WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: NRB Members Respond to Final Passage of the Respect for Marriage Act

NRB | December 13, 2022 | Member News

On Tuesday, December 13, President Joe Biden signed the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” into law after the U.S. House of Representatives stamped its approval on Thursday, December 8.

“The ability to obtain a same-sex marriage is not in jeopardy in America today, and this bill does nothing to change the legal status of same-sex marriage anywhere,” said NRB President & CEO Troy A. Miller. “However, the ability to do business or speak in the public square while holding to traditional values about life, marriage, and family is very much under threat. These are part and parcel of the First Amendment freedoms that NRB exists to defend.” Read the full statement here.

NRB members have issued statements in response to the bill’s final passage and signing into law.

KELLY SHACKELFORD, FIRST LIBERTY INSTITUTE: “The so-called ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ lets radical activists harass faith-based institutions in court because of their religious beliefs about marriage.  No American should be punished for holding a faith-based view on marriage, even if that view conflicts with the government’s current preferred definition.  And, no American should change their religious convictions about marriage just because a few politicians changed theirs.” Read the full statement here.

RYAN BANGERT, ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM: “This bill, which provides no protection or benefits that same-sex couples don’t already enjoy, deceptively gives lip service to religious liberty while undermining the First Amendment freedoms that belong to each of us. For months, many Americans, faith-based organizations, and churches across the country have raised concerns about the undeniable harms of this bill, yet Congress has rejected all attempts to include comprehensive religious liberty protections. We are grateful to the representatives who actively listened to these Americans and voted against this misleading legislation. Unfortunately, too few were willing to join them.” Read the full statement here.

TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: “Today is a dark day for religious freedom. The Left’s forces of religious hostility, aided by 12 Republican senators and 39 Republican representatives, advanced what history may ultimately record as one of the greatest assaults on religious freedom in modern history. These members are yielding to the temporal forces of the culture rather than the transcendent principles of our nation’s constitution. With their vote in support of this bill, these Republican members of Congress have marked their departure from the U.S. pro-family movement. For with this vote, they are exacting a price from their pro-family supporters and laying a heavy burden on Christians in the United States (and even worldwide), who will be increasingly marginalized and cast out of ‘proper society.’” Read the full statement here. 

JIM DALY, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: “Enshrining into law a destructive definition of marriage that undermines and expresses hostility towards God’s sacred design of a multi-millennia-old institution invites the inevitability of unintended consequences. It also threatens to criminalize people of faith and jeopardize organizations that have done so much good for so long. President Biden is expected to soon sign this bill, but our work advocating for proven policies that strengthen the family and nation will continue in earnest. Now is not the time to retreat – it’s a time to bring clarity to the confusion and light to an increasingly dark world.” Read the full statement here

JAMESON TAYLOR, AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION: “This bill is not about legalizing same-sex marriage. Every state already recognizes same-sex marriages and accepts same-sex marriage licenses issued by every other state. The real purpose of this bill is to weaponize federal agencies, like the IRS, DOJ and FBI, to harass and target Christian schools, adoption agencies and social service organizations that hold sincere religious beliefs about traditional marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act is dangerous and could be used by the IRS to deprive Christian schools, universities, and adoption agencies of their nonprofit status, and also bar them from receiving federal grants and contracts. Healthy dialogue, disagreement and debate is necessary for America to thrive and prosper. Under the RMA, no such disagreement or debate over same-sex marriage will be allowed. The vote today is a sad mark against America’s strong tradition of religious tolerance.” Read the full statement here.

JAMES DOBSON AND GARY BAUER, FAMILY TALK: “This legislation puts a bull’s eye on the backs of millions of Americans who passionately believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This bill just weaponized a woke posse to go after anyone who wants to simply follow their religious conscience.” Read the full statement here.

If your NRB member organization issued a statement that you would like added to this list, please email presscenter@nrb.org.

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