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marriage Archives – Concerned Women for America

Who Cares About Marriage?

By | Defense of Family, Legal, Marriage, News and Events, Substack | No Comments

When I wrote to you On the Splendor of Marriage, I mentioned the United States Senate’s consideration of a bill meant to paint a target on anyone holding a true definition of marriage as created by God. The bill passed this week with bipartisan support by a vote of 61-36, with three senators not voting.

 

All Democrats present voted for the bill. The Republicans who voted for it were Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Todd Young of Indiana.

 

Of course, none of these senators would describe the bill as targeting people of faith; they would say they just want to “respect all people.” But consider that Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) proposed and got a vote on an amendment making it clear that government would not retaliate against people of faith and religious institutions for their sincerely held religious convictions about marriage under this bill, and the vote actually failed. All the Republicans who voted to pass the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act (except Collins) voted for the amendment. Those who voted for the Lee Amendment protecting religious freedom even included Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. But the Lee Amendment failed…

 

Click here to read the rest of Mario’s exclusive Substack column. And be sure to subscribe below to never miss one of his posts again!

It Takes One to Know One

By | Defense of Family, News and Events | No Comments

It Takes One to Know One: Activist Groups that Sued for Same-Sex Marriage are Same Groups Peddling Fear about Suits Against Same-Sex Marriage

 

The Senate is expected to wrap up its vote on S.4556, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” this week. All votes so far have been to advance the bill. Senators will now vote on the bill itself. There is an amendment supported by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Minnesota), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) to include references to religious liberty that unfortunately falls short of accomplishing anything significant.

 

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), the nation’s largest public policy organization for women, has been sharing its opposition to the bill and the amendment. We are defending the merits of God-designed marriage in the halls of Congress. We are letting Senators know that the bill does not just codify same-sex marriage; it codifies a prohibition against preferring to place adoptive and foster kids in husband-wife households. The self-styled religious liberty amendment continues to leave wedding vendors like cakebaker Jack Phillips and website designer Lori Smith in the cold. Faith-based child welfare service providers remain vulnerable to litigation related to placing kids in traditional families. The Act gives activists renewed momentum.

 

There are precious few days on the legislative calendar. Why is Congress spending it on codifying same-sex marriage?

 

Activist groups have successfully drowned out every other priority. It is not just about conservative versus liberal policy. One priority drowned out is child welfare. Leftist activists appear unwilling to ask Congress to spend its time on even ideologically center-left child-focused legislation like the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. And Congress is apparently willing to let its priorities be decided by the leftists even though, as explained earlier, the rights and benefits for same-sex marriage are under no threat. Congress is not even taking time to pass the the annual defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, during these last few days of the legislative calendar. These are lost days and weeks for votes on policies that help America and its families.

 

The leftist rally for codification of same-sex marriage comes from insecurity. The Left has long used courts rather than legislatures to make radical changes in policy. But this way of policymaking is unstable, is subject to the whim of activist judges, and requires constant maintenance.

 

Thus, activists push for codification in the Respect for Marriage Act. They point to Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurrence in the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization as impetus for the Respect for Marriage Act. Activists waive Justice Thomas’ nonbinding opinion in the air because it accurately describes the right to same-sex marriage as being another court-created right. They overlook the majority opinion limiting the scope of Dobbs to the overturn of the court-created right to abortion. They peddle fear, like the American Civil Liberties Union, which described “the right to marry potentially at risk.”

 

It is a classic case of “takes one to know one.” The activists are paranoid about being sued out of the right to same-sex marriage because they sued into the right to same-sex marriage. Observe the number of cases after United States v. Windsor (2013)—which held the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional—and leading up to Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)—which held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages. In 2013, there were at least 17 lawsuits challenging marriage amendments in state constitutions, many of which were filed shortly after Windsor.

 

The same shortcut that activists used to get power is now their downfall. To close the gap, they have taken hold of the legislative calendar. Untold riches are spent to advance the radical individualism of the pro-abortion and gender ideology agenda. Imagine if they put it towards policies that help families instead.

