DCNF EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Groups Urge Lawmakers to Back Amendment Protecting Traditional Views on Marriage

By Published on March 3, 2024

Dozens of conservative organization leaders sent a letter to members of Congress on Friday demanding they adopt protections for religious Americans who support the traditional idea of marriage.

The signees urged Republicans in the House of Representatives to prioritize passing the “Roy Marriage Amendment,” named after Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, to protect religious freedom, according to the letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Advancing American Freedom (AAF), a conservative policy organization founded by former Vice President Mike Pence, spearheaded the letter and included signatures from Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, Joe Waresak, president of the James Dobson Family Institute, and Tom McClusky, director of government affairs for Catholic Vote, among others.

“As the leaders of organizations dedicated to protecting religious liberty and other First Amendment liberties for all Americans, we encourage you to include the Roy ‘Marriage Amendment’ in the upcoming appropriations bills,” the letter reads. “The language would provide much-needed protection to organizations and individuals who hold traditional beliefs on marriage from discrimination by the federal government.”

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If adopted, the amendment would prohibit the government from engaging in “any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person speaks, or acts, in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief, or moral conviction” regarding marriage between a man and a woman, according to the text. It also prevents the federal government from eliminating a religious group’s tax exemption status for their beliefs on marriage.

Roy submitted the amendment to the House in 2022 in an attempt to include it with the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which requires all fifty states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and was passed in December of that same year.

The House is currently attempting to avoid a government shutdown after failing to pass a new budget for fiscal year 2024 in September. Members voted Thursday to extend the deadline to March 8, prompting AAF to encourage lawmakers to push the amendment through before a potential shutdown.

“This provision is needed now more than ever, for no one should ever fear government punishment for holding to traditional marriage as the unique blessing that it is for all. We strongly encourage you to once again include the Roy ‘Marriage Amendment’ in upcoming appropriations bills,” the letter concludes.

 

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