Peltola toes line, votes for Respect for Marriage Act

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Alaska Congresswoman Mary Peltola has voted for the controversial Respect for Marriage Act, as it passed the U.S. House today, after passing the U.S. Senate last week with the support of both Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. Her vote is likely contrary to what her predecessor, Congressman Don Young, would have voted on this bill.

The bill makes marriage a federal concern, rather than a state matter, and codifies same-sex marriage across all states. Peltola, a Democrat, had signaled she would vote in favor of the bill, as amended by the Senate. In addition to all Democrats voting “aye,” 39 House Republicans voted for the bill, which is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.

Peltola, like Murkowski, focused on the protections for same-sex partners who marry, ensuring that they cannot be discriminated against. Sullivan focused on the protections he says the bill also gives Christians and others who have religious objections, aspects that neither Peltola nor Murkowski found compelling.

Peltola’s statement said, “Today, I voted for final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act so that it can be signed into law. Enacting this important legislation is a major victory for freedom, privacy, dignity, and equality. The federal government should never stand in the way of someone marrying the person they love. I’m proud to have supported this bill which will strengthen the rights of millions of Americans.”

Roger Severino, vice president of domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation, says that several claims by Democrats about the Respect for Marriage Act are false.

Among them is the claim that the legislation provides religious institutions legally significant protections against being treated by government as the equivalent of bigots.

Severino writes that the issue is not the ability to believe in man-woman marriage, but the ability to live out those beliefs meaningfully in society and not be labeled a bigot by the government for doing so.

“Respect for mere beliefs in man-woman marriage gets people of faith little in this context. But more fundamentally, the bill doesn’t go even that far. It reads:

“”Diverse beliefs about the role of gender in marriage are held by reasonable and sincere people based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises. Therefore, Congress affirms that such people and their diverse beliefs are due proper respect.'”

Serverino says the accurate translation of that is “Diverse but wholly unspecified beliefs about the role of gender in marriage (whatever that means) are held by acceptable people based on acceptable premises. Therefore, such acceptable people who hold acceptable beliefs about marriage are due an acceptable level of respect.”

He adds that it is “hard to imagine crafting a more legally meaningless statement than that. The bill’s sponsors took great pains to avoid saying precisely what the bill’s defenders erroneously claim.”

Democrats also claim the bill can’t be used as a basis for the Internal Revenue Service to deny a tax-exempt status for religious organizations that adhere to and act upon their beliefs in man-woman marriage.

Severino says that is also false. “Although the bill clarifies through a rule of construction that it does not, by its own operation, revoke tax-exempt status for dissenting religious organizations, it gives ample grounds for the IRS and any other tax authority to do the actual dirty work.

“When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, no one argued that it automatically revoked tax-exempt status for religious schools that engaged in racial discrimination. But the IRS did exactly that six years later and in 1983 the Supreme Court affirmed the action in the case of Bob Jones University v. U.SThe high court relied on the fact that Congress established a “national” or “fundamental” policy against racial discrimination through the Civil Rights Act following the court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

“Congress could have added the exact same rule of construction contained in the Respect for Marriage Act to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it would not have prevented the IRS’ revocation of tax-exempt status, because the governmental interest in eradicating racial discrimination would have been deemed to be just as compelling.

“President Barack Obama’s top lawyer at the Justice Department admitted to the Supreme Court during the Obergefell argument that revoking the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that hold fast to man-woman marriage was “going to be an issue.”

“No rule of construction under the marriage bill will make this issue go away, but an affirmative defense, such as under Sen. Mike Lee’s proposed First Amendment Defense Act, would.

The marriage bill’s sponsors easily could have added a clause saying: “No federal, state, or local taxing authority shall revoke any tax-exempt status or tax benefit of any nonprofit organization because it believes or acts on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.” As Severino points out, that would have taken the tax issue entirely off the table, “which is precisely why the bill’s sponsors steadfastly refuse to adopt it.”

Read Severino’s analysis at this link.

62 COMMENTS

  1. Let me fix the headline for you: Peltola Affirms Her Support For Individual Freedom And Limited Government.

    Or, Peltola Rejects America Hating Theocracy Agenda.

    • No, Unreliable Voter, let me fix your disingenuous and misinformational comment: Peltola affirms her support for the destabilizing, socially destructive, neo-Bolshevik, pro-globalist and family-hating radical leftist extremist agenda.
      .
      Now, try telling us again how the “great reset” globalists do not even exist.
      That is my all-time favorite fairy tale.

      • Hey Jefferson – I’ll have to get back to you later. Right now I’m on a conference call with George Soros and the other Great Reset globalists. I’m sworn to secrecy, but what the heck – our main strategy is to keep people like you posting things like you post. If fact, that’s our only strategy, and it seems to be working quite nicely.

        • And that is exactly the kind of snarky, puerile, deflecting, content-free comment that I would expect from a radical leftist extremist such as yourself, Unreliable Voter.