 

At CWALAC, we continue to fight the good fight for marriage. But we do not lose sight of why government is involved in marriage in the first place. Foremost, marriage policy must build strong foundations for kids and families. Thus, we have spent almost as much time—if not more—advocating for policies like the Standing With Moms Act by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and the Unborn Child Support Act by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota). The Unborn Child Support Act incentivizes states to have a child support program that provides for costs of parenting that many know begin well before the baby’s first birthday. The Standing With Moms Act, which CWALAC worked closely with legislative staff to create, would create a website called life.gov that would list local resources available for expectant moms and families at all levels of government and the private sector.

 

Twelve senators who traditionally support religious liberty policy voted to advance the Respect for Marriage Act. We are clear-eyed about the likelihood that they will vote to pass the bill. But we will continue to dutifully make the case for the sake of advancing pro-family policy at the federal and state level.

On the Splendor of Marriage

By | Defense of Family, LBB, Legal, News and Events, Substack | No Comments

The fact is that too often we fail to see the beauty and majesty of God’s creation around us. But the splendor is there. It is a fact.

 

How often do you think about oxygen? Yet this invisible, odorless, tasteless, mysterious, glorious gas keeps you alive every day. For thousands of years, scientists believed the Earth was flat. They did not recognize the essential nature of the Earth’s shape and its precise distance from the Sun. And we still don’t fully understand the vastness of space. Somehow, it all works to our benefit— to sustain life in this speck of dust we call home. The more we discover, the more we stand in awe and wonder.

 

Such is the case with all of God’s creations. Marriage was God’s idea, too. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).  But He noted one thing, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18).  Therefore, He creates “a suitable helper” for him: woman. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

 

One flesh, the two of them. Spectacular…

 

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U.S. Senators MUST  Support Marriage

By | Defense of Family, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

For Immediate Release
November 15, 2022

 

Contact: CWA Press Team
[email protected]
703-282-7320

 

U.S. Senators MUST  Support Marriage, Vote “NO” on “Respect for Marriage Act”

CWALAC will mark vote in annual Congressional scorecard

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), the country’s largest public policy women’s organization, joined other organizations in conveying to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) its strong opposition to S.4556, the falsely named “Respect for Marriage Act” as an attack on millions of Americans, particularly people of faith, who believe marriage is between one man and one woman.

 

The legislation, being considered in the Senate on Wednesday, after passing the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in the year, goes far beyond merely codifying same-sex marriage in federal law. It is a startling expansion of what marriage means—and who may be sued if they disagree—that threatens the freedom of decent and honorable Americans of different faiths, creeds, and walks of life who wish to live consistent with their deeply-held beliefs.

 

“Senators must not be duped by the lies in this bill,” said Penny Nance, CEO and President of CWALAC. “Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Democrats and their propaganda peddlers in the media are trying to make this bill about something that it is not.”

 

The legislation would require federal recognition of a state’s definition of marriage with no parameters whatsoever, even beyond anything that is recognized right now—plural marriages, open marriages, or even marriages involving minors and adults. And the Act purposely ignores any sort of religious liberty protections.

 

This legislation does nothing to change the status of, or benefits afforded to, same-sex marriage in light of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision; it does much to endanger people of faith. This legislation will only hasten and intensify hostility against them. As such, anyone who supports this measure is crossing a line into aiding and abetting the persecution of people of faith.

 

“Our more than 500,000 members across the country will not forget Senators who sell us out on the fundamental issues of marriage and religious freedom,” said Nance.

 

CWALAC will include this vote in its annual Congressional scorecard.

 

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the Nation’s largest public policy organization for women; we are dedicated to promoting Biblical values and Constitutional principles. More information is available at ConcernedWomen.org

Breakthrough—Marriage Act Ceasefire, Retreat Gives Time to Build Case for God’s Design

By | Defense of Family, Legislative Updates, News and Events | No Comments

Sometimes, it seems like very few legislators in the U.S. Congress listen to what the American people have to say. This is especially true for legislation related to family values. It sometimes seems like in Washington, D.C., the media and the consulting class are able to drown out the voices outside the beltway. But more often than we sometimes appreciate, voters’ voices break through.

