LGBTQ activists unhappy with ‘Respect for Marriage’ act: ‘I hate the Senate bill and we need to pass it’

The so-called Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) is slated for a vote in the House of Representatives Tuesday and expected to pass with bipartisan support, but Republican voters weren’t the only ones griping about the lame-duck bill as progressives sounded off in fury.

Conservatives witnessed with dismay last Tuesday when Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) Religious Beliefs and Moral Convictions amendment was voted down ahead of the passage of the RMA. Now, as individuals and religious organizations expect to be put in the crosshairs for exercising their First Amendment rights, LGBT activists are complaining the new law will be a half-measure signifying little.

Writing for The Washington Post, openly gay columnist Jonathan Capehart, who described himself as “used to seeing the forest for the trees,” penned an op-ed where he said, “the more I focus on the trees that make up this act, the more my joy diminishes.”

“What the act does not do is require states to issue marriage licenses in contravention of state law; this is (for now) the province of Obergefell,” he continued. “So, same-sex couples living in states where they couldn’t legally marry post-Obergefell would have to go to another state where it is legal if they wanted to marry.”

As a reminder, the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, as Roe v. Wade had done with abortion, withdrew powers of state sovereignty in 2015 and asserted that there was a constitutionally protected right for same-sex couples to marry, overruling the bans that currently exist in 35 states.

Potential overturn of Obergefell became a talking point for Democrats heading into the midterm elections after Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that “all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including…Obergefell,” should be reconsidered and, “in future cases, we should ‘follow the text of the Constitution, which sets forth certain substantive rights that cannot be taken away, and adds, beyond that, a right to due process when life, liberty, or property is to be taken away.’ Substantive due process conflicts with that textual command and has harmed our country in many ways. Accordingly, we should eliminate it from our jurisprudence at the earliest opportunity.”

Still, while the RMA failed to achieve the actual goal that progressives want, to codify Obergefell, activists like former Human Rights Campaign press secretary Charlotte Clymer have said, “I hate the Senate bill and we need to pass it,” adding, “it sucks” but “it’s our only real option.”

Others spoke out in more heated rants with profane denouncements of Republicans as “a party of bigots blocking any meaningful progress” that led to the watered-down compromise that Democrats had passed where the means for same-sex unions would be federally recognized and recognized from permitting states by those with bans.

Warning: Language

President of the 1st Amendment Partnership Tim Schultz told Fox News Digital, “The interest groups on the left I think are begrudgingly admitting that these religious protections had to be in the bill to pass. Some of them are saying that’s an affirmative good. Others are saying, ‘Well, I guess this is what you have to do to attract Republicans.’ I’m not saying they feel religious liberty in their soul.”

“I think that legally the RMA is not a huge deal,” he went on. “And I think that’s why people are hyperventilating for no good reason.”

Schultz also suggested the overturn of Obergefell is a “very unlikely scenario.”

Kevin Haggerty


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