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Roger SeverinoFile photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Liberal Republican Senators who hope to find some sort of compromise on Democratic Party legislation to enshrine a “right” to same-sex “marriage” in federal law are just “playing games with religious liberty,” according to a civil rights official for President Donald Trump.

“Senators should stop playing games with religious liberty and marriage,” Roger Severino, the former Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights director under Trump, wrote in The Daily Signal on September 15. The bill would codify the activist Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which like Roe v. Wade “found” a “right” that did not exist. The Respect for Marriage Act could also pave the way for polygamy. It has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney has said he would be open to supporting the bill if there were religious liberty protections, but Severino, who is now a vice president at the Heritage Foundation, argued any language on religious liberty would be a farce.

“Bad lawyers draft excessively wordy amendments because they can’t help it, but cunning ones do it when they are trying to misdirect,” he wrote. “Here, the amendment sponsors recite ‘factual findings,’ ‘rules of construction,’ ‘religious liberty,’ and ‘respect’ all over the place, but in ways that are meaningless because they either aren’t given any effect or are limited to irrelevance by other provisions.”

READ: Poll: Republicans risk voter backlash if they support Democrats’ homosexual ‘marriage’ bill

He wrote that one part of the bill would clarify “no existing protection of religious freedom would be taken away,” according to his analysis. “But that is beside the point. The argument always has been that existing religious liberty protections are not enough to shield someone or an organization from the lawsuits, threats to tax-exempt status, etc. that would be unleashed by the bill. Additional explicit protections therefore are required.”

While religious institutions would be protected from being forced to participate in same-sex “marriage” ceremonies, it does nothing to protect people like baker Jack Phillips, who do not want to use their creative abilities to promote homosexuality. “This supposed protection would provide nothing that is not already guaranteed,” Severino wrote. “And it doesn’t cover areas where forced participation in same-sex celebrations still occur, such as with private bakers, florists, photographers, and other wedding vendors.”

“One hopes Congress will drop the whole thing and just get back to legislating for the public good,” Severino concluded. “But with this Congress, don’t hold your breath.”

Same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation has hit rough waters

Both Democrats and Republicans have run into problems with their same-sex “marriage” bill. Democratic leadership decided to delay a vote on the legislation until after the midterms. The Senate currently does not have 10 Republicans on board to support its legislation.

And a new poll could make it harder for Democrats to attract Republican support.

Fifty percent of Republicans do not want to see a federal law passed on same-sex “marriage,” according to a Morning Consult poll released last week. “Republican voters are more likely to oppose the move than support it, 50% to 38%,” Morning Consult wrote in its summary of the results. “The GOP electorate is also far more likely to strongly oppose such a measure than strongly support it, 38% to 19%, suggesting the energy on the right is more firmly on the ‘no’ side.”

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

One Republican who initially signaled support has since shown hesitancy.

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson initially said he did not see a “reason to oppose” the bill.

“I’ve never said I would support it,” he later told Axios. “I said I didn’t see a reason to oppose it.”

His spokeswoman clarified that after hearing about religious liberty concerns from constituents, Johnson would be working on the amendment offered by Romney.