Respect for Marriage

Here’s a very good article about the so-called Respect for Marriage Act. I’m shocked that there are Republicans who voted for it. What’s the purpose of having a Republican party if they’ll do this kind of thing?

12 thoughts on “Respect for Marriage

  1. All the things described are horrible, and I can plausibly imagine them happening. But I fail to see how codifying same sex marriage is a step toward the abolition of civil marriage. If anything, the success of the gay marriage movement pushed that vein of thought to the side. Pro-gay liberals have become more attached to the state recognition of marriage than they were 15-20 years ago (when “why can’t we just get rid of marriage and have civil unions for all?” was a popular suggestion for people who wanted to sidestep the “can a man marry a man?” debate.)

    I looked at some other stuff by the author on this topic but I’m still not convinced. If anyone reading thinks they can be more convincing, feel free to reply.

    That said, I still don’t think Republicans should vote for this bill. What do we get out of it? The religious liberty protections in the bill make it less of a win for liberals, but there’s still not actually anything in there for conservatives. Some of the Republicans in question actively support gay marriage (ex. Rob Portman) so I get where they’re coming from, but it’s far from all of them.


  2. “Obergefell decision that rejected marriage as a male-female union”

    Almost stopped reading there since it’s very dishonest writing (or editing).

    But I have no idea what the bill does that’s different from what libertarians (state sanctioned ‘marriage’ is coercion and private contracts are better) and the religious right (the state should but out of marriage and leave it to religious institutions) have both been hawking forever (in slightly different forms). From outside it seems like Ukraine all over – crazy extremes agreeing with each other and excluding the reasonable middle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What the bill does is quite different from either of those things because it doesn’t abolish the civic institution of marriage at all. The author is simply arguing that it’s the first step on a slippery slope to that. I actually don’t reject slippery slope arguments at all, but I was not quite following this one.


  3. @Demotrash
    This topic is deserving of an in-depth and evidence-based analysis which is ill served by the answers-to-a-blog format so I shall confine myself to one point only.
    Imagine that a religious institution such as a Catholic school or an Evangelical college whose faith tenets condemn same-sex marriage were to dismiss an employee after such an employee marries a person of the same sex, would the institution be liable in court? Or, in the same scenario, imagine that a would-be employee were to take the same institution to court claiming discrimination on the basis of same-sex marital status, would the prospective employer who has excluded the applicant at the job interview stage be liable for damages?
    Even non-lawyers can see that this is NOT a respect-for-marriage law but just a legalistic way of shutting people up who do not agree with the new woke world order.
    I am surprised that 12 gullible Republican-in-name-only senators were so easily taken in, but then they must be bleeding heart libertarians so, no, I am not surprised at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “would the institution be liable in court?”

      Shouldn’t be, in the current world, probably would be… I’m firmly in the camp that religious institutions can/should make their own rules for believers, I just don’t want them making laws for non-believers. And I think they should be taxed.

      “a would-be employee were to take the same institution to court claiming discrimination”

      what about standing?


      1. @cliff arroyo
        “what about standing?”
        I am not an expert on the US legal system, which is why I was expressing some concern.
        An applicant would have no standing in an employment tribunal (since he would need to have been an employee) but I was wondering whether he might have a case in tort if he could prove that he was excluded from the interview process solely on the basis of a personal characteristic (in this case the fact of being same-sex married) after the so-called Respect for Marriage Act is enacted.


        1. “excluded from the interview process solely on the basis of a personal characteristic (in this case the fact of being same-sex married)”

          What about an applicant who is (different-sex) divorced and remarried? Would/should a person who was excluded from the interview process on that grounds have redress? In the eyes of the church the person is still married to the person they divorced and living in sin with their second spouse.


        2. As it is, it’s already impossible to prove you were excluded because of a characteristic. For instance, if we are allowed to hire, there’s an unspoken understanding that the person won’t be white. Nobody is putting it in any paperwork but it’s understood.


  4. @cliff arroyo; @Demotrash
    Sorry to be a pain in the neck to other readers, but I have just found out that the Respect for Marriage Act will actually create a private right of action for “any person who is harmed” by a state’s or an organization’s failure to recognize their marriage. I now feel vindicated in having put forward my misgivings.


    1. “a private right of action for “any person who is harmed” by a state’s or an organization’s failure to recognize their marriage”

      Then why didn’t the original linked article make that clear?

      One concern I’d have here is polygamy (already passively tolerated in some countries with immigration from places where it’s acceptable).
      Does wife #2 get the same medical insurance as wife #1? If she doesn’t is it a case of an organization failing to recognize her marriage?
      Or muslim guy does talaq divorce, then remarries (all without state involvement) the state considers him married to the first wife can he claim ‘harm’?


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