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BREAKING: Congress Passes Law Punishing Religious Liberty

DEVELOPING STORY: The House of Representatives passed the “Respect” for Marriage Act – sending the controversial legislation to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

The bill won approval in a 258-169 vote, after the Senate passed it 61-36 last week. The legislation now heads to the White House for President Biden’s signature into law. Despite warnings from Republicans in both chambers that the bill doesn’t do enough to protect religious liberty, 39 House Republicans voted for the bill.

The law will require the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

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Religious liberty advocates say the law will specifically target Christians and Christian business owners for lawsuits from radical LGBT activists.

“The House voted today to prioritize virtue-signaling over protecting the freedom to hold decent and honorable beliefs about marriage,” Alliance Defending Freedom’s Ryan Bangert said. “This bill, which provides no protection or benefits that same-sex couples don’t already enjoy, deceptively gives lip service to religious liberty while undermining the First Amendment freedoms that belong to each of us.”

A number of conservative lawmakers begged Democrats to include protections for churches and religious organizations, but those pleas were ignored.

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“For months, many Americans, faith-based organizations, and churches across the country have raised concerns about the undeniable harms of this bill, yet Congress has rejected all attempts to include comprehensive religious liberty protections,” Bangert said. “We are grateful to the representatives who actively listened to these Americans and voted against this misleading legislation. Unfortunately, too few were willing to join them.”

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First Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackelford accused Congress of passing a law that punishes the free exercise of religion.

“The so-called ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ lets radical activists harass faith-based institutions in court because of their religious beliefs about marriage,” he said. “No American should be punished for holding a faith-based view on marriage, even if that view conflicts with the government’s current preferred definition.  And, no American should change their religious convictions about marriage just because a few politicians changed theirs.”

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