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Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Another Republican senator has come out forcefully against a Democrat bill to codify forced recognition of same-sex “marriage” and open the door to federal recognition of polygamy, arguing that it would be a “terrible mistake” for Republicans to help pass it.

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. 

“I’m hearing from North Dakotans, which matters most to me,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said in an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins “Overwhelmingly, they oppose this legislation. People are reading it, they’re hearing about it, and they see it for what it is.”

He lamented “the potential attack on religious liberties once a bill like this would pass. In many respects, passing a bill like this really sends a pretty strong message that religious beliefs don’t matter.”

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 been 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.”

Cramer surmised that some in the GOP “just want to get this thing behind us, and the faster we can do that, the better. And the best way to do that is to simply give them the votes they need to pass the bill. But that would be a terrible mistake. I don’t believe there are 10 Republicans that will fall for that.”

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. 

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.

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

Cramer attributed Republicans’ aversion to the bill to “the August recess [coming] along in time for us to go home and hear from our constituents — hear from our priests and our pastors and the praying men and women of our churches.”

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.