Rev. Franklin Graham said Saturday that the same-sex marriage bill called the “Respect for Marriage Act” (RFMA) “fails to protect those of us who believe marriage is between a man and a woman” and expressed his support for an amendment proposed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
“The Respect for Marriage Act is coming before the Senate again on Monday. Why should that matter to you? Because it could impact you, your family, your church, and our nation,” Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Graham called the legislation’s name a “smoke screen,” similar to the Inflation Reduction Act, which did nothing to reduce inflation.
“The current version of the Respect for Marriage Act being pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer is designed to provide strong protections for same-sex marriage—but it fails to protect those of us who believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” Graham wrote.
As Breitbart News reported:
RFMA would repeal the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act and would require the federal government to recognize any marriage that was “valid in the place where entered into.” The bill would additionally require every state to recognize every same-sex marriage that “is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into.”
The bill also has a “private right of action” clause, which would allow “any person who is harmed by a violation of subsection (b)…[to] bring a civil action in the appropriate district court of the United States against the person who violated such a subsection for declaratory and injunctive relief.” Likewise, attorneys general would be able to bring civil action against any person who violates the law.
Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) added an amendment entitled “No Impact on Religious Liberty and Conscience” supposedly meant to assuage religious liberty concerns, though faith advocates say the amendment is pretty much useless.
Graham called the legislation, which initially passed the Senate earlier this month with the help of 12 Republicans, “dangerous” and said it “would be used against individuals, churches, and organizations who honor traditional marriage.”
Graham endorsed an amendment proposed by Lee that “would bring critically-needed protection for religious liberty and rights of conscience to the pending legislation.”
“Many say this is a long shot, but we desperately need Senators to demand the Lee Amendment be added to the current version of the Respect for Marriage Act before it is finalized,” the reverend added and encouraged social media followers to contact their senators and “ask them to vote YES for the Lee Amendment.”
In a letter to his colleagues asking them to reject the RFMA unless his amendment was added, Lee asserted that “[n]o American should face legal harassment or retaliation from the federal government for holding sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
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 noted.