 

It is in this vein that I want to encourage you with our partial victory over the “Disrespect of Marriage Act” in the U.S. Senate. Thanks to your engagement, the U.S. Senate punted a vote to further undermine the institution of marriage and religious liberty until after the elections.  Don’t get me wrong, there is still much work to be done. The word on the Hill is that Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) is pushing for the Senate to take up the Act during the week of November 14, 2022.

 

But Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) understands that it is your voice that truly matters. When we asked you to share your unique stories with your Senator, you stepped up. In a show of force and might, thousands of you reached out to defend traditional marriage and the people and groups that believe in it. Your engagement made it possible for wins like the delayed vote in the Senate and comments by senators like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) walking back initial signals that they would support the bill.

 

Those with the opportunity also fostered greater understanding among those who disagree. Young Women for America’s Andrea Silvera from Charlotte, North Carolina, met with the office of Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) about the Act. Sen. Tillis publicly supports the Disrespect of Marriage Act. Andrea was able to share why a pro-life Catholic pregnancy center licensed by the state health department would no longer be welcome to partner with the government. Andrea shared how the true losers would be the mothers, babies, and young children in need who receive clothing, houseware, and hope that there are people and a God willing to help them even at their most vulnerable. These types of meetings take up time but contribute to the deeper work of changing hearts and minds.

 

We are in a period of ceasefire, so what now? As it says in Scripture, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV). Our culture and our government pressure us to reject God’s design for marriage. Our task is to defend it.

 

The consequences of attacks on the family like the Disrespect of Marriage Act flow downstream to the most vulnerable in our society—children. Every child deserves a mother and a father, and both are instrumental to a child’s healthy development. We know it is not always possible, but government should do whatever possible to encourage the most beneficial policies for children, which includes first and foremost, strong families. Children who grow up without a father, for example, are vulnerable to becoming adults with behavioral problems, mental and physical health problems, and challenges forming healthy relationships. Single motherhood and paternal abandonment continue to rise. It is estimated that 13.2 million children, or 1 in 5 children in the U.S., receive child support. Over 400,000 children are in foster care today, the number one reason being neglect and abuse in the home. No child deserves the pain of an absent parent. The Disrespect of Marriage Act not only further decouples marriage from children’s rights, but it totally displaces the conversation about how children today are suffering from parental separation in favor of a conversation about the government validating feelings between “consenting adults.”

 

Beneath any discussion of marriage is a deeper conversation about the meaning of family. It is overwhelming to imagine making a thorough defense of marriage in what may be a brief interaction. Not to mention the additional responsibility to do so “with gentleness and respect.”1 Peter 3:15 (NIV).

 

Be assured that “the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say,” Luke 12:12 (NIV), meaning that He will give us the words to say at the moment when we need them. Whether it is a phone call with a Senate office, forwarding an article to a friend, or a Bible study with a Prayer/Action Chapter, our voice can be used to advance God’s will for marriage.

Who Will Stand for American Families?

By | Defense of Family, LBB, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Weak leadership in Washington is unnecessarily wreaking havoc on American families. At the same time President Joe Biden held a tone-deaf, high-class celebration of the passage of the crookedly titled “Inflation Reduction Act,” a dismal inflation report came out saying the consumer price index, a measurement of the price of everyday items such as groceries, rent and gasoline, rose more than expected, once again, to 8.3%. According to a recent analysis, Americans have to pay an extra $717 monthly due to “Bideinflation.”

 

And it is not just our pocketbooks that are hurting. The stress on parents and the entire household unit is almost unbearable. Our current situation is taking a toll on Americans’ mental health, especially for minorities. A recent LifeWorks Mental Health Index report revealed that “20 percent of Americans are unable to meet basic needs due to inflation.” It also found that those under such pressure “have a mental health score more than 16 points below the national average.”

 

But Washington is not focused on that; instead, the so-called Inflation Reduction Act will only further aggravate inflation by doling out billions for “green energy” special interest groups. Again, helping families is not the priority.

