National and State Leaders’ Letter to Leader McConnell on H.R. 8404
National and State Leaders’ Letter to Leader McConnell on H.R. 8404
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   08.01.22
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As of this writing, 85 national and state organizations—including the Illinois Family Institute (IFI)—have signed a letter written by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and sent to U. S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denouncing the ironically named “Respect for Marriage Act” (H.R. 8404)” and urging him and U.S. Senate colleagues to reject it.

H.R. 8404, which repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, is an attack on the religious liberty of people of faith and will inevitably lead to a further degradation of marriage and the nuclear family. America will not be able to survive further degradation of liberty, marriage, and the nuclear family.

The bill has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives aided and abetted by 47 GOP turncoats who are either too cowardly or too ignorant to oppose the Dis-Respect for Marriage Act. Those U.S. House turncoats include Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney, Rodney Davis, Tom Emmer (chair of National Republican Congressional Committee), Darrell Issa, Elise Stefanik (U.S. House Republican Conference chair), and Lee Zeldin (New York gubernatorial candidate).

In the U.S. Senate, H.R. 8404 will need 10 GOP turncoats, and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)—always a reliable turncoat—has said, “I think we’re very close.”

As IFI has historically warned, citizens must pay more attention to how the language of a proposed law could be interpreted and applied than how the bill’s sponsors claim it will be applied. For example, H. R. 8404’s supporters claim that the Dis-Respect for Marriage Act will merely codify federal protections for existing same-sex marriages in the event that the right to define marriage (rightfully) returns to the states.

Turncoat Collins deceitfully claims that “this bill is very straightforward. … All it does is put into federal law the protection for the million same-sex marriages that are out there today.”

Well, that is decidedly not all that the Dis-Respect for Marriage Act will do if it becomes law.

As I recently wrote,

[T]he Disrespect for Marriage Act recognizes in federal law “any marriage that is valid under state law.”

This means that once Utah, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, or any other nutty state recognizes plural unions as marriages, the federal government will be forced to recognize plural unions as marriages.

While there is a provision requiring states to recognize marriages from other states, that provision specifically limits the type of marriages that must be recognized to those composed of two people. No such limit is placed on the federal government in the Disrespect for Marriage Act.

The Dis-Respect for Marriage Act requires the federal government to recognize any type of union legally recognized as a “marriage” in any state, and if leftists can redefine “woman” to include men, imagine the bizarre ways they will redefine “marriage.”

If one state were to recognize plural relationships, incestuous relationships, platonic friendships, or adult-minor relationships as legal “marriages,” the federal government would be required to do so also.

Further, the Dis-Respect for Marriage Act states the following:

No person acting under color of State law may deny full faith and credit to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State pertaining to a marriage between 2 individuals, on the basis of the sex … of those individuals; or a right or claim arising from such a marriage on the basis that such marriage would not be recognized under the law of that State on the basis of the sex … of those individuals.

ADF explains that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the term “under color of State law” “might apply where an organization participates in a joint activity with a state, is performing a function traditionally performed by the government, or when its operations are entwined with government policies.”

ADF clarifies how leftists will use the Dis-Respect for Marriage Act to erode the liberty of people of faith and faith-based organizations:

  • “Faith-based foster care providers who are alleged to be performing a state function through child placement services” could be sued if they adhere to their belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.
  • “Religious social service organizations that are heavily funded by and work jointly with the government to serve their communities” could be sued if they adhere to their belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.
  • “[R]eligious organizations and businesses that provide services under contract with the government” could be sued if they adhere to their belief that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.
  • “The Internal Revenue Service could rely on this congressional declaration requiring full recognition of same-sex marriage to strip 501(c)(3) organizations [like IFI] of their tax-exempt status if they continue to adhere to their belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman.”

The passage of the corrosive H.R. 8404 would be a disaster for children, families, religious liberty, and the nation. The arc of the moral universe in America is being bent backwards toward evil, and the only political party that has been standing for truth is bending too.

Take ACTION: H.R. 8404 may be taken up in the U.S. Senate soon**. Please take a moment to speak out to our two U.S. Senators to urge them to vote to protect the Defense of Marriage Act and vote NO to H.R. 8404. Remind them, “The government has no interest in inherently non-reproductive types of relationships. The government has no more interest in inherently non-reproductive erotic relationships than it does in platonic friendships.”

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin
Phone: (202) 224-2152

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
Phone: (202) 224-2854

Please send a message and then follow up with a phone.

**UPDATE: According to various news sources, the U.S. Senate vote on H.R. 8404 has been pushed back to September.

Listen to this article read by Laurie:

Read More:

Disney Signs Open Letter Supporting Respect for Marriage Act (Yahoo News)

Same-Sex Marriage Bill Aims ‘to Crush Anyone Who Opposes Belief in Gay Marriage’ (The Washington Stand)

Susan Collins Signals Manchin-Schumer Deal Could Thwart Gay Marriage Bill (MSN)

Respect for Marriage Act Will Usher In ‘New Era of Oppression’ for Christians (The Washington Stand)

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children...
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