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AFA Action laments passing of Respect for Marriage Act in Senate, calls for government to uphold religious freedom

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 @ 10:53 AM

TUPELO, Miss. — AFA Action, the government affairs affiliate of the American Family Association, is very disappointed with Senate Republicans who, once again, have given the Left another huge win — this time siding with the proponents of same-sex marriage to undermine religious freedom rights.

“The U.S. Senate’s passage of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) will empower extremists to sue, intimidate and silence anyone who disagrees with their personal views about marriage,” said Dr. Jameson Taylor, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for AFA Action. “This bill is not about legalizing same-sex marriage. Every state already recognizes same-sex marriages and accepts same-sex marriage licenses issued by every other state. The real purpose of this bill is to weaponize federal agencies, like the IRS, DOJ and FBI, to harass and target Christian schools, adoption agencies and social service organizations that hold sincere religious beliefs about traditional marriage.”

In passing the Respect for Marriage Act today, the Senate considered three amendments aimed at protecting religious freedom. The most comprehensive of these, authored by Utah Senator Mike Lee, failed by a vote of 48 to 49. An amendment authored by Senator James Lanford (OK) would have provided additional protection for adoption agencies and other nonprofits who could be sued under the RMA. It failed by a vote of 45 to 52. A third amendment, sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (FL), also failed by a vote of 45 to 52. Rubio’s amendment would have made it more difficult for activist groups to sue under the RMA. After passage by the Senate, the RMA is expected to be approved by the U.S. House and signed by President Biden.

“AFA Action is particularly disappointed with the 12 Senate Republicans who broke ranks with their colleagues to make passage of the RMA possible. Some of these senators, like Mitt Romney (UT) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), are no surprise. Others like Shelley Capito (WV), Joni Ernst (IA) and Todd Young (IN) have betrayed the good faith of their constituents who expect religious freedom rights to be placed above personal preference,” said Taylor. “The Respect for Marriage Act is dangerous and could be used by the IRS to deprive Christian schools, universities, and adoption agencies of their nonprofit status, and also bar them from receiving federal grants and contracts. Healthy dialogue, disagreement and debate is necessary for America to thrive and prosper. Under the RMA, no such disagreement or debate over same-sex marriage will be allowed. The vote today is a sad mark against America’s strong tradition of religious tolerance.”

AFA Action is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to advancing biblical, family values in society and government by educating and influencing public policy. The mission of AFA Action is to inform and mobilize individuals to strengthen the biblical foundations of America by persuading individuals with the truth of the Gospel, challenging the lost to repent, promoting societal values that are consistent with Scripture, restraining evil and exposing the works of darkness, motivating people to take a stand on cultural and moral issues, and encouraging Christians to bear witness to the world the love of Jesus Christ. Find AFA Action Alerts here. 

For more information on AFA Action, visit or follow AFA Action on Facebook or Twitter.


To interview an AFA Action spokesperson, contact, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.   



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