The Respect for Marriage Act violates four clauses of the First Amendment

Posted: December 1, 2022 by Jon Fournier in Uncategorized
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On Tuesday the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act.  Twelve traitorous Republicans joined with the Democrats to pass this Bill, which will trample on the Religious Liberty of every American, particularly those who believe in traditional marriage. 

Freedom of Religion is one of our most important God-given natural rights.  It is enshrined in the First Amendment.  Thanks to this clause, the federal government is barred from trampling on the religious freedom of every single individual. 

This letter from Republican Senator Mike Lee chronicles just how the Respect for Marriage Act violates the Free Exercise of Religion clause.

As you are aware, we are one step closer to passing into law the Respect for Marriage Act. In the Obergefell oral arguments, there was a now infamous exchange between Justice Alito and then–Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. In response to Justice Alito asking whether, should states be required to recognize same-sex marriages, religious universities opposed to same-sex marriage would lose their tax-exempt status, General Verrilli replied, “ . . . it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito, –it is going to be an issue.”

And it is an issue. Obergefell did not make a private right of action for aggrieved individuals to sue those who oppose same-sex marriage. It did not create a mandate for the Department of Justice to sue where it perceived an institution opposed same-sex marriage, but the Respect for Marriage Act will. What we can expect should this bill become law is more litigation against those institutions and individuals trying to live according to their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.

Should Congress decide to codify Obergefell and protect same-sex marriages, we must do so in a way that also resolves the question posed by Justice Alito. Instead of subjecting churches, religious non-profits, and persons of conscience to undue scrutiny or punishment by the federal government because of their views on marriage, we should make explicitly clear that this legislation does not constitute a national policy endorsing a particular view of marriage that threatens the tax exempt status of faith-based non-profits. As we move forward, let us be sure to keep churches, religious charities, and religious universities out of litigation in the first instance. No American should face legal harassment or retaliation from the federal government for holding sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.

According to this Fox News article, Republicans were able to incorporate a very modest religious liberty amendment, while failing to pass true religious liberty amendments. 

An amendment by Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., was adopted Monday evening aimed at making sure the bill does not undermine religious liberty and states that nonprofit religious organizations “shall not be required to provide services” to a marriage it opposes.

On Tuesday the senate also considered three additional amendments to the bill by Senators Marco Rubio, R-Florida, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and James Lankford, R-Okla., that would have purportedly added stronger religious liberty protections to the measure, but all failed to reach a threshold vote for final adoption. 

The First Amendment consists of the following six clauses. 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Respect for Marriage act violates four of them.  Firstly, this act establishes progressive orthodoxy as the official religion of the United States, in direct violation of the establishment clause.  After this act is passed, Americans who hold and espouse views contradictory to progressive orthodoxy will be punished, violating the free exercise of religion clause and the free speech clause.  The freedom to assemble includes the freedom to not assemble.  The Respect for Marriage Act forces private venues to assemble for marriage ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs.

  1. Bill H. says:

    The Defense of Marriage Act has nothing to do with religion. I was married in a church by a priest. That was a religious act which had nothing to do with the State of California. It was not sanctioned by the state and not recognized by the state.

    About twenty minutes later the same man, serving as an agent of the State of California had us sign some papers in an office separate from the church. That had nothing to do with religion or with the Episcopal Church. It created a contract between us and with the State of California.

    The Defense of Marriage Act is in reference to the second paragraph and has nothing to do with the first paragraph. It violates no part of the constitution.