The U.S. Senate has begun debate on a same-sex marriage bill they call the “Respect for Marriage Act,” and senators are expected to cast a final vote on the legislation when they return after Thanksgiving. Proponents dubiously claim this bill provides religious liberty and conscience protection. They’re also making a contrived argument that the legislation is necessary to protect interracial marriage.
In its 1967 decision, Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a state ban on interracial marriage because it was in clear violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment. The court rightfully struck a blow against racial discrimination, but its decision did not alter the nationwide consensus that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.
Today — 55 years after the court’s historic Loving decision — not one legislative body in any state of America is considering legislation to ban interracial marriage. While we’re not professional gamblers, we estimate that the odds are less than 1 in 100 trillion that any state in America will ever ban interracial marriage or that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold such a ban in the infinitesimal chance it was placed on their docket. We further estimate that about 99 percent of Americans agree with our prediction and that a comparable percentage would be appalled if any state ever brought such a racist proposal to a vote.
Punishing Those with Traditional Views of Marriage
Despite knowing that the banning of interracial marriage anywhere in America is a near impossibility, members of Congress are sowing fear across America and seeking to exploit the politically contrived argument that interracial marriage is at risk. This diversion seeks to distract the American people and their fellow legislators from the true goal — advancing legislation that puts photographers, wedding planners, and other small business owners or contractors at risk of severe fines, imprisonment, and bankruptcy if they dare to decline participation in a same-sex wedding celebration due to their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Having manufactured the argument that interracial marriage is at risk, proponents of the “Respect for Marriage Act” now argue it is necessary to pass this legislation in order to alleviate the fear they have sown with their cynical political tactic.
In crafting this bill, sponsors have created a new legal standard that will punish Americans who “cling” to their religious beliefs despite the new orthodoxy about marriage. Photographers and other entrepreneurs who don’t bend to the will of leftist activists will be treated as if they are racist bigots who refuse to provide a service to fellow Americans based on the color of their skin. The faithful entrepreneurs will effectively be presumed guilty of marriage discrimination and will have a high legal bar to clear in seeking to prove their innocence.
Department of Justice’s Abuses
The Biden administration is showing how legal tools in the arsenal of radical appointees can be turned against everyday Americans. The U.S. Justice Department, which would receive enhanced enforcement power under this legislation, has abused a federal law that criminalizes peaceful protests in front of abortion facilities by sending a swarm of armed agents to the home of a peaceful anti-abortion protester despite the fact that local law enforcement found no reason to charge the person with a crime. That individual now faces the prospect of severe penalties and years of imprisonment because the Biden administration is determined to crush any organization or individual that stands in the way of a single abortion being performed in America at any point in pregnancy for any reason.
The same Biden Justice Department has labeled parents protesting at school board meetings as domestic terrorists and has conspired with social media companies to deny the First Amendment rights of Americans. This Justice Department cannot be trusted with enhanced authority to prosecute and delegitimize faithful Americans who respect other people’s beliefs and just want to be left alone and allowed to exercise their beliefs outside the doors of a church — even as they seek to support their families through a local photography business or other enterprise that sometimes provides wedding services in their communities.
Members of Congress Must Create Protections
Conservative senators who have voted to advance the “Respect for Marriage Act” will have another chance to protect their faithful constituents when they return to the U.S. Capitol after Thanksgiving. While we believe this legislation is completely unnecessary and that it purports to address a threat that doesn’t exist, we also believe it will cause real harm in its present form.
At a minimum, conservative senators from America’s heartland should insist that the legislation have airtight protections for nonprofit organizations and social service providers (e.g., adoption, foster care), as well as for small business owners and contractors.
Biden has proved to be a Trojan horse for the radical left, and his aspiring successors from California, among others, are even more radicalized than he is. No responsible legislator should hand them another cudgel that can be used to destroy the livelihoods and reputations of our fellow Americans.