagan (1987-1988)

Star Parker

President & Founder, Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)

Thomas E. McClusky

Principal

Greenlight Strategies, LLC


The Honorable Jim DeMint

Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute

Member, US Senate (SC 2005-2013)

Brian Burch

President

CatholicVote


Penny Nance

President & CEO, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee


The Honorable Timothy Huelskamp, Ph.D.

Member of Congress (retired)

1st District of Kansas

Jeff Hunt

Director, Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University

Andresen Blom

President

Hawaiian Values

Judson Phillips

Founder

Tea Party Nation

Rod D. Martin

Founder & CEO

The Martin Organization, Inc.

Christina Murphy Lusk

President

The Martin Foundation

Sherri R. Martin

Executive Vice President

The Martin Organization, Inc.

Floyd Brown

Founder

The Western Journal

Mark Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising

Shannon O. Royce

President

Christian Employers Alliance

Saulius "Saul" Anuzis

President

60 Plus Association

Paavo Ensio

Chairman

Universal Minerals Group

C. Preston Noell III

President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Don Woodsmall

Interim President

Center for Security Policy

Elaine Donnelly

President

Center for Military Readiness

Dr. Jerome R. Corsi

Founder of DrJeromeCorsi.com

JRC Publishing LLC

The Honorable George K. Rasley Jr.

Managing Editor

ConservativeHQ.com

The Honorable Mike Hill

Former Member

Florida State Representative

Michael Lunsford

Executive Director

Citizens for a New Louisiana

The Honorable Rick Green

Founder

Patriot Academy

Lee Beaman

CEO

Beaman Ventures

Rod Vandenbos

CEO

R2 LLC

The Honorable Peter J. Thomas

Chairman

Conservative Caucus

Dr. Richard G Lee.

President

There's Hope America

Kristen A. Ullman, JD

President

Eagle Forum

Melvin Adams

President

Noah Webster Educational Foundation

Eunie Smith

President Emeritus

Eagle Forum

Brian Rogers

President

The Jesse Helms Center

Mario Navarro da Costa

Director, Washington Bureau

Tradition, Family, Property

Robert K. Fischer

Meeting Coordinator

Conservatives of Faith

Ben Case


  • Dobbs decision

  • Respect for Same-Sex Marriage Act

  • traditional marriage

  • Dobbs decision

  • privacy

  • sexual politics

  • LGBTQ agenda

  • Defense of Marriage Act of 1996

  • Obergefell v. Hodges

  • tax exempt status

  • DOMA

  • United States v. Windsor

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