Recently, the U.S. Senate passed same-sex marriage legislation. The bill, entitled “The Respect for Marriage Act,” cements the federal government’s position on same-sex marriages. The concept of people of the same sex marrying is still widely debated.
However, this bill does reflect the general feelings of most Americans. Nevertheless, despite earning the initial support of a dozen Republican senators, conservatives are still cautioning that the bill may overstep its intended boundaries.
The 12 Republican votes moved the bill past cloture. The bill will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. It will codify gay marriage into federal law. According to the U.S. federal government, marriage is no longer restricted to the marital union of one man and one woman.
But a number of prominent Republicans still questioned how far the Respect for Marriage Act would go towards undermining religious liberty. Prior to Republican support for the change, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham posted a cautionary tweet.
Graham said, “Nothing in the bill adds new protections for gay marriage, but it does, in my view, create great uncertainty about religious liberty and institutions who oppose gay marriage.” Like Senator Graham, other conservative lawmakers feel this new legislation will be misused.
There have been multiple cases where, because of their God-given religious convictions, business owners have declined to perform services for same-sex couples. When an American is forced to denounce their own personal beliefs to cater to those of another, we have a problem.
Individual expression is a fundamental concept in the U.S. Constitution. No American can be forced to believe or disbelieve in anything. However, now a contentiously debated marital union is recognized as legal by the U.S. government.
Rightfully, some believe people will be forced to compromise their heartfelt personal convictions. The majority of Americans either agree with same-sex marriage being okay or decline to vocalize their opinion. Same-sex couples have the right to do what they wish.
Legally, these marital unions probably should be recognized from a government perspective. But in no instance should another American be forced to condone them as acceptable. That’s our right. Conservatives are worried that the Respect for Marriage Act will force them to.
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