The U.S. Senate will wait until after the November midterm elections to vote on a bill that would codify same-sex “marriage” into federal law.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, said Thursday (Sept. 15) that supporters of the bill “need a little more time.”
Known as the “Respect for Marriage Act” (House Resolution 8404), the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on July 19 with 267 voting in favor and 157 opposing passage. The bill would shift the power to define marriage to the federal government and require all states to recognize same-sex “marriages.” The bill also would replace previously adopted language that for purposes of federal law defines marriage as “between a man and a woman” and spouse as “a person of the opposite sex.”
A vote on the bill was expected in September, but advocates of a biblical view of marriage expressed concern about the bill, particularly related to religious liberty.
“The deceptively named bill enshrines same-sex ‘marriage’ into federal law and jeopardizes the religious freedom of millions of Americans who follow the biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” said a statement issued in August by the Alliance Defending Freedom Church Alliance.
‘Serious and legitimate concerns’
“People have raised some very serious and legitimate concerns about religious liberty,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, who has not indicated his position on the bill. “I appreciate the authors of the bill are attempting to address [those concerns].”
But Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican who said he opposes the bill, said he “can’t imagine anybody’s undecided about it.”
Following the July House vote, 83 groups signed a letter authored by ADF and sent it to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asking him to oppose the bill. Ahead of the anticipated Senate vote, ADF is asking concerned ministry leaders to let legislators know where they stand on the definition of marriage.
For more information or to read the ADF letter, click here.
To contact your congressional member and share feedback, use the “Give Feedback” link located to the right of the bill overview here.