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Faith leaders urge Senate to reject same-sex marriage bill that passed House

More than 80 Christian and politically conservative groups delivered a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asking him to oppose a same-sex marriage bill.

The “Respect for Marriage Act” measure gives federal recognition to same-sex and interracial marriage and prohibits any state from denying out-of-state marriage licenses and benefits on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity or national origin. The House approved the bill last month.

The purpose of the bill is to repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act,” which was signed by Democrat President Bill Clinton and enacted in 1996 to define marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman. The act also allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages approved by other states.

“When culture and political institutions fail to respect the institution of marriage and instead promote open aggression against those who believe that marriage is between a man and woman, they not only undermine human flourishing but seriously harm religious freedom,” said Michael Farris, president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom. “This legislation would only further that hostility. We urge members of the Senate, including leader McConnell, to stand firm against these blatant attacks on religious freedom and the institution of marriage by opposing this dangerous and completely unnecessary legislation.”

Other signees include Kelly Shackelford of First Liberty Institute, Thomas Farr of the Religious Freedom Institute, Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Kevin Roberts of the Heritage Foundation, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld of the Coalition for Jewish Values and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.

Those who signed the bill called it “an attack on millions of Americans, particularly people of faith, who believe marriage is between one man and one woman and that legitimate distinctions exist between men and women concerning family formation that should be recognized in the law.”

Even though the bill has gained support from dozens of House Republicans, it’s seen as unlikely to pass the Senate, which is split 50-50.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice