(LifeSiteNews) – Moderate Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has become latest Republican senator to distance himself from Democrats’ radical “Respect for Marriage Act,” further dampening hopes of the bill’s passage.
The “Respect for Marriage Act” (RFMA), or H.R. 8404, would enshrine same-sex “marriage” into federal law and require the federal government to recognize polygamy and other redefinitions of marriage if a state legalizes them. The bill passed the House in July with the unexpected support of 47 Republicans, and Senate Democrats have vowed to bring it up for a vote after the midterms.
In a constituent letter obtained by LifeSiteNews, Sen. Toomey noted his previous support of pro-LGBT measures, including his 2013 vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban “discrimination” based on sexual orientation in the workplace, and his endorsement of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Toomey added, however, that he has “consistently fought to protect every person’s right to religious liberty” and that the Respect for Marriage Act would “gravely endanger religious liberty protections” and “go well beyond” codifying the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that mandated recognition of same-sex “marriage” nationwide.
“While the purported purpose of H.R. 8404 is to codify Obergefell, the measure would go well beyond doing so,” Toomey said. “For example, H.R. 8404 would gravely endanger religious liberty protections – a pillar on which this country was founded – for religious organizations that treat differently same-sex and traditional marriage.”
Faith-based adoption and foster care providers and other religious institutions with a nexus to a state or local government “could be forced either to abandon their deeply held religious beliefs, or abandon their mission as providers of these services,” he continued, noting that the RFMA would empower activists to sue religious groups that refuse to comply with its provisions, as top conservative groups have warned.
“In doing so, H.R. 8404 would not only expose religious organizations to legal harassment from hostile groups, but it could also deal a severe blow to the current operations of religious organizations and the essential services they provide,” Toomey said.
Toomey’s statement didn’t specify his current stance on same-sex “marriage” itself. A professed Catholic, Toomey said in response to the Obergefell decision in 2015 that he had “long supported the traditional definition of marriage” and disagreed with the ruling but recognized it as “the law of the land.”
But the outgoing two-term senator has declined to announce a public stance on the RFMA since it passed the House months ago and has been one of a few undecided Republicans whose support could determine its fate in the Senate, according to Politico.
His letter follows similar criticism of the bill by other moderate Senate Republicans, including Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. It also comes despite amendments proposed by bipartisan groups of senators attempting to assuage Republicans’ fears about religious liberty. Toomey’s letter echoes recent concerns about the RFMA raised by Heritage Foundation vice president and former Trump official Roger Severino, who blasted Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah for drafting an amendment he described as an “illusion of religious freedom.”
We need YOU to be a voice for natural marriage and the constitutional freedom of individual states by SIGNING and SHARING this petition calling on Republican U.S. Senators to oppose the deceitfully named "Respect for Marriage Act!"
Leftist members of Congress have, once again, opted to ignore the myriad of issues facing our country — be it the border crisis, gas prices, inflation, crime, and more — to instead virtue-signal by introducing their radical new bill, the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act," which, among other things, would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
And with the radical left continuing its attempts to redefine words, people, and events to better suit their agenda and advance their political narratives, it should come as no surprise that their latest target happens to be natural marriage.
But marriage is not a political tool for the left to manipulate and destroy; it is the key building block of our society, and the primary basis for the safe, responsible upbringing of our children.
Republican members of the U.S. Senate still have a chance to defend natural marriage by stopping this bill from becoming law, but we need to let them know that the American people oppose the left's seemingly never-ending efforts to degrade the sanctity of marriage.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to Republican members of the U.S. Senate, insisting that they vote against the "Respect for Marriage Act" when it comes before them for any form of vote.
House Freedom Caucus urges Senate to oppose the "Respect for Marriage Act": pic.twitter.com/jjARSGI94Y— House Freedom Caucus (@freedomcaucus) July 22, 2022
The legislation in question, formally filed as H.R.8404 and sponsored by liberal New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, would codify same-sex marriage into federal law, effectively forcing states to recognize any marriage performed in another state regardless of laws on their own books.
It would also fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was signed by President Clinton back in 1996 and formally defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman under federal law.
With the fall of Roe v. Wade back in June, the left's paranoia about losing ground when it comes to their radical social and political agenda has reached a fever pitch, resulting in the ongoing push for the "Respect for Marriage Act," which, if we don't act soon, may well become law...
TIME IS RUNNING OUT: With a 50-50 Senate, the left needs just TEN Republican members to bow to pressure: the mainstream media, Big Tech, Hollywood, and the university system are all fighting against us. With so much pressure against conservatives, we need you to send these Senators a powerful message demanding that they stand strong against the left.
That's why we need your help now.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to Republican U.S. Senators across the country, urging them to stand against the left's attempts to reinvent marriage by opposing the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act" when it comes before them for a vote.
Protect natural marriage! Protect the freedoms of individual states!
Put Republican U.S. Senators on notice and let them know that you're watching closely how they vote on the "Respect for Marriage Act."
Senate Democrats initially vowed to bring the the RFMA up for a vote by the end of September, but the bill’s sponsors have struggled to find the 10 Republican votes necessary to clear the 60-vote Senate filibuster threshold amid mounting grassroots conservative pushback. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer announced last week that Democrats would delay a vote until after the November midterms in a bid to win over more GOP supporters.
So far, four Republicans senators – Collins, Rob Portman of Ohio, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – have publicly indicated that they would vote for the measure. Romney has said his backing would hinge on religious liberty protections.
Recent polling shows that the Respect for Marriage Act is broadly unpopular with Republican voters regardless. An Economist/YouGov survey released last week found that 56 percent of Republicans voters oppose Congress passing a bill to codify same-sex “marriage,” compared with only 30 percent who were supportive. More than 40 percent of Republicans strongly oppose such a move.
A Morning Consult poll also reported that 50 percent of Republicans opposed federal same-sex “marriage” legislation, while just 38 percent backed it.