Respect for Marriage Act passes Senate with Murkowski and Sullivan voting ‘aye’

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The controversial “Respect for Marriage Act,” which is the Democrats’ bill to enshrine gay marriage at the federal level, has passed the Senate.

The yes votes included both Republican senators from Alaska — Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.

Sullivan had worked to get freedom-protecting amendments to the floor for a vote but they failed.

By a vote of 48-49, the Senate did not adopt the Sen. Mike Lee amendment; 60 aye votes were needed. Voting against the amendment was Sen. Susan Collins; Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, voted aye.

By a vote of 45-52, the Senate did not adopt the Sen. James Lankford amendment. Republicans voting against the amendment were Sens. Collins, Murkowski, and Rob Portman.

By a vote of 45-52, the Senate did not adopt the Sen. Marco Rubio amendment. Sens. Collins, Murkowski and Portman voted against that amendment.

The final bill passed 61-36, with the help of Republicans Roy Blunt, Missouri; Richard Burr, North Carolina; Shelley Capito, West Virginia; Susan Collins, Maine; Joni Ernst, Iowa; Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming; Lisa Murkowski, Alaska; Rob Portman, Ohio; Mitt Romney, Utah; Dan Sullivan, Alaska; Thom Tillis, North Carolina; and Todd Young, Indiana.

They were the same Republicans who voted to advance the bill to the floor on Monday.

The bill, which now goes back to the House for approval, repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, and forces those “acting under color of state law” to recognize same-sex marriages. It makes same-sex marriages officially sanctioned by the federal government.

Supporters argue that the bill protects religious rights and freedom. But religious leaders across the country, including Catholic Church leaders, such as United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, warned that the bill puts people of faith in the crosshairs. Both Murkowski and Sullivan are Catholics.

Murkowski issued a statement about her vote:

“Today, I voted to begin debate on a bipartisan compromise of the Respect for Marriage Act. This bill protects the marriage of countless couples across the country. States will continue to set their own definitions of marriage, the federal government will be required to recognize all lawful marriages, and no out-of-state marriages will be able to be denied on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.
I have long supported marriage equality and believe all lawful marriages deserve respect. I thank my colleagues who improved the bill’s protections for religious liberty and continued prohibitions on polygamy, allowing it to move forward this week. All Americans deserve dignity, respect, and equal protection under the law.”

Sen. Sullivan issued a statement:

While I’ve long held that marriage should be an issue left up to the states, the Supreme Court nationalized the issue in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. Although I disagreed with Obergefell, I said then I would respect the Court’s decision and also continue to fight for, respect, and defend the religious liberty of all Americans.

“Even with a Republican president and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, we were unable to codify any substantive religious liberty protections into law—until today. The protections included in the Respect for Marriage Act are vital because the Supreme Court in Obergefell changed the law of the land on marriage in America, but did not also include robust religious liberty protections for religious organizations and the millions of Americans who believe in, preach, and practice traditional marriage.

“I worked relentlessly to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act codifies several religious liberty protections into law, including several protections for churches and non-profit Christian universities that hold traditional views of marriage. While the final product does not include every religious liberty protection I voted to include, it is my sincere judgment that the bill we passed in the Senate today—unlike the House bill—is much more about promoting and expanding religious liberty protections than same-sex marriage.

“This bill has the strongest religious liberty protections for religious organizations that believe in traditional marriage since the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 1993. For this reason, many prominent religious groups that believe in traditional marriage, like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, supported this bill and its strong religious liberty protections.”

Sen. Collins also issued a statement:

“Tonight, the Senate took a historic step to help prevent discrimination, promote equality and protect the rights of all Americans by passing the Respect for Marriage Act that @SenatorBaldwin and I authored. Our bill would help ensure everyone is treated with respect and dignity.” Collins made no mention of protection for religious liberties.

The vote had been postponed until after the elections, but is also on a fast-track for the House of Representatives to vote on the Senate changes to the bill before sending it to President Joe Biden for signature. The House, which is flipping to Republican control in January, is sure to act quickly this week.

46 COMMENTS

  1. Blue state blues. The only thing worse for the republic than progressives are Republicans.

    Progressives are more honest, too.

    Don’t bother with the “Dump Dan” rah rahs. Thanks to your votes on RVC and the fear of the Constitutional Convention, this vote is on you.

    The losses here are staggering:
    -we had a great state. Lost it.
    -we had reasonable faith in the voting process. Lost it.
    -we had a Republic. Lost it.

    • I get why Murkowski voted for this – she’s a hardcore Liberal.
      Why is Dan so obsessed with gay marriage?
      Dan, do you want to tell us something?
      You are decidedly NOT conservative.
      Shame on you.
      Again.

  2. Sen Sullivan was fully educated on how this legislation did nothing for the LGBTQ community but open a pathway for activists and lawyers to begin dismantling religious liberties. Very disappointed in his vote that puts the faith community in the crosshairs.

    • In all honesty, you’re not the best source for information on how this legislation does nothing for the LGBTQ community. If your assertion were true, we’d see a chorus of LGBTQs making the same point.

