WASHINGTON—Roger Severino, vice president for domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation, today spoke out against a proposed amendment to the deceptively named “Respect for Marriage Act,” arguing it will not address religious liberty concerns in the legislation:
"The misnamed Respect for Marriage Act would put a giant target on the backs of people and institutions of faith.
“To be clear, there is no risk of any legally married same-sex couple losing any of their benefits or legal status. The only reason to add Congress’ explicit blessing on such unions now is to cement it as national policy that can be used as a weapon by government agencies, such as the IRS, to deny traditional religious institutions tax-exempt status, licenses to assist in adoptions, and government funding and contracts.
“Indeed, we’ve seen government actors hound faith-based adoption agencies out of major cities across America because of their views on marriage.
“Some senators, however, namely Sens. Tammy Baldwin, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney, want to prop up this bad bill by offering an amendment that purports to address religious liberty concerns. The American people should not be fooled.
“Another amendment, Sen. Mike Lee’s First Amendment Defense Act, would address the defects of the bill. If lawmakers are serious about religious freedom, they should reject the Baldwin-Collins-Romney amendment out of hand and look to the Lee amendment instead.”