It is the sad reality that this week, the Respect for Marriage Act (better named the Disrespect of Marriage Act) passed both chambers of Congress. It now heads to the President’s desk to become law. Disappointingly, legislators in the Senate and House who tout pro-family values voted the exact opposite by voting to advance the bill. Find out how your Senator voted here and how your Representative voted here. Disrespect Act supporters overlook the religious freedom concerns posed in the bill and have redefined marriage from a commitment between a man and a woman to something else entirely.
Although these legislators failed to represent their constituents, there is hope to be had. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) said, “The attempts to derail this piece of legislation were probably more focused and robust than any other bills I’ve worked on in the last two years.” Sen. Sinema is right; coalition members and constituents mobilized in a way that was shocking to many members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. It has long been believed that the marriage argument was dead and that the average American did not care about the definition of marriage. This is a large reason Democrats decided to move on this legislation; they saw it as a winning issue with little to no opposition. However, that belief has proven to be false.
Here at Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), we urged legislators to vote no. This summer, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Disrespect Act, and 47 Republicans voted in favor of the bill. This was of great concern, as there were no religious freedom protections. Twelve Senate Republicans voted to advance the bill with the addition of an abysmal and meaningless religious freedom amendment. These Republicans wrongly voted “yes.” It might be said that little advance notice and no committee hearings caught them off guard. However, they now understand loud and clear their constituents’ support for Biblical marriage. They have had ample time to understand the concerns of this bill and their constituents’ position. We experienced some breakthrough, as fewer House Republicans supported the bill in their vote this week than over the summer.
CWALAC will continue to defend marriage as God intended, as we know this leads to healthy family units. Marriage is a sacred union created to reflect Christ and His bride, the church. Marriage sanctifies those in the union in a unique way that God has intentionally and purposefully created, through the commitment of a woman and a man. Further, children need and have a right to both a mother and father, as God intended. It is cruel to tear a child away from their biological parents to fulfill the desires of an adult. Although God can restore and redeem all situations, it is not hard to see the problems that often arise in homes that are lacking a mother or father. Each provides an irreplaceable and important role in a child’s life to have the optimal environment to flourish.
The government has a responsibility to punish evil and praise good (1 Peter 2:13-14). Unfortunately, the so-called Respect for Marriage Act does neither in promoting what God has deemed unholy as good. This bill will affect people of faith trying to live out their religious convictions; it will affect the family unit, and, furthermore, it will create the opportunity to harm children. Therefore, CWALAC will continue to advance pro-family policies.