Don't Be Fooled—It's Not Over

Nov 23, 2022

The U.S. Senate has not cast a final vote on the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act. Last week 12 Republicans joined with 50 Democrats to vote for “cloture” to move the bill forward. They could have killed the bill, but they did not. Instead, they voted to move forward based on a verbal promise that a religious accommodation amendment might be added.

The religious accommodation amendment is far from certain. The LGBTQ lobby is opposed to it. But some of those 12 Republicans will not vote for the bill without an amendment. The process is volatile and could blow up, and the bill could yet be killed.

WE MUST NOT GROW WEARY AND RELAX. The fight is far from over.

HR 8404 may require another 60 votes to finally pass. In that case, we only need three senators who voted for cloture to vote down the bill. Because the debate over a religious accommodation amendment is contentious, a lot could change before the final vote. And more senators are beginning to wake up to the fact that this bill goes far beyond same-sex marriage. Even co-sponsors Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) now admit what they call a “drafting error” that creates a loophole for polygamy. But they’ve done nothing to fix the bill.

Do not be fooled. The fight is not over. HR 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act, is a top priority.

HR 8404 will federalize same-sex marriage; establish a federal policy that gender is irrelevant and thus advance the transgender agenda; expand child bride laws; and open the door for incestuous and polygamous marriages.

As written, if just one state allowed incestuous or child bride marriage, this bill would force the states and territories to recognize and respect that “marriage.” Rush your urgent faxes to every senator you can to block this bill. —Mat


In true Orwellian doublespeak, HR 8404 is called the “Respect for Marriage Act,” but nothing could be further from the truth! This bill is a serious attack on marriage and on states’ rights. In just four pages, it destroys marriage and states’ rights.

This bill will push same-sex marriage into every state even if the 2015 Obergefell decision is overturned. Any definition of “marriage” that any state can dream up must be respected in all 50 states and territories!  

These undecided senators and others must hear from you. WE NEED YOUR VOICE to send a strong message NOW because Chuck Schumer is pushing for a vote.

HR 8404 has not had a final vote in the Senate. There is much debate ahead and the bill could easily implode. We must not give up.

These 12 Republican senators voted last week to move the bill forward: Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Thom Tillis (NC), Richard Burr (NC, retiring), Roy Blunt (MO, retiring), Shelley Capito (WV), Rob Portman (OH, retiring), Todd Young (IN), Joni Ernst (IA), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Mitt Romney (UT), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Dan Sullivan (AK).

We need to hold their feet to the fire and remind every senator to hold the line against HR 8404.

This goes far beyond destroying marriage—it will also override religious freedom! And don’t be fooled about a religious accommodation amendment. The draft language from Sens. Baldwin and Collins does very little.

I represent Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for not signing her own name on homosexual “marriage” licenses. Kentucky now has a law unanimously passed by Democrats and Republicans to accommodate clerks who request religious accommodation for sanctioning same-sex marriage. But HR 8404 will override this law and force clerks to violate their faith!

Rush your urgent faxes to the Senate to block this bill.

We only need a few senators to change their votes on HR 8404. The debate over a religious accommodation amendment could be the key. We are working with the senators to alert them to the fact that the Baldwin-Collins amendment does little to protect religious freedom.  

After the vote last week, we heard senators and their staff begin to raise the concerns we have sent them in our legal memo. Unrelated to HR 8404, a Ugandan diplomat delegation has been meeting with members of Congress to raise awareness about child bride abuse in their country. Finally, some senators are now asking what impact HR 8404 will have regarding foreign child bride and polygamous marriages.

HR 8404 goes far beyond same-sex marriage. If this bill passes, it will make each state subservient to any other state with the worse marriage laws. But what about foreign marriages? The bill provides no safeguards. The Democrats were so blinded by the LGBTQ lobby that they either did not think about these consequences or they intentionally welcome them.

The goal is to abolish marriage by deconstructing it. And public policy established by this bill will make gender irrelevant. This will embolden the so-called transgender movement.

We must block this bill, and the time is short.

I will have major news on several of our cases to share with you soon, including our defense of military members against illegal shot orders, health care workers’ religious freedom rights and our “change counsel” cases.

Liberty Counsel is only able to perform this vitally important legal work because of faithful Liberty Counsel supporters like YOU. Help us defend life, religious freedom and the family by supporting our legal fund today, and a generous Challenge Grant will DOUBLE THE IMPACT of your gift!

Mat Staver
Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

P.S. Prefer a petition over a fax? Select here.


Benen, Steve. “Rubio Makes Misguided Case against the Respect for Marriage Act.” MSNBC, July 21, 2022.

“H.R. 8404—Respect for Marriage Act.” 2022. House of Representatives Committee on Rules. July 18, 2022.