UPDATE: On Wednesday (Nov. 16), the Senate voted 63–37 — all 50 Democrats and 12 Republicans — to invoke cloture to advance H.R. 8404. The Senate is expected to vote after the Thanksgiving break to approve the passage of the bill with a simple majority, and President Biden will then have the opportunity to sign it into law.
Focus on the Family and Alliance Defending Freedom are among those urging people to contact their senators and ask them to vote “No” on a bill that would codify same-sex “marriage” into federal law.
“I’m making an URGENT appeal to you today to contact your U.S. senators as soon as possible to ask them to vote ‘NO’ on [House Resolution 8404], the misnamed ‘Respect for Marriage Act,’ which is reportedly coming up for a vote either today or tomorrow,” said Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, in an email message that went out Tuesday (Nov. 15).
“We are concerned that the bill accomplishes the exact opposite of what its name implies,” he said. “It changes the definition and meaning of marriage and would be nearly impossible to reverse.”
Daly added in his message, “The bill already passed the House earlier this summer with all Democrats and some Republicans voting in favor. In the Senate, a vote was postponed until after the midterm elections, and we’ve just received word that Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has put the bill on a fast track.”
The bill requires 60 votes to advance in the Senate, Daly said.
Known as the “Respect for Marriage Act” (H.R. 8404), the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on July 19 with 267 voting in favor and 157 opposing passage. The bill would shift the power to define marriage to the federal government and require all states to recognize same-sex “marriages.” The bill also would replace previously adopted language that for purposes of federal law defines marriage as “between a man and a woman” and spouse as “a person of the opposite sex.”
A vote on the bill was expected in September, but advocates of a biblical view of marriage expressed concern about the bill, particularly related to religious liberty.
“The deceptively named bill enshrines same-sex ‘marriage’ into federal law and jeopardizes the religious freedom of millions of Americans who follow the biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” said a statement issued in August by the Alliance Defending Freedom Church Alliance.
To contact your congressional member and share feedback, use the “Give Feedback” link located to the right of the bill overview here.