President Joe Biden signed the deceptively titled Respect for Marriage Act into law on Tuesday afternoon, officially redefining marriage for the purpose of federal law.
The signing brings to a close the months-long debate that Congress had over the bill (HR 8404) which repeals provisions in federal law that define “marriage as between a man and a woman” and recognizes “any marriage between two individuals” (emphasis in original).
“Today is a good day,” the president said at a press conference on the White House lawn prior to signing the bill on Tuesday. “Today America takes the final step towards equality.”
The version of the bill that was signed on Tuesday contained an ostensible “religious freedom amendment” which was highly criticized by conservatives and religious organizations as inadequate.
As Gregory Baylor, Senior Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), warned, the bill:
- Further embeds a false definition of marriage in the American legal fabric;
- Opens the door to federal recognition of polygamous relationships;
- Jeopardizes the tax-exempt status of nonprofits that affirms that marriage is the union of one man and one woman;
- Endangers faith-based social service organizations by threatening litigation and liability risk if they follow their views on marriage when working with the government.
To be clear, the signing of HR 8404 makes no substantive changes to the status of those in same-sex relationships. The U.S. Supreme Court has already mandated that all 50 states recognize same-sex relationships as a legal “marriage.”
However – it does put into jeopardy the religious convictions of millions of Christians around the country.
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly said after the Senate passed HR 8404, that the bill deals “a blow to religious freedom … [and] threatens to further undermine … the family.”
Strangely enough, the White House chose to invite a “drag queen” to the president’s signing of HR 8404 on Tuesday.
“To be a non binary [sic] drag artist invited to the White House is something I never imagined would happen,” Marti Cummings said in a post on Twitter, which has since been hidden. “Thank you President & Dr. Biden for inviting me to this historic bill signing. Grateful doesn’t begin to express the emotions I feel.”
The post included a picture of an official white and gold White House invitation which reads: “The President and Dr. Biden request the pleasure of your company at the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act to be held at The White House on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at three-thirty o’clock.”
The Daily Signal reports that Cummings has tweeted about participating in Drag Queen Story Hours – an event that usually takes place in public schools or libraries where drag queens read books to young children.
The outlet notes that a viral video from 2019 shows Cummings “in full drag sitting cross-legged on a bar singing ‘Baby Shark’ to a 2-year-old child.”
“Anyone who thinks drag isn’t for children is wrong,” Cummings later said. “Drag is an expression, and children are such judgement-free beings; they don’t really care what you’re wearing, just what you’re performing.”
Such evil isn’t easy to read. But apparently these days it’s enough to earn you a ticket to the White House.
Now to be clear, the “Respect for Marriage Act” paints a target on the backs of religious and nonprofit organizations, and further empowers the federal government and its powerful law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute them.
Thankfully, there are multiple legal groups who stand ready to defend these organizations and protect their religious convictions. As ADF President Kristen Waggoner said recently, “Religious freedom is the first freedom named in the First Amendment … ADF stands ready to defend the Americans whose freedoms [have been] cast aside.”
That’s encouraging to hear, especially so that organizations like Focus on the Family can continue to help promote families, save marriages, rescue preborn babies, and promote adoption and the wellbeing of children.
If your marriage is struggling, Focus on the Family offers Hope Restored Marriage Intensives. Hope Restored is a biblically based, Christian counseling experience for couples facing a crisis moment in their marriage or suffering from years of disconnection and relationship decay. You can find out more about Hope Restored here.
In addition, Focus on the Family’s Counseling Consultation and Referrals offers help from licensed or pastoral counselors:
To request a conversation with Focus on the Family’s Counseling Department, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), or complete our Counseling Consultation Request Form. Please be prepared to leave your contact information for a counselor to return a call to you as soon as possible. The consultation is available at no cost to you due to generous donor support and will be with one of our licensed or pastoral counseling specialists.
Related articles and resources:
Photo from Getty Images.