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“Respect For Marriage Act” Vote Is a Betrayal by 12 Senate Republicans

National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) expresses grave disappointment in the decision of twelve Senate Republicans to vote to advance the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” which breaks with the traditional definition of marriage that has sustained the American family for generations and undermines religious groups, including our members, who dissent in speech or in practice.

Regretfully, this group of twelve even includes current and former members of the Senate Values Action Team (VAT), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). Sen. Blunt has asserted that this legislation “enhances the religious freedom for all Americans by protecting religious organizations from retaliation by federal agencies due to their views on marriage,” but the bill does no such thing. A bipartisan amendment that purported to remedy the bill’s lack of religious liberty protections failed to address the critical issues, merely pledging that the bill would not do things no one claimed it would do and providing a measure of political cover for fair-weather conservatives.

“In America today, the ability to obtain a same-sex marriage is not in jeopardy. The ability to do business or speak to the culture while holding to traditional values about life, marriage, and family is very much under threat,” said NRB President & CEO Troy A. Miller. “These are part and parcel of the First Amendment freedoms that NRB exists to defend.”

These twelve Senate Republicans, failing to grasp the moment we are in, have instead chosen to register their support for a contemporary definition of marriage that is already relentlessly promoted and advanced in the culture. It is not too late for Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard M. Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) to reverse course and vote “No” on the “Respect for Marriage Act” when it comes to a final vote. The alternative is to betray the very people of faith upon whom these Senators have greatly relied.

NRB members can take action by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking to be connected to your senator’s office. Share with the aide who answers that you have serious concerns about insufficient religious liberty protections in the “Respect for Marriage Act” and that you strongly urge your senator to vote “NO” when it comes to a final vote.

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