Protecting Marriage and our First Freedom
The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 3133) introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 92% today currently has over 60 original co-sponsors, including members from both political parties. This legislation is coming at a pivotal time for the fate of marriage law in America, and consequently, for the fate of American society as a whole. The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson notes:
The bill is an important step for conscience protection. Government policy should respect those who stand for marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Even in jurisdictions that have redefined marriage, those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman should be free to live in accord with their moral and religious convictions.
Why does this matter? He continues:
[I]n a growing number of incidents, government has not left these Americans free. Last month, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment does not protect a photographer’s right to decline to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony—even though doing so would violate the photographer’s deeply held religious beliefs as a Christian.
But will this legislation prevent some individuals in America from living as they choose? No. It is designed to protect religious liberty:
While Americans are free to live and love how they choose, they should not use government to penalize those who think and act differently. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms. All Americans should be free to believe and act in the public square based on their beliefs about marriage without fear of government penalty.
Anderson has written extensively in defense of real marriage and has made abundantly clear the damage that will result to society when lawmakers attempt to redefine marriage for the purposes of federal law.
Rep. Labrador’s legislation comes at a critical moment and is a step in the right direction to protect both marriage and religious liberty.