Christians who hold biblical values about marriage increasingly are coming under fire. A group of House Republicans is seeking to protect them.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and other lawmakers sent a letter to several appropriations subcommittees requesting that they add text to the budget that prohibits agencies from taking discriminatory action against people or organizations on the basis of a “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as a union of one man and one woman.”
“Without this language, we fear that the federal government will begin to systematically discriminate against religious schools, faith-based organizations and other non-profits by barring their participation in federal programs and removing their tax-exempt status, for their views on marriage,” the lawmakers wrote. “The First Amendment is sacred. It secures the right to write, pray, think, speak and associate as one pleases. These fundamental rights are uncontroversial and must be protected.”
The call for explicit protections for religious liberty in the budget proposal comes after President Joe Biden endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, which enshrines same-sex marriage protections into federal law in accordance with the Supreme Court’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges. Democratic lawmakers recruited 39 Republicans in the House and 10 Republicans in the Senate to support the bill, which was signed into law in December.
The bill also repealed the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to legally define marriage as between one man and one woman and to permit states not to recognize same-sex unions from other states.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, repeatedly warned that the religious liberty protections in the Respect for Marriage Act were “severely anemic and largely illusory.” He voiced concern that religious entities could be exposed to litigation and the loss of nonprofit status under the new law.
Biden nevertheless praised the final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, saying that millions of marriages and families were put at ease by the new law following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and other previous opinions purporting a constitutional right to abortion.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice