WASHINGTON – Today, Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with two million grassroots activists released a statement from Executive Director Jessica Anderson opposing H.R. 8404, the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act," and calling on U.S. Senators to block cloture until an amendment is included to protect religious liberty.
The so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” is the latest front in the radical Left’s attempts to impose its sexual ideology as state orthodoxy and punish those who disagree. It would repeal the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act and radically redefine marriage under federal law, even beyond the issue of same-sex marriage.
Among the bill’s many problems, one top concern is the attack on religious liberty. H.R. 8404 takes aim at the sincere religious and moral beliefs of a large portion of American society who believe in traditional marriage. If passed in its current form, the bill would paint those Americans as bigots and seriously threaten their religious liberty. H.R. 8404 could lead the IRS to strip religious organizations of their tax-exempt status, and it would create a private right of action for activist groups to sue religious entities and individuals, solely for their personal beliefs.
H.R. 8404 is unnecessary and destructive, and the Senate should reject it out of hand. Short of rejecting the bill, however, Senators should block cloture until an amendment is included to protect the religious liberty and dignity of the tens of millions of Americans with deeply held beliefs in traditional marriage. All Americans should be able to support a provision reversing the worst aspects of the bill and ensuring individuals remain able to live their beliefs about marriage without withdrawing from public life or being subjected to harassment.