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PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz holds a press conference with U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) on September 6, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark Makela/Getty Images

Stop Federal Lawmakers From Forcing Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ On The States! Tell your Senators to vote NO.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — More than four hundred liberal, establishment, and pro-LGBT Republican figures have signed a letter urging GOP senators to support a Democrat bill to codify forced recognition of same-sex “marriage” and open the door to federal recognition of polygamy, which has driven a wedge between the Republican Party and its conservative base months ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

HR 8404, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act,” would repeal the longstanding (but unenforced) Defense of Marriage Act (which recognized marriage as a man-woman union in federal law and protected states’ rights to do the same), federally recognize any “marriage” lawfully performed by any state, and force every state to recognize any “marriage” of any other state “between 2 individuals,” without regard for “the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.” States would only have to recognize one another’s same-sex “marriages,” but the federal government would have to recognize any new union a state comes up with, such as a marriage of more than two people.

In July, 47 House Republicans joined every House Democrat in voting to pass it, with the blessing of House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declined to stake out a public position on the legislation until Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a decision on bringing it to the floor of the evenly-divided Senate. Last week, Schumer announced that the vote is planned for the end of September. 

With the bill’s ultimate fate coming down to whether ten GOP senators can be convinced to join all fifty Democrats in clearing the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold, a 501(c)(4) group called Freedom for All Americans is circulating a letter in support of the bill, signed by 400 current and former GOP political personalities.

“As Republicans and conservatives, we believe strong families and lasting relationships strengthen communities, and civil marriage is a fundamental freedom central to individual liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the letter reads. “We stand with the 71 percent of Americans today, including a majority of registered Republicans, who support the freedom to marry for all Americans.”

“Passing the Respect for Marriage Act will remove any uncertainty for the more than one million Americans who are building families, taking on the responsibilities and commitment associated with marriage, and caring for the one they love,” the statement claims.

READ: Tell Republican senators to oppose Democrats’ radical same-sex ‘marriage’ bill

The Washington Post reports that signatories include various establishment luminaries as well as allies of former President Donald Trump. Among them are Ken Mehlman, the openly-homosexual former Republican National Committee Chair who managed former President George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign and is one of the chief organizers of the letter; liberal Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker; Trump-backed Senate nominee in Pennsylvania Dr. Mehmet Oz; Senate nominee in Colorado Joe O’Dea; National Association of Manufacturers president Jay Timmons; pro-abortion presidential daughter Barbara Bush; pro-Trump lobbyist David Urban; pro-Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio; anti-Trump former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York; and over a dozen former Republican members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet members.

Despite the arrayed GOP insiders, whether ten Republican defections can be found remains an open question.

So far, at least four Republican senators have either committed to or implied supporting the bill: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Thom Tillis, and Rob Portman. Democrats need a total of ten GOP defections to clear the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold; Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin had appeared to be a surprising fifth until he began to backtrack in response to pressure from conservative media and pro-family groups; he now says he “would not support it in its current state.”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who has been heading Democrat outreach to Republican senators on the bill, claimed in late July to have secured enough additional GOP votes to pass it, though its prospects have since begun to appear less certain, due to concerns among moderate Republicans of the bill’s implications for religious liberty. An amendment is reportedly in the works, ostensibly to clarify it would not affect religious liberty or conscience rights. 

This week, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said he was “participating in talks” religious liberty language but remains undecided.

Democrats have also mulled attaching HR 8404 to a must-pass government funding bill, which would only need 51 votes. But Baldwin’s office says that “is not the Senator’s preferred path,” and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) says Republicans would object.

Politico adds that “[r]ight now no one knows ‘the exact answer’ to whether the same-sex marriage measure can overcome a filibuster, Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Thursday, adding that GOP leadership has yet to formally count the votes. He signaled where he’s leaning: ‘If it’s what I think it’s going to be, I’m probably a no.’”

In any event, while Senate GOP leaders are neglecting to mobilize opposition to HR 8404, conservative groups such as Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and LifeSiteNews are picking up the slack. LifeSite is currently running a VoterVoice campaign and a LifePetition to make Republican senators aware of grassroots opposition to HR 8404, and urging them to vote against it accordingly. 

Stop Federal Lawmakers From Forcing Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ On The States! Tell your Senators to vote NO.