The So-Called ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ Disrespects Marriage, Reality, and the Citizens Who Embrace It

November 16, 2022

Today, the Senate is set to vote on the Respect for Marriage Act (S. 4556) repealing the Defense of Marriage Act passed by the 104th Congress in 1996. Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, issued the following statement:

Marriage is the union of husband and wife. It’s bad enough that five members of the Supreme Court wrongly claimed that the U.S. Constitution requires a new definition of marriage. But if the Senate votes to codify this redefinition of marriage, all it will do is add fuel to the fire of those harassing and penalizing citizens and organizations that hold to the truth about marriage. The Senate bill pays lip service to religious liberty and conscience rights, but it does not offer any meaningful protections for those rights. Had the Senate sponsors wanted to, they could have explicitly stated that no individual or organization could be penalized by the government for operating according to the conviction that marriage unites husband and wife—particularly that the IRS may not strip any such organization of its non-profit status. But the bill offers no such protections. It is not a compromise, not even a bad compromise. It enshrines a false definition of marriage in our law and then tells people they can have their day in court if and when they get sued. That’s not public policy for the common good. 

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