    • Fully agree, Dan and Lisa just stabbed Religious Liberty and therefore the 1st Amendment in the back. But seriously, did you think either one would do the right thing and block it. Just look at the state of our country. They haven’t stood up to Biden, why would they protect Religious Liberty? We are witnessing a coup against the Constitution and Dan’s fake excuse of he tried to get in protections isn’t cutting it. Why did you vote for it Dan? You are a pathetic liar Dan. I do not believe a word that comes from your serpent lips. You and Lisa are an embarrassment to Alaska families.

      • Such hyperbole Mr Johnson! You think voting to make marriage an option for all Americans is a coup against the constitution? Focus instead on January 6.

        • You seem to think this legislation will actually make marriage an option for all Americans? It does little more than turn marriage into a meaningless word. If marriage can be anything, it is really just another word for nothing.

      • Dan, if your liberty amendment failed, why did you vote for the bill? I’m extremely disappointed. I support respect and dignity – but giving special rights contrary to the entire history of humanity at the expense of others’ rights is not justice, is not “equality”, is not Constitutional – and I pray that SCOTUS strikes this travesty down before we lose the rest of our liberty.

    • Jim, it doesn’t put any faith communities in the crosshairs (why this image/violence?), though faith communities advid to affect government to their advantage sure don’t like it.

      Put down the damn gun.

      Have your faith in your church, your home, your sphere. Our laws respect more than your specific faith traditions

      • As soon as this legislation is signed into law, there will be dozens, if not hundreds of LGBTQWERTEYWHATEVER+ activists that will knowingly and deliberately target any religious institution or business owned by a religious individual for no reason other than to harm them. History is abundantly clear on this front.
        .
        Do not tell me that Jack Philips is not a target strictly because he stands by his religious beliefs.
        .
        And, if you really think the “marriage equality” activists are not going to try and put churches and other businesses under their thumb, you are delusional. Human nature tells me otherwise, and your faith in leftist ideals blinds you to that reality.
        .
        Sincerely;
        Maury Suttman

        • Well said, and true.

          The Left has been targeting the Church for over a century. They’ve had to disguise their attacks behind legislation and initiatives that seem unrelated to religion because the pushback (up to now) has been significant. But make no mistake: Their endgame is the complete destruction of Judeo-Christianity in the West and its replacement with a kind of secular global collectivism.

          To this end, the Left will use the LGBT community in the same way that Mao used his Red Guards; and sadly, they will discard the LGBT community as unceremoniously as Mao discarded his Guards once they’ve outgrown their usefulness.

          There’s nothing new under the sun, and Marxists always revert to the same playbook.

  3. Which is why I did not and will continue to not vote for Murkowski. Looks like Dan is now on that list also

  4. One undeniable fact about legislation. The outcome of the legislation is always the polar opposite of the title. This legislation will be as effective at demonstrating respect for marriage as the affordable care act was at making healthcare affordable, and the inflation reduction act was at reducing inflation.

  5. As a small-c-conservative and a small-r-republican, I enjoy MRAK for representing conservative viewpoints and allowing comments which debate and respectfully disagree with the owner’s political stance.

    That said, I’m not entirely sure where national marriage politics are relevant to most Alaskans. Its a tolerant place! This is a state where weed is legal and accepted, and the gay population in Alaska is largely out and welcomed, particularly since gays and lesbians up here are fully integrated into workplaces and family spaces. Folks on fishing boats, slope workers in camps, and construction workers are all familiar with gay men and women, and are not spending time worrying about who wants to marry whom.

    National political issues are not relevant to Alaskan politics when it comes to gay marriage, because in Alaska, it doesn’t matter who you love, it matters if you can perform at work. (Unless your rich parents got you the job)

    • Stone – sounds like you are a RINO type. Ya’ know a McCain, Romney, McConnell, Graham, Ryan, W, Jeb supporter. You probs think Trump is icky because he bluntly states the truth. Lemme guess, you voted for Begich………

    • “I’m not entirely sure where national marriage politics are relevant to most Alaskans.”
      Let me enlighten you.
      .
      Some self righteous crybully pushing a LGBTQWERTYWHATEVER+ agenda will knowingly and deliberately decide to get “married” in a religious institute that disagrees with the law. They will do so specifically to draw a denial. History has demonstrated this repeatedly, just ask Jack Philips.
      .
      The inevitable outcome will not be marriage equality, it will be destruction religious liberties, and the destruction of the institute of marriage.
      .
      If you really think this is about love, marriage, or equality, you are wrong. That may be the “title” of the legislation, but the outcome will be very different.

    • Definitely, but we first need to get our voter rolls cleaned up, then get rid of RCV. In that order, as with our voter roll mess there is an open door to ballot harvesting that we have to close. This also would tighten mail in voting which should be limited again to by request only. Until we clean up our elections we will likely stay where we are.

  6. In all honesty, you’re not the best source for information on how this legislation does nothing for the LGBTQ community. If your assertion were true, we’d see a chorus of LGBTQs making the same point.

