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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) addresses reporters as Senate Republican leadership looks on following a weekly Republican policy meeting at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. McConnell answered a range of questions related primarily to raising the debt limit as Congress struggles to find common ground on spending priorities. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)Anna Moneymaker / Staff

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Republicans who support a Democrat bill to codify forced recognition of same-sex “marriage” would be siding with a distinct minority of their party at the expense of half their constituents, according to polling released Wednesday by Morning Consult.

The poll finds that while 59% of American voters and 62% of independents support “Congress passing a federal law to protect the right to same-sex marriage,” only 38% of Republicans agree, as opposed to an even 50% who disagree. Further, 38% of Republicans “strongly oppose” doing so.

HR 8404, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” (RMA) 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. 

That a minority of Republicans have endorsed the bill, along with the tepid response from GOP leadership, has been a source of alarm and disgust among the party’s socially-conservative base. Morning Consult’s findings suggest that further acquiescence would offend more Republican voters than it would please, less than two months ahead of midterm congressional elections already brimming with tensions between the conservative base and the moderate party leadership.

READ: 2,000 religious leaders urge Republicans to reject Democrats’ same-sex ‘marriage’ bill

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. 

Amendments are reportedly in the works, ostensibly to clarify that the RMA would not affect religious liberty or conscience rights and that it would not permit polygamy. But whether such language would suffice against the preferences of activist judges is questionable, and it would not change the more fundamental issue of the bill effectively giving formal endorsement to Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that forced all 50 states to recognize same-sex “marriages.”

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-SD) 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.’”

READ: Democrats delay same-sex ‘marriage’ vote until after November midterms

Democrat leader Schumer previously announced that the vote was planned for the end of September. But supporters now say a vote won’t be held until after the November midterm elections, which exempts senators up for reelection from having to face immediate consequences for an unpopular decision, possibly in reaction to polling data such as Morning Consult’s.

Delaying the vote could result in senators voting the opposite of how they might otherwise vote, either secure in the knowledge that they will soon return to private life either way or hopeful that voters will have forgotten or forgiven them in the two years between now and their next election.

Republicans are defending 21 Senate seats this year, 16 of which are held by incumbents running for reelection and therefore could theoretically be influenced by the timing of the RMA vote (five of the seats are held by retiring senators).

In any event, while Senate GOP leaders are neglecting to mobilize opposition to HR 8404, conservative groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom, Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and LifeSiteNews are picking up the slack. LifeSite is currently running a VoterVoice campaign 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.