    • Passing a federal law doesn’t give an individual more freedom. If they wanted individuals to have more freedom, they’d throw it back to the states. Smaller government decisions are more about the individual. This is all about giving the federal government more power.

      • I’m not sure that people whose rights have been infringed upon feel better about it when their state is responsible. Did I miss something in your argument?

    • LOL “support for individual freedom and limited government”??? Too funny! You understand that practicing one’s religion is an enumerated right under the first amendment and as for limited government, she just voted to add a federal layer to what was traditionally a state’s purview.

      • 1. Practicing one’s religion is not the issue here – discriminating against those that don’t share that religion is the issue. I have no doubt that you’d be one of the loudest complaining if roles were reversed.
        2. If you’re being discriminated against, it’s irrelevant whether the oppressor is the federal or state government. Stop pretending like victims would somehow be less victimized if this were strictly a state issue.
        3. No one is telling you how to worship or conduct your own life. Gay marriage is between two consenting adults, and it takes far more government effort to banish it than to allow it. It does, however, chafe at theocrats that want to force their beliefs upon others.

        • Again huh???
          You claimed that Peltola’s vote limits government, which is factually not true. It expands the role of the federal government.
          It certainly appears your community has no problems using the force of government to enforce their believes and silence those who find this way of living unsuitable for them, i.e. somebody doesn’t want to bake a cake, then instead of choosing a baker, who will, there are lawsuits to ruin their business. So much for “no one is telling you how to worship or conduct your life” Simply believing that a gay life style is not for them, because it does not align with their belief, is NOT discrimination. This community loudly demands acceptance and claims the right to dictate to others, forcing them through the power of law to serve their needs.
          No one is telling you how to conduct your life. If you want to be married to whomever go ahead, but what you want is for others to set their belief aside and celebrate and serve yours. Tolerance goes both ways!

        • You are correct, gay marriage is between two consenting adults. Right up to the point they involve others in it. Especially if they involve others in the marriage against their will.
          .
          Or do you think a Church is not a party to the marriage? Or a baker, catering hall, etc…? You do not have to be speaking the vows to be involved in a marriage. And, as soon as the Federal Government says you cannot deny a couple services because it goes against your religious beliefs, you are most certainly involved, against your will, and it will be the courts that will infringe on your ability to practice your religion in the manner you choose.

          • First, there are protections for religious institutions in the bill, so that is a red herring. Secondly, which services do you want to deny? Emergency medical treatment?

          • Emergency medical services?
            RV, what an absolutely asinine and insulting comment. I know you know better and comments like this bring nothing constructive to the discussion.

        • There are protections for religious…. whatever. You damned well know the anti-church side of the LGBTQWERTY+ group will sue every church, synogouge, or mosque who denies them service. Oh… wait, not the last one. Same with bakers, dress makers, web designers, catering halls, etc…
          .
          If you are so blind to human nature to ignore that reality, I am sorry, but I do not have the time nor the crayons to help you out.

  2. Good for Representative Peltola. As for the tax-exempt status of religious organizations, if you want to remain tax exempt stop campaigning from the pulpit. Here’s a bit of advice if you don’t want to be involved in a same sex marriage, say no when your same sex lover asks to marry you!

    • How does it work when a same sex couple asks a Rabbi or Pastor to perform the marriage ceremony? Are they able to decline without consequences from the law? I’m curious how this works.

      • Depends on if the religion or sect allows it or not. THAT is a church marriage.

        We are talking about being married under public government law not religious tradition here, though.

        • Unfortunately, there are bad actors out there that will knowingly and deliberately target the Houses of Worship that do not allow it, and file suit. Same with any business that says no thanks to the business because it goes against their beliefs.
          .
          Which has the ultimate outcome of altering the religious Rite of marriage to mirror the economic co-mingling of assets that the State considers a marriage.

    • This is such an oxymoronic comment, care to explain?
      “If you don’t want to be involved in same sex marriage tell you same sex partner “no”
      ….huh???
      How to conveniently ignore the elephant in the room and show your intolerance for those, who have chosen a different path.
      One could legitimately argue that churches are tax-exempt to avoid the establishment clause. Preaching religious doctrine from the pulpit is not campaigning.

      • No one is saying that preaching religious doctrine from the pulpit is campaigning.

        Lots of people are saying that bringing certain candidates to the pulpit and encouraging parishioners to vote one way is campaigning from the pulpit.

        If a church gave equal time to each candidate, like the laws for media are, no one would complain and everyone would get to make up their own minds on who to vote for

        • To my knowledge there are no laws establishing that media give equal time to all candidates. Radio and TV may not turn down any candidates ads unless they can proof that it is an outright untruth. The so-called “fairness doctrine” was never codified because it infringes on the first amendment of a free press. Have you watch CNN lately or read the ADN or Yahoo news? Clearly no equal time there and if you read about conservatives, it is mostly to bash them or some other “got-ya” article.
          You assume that church goers are incapable of independent thought and decisions when confronted with a candidate. Also how do you know that invitations were not extended to all candidates and some chose to spent their time elsewhere? You seem to have no such reservations when Planned Parenthood or some climate group only invite candidates, who support their cause and their secular belief system.

