CURE Letter to Senate: The False Pretenses of the "Respect for Marriage Act"

For immediate release: November 10, 2022

Dear Senator:

The Senate may soon consider a ‘modified’ version of H.R. 8404, the “Respect for Marriage Act” that purports to provide conscience protection for Americans who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. We urge you to oppose a fig leaf of conscience protection and a bill that is being promoted under false pretenses.

In a July 18, 2022 press release, the House Majority Leader made a straw man argument that the U.S. Supreme Court might overturn Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision affirming the right of interracial marriage. Justice Clarence Thomas did not suggest reconsideration of Loving v. Virginia in his recent Dobbs opinion. Attempts to link him to the notion that the Supreme Court might overturn Loving are even more preposterous when you consider that Justice Thomas has an interracial marriage.

The Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment clearly forbid racial discrimination. There is nothing in the Dobbs decision that could provide a precedent for overturning the Loving decision.

Black Americans, especially churchgoing Blacks, do not support same-sex marriage at the same rate as White Americans. Black Americans attend religious services at a higher rate than White Americans, which may help explain why some partisan advocates of same-sex marriage make a misleading and divisive racial argument to advance their agenda.

Despite the inability of some advocates to define the word “woman,” the American people know that children are created through the union of one man and one woman. Social science research has consistently shown that children generally do better when they are raised by a mother and a father who are married to one another and committed to the care of their children.

Many religions affirm that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The House denied application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when it passed the “Equality Act” in 2021. Accordingly, there is no reason to believe that advocates will respect the right of religious Americans to decline participation in same-sex marriage ceremonies (e.g., photographers, wedding planners) when federal law is becoming more hostile to religious believers and their conscience rights.

H.R. 8404 represents an unwarranted exercise of Federal authority and provides no protection for those whose beliefs do not conform to the cultural agenda of partisan advocates. The addition of fig leaf language won’t fix that defect. We urge you to oppose this ill-advised legislation.

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