 

In the middle of all this, Senate Democrats took time to try to pass radical pro-abortion legislation to force the gruesome procedure on the nation up to the point of birth — something most Americans oppose. The latest Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll tracking the issue shows 71% of Americans support legal limits on abortion, with a whopping 81% believing laws can protect both the mother and her unborn child.

 

Americans want laws that support hard-working families—fathers, mothers, and children. Many in Washington seem insistent on destroying the American household.

 

It is not just Democrats going along with this cruel, unfocused legislative agenda. Some House Republicans let themselves be used recently to pass what should be called the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) on a 267-157 vote. This anti-family legislation has become a top priority for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), even though it is entirely unnecessary. The pernicious act seeks to further erode the American family unit by destroying its very definition.  This radical law would force the acceptance of any definition of “marriage” sought by any state. Plural marriages, open marriages, marriages involving minors or relatives, literally any definition adopted anywhere in one state. Considering the extent of the radical gender ideology permeating our culture today, there is no limiting principle here.

 

The impact on federal and state law would be seismic. All laws relating to husbands and wives, children and parents would suddenly be up for reinterpretation. The law will open the door for radical activist groups to sue religious individuals, organizations and businesses that the Left knows will seek to abide by the original meaning of marriage as established by God. Religious families and organizations, which are such a stabilizing force in our nation, and desperately needed in such times as these, are continually being held out for special contempt and primed for special interest attacks under legislation such as this one. Who will stand up for these families?

 

Sen. Schumer says he will force a vote “in coming weeks.” Word on Capitol Hill is that he may try to move on it as early as next week. All senators should stand against it and instead demand the sort of family-supporting legislation that can alleviate the current burdens on American families.

 

Of course, the upcoming election is the backdrop to all this shameful political gamesmanship. The goal is to manipulate the American people into voting against their own interests by scaring them with lies about Christian, conservative principles. I remember this summer standing outside the Supreme Court in defense of the Texas heartbeat law and fielding the arguments that “Women will die” if the law goes into effect. All lies meant to manipulate the unsuspecting public. Yet, a year later, estimates are that more than fifty thousand babies have been saved from abortion, and no woman has died as a result.

 

Expect the same political manipulations related to the “Respect for Marriage Act” in the coming weeks. And demand that your senator vote not by the lies and intimidations of the Left but in support of the American families that desperately need it.

CWALAC to U.S. Senators: “Don’t be Duped,” Vote Against False “Respect for Marriage Act”

By | News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

For Immediate Release                                              

July 28, 2022 

Contact: Katie Everett, Press Secretary

[email protected]

571-420-2488

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), the country’s largest public policy women’s organization, joined other organizations in conveying to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) its strong opposition to S.4556, the falsely named “Respect for Marriage Act” as an attack on millions of Americans, particularly people of faith, who believe marriage is between one man and one woman.

 

The legislation, being considered in the Senate after passing the U.S. House of Representatives,

goes far beyond merely codifying same-sex marriage in federal law. It is a startling expansion of what marriage means—and who may be sued if they disagree—that threatens the freedom of decent and honorable Americans of different faiths, creeds, and walks of life who wish to live consistent with their deeply-held beliefs.

 

The legislation would require federal recognition of a state’s definition of marriage with no parameters whatsoever, even beyond anything that is recognized right now—plural marriages, open marriages, or even marriages involving minors and adults. And the Act purposely ignores any sort of religious liberty protections.

 

This legislation does nothing to change the status of, or benefits afforded to, same-sex marriage in light of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision; it does much to endanger people of faith. This legislation will only hasten and intensify hostility against them. As such, anyone who supports this measure is crossing a line into aiding and abetting the persecution of people of faith.

 

“Our more than 500,000 members across the country will not forget Senators who sell us out on the fundamental issues of marriage and religious freedom,” said Nance.

 

In addition to opposing the Disrespect for Marriage Act, CWALAC is calling on Senators to support the Unborn Child Support Act and the Standing with Moms Act.

