Chip Roy is pushing to change the Respect for Marriage Act to include stronger religious protections
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, is leading an effort to amend the controversial Respect for Marriage Act, a law to protect same-sex marriages that was passed with bipartisan support last summer, to include new protections for religious observers who were not included.
In a Tuesday letter reviewed exclusively by Fox News Digital, Roy and 23 other House Republicans called on the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee to include these new protections in a spending bill for the next fiscal year.
The Respect for Marriage Act requires the federal government and states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal. The law includes language aimed at ensuring that people and organizations who do not support same-sex marriage are not subject to retaliation, but Roy says these protections are not enough and these groups could still risk losing them unless that the law is strengthened.
Specifically, Roy wants to add language prohibiting the federal government from taking “any action that discriminates against any person, in whole or in part, on the grounds that that person speaks or acts in accordance with an honest religious belief or moral conviction, that marriage is, or should be recognized as, the union of one man and one woman.”
PROGRESSIVES SNACK AS MARRIAGE LAW COMPLIANCE MOVES AHEAD: ‘I HATE SENATE BILL’
House Republicans want to define “discriminatory action” to include altering any federal tax treatment, withholding federal government benefits, or gaining access to federal property or an otherwise publicly available educational facility, among others.
“Without this language, we fear that the federal government will begin to systematically discriminate against religious schools, faith-based organizations, and other nonprofits by prohibiting their participation in federal programs and removing their tax-exempt status, for their views on marriage,” the letter read.
“The First Amendment is sacred. It guarantees the right to write, pray, think, speak, and associate as one pleases. These basic rights are uncontroversial and must be protected,” he said. declared.
BIDEN WILL SIGN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL DESPITE CONCERNS OF SOME PROGRESSIVES
The law was passed after the overthrow of Roe vs. Wade, which referred the question of the right to abortion to the States. Democrats then feared another case creating a federal right to same-sex marriage would be struck down, prompting the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.
When the law was considered in the Senate, the senses. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., drafted an amendment to add Senate-approved religious freedom protections. But some Republicans and conservative groups said at the time that this amendment did not go far enough to protect people who feared lawsuits or government retaliation for their belief in traditional marriage.
Roy says his amendment “ensures that the free exercise rights of millions of Americans and nonprofit organizations will not be punished and discriminated against by the federal government for their beliefs.”
PELOSI ENJOYS UPHOLDING MARRIAGE ACT VICTORY, CALLING IT A TOOL TO FIGHT ‘RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS’
“Such organizations care for the poor, mentor at-risk youth, feed the hungry, rebuild homes after natural disasters, care for soldiers and first responders, visit people in prison, educate children, and make each of the millions of good, civic-minded citizens year,” Roy said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Wearing the power of the federal government against them is un-American and would do a great disservice not only to these organizations, but to this Republic and the basic rights it protects,” he said.
The letter was praised by religious and conservative interest groups such as the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and Catholic Vote.
“We commend Rep. Roy for responding quickly to the despicable 2022 law that allows the federal government to target those who believe in marriage,” Catholic Vote Chairman Brian Burch told Fox News Digital.
“In every civilization, marriage has always been privileged because it binds a father and a mother together to raise the next generation of citizens on behalf of the nation. No government should allow militant legislation to target citizens who meet this definition “, added the group.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Other signatories to the letter include Reps. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Jim Banks, R-Ind., Marjorie Taylor Greene, RS.C. and Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.