80+ conservative groups urged Senate Republicans to oppose the Respect for Marriage Act.

More than 80 leading conservative groups urged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter Tuesday to oppose the Respect for Marriage Act, arguing that the House-passed bill would legalize same-sex marriage. It will violate morality and affect religious freedom.

gave LetterLed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, said HR 8404 would force the federal government to recognize any state definition of marriage, including polygamy; exposing faith-based groups and individuals to predatory lawsuits; and jeopardize the tax-exempt status of religious organizations.

“We urge you to reject HR 8404 and urge your colleagues to abandon this harmful and unnecessary legislation in its entirety,” the letter reads. “It has nothing to do with the protection of rights. Its text betrays an intention to defame and take away rights – especially those belonging to the people of faith.”

The signatories represent conservative leaders and organizations, including the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Samaritan’s Purse, First Liberty Institute, Coalition for Jewish Values, The Catholic Vote and the American Principal Project.

The proposed legislation “goes far beyond simply codifying same-sex marriage into federal law,” the letter says. can be prosecuted.”

The House passed the legislation 267-157 on July 19, with 47 Republicans supporting the measure, as Democrats shift the focus ahead of the midterm elections on topics ranging from inflation and gasoline prices to hot-button social issues such as abortion. , want to change to contraception and same-sex marriage. .

Sponsors said the bill was inspired by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, which called on the high court to uphold “fundamental due process,” including the 2015 decision in Oberfell v. Hodges. Revise the precedents set on the basis. – Sex marriage.

“The fact is, HR 8404 does nothing to change the status of same-sex marriage in light of Obergefell, or the benefits it brings, it does more to endanger people of faith,” The letter said.

The bill has the support of a handful of Senate Republicans, led by Susan Collins of Maine and Rob Portman of Ohio, but would need 10 to reach the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster.

Sen. Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, Called The bill is “another example of Democrats using fear mongering over an issue to further divide Americans for their own political gain,” but he told Wisconsin Public Radio that “I don’t want to oppose it.” There doesn’t appear to be any reason.”

Conservative leaders offered several reasons. The bill, which would repeal the now-defunct Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, would require states to recognize marriages performed in other states “without parameters,” the letter said.

“This includes plural marriages, temporary marriages, open marriages, minor or consanguineous marriages, platonic marriages, or any other new definition of marriage that a state chooses to adopt, including one undemocratically imposed by a state supreme court.” . reads the letter. “Such recognition affects a number of federal laws and policies related to marriage, its benefits, and the rights of parents and children.”

Conservatives also warned that the move would lead to new lawsuits against Christian bakers, florists, photographers and others who refuse to attend same-sex ceremonies, as well as religious-based foster care agencies, social services. and against government contractors.

In addition, the bill could provide support for ending the tax-exempt status of religious nonprofits “if they continue to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman,” the letter said. It has been said.

“During oral argument in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell case, then-U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrelli ‘candidly acknowledged’ that if the Court made same-sex marriage a constitutional right, it would ‘call into question the tax exemptions of some religious institutions. will be,'” the letter says. “HR 8404 lays the groundwork for fulfilling this warning by expressly giving the IRS Congressional support for punishing religious nonprofits.”

Among the signatories is the Centennial Institute, a think tank at Colorado Christian University. started A national campaign on Tuesday urged voters to contact their senators in opposition to the bill.

“This is a continuing effort to make sex and gender irrelevant in our society,” said Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute. “Conservatives Shouldn’t Abandon Defense of Traditional Marriage.”

On the other side was the conservative gay group Log Cabin Republicans, which cited a Gallup poll released last month that found 71 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, including 55 percent of Republicans. are

“Conservatives are winning the culture wars in classrooms on issues like Title IX and gender ideology — issues on which LGBT conservatives and the Republican Party are completely united. We can’t afford the distraction of reopening the marriage equality debate.” Can’t be,” Log Cabin President Charles T. Moran said in a Monday campaign ad for USA Today.

Signatories to Tuesday’s letter include state conservative advocacy groups, Christian education associations and religious colleges.

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