 

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the Nation’s largest public policy organization for women; we are dedicated to promoting Biblical values and Constitutional principles. More information is available at ConcernedWomen.org

Pro-Family Groups to Mitch McConnell: Disrespect for Marriage Act Is A Trap

By | Defense of Family, News and Events | No Comments

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) unapologetically proclaims the foundation of family as the union of a man and woman in marriage who together raise children. That is why we joined pro-family groups in strongly opposing S.4556, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” (more like the “Disrespect of Marriage Act”). We sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), stating in part:

 

The truth is, while H.R. 8404 does nothing to change the status of, or benefits afforded to, same-sex marriage in light of Obergefell, it does much to endanger people of faith. Justice Alito was right when he predicted the Obergefell decision would “be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.” We are seeing this play out more and more against those who decline to openly embrace extreme views regarding marriage and human sexuality. This legislation will only hasten and intensify hostility against them. As such, anyone who supports this measure is crossing a line into aiding and abetting the persecution of people of faith.

 

See the full letter here.

 

There should be no question in Senators’ minds on why they should oppose the bill. For starters, The Disrespect of Marriage Act would require federal recognition of any one state’s definition of marriage without any parameters whatsoever, even beyond anything that is recognized right now—plural marriages, open marriages, or even marriages involving minors and adults. Anything goes. And the Act purposely ignores any sort of religious liberty protections.

 

CWALAC is also hard at work making the case for policy that honors marriage while also encouraging Senators to use this conversation about marriage as an opportunity to address a crippling disease in our society: absent fathers. Children who grow up without a father in particular are vulnerable to becoming adults with behavioral problems, mental and physical health problems, and challenges forming healthy relationships.

 

That is why in addition to opposing the Disrespect for Marriage Act, we are calling on Senators to support the Unborn Child Support Act and the Standing with Moms Act. The Unborn Child Support Act incentivizes states to have a child support program that provides for costs of parenting that many know begin well before the baby’s first birthday. The Standing With Moms Act, which CWALAC worked closely with legislative staff to create, would create a website called life.gov that would list local resources available for expectant moms and families at all levels of government and the private sector.

 

But here is the bigger picture: the Disrespect of Marriage Act is a political tool for the Left and its mainstream media enablers to challenge the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. They know that Americans reject their abortion-on-demand agenda, so they are making the Dobbs decision about anything and everything, except about the fundamental, intrinsic value of every human life.

 

All Senators should treat the Disrespect for Marriage Act with the contempt it deserves. The Left continues to ignore the facts to the detriment of the American people. We look forward to continuing to work with you all in advancing pro-family policy at the federal and state level.

CWA of Georgia Responds to SCOTUS Decision – “It is a dark day in America.”

By | Georgia | No Comments

CWA of Georgia press release.

Today is yet another very dark day for our country. The Biblical view of marriage was mocked by not only the highest court in our land, but by the deafening applause from the highest leaders of our government. Once again, the Court takes into its own hands matters of policy which are left, by the authority of the Constitution, to the providence of the legislative branch. In acting as a super legislature, so to speak, the Supreme Court itself violated the constitutional parameters that were set in place for the preservation of liberty.

“It is a sad day in America when five unelected justices think themselves so powerful they dare overturn the votes of millions of Americans, including over 75 percent of Georgians, who went to the voting booth to preserve marriage as it had been understood throughout history, the union between one man and one woman,” states Penny Nancy, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America.

We have much work to do to reestablish a pro-marriage, pro-family culture in our nation, but we embrace the challenges ahead, knowing that we stand on solid ground when we say that marriage, as intended by God, is the best model for strong, healthy, stable families that serve as the only secure foundation for our society’s future.

We must also work to protect religious liberty, beginning with the passage of Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  We have already seen how government was using its power, before this decision today, to punish citizens and organizations that do not comport to the pro-LGBT view of marriage.  Think about the pressure that the Supreme Court has brought upon people of faith with this decision.

Concerned Women for America of Georgia will continue to lead in the fight for the sanctity of marriage here in Georgia. It will take time, energy and resources. Will you donate today to help CWA of Georgia stay on the front lines at this critical crossroads for America?

Tanya Ditty
State Director