There are stark differences in how left and right groups are reacting to the bill, which proponents say will strengthen protections for both gay rights and religious freedom.
Senate stepped forward Marriage Respect Act (RFMA) overcame major hurdles, overcoming filibusters last week with 62 votes, including 12 Republicans. The bill is scheduled to undergo a final vote next week.
And even among those who criticized the RFMA, there is general agreement that they want the law to become the law.
“I hate the Senate bill and it needs to passCharlotte Clymer, a transgender author who worked for the Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest gay rights groups in the United States, wrote.
Clymer argued that the bill would not “codify” gay marriage, but if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, It said it would protect the marriage licenses of currently married gay couples.
And Clymer said full recognition of gay marriage by Congress is unlikely any time soon, as long as 60 votes are needed to pass anything under the filibuster.
But on the right side law is dividedReligious groups that support the bill, or that support the Religious Freedom Clause and want the bill passed despite believing that the teachings of their faith do not allow them to support gay marriage. There is a coalition of religious groups.
This group includes National Evangelical Association, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, American Orthodox Jewish Congregational Union, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Council of Christian Colleges, and Campaign, First Amendment Partnership.
Many of these groups “think like religious minorities,” said Tim Schultz, president of the First Amendment Partnership, a religious freedom advocacy group. “So it’s no surprise that they’re looking for multi-dimensional solutions to their challenges.
“A lot of other people don’t think so,” Schultz said in an interview. “The Long Game,” Yahoo News Podcast“They don’t consider themselves a religious minority and behave very differently in public. This is partly why they actually have minority status.” I am thinking.”
and in fact noisy resistance Opposition to marriage laws from many prominent social conservatives, and much of the opposition is absolute. This group includes the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Franklin Graham Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Al Moorer Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Ryan T. Anderson At the Center for Ethics and Public Policy, Missouri Baptist Convention and other persons working for institutions such as heritage foundation, League of Liberty and World Magazine, an evangelical publication.
Anderson last week outlined absolutist arguments for the Senate bill.
“Marriage is a natural and supernatural institution before it is a political institution. Human law should reflect the laws of nature and the laws of eternity. should not be voted to allow the redefinition of Anderson tweeted.
When Anderson was asked on Twitter if he supported the bill, Extended protection For religious freedom in line with an amendment proposed by Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, he he said he wouldn’teven though he supported the Lee Amendment and said it offered “meaningful religious liberty protections.”
Lee’s critics say he has rarely worked constructively to compromise on these issues. Lee spokesman Lee Lonsbury told Yahoo News that the senator had “repeatedly attempted to get all parties involved in the negotiations” on the marriage bill, but how those attempts worked. He did not answer questions about whether or when it was done.
“His proposed amendment to the Respect of Marriage Act was developed over a long period of time with input from a wide variety of religious groups and individuals,” said Lonsbery.
Schultz said the RFMA’s aim is to reassure both sides that their worst fears won’t come true by putting safeguards in place for each.
Schultz, like many on the right, sees no chance of the Supreme Court overturning Obergefel’s ruling. He views Judge Clarence Thomas’s opinion as an outlier in the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, in which Thomas raised the possibility of abolishing same-sex marriage.
“But I will say this: for those concerned [Obergefell being overturned]We should try in good faith to make sure they understand that legally entered into marriages cannot be annulled,” Schultz said.
RFMA ensures that even if Obergefell is overturned, marriage licenses will remain valid and states that have legalized gay marriage will still be able to issue marriage licenses in the future. Additionally, these licenses must be recognized in states where gay marriage is not legal.
“And then gay marriage advocates say, ‘Oh, you [meaning religious organizations] Are you worried about losing your tax-free status? I think that’s really unlikely, but we’re going to say we won’t do it,” Schultz said.
“I mean, some of this is really telling each other, ‘I think the risk of what you’re worried about is pretty low, but why not make sure you don’t have to worry about it at all?’ ?’” he says. he told Yahoo News.
Conservative writer David French written on both sides There have been moments in the past few years that have “haunted” them. For conservatives, in a 2015 oral argument, then-President Barack Obama’s attorney general, Donald Verilli, said that universities that opposed same-sex marriage should be treated the same way they were opposed to same-sex marriage by the federal government. said it could be IRS Stripped Bob Jones University of tax-exempt status for opposing interracial marriage and dating. For liberals, it is Thomas’ opinion on the overthrow of Obergfell.
A few claim to the right What RFMA does make it more likely For example, religious groups may lose tax-exempt status if they refuse to hire gay people, and they may lose grants and recognition if they choose not to open adoptions to gay couples. .
But the claim is that it “ignores the statutory text.” a group of conservative legal scholars Led by Douglas Lacock, law professor at the University of Virginia argued successfully An important religious liberty case in the recent U.S. Supreme Court.
Laycock and three other constitutional scholars said the RFMA was “a good and important step for the freedom of believers to follow traditional views of marriage.”
“Although not comprehensive, the protection of religious freedom is important, especially in the following contexts: [RFMA] Lacock and Other Experts I have written.
The Lacock letter also pointed out that both gay rights and religious liberty advocates failed to advance their cause because they refused to compromise.
Legal scholars have pointed out: Lee Efforts to Pass Broader Religious Freedom Bill in 2015The National Defense Act of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution failed to win 60 votes in the Senate, despite Republican control of both houses. The bill would protect organizations against same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general from “discriminatory action” by the federal government.
Lacock and his fellow academics say Lee’s 2015 bill failed because it didn’t include protections for LGBTQ people.
“LGBTQ rights advocates are falling short because they are unwilling to provide religious freedom in Congress through the Equality Act or in many state legislatures,” wrote a conservative legal scholar. I’m here. “The lessons also apply to conservatives. Efforts like the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) have similarly failed time and time again because they did not have provisions to recognize LGBTQ rights, even on a gradual basis.” .”
“Religious freedom is engulfed in a firefight of war groups unwilling to accept the slightest gain of the other side. “This bill provides an opportunity to counter these trends and enact bipartisan protections for religious freedom.”
Matthew Lee Anderson, founder of the conservative Mere Orthodoxy website, wrote it “This is not the only religious freedom protection we need.”
“But the benefits here are also not negligible,” he added. “The answer to what is lost will depend on how realistic it is to believe that Obergfell will be overthrown within the next ten years.
“I think I understand why the Religious Right is against RFMA. About it The political judgment is so obvious that the conservatives who support it somehow deviate from conservatism, much less from Christian orthodoxy,” he concluded.
Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Yahoo News Photo: Jacqueline Martin/AP