On Thursday, the House approved the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act," sending the same-sex marriage legislation to President Joe Biden's desk without robust protections for religious liberty.
39 Republicans contributed to the bill's 258-169 victory. The bill was passed with the unanimous support of all Democrats, one "present" vote, and four abstentions, as Breitbart News reported.
The decision comes a week after the Senate voted 61-36 to move the bill with the addition of a bipartisan amendment that some politicians claim will protect religious liberty, with the support of 12 Senate Republicans.
The Respect for Marriage Act, according to proponents of religion, might be used to attack Americans who think that marriage is only between one man and one woman. They argue that the amendment is essentially meaningless.
Sen. Mike Lee's (R-UT) amendment on religious liberty, which would have banned the federal government from using the bill to target religious institutions, was significantly rejected by the Senate. The identical amendment Lee submitted in the House was also rejected by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).
Following the bill's passing, President Joe Biden issued a statement promising to "promptly and proudly" sign it into law.
Democrats' false fears that the Supreme Court may utilize the Dobbs ruling to reverse the Court's Obergefell gay marriage decision led to the introduction of the RFMA after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Overall, the RFMA would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act, require every state to recognize every same-sex marriage that is "valid in the State where the marriage was entered into," and require the federal government to recognize any marriage that is "valid in the place where entered into."
The bill also contains a "private right of action" provision that would permit attorneys general to file a civil lawsuit against anyone who breaks the law as well as "any person who is harmed by a violation of subsection (b)...[to] bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of the United States against the person who violated such a subsection for declaratory and injunctive relief."
47 Republicans helped the bill pass the House when it was first introduced in July, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) decided to delay a vote until after the midterm elections.
In response to the bill's passing, the Heritage Foundation declared that "people of faith won't forget this act by Congress."
“The misnamed “Respect For Marriage Act” is bound for Biden’s desk. People of faith won’t forget this act by Congress. Rather, they’ll recommit to protecting our constitutional right to religious liberty & those who’ll face legal challenges and attacks in this horrible law’s wake,” the Heritage Foundation tweeted.
First Liberty Institute's Kelly Shackelford, president, chief executive officer, and chief counsel, issued a warning that the law "let[s] radical radicals harass faith-based organizations in court because of their religious opinions about marriage.
“No American should be punished for holding a faith-based view on marriage, even if that view conflicts with the government’s current preferred definition. And, no American should change their religious convictions about marriage just because a few politicians changed theirs,” Shackelford said.