  3. Are we going to run a betting board on how fast the first court case hits after this bill takes effect?

  4. Did you expect anything else?

    Let’s deal with important issues, like the rampant racism in Shark Week.

      • It’s great when you defend rhetoric supporting discord and unwillingness to come together for reasonable governance. It really brings out the seditionist in you.

        We CAN see you.

  5. I guess that’s it then, another nail in the coffin of religious freedom in this once great country. Biden and his ilk have declared war on Christianity and the liberals, communists, and rigged choice supporters have fired their first volleys into the hearts of married men and women everywhere; the foundation of the American family. Honor thy father and thy mother, not thy they and thy them thy father and thy father, or thy mother and thy mother.

      • The Founders were specific in their distrust of ‘democracy’–which is why we are (supposed to be) a Constitutional Representative Federal Republic.

      • RV do you even KNOW what these words mean??
        You have to go pretty far back in world history for a true theocracy and it is clear from your comments that you know nothing about Christianity, which is based on individual connection with God. Coincidentally do you have the same feelings towards Muslims, Buddhists, Hinduism etc?
        As for democracy, we have a representative/constitutional republic as our founders understood that pure democracy will descend into mob rule sooner or later.

        • Look no further than Vatican City as a theocracy in modern times.

          Ruled by one man, the Pope, and follows the laws of the Catholic Church

          • Pablo, excellent! You are correct Vatican City is a theocracy. I stand corrected. Since RV implied that the US is a theocracy, I was thinking in larger terms, like the middle ages when church leaders could ban anyone they did not like, or many countries in Europe where the religion of the ruler dictated what everyone of their subjects had to believe.

          • CBMTTek, yes your are correct, however our young RV friend seems to have singled out Christianity and speaks of theocracy in this country. As the majority of believers are still of the Christian faith my answer was geared towards his assertion that any person of faith in the US wants to be ruled by the church as a political power instead of our constitution. Sorry, I was not more specific.

  6. IF the legislative branch has jurisdiction then legislative branch can make policy not law. TECHNICAL TERMS are unlawful. Temperance, moral society is based on…God’s law or natural law, ideology.
    .

    The legislative branch has jurisdiction over intoxicating liquor.
    .
    But marriage?
    .
    Legislative branch has NO authority over religious acts like marriage. The people have free exercise of their religion.
    .
    Legislative branch doesn’t have a lot of subject matter jurisdiction. They aren’t supposed to. Don’t tamper with stuff outside personal jurisdiction. What a flopped process. Judges should report these defects to the Supreme Court.

    • Marriage isn’t just a religious act in the United States. This place ain’t a theocracy, or has that lesson not been learned?

      • Correct, however this act will require establishments that see it as more than a civil/economic partnership into debasing their religious beliefs. There is a difference between a theocracy, and a form of government that respects the individual and their religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
        .
        This bill runs slipshod over any freedom a religious institution may have to determine who receives a sacred Rite. Same with a business owned and operated by a strongly religious individual. Right to deny service to any customer is now a thing of the past.

        • Theocracy is direct rule by God Himself. This is not what we see here. What we see here is the 1776 republic that has overgrown, corpulently, its expressed Constitutional jurisdiction boundaries by ninety (90) percent and is, therefore a tyrannical burden to the freemen of the United States.

  7. Must be a element of the subsistence lifestyle? Expect as sorts of trash to come out of government since it is getting so far from representing the people. We don’t vote these politicians in, the machines select them.

      • Do you have any evidence whatsoever that your ballot was counted, and correctly counted by the machine? Anything?
        Neither do I. I am guessing the machine actually read my ballot and tabulated correctly, but I have absolutely nothing to support that assumption.

    • Exactly. It has as much ‘respect for marriage’ as ballot measure 2 did for eliminating ‘dark money.’ Not to mention the trojan horse, RCV– which was the real intent…

  8. Ever since even before the so-called “Patriot Act” congressional bills have been nicknamed the exact opposite of their actual purpose.

  9. Baker still doesn’t have to make gay folks a cake if it’s against their religion and beliefs. This is all just cow-towing to the liberals and their followers. I’m not going to get too hung up about it. Freaks are going to do what freaks are going to do. You can’t stop that. Best ro just step around it and not get any of it on your shoes.

  10. What is the average longevity of these unions? How will it burden our court systems when they end, and who will foot the bill? Who would qualify to be a consoler when these couples have issues? Obviously, a faith based solution is out of the question. Child custody matters will be equally complex. Our present court system is not prepared for this.

  11. It’s heartwarming to see so many liberal-minded folks comment on a MRAK story. Sometimes I get so lonely…

Comments are closed.