Bible-believing Christians say they will not cede the definition of marriage—or endanger believers’ ability to make their voice heard in the United States.
A Republican senator has said he will “absolutely oppose” a bill redefining marriage nationwide, warning that liberal activists plan to “use it as a weapon” to drive Christians out of the public square.
During Wednesday’s episode of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) announced for the first time that he will vote against H.R. 8404, marketed as the “Respect for Marriage” Act, if it comes to the Senate floor.
“It removes all protections from marriage,” Lankford told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. The legislation, which the Senate could consider shortly, imposes a top-down mandate for every state to recognize any “marriage between two individuals.” That could include “time-bound marriages, open marriages, marriages involving a minor or relative, platonic marriages, or any other new marriage definition that a state chooses to adopt” — including any definition imposed by a judge or state Supreme Court, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom.
“I want to bring this bill to the floor,” said Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “We’re working to get the necessary Senate Republican support to ensure it would pass.”
“The far-Left is trying to say we want to be able to push this to the next step” of the sexual revolution and “take it where it has not ever gone before,” said Lankford. “And we are going to absolutely oppose that.”
Part of that effort involves silencing religious Americans from speaking out against them. If the Senate passes H.R. 8404, “in all likelihood, this bill will then come straight at every nonprofit that believes in traditional marriage, biblical marriages — quite frankly, historic marriages across all of time,” he added. Any tax-exempt group that upholds scriptural marriage “will be challenged on their tax policy and will immediately become a target of this federal government.”
Overzealous federal bureaucrats, left-wing legal groups, and LGBTQ pressure groups are no longer saying, “We demand recognition” of same-sex marriage, said Lankford; they’re now saying, “We’re going to crush anyone that opposes our belief in gay marriage.”
That is no mere speculation. The California state Senate passed the “Youth Equality Act” in 2013 to strip some state tax exemptions from organizations accused of “discriminating” on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The law “brings our laws into line with our values,” said its sponsor, then-state Senator Ricardo Lara, who is now the California’s Insurance Commissioner. The drumbeat to place organizations that affirm biblical sexual morality beyond the pale has since continued apace, as professors have lobbied regulators to reinterpret existing standards. Obama-era IRS Commissioner Lois Lerner, who crusaded against the Christian Coalition in the 1990s, mired the Obama administration in scandal by denying nonprofit status to Christian, pro-life, and limited government applicants.