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American Family Association sounds alarm about the poorly named ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ fast-tracked in U.S. Senate

Monday, July 25, 2022 @ 09:16 AM

TUPELO, Miss. — The grossly misnamed “Respect for Marriage Act,” H.R. 8404, is being rammed through the Senate, and it appears Senate Republicans can’t agree on whether to stop it. Leaders from the American Family Association (AFA,, one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, argue the bill intimidates and silences people who have reasonable objections to same-sex marriage and its constitutionality. The bill is a gateway to lawsuits against nonprofit organizations and individuals who disagree with the novel definition of marriage forced upon the rest of the country by the Supreme Court’s 2015  Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

Jameson Taylor, Ph.D., senior fellow with AFA and the Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for AFA Action, the governmental affairs affiliate of American Family Association, said the bill also commits another assault on states. “The legislation would nullify state sovereignty when it comes to marriage law. It allows any court or legislature in any state to define marriage for every other state,” Taylor said.

“The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ is not really about requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage,” Taylor continued. “That was already done in the 2015 Obergefell Supreme Court decision. The Act is not even about repealing the federal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ because that was struck down in 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The purpose of the bill is to allow one state to dictate marriage law for every other state. The law would destroy the future ability of each state to decide how best to define and regulate marriage for their own people. It will also set the stage for harassing and intimidating lawsuits against K-12 schools, universities, and other nonprofit organizations, including those serving vulnerable women and children in their communities. Ultimately, the IRS could even use the law to deny nonprofit status to any group that does not support same-sex marriage.”

Using the IRS against First Amendment speech rights is a familiar tactic. During the Administration of Barack Obama, the IRS famously intimidated and denied nonprofit tax status to conservative organizations. However, H.R. 8404 goes much further to empower those who wish to shut down others with legitimate questions about same-sex marriage. 

“The ‘Respect for Marriage’ Act is an Orwellian attempt to pretend that the Court’s very recent discovery of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage is not controversial and offensive to many people around the country,” Taylor said. “At a minimum, a true ‘respect for marriage’ would allow states the freedom to decide this matter for themselves. The real purpose of H.R. 8404 is to intimidate and silence people who hold reasonable objections to same-sex marriage, whether grounded in history, religion, or ethical principles.”

For over 40 years, AFA has operated with the mission to inform, equip and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission.  Founded in 1977, AFA has long been on the front lines of America’s culture war. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, with nearly a million online supporters and approximately 110,000 subscribers to The Stand (formerly known as the AFA Journal), the ministry’s monthly magazine.  Find AFA Action Alerts here.  In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 180 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner. 

View the media page for AFA here. For more information on American Family Association, visit or follow AFA on Facebook or Twitter @AmericanFamAssc.        


To interview Dr. Jameson Taylor or another AFA representative, contact, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.   




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