Biden Signs Same-Sex Marriage Law

“President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a bill into law that he says will ensure that same-sex marriage remains legal but that critics say goes much further than that by also threatening religious liberty. The bill, the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404), defines marriage as ‘between 2 individuals’ and overturns the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Supporters say it ensures that same-sex marriage remains legal even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its landmark decision Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which struck down traditional marriage laws nationwide. Although the bill includes an amendment that supporters say protects religious liberty, critics say its impact is too narrow. The amendment protects churches and other houses of worship. Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty legal group that opposed the bill, said in an analysis that the law ignores ‘the true threats to religious individuals and organizations.’ As written, the new law ‘can be used to punish social-service organizations that work closely with government,’ such as ‘adoption or foster placement agencies that serve their communities in accordance with their religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.’ The new law also could be used by the government to threaten a religious organization’s tax-exempt status, ADF said. ‘It only applies to religious organizations in the solemnization or celebration of a marriage, not to religious individuals or to any entity in any other context.’ For example, the new law would not protect Christian-owned florists and bakers who have been involved in prominent lawsuits nationwide.”

“Biden Signs,” Christian Headlines, Dec. 14, 2022