The Senate is expected to vote soon on the deceptively titled “Respect for Marriage Act.” HR 8404 was rushed through the House earlier this year – without any public hearings.
It would codify in federal law that marriage is between any two individuals that a state allows to marry. It also forces states to accept any marriage recognized in another state – including plural marriages, open marriages, marriages involving minors “or any other new marriage definition that a state chooses to adopt.”
Given the significance of HR 8404 and its negative effect on people of faith, it’s vital for concerned believers to speak out against this legislation.
As Focus on the Family President Jim Daly wrote, the act “diminishes, undermines and disrespects the very thing it claims to protect.”
“Those who voted for this act in the House didn’t vote to protect marriage – rather they voted to protect the recent invention of same-sex marriage,” he explained.
Daly also signed a letter – along with a coalition of leaders from dozens of other state and national pro-family organizations – opposing the act.
The coalition letter says HR 8404 “is an attack on millions of Americans, particularly people of faith, who believe marriage is between one man and one woman and that legitimate distinctions exist between men and women concerning family formation that should be recognized in the law.”
The opposition letter explains that the act will “hasten and intensify hostility” against those who hold to a biblical view of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
It also says those “religious people, businesses, and organizations” holding this view will be subject to “countless new lawsuits merely for practicing their faith.”
Daly concurred in his blog opposing the legislation, stating:
As written, this bill would lead to costly lawsuits and harassment of millions of Christians, pro-family Americans and organizations like Focus on the Family who believe in one-man, one-woman marriage.
The Internal Revenue Service could use HR 8404 to strip nonprofits – such as churches and faith-based charities and ministries – “of their tax-exempt status if they continue to adhere to their belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman,” the coalition letter explains.
How likely is this?
The Heritage Foundation recently explained the growing support in the U.S. for polygamous unions:
There are upwards of 60,000 people practicing polygamy without legal recognition in the United States today. Public support for polygamy has more than tripled since 2010 to nearly one in four people today. In 2020, Utah reduced the criminal penalties for living in polygamous relationships to infraction status. Organizations such as the Polyamory Legal Advocacy Coalition, with support from Harvard Law School, are pushing for legalization of polyamorous unions.
Our contacts have also suggested that the bill could be appended to a spending measure that is needed to keep federal departments and agencies open after this date.
It’s also important to note that HR 8404 has some bipartisan support – with senators on both sides of the aisle pledging to vote for the measure.
That’s why it’s critical for concerned citizens to contact their senators and speak out against this harmful legislation.
Here are three simple ways to contact your senators and voice your strong opposition:
- First, our friends at Family Policy Alliance have created an action page that makes it easy to contact both your senators via email. It takes about a minute to explain your opposition and send two emails at once.
- Second, If you know who your senators are, you can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to their office so that you can speak to one of the senator’s staff members. Please be polite and simply ask them to relay the message that you want your senator to vote “NO” on H.R. 8404.
- Third, you can find your senators here and send them an email here.
You can also take action by sharing this information with friends, family and church leaders, urging them to oppose HR 8404.
This is URGENT. Please contact your senators TODAY.
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