Sen. Sullivan sends lengthy explanation to Alaska faith leaders about his ‘aye’ vote on gay marriage bill

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Sen. Dan Sullivan, who was under pressure from faith leaders and conservatives in Alaska to vote against the mislabeled “Respect for Marriage Act,” sent a several-page letter to ministers. In it, he says the vote to affirm the act on Tuesday was one of the most challenging votes of his career, but he feels the act protects religious liberties.

The text of his letter to faith leaders is presented below:


I am writing to provide context on the Respect for Marriage Act (the bill or RMA), whichpassed in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 61 to 36 and is currently being considered in the House. I appreciate the calls, letters, and emails many of you sent. This has been one of the most challenging votes I have taken since I took office eight years ago and your input has been critical throughout the last several weeks. My team and I have spent countless hours researching this bill, listening to your ideas on how to improve it, and working with my colleagues to do just that. As a result, unlike the House bill, the Senate bill is fundamentally more about promoting and expanding religious liberty protections than same-sex marriage.

Out of respect for you and the issues you have raised, my team and I have put together a detailed document to provide context to my vote and many provisions of this bill, particularly as they relate to religious liberties and legal protections for religious institutions that hold traditional views of marriage.

  1. The RMA Includes Strong Additional Religious Liberty and Conscience Protections for Religious Organizations and the Millions of Americans who Believe in Traditional Marriage.While I’ve long held that marriage should be an issue left up to the states, the Supreme Court nationalized the issue in the 2015 Obergefell vs. Hodges decision. Although I disagreed with Obergefell, I said then that I would respect the Court’s decision, but would also continue to fight for, respect, and defend the religious liberty of all Americans. Since that time, I’ve worked hard to keep this commitment. In the last several weeks, I have worked relentlessly to include in this bill considerable advances in much stronger religious liberty protections for millions of Americans. Additionally, I continued this fight for religious liberty protections on the Senate floor, where I was ultimately successful in forcing votes on three additional religious liberty amendments from Senators Lee, Lankford, and Rubio during debate on this bill. This was a commitment I made to several Alaskans.Because of Obergefell, same-sex marriage is taking place in every state in the country, which would continue whether this bill passed or not. This bill, as amended in the Senate, codifies and maintains the status quo under the Obergefell decision, but importantly enshrines additional religious liberty protections and racial equality protections that previously were not in federal statute and were not included in the Obergefell decision—particularly for organizations that support traditional marriage.As amended in the Senate, the bill includes statutory changes that significantly extend religious liberty and conscience protections, including:
  • Affirming explicit Congressional support for traditional marriage supporters that they and their beliefs are decent and honorable, which can be cited as national policy in any future litigation cases where plaintiffs might try to wrongly equate traditional beliefs about marriage as akin to racism (See below in Section IV for further explanation of this important issue);(2)(2) “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.”
  • Directing courts that nothing in the bill diminishes current statutory religious liberties or conscience protections, including, of course, under the First Amendment and the important protections in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA);(6)(a) “Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to diminish or abrogate a religious liberty or conscience protection otherwise available to an individual or organization under the Constitution of the United States or Federal law.”
  • Protecting the rights of religious and social services organizations who believe in traditional marriage, including educational institutions, and their employees from being required to host, participate in, or accommodate in any way same-sex wedding ceremonies;(6)(b) “Consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution, nonprofit religious organizations, including churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, religious educational institutions, and nonprofit entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion, and any employee of such an organization, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.”
  • Protecting nonprofit religious organizations—including churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, nondenominational ministries, interdenominational and ecumenical organizations, mission organizations, faith-based social agencies, religious educational institutions, and nonprofit entities whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion—and any employee of such an organization, from being sued for choosing not to accommodate or participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies; and“Any refusal under this subsection [(6)(b) above] to provide such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges shall not create any civil claim or cause of action.”
