The 49-year-old Heritage Foundation, a powerful conservative think tank, reportedly intends to run ads during Thanksgiving Day college and NFL football games in opposition to the so-called Respect for Marriage Act.
“The 30-second ad will air in local broadcasts during the NFL Thanksgiving Day matchups between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, and New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys,” according to Fox News.
“The ad will also be seen during coverage of four rival college football games, including Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers on Friday and Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday,” Fox News reported Wednesday.
Watch the ad below:
“Before Republicans can take over the U.S House, liberals are hurrying to cram through their far left agenda, and a few Republican senators are helping them,” the narrator states.
“They’re sneaking in a new law that would expose religious schools and non-profits to lawsuits and attacks from the IRS just because they believe in traditional marriage. It could close their doors, and it’s wrong. Washington thinks you’re not paying attention. They think you won’t stop this attack on people of faith,” the narrator continues.
Proposed by Democrats, the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) would essentially codify same-sex marriage into law. The problem with it, say conservatives, is that it’d also destroy religious liberty.
“America’s religious liberty is under attack with this impending vote in the Senate,” Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts explained in a statement to Fox News.
“This legislation does not add one additional benefit to same-sex couples in the United States; it’s an attack that sets the stage to take rights away from people of faith. What it does accomplish is deputizing radical activists to target Americans who cannot in good faith endorse anything other than a man-woman marriage. The American people deserve all the facts,” he added.
The bad-faith effort in Congress to weaponize marriage disrespects our fundamental institutions and divides Americans in a quest to score cheap political points, no matter the social consequences.
There’s no putting lipstick on this pig. pic.twitter.com/9WjjsGIIFp
— Kevin Roberts (@KevinRobertsTX) November 18, 2022
As previously reported, 47 turncoat House Republicans joined Democrats in passing the Respect for Marriage Act last month. And then last Wednesday, 12 turncoat Senate Republicans joined Democrats in helping the bill clear a major procedural hurdle.
In a letter to his Democrat and Republican colleagues written a day afterward, Sen. Mike Lee and several of his more right-wing peers pleaded with them to accept an amendment he’s written that would provide the religious liberty protections that the current bill lacks.
“My amendment would ensure that federal bureaucrats do not take discriminatory
actions against individuals, organizations, nonprofits, and other entities based on
their sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions about marriage by
prohibiting the denial or revocation of tax exempt status, licenses, contracts,
benefits, etc. It would affirm that individuals still have the right to act according to
their faith and deepest convictions even outside of their church or home,” he wrote.
We still have time to protect religious liberty. We’re asking our colleagues to support my amendment. pic.twitter.com/y7JXkxNXTZ
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) November 19, 2022
The problem is that gay marriage laws as they currently exist — via Obergefell v. Hodges — don’t allow “aggrieved individuals to sue those who oppose same-sex marriage,” he wrote.
However, he continued, the Respect for Marriage Act would change this.
“What we can expect should this bill become law is more litigation against those institutions and individuals trying to live according to their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions,” Lee wrote.
“Instead of subjecting churches, religious nonprofits, and persons of conscience to undue scrutiny or punishment by the federal government because of their views on marriage, we should make explicitly clear that this legislation does not constitute a national policy endorsing a particular view of marriage that threatens the tax-exempt status of faith-based nonprofits. As we move forward, let us be sure to keep churches, religious charities, and religious universities out of litigation in the first instance,” he added.
But Lee’s colleagues refused to bring up the amendment for a vote. Roger Severino, the Heritage Foundation’s vice president of domestic policy, didn’t seem surprised.
“Republican senators claiming the bill protects religious liberty are misleading the public. Their refusal to require Sen. Lee’s amendment is proof of their insincerity,” he said.
All I want is a protection saying the federal government may not punish any individual or entity based on a religious or moral conviction about marriage. That is not too much to ask. pic.twitter.com/ZYHZu7ZHJn
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) November 17, 2022
The original bill does reportedly contain some religious liberty protections drafted by Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, but Lee and others say they’re not enough.
“The religious liberty protections were severely anemic and largely illusory. Religious Americans will be subject to potentially ruinous litigation, while the tax-exempt status of certain charitable organizations, educational institutions and nonprofits will be threatened,” he said to Fox News.
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