  7. Pubic opinion has changed dramatically on this topic, even if your personal opinion has not. It’s not because a satanic, diabolical, liberal plot. It’s because more and more people have interacted with gay individuals and couples, and discovered that they work hard, love their spouses and children, and make good neighbors and coworkers. This familiarity leads to one conclusion – they’re just like us. Americans like to live and let live; you’re seeing it in action.

    • Like Mr. Stone above, you’re missing the point – the issue is not so much what consenting adults do – it is what the government is now telling us we can’t do… disagree.

    • And as predictable as the sunrise, Reliable Voter (sic) jumps in to defend the ‘woke’, so-called “progressive”, pro-establishment, pro-globalist, pro-social-deconstructionist, pro-radical leftist position and agenda.

      • The only globalists and pro-social-deconstructionists exist under your tin foil hat. And, pro tip here, you should research appropriate use of (sic).

        • “The only globalists and pro-social-deconstructionists exist under your tin foil hat.”
          .
          Really, RV? There is no such thing as globalists? I guess I’ve just imagined the existence of the World Economic Forum, and the Davos summits, and most NGOS, and an almost endless list of admittedly and obviously globalist forces and institutions.
          .
          So you are not only maliciously disingenuous, but a blatant liar as well. Thank you for making that so abundantly clear.
          .
          Like every other radical leftist extremist, you just can’t help yourself from a wholesale denial of reality, and laughably attempting to gaslight others.

    • Has it really?

      The dramatic shift in such a short period is puzzling and not in tune with human nature.

      In the last decade there has been a massive push by media and advertising toward gay (in its many forms), and lately trans issues. Especially aimed at children.

      Exert enough pressure combined with saturation of media and peer pressure it’s easy to get people to say they support things they actually don’t.

      Or to take positions publicly they don’t privately to avoid censure or punishment.

      Plus it’s long proven people, especially younger ones, follow trends.

      It’s telling in the progressive states the rise of acceptance in these issues outstrips flyover states. Where it would be rewarded instead of shunned. Plainly put, in some places it’s trendy to have a trans kid or date interracially, or be gay.

      There is a condition called Social Contagion. It is in play here and has a long history of disrupting society for short periods.

      Time will tell.

      • It is pretty easy to get the illusion of mass workplace acceptance when HR is only a quick phone call or email away.

        I can personally say that their are plenty of people as repulsed by this degenerate behavior as has been in decades past. The thing we are witnessing is a propaganda blitz and the silencing of dissent through threat of social and professional repercussions.

        There is no acceptable excuse for voting in favor of this farcical legislation and no matter the mutilation done to our language ‘gay marriage’ is no more real than is a ‘pregnant man’.

  8. I wasn’t aware that mad myrna was 99% of the electorate in Alaska. All this time I thought it was the other way around.

  9. I won’t waste my time on repeating some very warranted comments on our two traitor Senators and will just express disgust by saying that we either have fixed Selections instead of honest Elections OR Alaska Voters are just plain stupid and deserve what the get !

  10. The furtiveness is a large part of the cunning behaviors they secretly cultivate. Straightforwardness is undesirable, anyway, to them.

  11. 70% of Americans support equal rights for the LBGTQ community. Sullivan’s amendments protect the 30% minority. This is the way a representative Democracy works.

  12. From a societal point, I’m against gay marriage for the same reason I’m against a single person becoming a parent: it’s not the best thing for raising a child. The BEST environment for a child to grow and develop successfully is in a home with a man and a woman, together (married) so that child draws from both parents. Like it or not, human history proves this. That being said, I understand that things in life happen like death, divorce, prison, military deployments, etc, that prevents this. Does that mean single parenthood should be illegal? Of course not, but we as a country should always hold up and support the BEST example of all things, especially raising our children.
    Consider the following points, specifically pertaining to this bill.
    – The US Constitution does not address marriage therefore it becomes a state issue, for each state to decide for itself.
    – Traditionally, marriage has been a religious/local function.
    – murkowski herself touted support for traditional marriage for the first few years after her coronation. Then magically switched to be pro gay marriage.
    – ol’ dan admits that there are problems with the bill as he was trying to add an amendment. But then voted in support of the bill anyways.
    – If you were outraged by the lawsuit against the baker that refused to make a cake for the gay couple, grab some Tums, ’cause we’re just getting started.
    Bad bill for various reasons. Bad senators for SO MANY reasons.

  13. I’ll be signing any petition to repeal RCV and rid the judicial process of allowing the “Alaska Judiciary Council” ANY vote on ANY part of the judicial selection process.
    My community turned blue, my TWO assembly MISrepresentatives do not listsn to any of us, to their constituents.
    My city turned blue, my legislative senator MISrepresentative does not listen to any of us, to their constituents. [email protected]#$ing Matt Claman, dont get me started….
    My state turned blue, both the federal senators and the POS congressmember are MISrepresentating us and CLEARLY do not listen to any of us, to their constituents.
    Our state turned blue even tho more conservatives voted in supposed conservatives.
    Great big middle finger in our faces from every one of them to every one of us.
    We no longer matter, deal with that Alaska.
    You dont vote, dont bitch.
    You vote these RINOs and Demoncrats in, you get what you deserve, i do not.

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