On September 15, 2022, The New York Times and Politico.com reported that U.S. Senate leadership had put off its plans to vote on the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” (RMA) (H.R.8404-Nadler).
If passed, the RMA would keep same-sex “marriage” legal even if the Supreme Court were to overturn its 2015 decision that found same-sex “marriage” to be a protected constitutional “right.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had previously indicated that he intended to bring the bill to the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
The decision to put off a vote on the RMA indicates that the bill’s supporters either did not have the votes to pass the RMA now or were uncertain about whether they had the votes to do so. Either way, this is a victory—but only in the short term.
A bipartisan working group of Senate RMA supporters released a statement indicating that after the November elections, “‘we will have the bipartisan support to pass the bill.’” According to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), five Republican senators have endorsed the RMA, while three others are “soft supporters.” A spokesperson for Leader Schumer expressed disappointment “‘that there aren’t 10 Republicans in the Senate willing to vote yes on marriage equality legislation at this time’” and added that Leader Schumer “‘will hold the bipartisan group to their promise that the votes to pass this marriage equality legislation will be there after the election.’” Reports indicate that the bipartisan group has agreed upon religious freedom language to include in the RMA; to date, however, that language has not been released to the public.
The delayed vote on the RMA could mean that some Senate Republicans have agreed to vote for the RMA only if it is brought to the floor after Election Day. In other words, some Senate Republicans may want to support same-sex “marriage,” but may not have the political will to vote for it when they have to face the voters in less than two months; instead, those senators would prefer to hold a vote after the elections in the hope that conservative voters will forget about it by Election Day 2024.
Christians who reside in states that are represented by Republicans in the U.S. Senate should contact their senators and urge them to vote against the RMA. Furthermore, Christians should inform their senators that if they cast liberal votes for this bill, voters will not forget.