Letter to U.S. House: Oppose the So-Called "Respect for Marriage Act"

For immediate release: December 5, 2022

Dear Representative:

The Senate has passed and the House will soon vote again on H.R. 8404, the “Respect for Marriage Act.” Proponents claim this bill provides religious liberty and conscience protection. We believe that claim is hollow and that H.R. 8404 is being promoted under false pretenses.

Proponents of H.R. 8404 make a contrived argument that the U.S. Supreme Court might overturn Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision affirming the right of interracial marriage, and that H.R. 8404 responds to this non-existent ‘threat.’ Not a single legislative body in America is considering such a racist policy change, so there is no possibility of such a case making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The tactic being employed here is an extension of the poisonous “systemic racism” narrative of the left. Republican Members of Congress should not validate that tactic by voting for this bill.

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 cynical and 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.

Despite the inability of liberal 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 do better when they are raised by a married mother and father.

The supposed conscience protection in H.R. 8404 fails to protect small business owners or contractors whose faith or personal beliefs do not allow them to participate in the preparation for or affirmation of a same-sex marriage. Photographers and wedding planners, among others, can be subjected to prosecution, fines and bankruptcy if they decline such participation. This legislation helps weaponize private lawsuits and the heavy hand of the U.S. Justice Department.

The House denied application of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when it passed the “Equality Act” in 2021. If House Republicans help pass H.R. 8404, Senator Schumer may bring that bill to a vote and effectively nullify the meager conscience protections proponents claim are in H.R. 8404.

We urge you to oppose H.R. 8404 as it facilitates an attack on personal and religious liberty.


Star Parker

VP, Govt. Rel. & Coalitions
Marty Dannenfelser

Vice-Chair, CURE Clergy Council
Rev. Ceasar LeFlore

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