The so-called Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) would go much further than simply affirming “the status quo” by codifying same-sex marriage and repealing the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act (1996). It would also:
- Create a private right of action that will supercharge attacks on people and organizations that still believe in natural marriage, including people of faith who are already being attacked.
- Tacitly vilify millions of Americans who still believe in natural marriage by labeling that belief as “sex discrimination” and tantamount to racism.1
- Subject business owners to even more costly litigation.
- Threaten the tax-exempt status of faith-based nonprofits.
The Baldwin-Collins substitute amendment provides no meaningful, affirmative, or enforceable shield of protection to those people and entities already being attacked for their belief in natural marriage, protection that the Lee Amendment would provide from federal discrimination. The two new sections that purport to “fix” the religious liberty concerns actually do not. One or both will likely do more harm than good.