Across faith and place, all of us deserve the freedom to live as our most authentic selves. And wherever we call home, we share the desire to care for our families with love and commitment. For this reason, Interfaith Alliance has been working closely with our partners on Capitol Hill and in the faith, civil rights, and LGBTQ+ equality communities to mobilize a broad base of support for the Respect for Marriage Act.
The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that same-sex and interracial couples are treated with equal respect within the public sphere while preserving robust religious freedom protections. Now, we are closer than ever to securing legal stability for all married couples and their families.
The Senate will vote on a bipartisan substitute amendment presented by Senator Baldwin that provides important clarification around the interaction between the Respect for Marriage Act and the robust religious freedom protections guaranteed under federal law.
In anticipation of the vote, four major Christian denominations, joined by multifaith partners, including Interfaith Alliance, issued a statement in support of the bipartisan amendment. This statement joins a letter from 45 denominations and faith-based organizations, representing millions of religious Americans, affirming their support for the Respect for Marriage Act.
Proposed Amendment Clarifies Religious Freedom Protections
LGBTQ+ freedom and religious freedom are complementary – not contradictory – ideals. But opponents of marriage equality are working to distort the meaning of religious freedom to greenlight discrimination against those who identify or believe differently than they do. This is a radical departure from the established meaning of the First Amendment – and one that continues to cause harm in the name of faith.
Various religious traditions approach matters of marriage, family, and identity differently. This bill recognizes this diversity of belief while ensuring that same-sex and interracial couples are treated with equal respect within the public sphere. The bill with the proposed amendment provides important clarifications around religious freedom protections for houses of worship and other religious organizations.
Amplifying Faith Voices in Support of the Respect for Marriage Act
On November 16th and 17th, 2022, Interfaith Alliance and partners met with nearly 20 Senate offices to urge them to support the Respect for Marriage Act. During a press conference on November 17th, faith leaders across various traditions came together to send a unified message of support for marriage equality. Each leader drew on their own religious tradition and experiences to affirm the need to protect everyone’s right to marry who they love.
For too long, the Religious Right has positioned faith in opposition to same-sex marriage. The faith leaders who participated in the press conference and advocacy efforts debunk the Religious Right’s claim. Those leaders represent a variety of faiths and identities, which all united to fight for this common cause. They delivered an essential message to our lawmakers: people of faith support marriage equality.
Interfaith Alliance Urges Senate to Pass Bill as Amended
The Respect for Marriage Act would ensure that millions of loving, committed same-sex couples can live in peace, build strong families, and live in more welcoming communities. Today, Senators have the opportunity and responsibility to protect religious freedom while ensuring that same-sex and interracial couples are treated with equal respect by federal and state governments.
Learn more about Interfaith Alliance’s advocacy for the Respect for Marriage Act.