  • Preventing the federal government from discriminating or retaliating against religious organizations that hold a traditional view of marriage by taking away any benefit, right, or status—including tax-exempt status, grants, loans, or educational accreditation, among others. (7)(a) “No Impact on Status and Benefits Not Arising From a Marriage — Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to deny or alter any benefit, status, or right of an otherwise eligible entity or person which does not arise from a marriage, including tax-exempt status, tax treatment, educational funding, or a grant, contract, agreement, guarantee, loan scholarship, license or certification, accreditation, claim or defense.”
    1. Major Faith Groups and Religious Liberty Advocates that Believe in Traditional Marriage Strongly Support the Religious Liberty and Conscience Protections in the RMA.A number of prominent religious groups that strongly support, practice, and teach traditional marriage as one of their core beliefs also strongly support the religious liberty protections in the RMA, and view such protections as significant advancements in federal law for their churches, synagogues, and members. For example, the President of the National Association of Evangelicals, Walter Kim, states that this bill “will produce the first significant bipartisan legislation in many years advancing religious freedom for all, including for those who hold traditional views on marriage.”Additionally, leadership from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, AND Campaign, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, Center for Public Justice, and 1st Amendment Partnership, jointly wrote that the Senate version of the RMA “adequately protects the core religious freedom concerns raised by the [House version of the] bill, including tax-exempt status, educational funding, government grants and contracts, and eligibility for licenses, certification, and accreditation. If passed, it would continue to build on the congressional wisdom represented by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).”The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) also favors this bill because of the religious liberty protections it includes. CCCU institutions are sincere Christian educational institutions that adhere to Biblical values and teach that the Biblical understanding of marriage, between one man and one woman, is an essential foundation for a thriving society. CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra writes, “[T]his carefully crafted [bill] includes both strong religious liberty language … and non-retaliation language that ensures this legislation cannot be used by state and federal agencies to punish religious organizations for their sincerely held beliefs.” Stanley Carlson-Thies, Founder of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, and Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice, wrote, “We regard adoption of the Act as the best opportunity since the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (2000) for Congress to safeguard religious freedom with Democratic support. The amended RMA . . . add[s] to the U.S. Code new protections for religious freedom in the context of marriage equality.”Additionally, prominent religious liberty advocates also support the religious liberty protections in this bill. This includes Douglas Laycock, a prominent professor of law and religion at the University of Virginia, who has testified frequently before Congress and has argued many cases in the courts, including serving as lead counsel in six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Laycock, along with three other First Amendment professors stated that they “believe the religious liberty protections in RMA are meaningful and important even if not comprehensive.” They emphasize that religious liberty protections have failed to become law regardless of which political party is in the majority. Their observation is correct—even under the Trump Administration, with a Republican House and Republican Senate, legislation I cosponsored similar to the Lee amendment could not get enacted into law. 
    2. Progress is Being Made on Important Religious Liberty Issues Not Addressed in the Bill.Despite support from the religious groups mentioned above, not all prominent religious organizations and faith groups support this bill—some prominent examples are the Conference of Catholic Bishops, Family Research Council, and Alliance Defending Freedom. These organizations and others raise a number of criticisms about the bill, the most common of which is that it does not go far enough to protect all important religious liberty issues currently under debate in our nation. This is a legitimate and understandable concern. For that reason, I pressed my Senate colleagues to ensure that amendments offered by Senators Lee, Lankford, and Rubio each received a vote on the Senate floor. I have cosponsored bills that mirror the religious liberty and conscience protections offered in these amendments. As I committed in 2015 when the Supreme Court issued the Obergefell decision, I will continue to fight for, defend, and attempt to broaden the religious liberty and conscience protections of all Americans.At the same time, this bill does not do anything to undermine religious liberty issues where there has been recent progress due to the significant number of federal judges, including Supreme Court Justices, added to the federal judiciary who have a principled view of the importance of First Amendment religious liberty protections in our constitutional order. While the bill is silent, for example, as to religious protections for for-profit wedding vendors, existing law protecting wedding vendors under the First Amendment Free Exercise clause continues to be the law of the land. A prominent example of this protection is the Masterpiece Cake Shop case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held in 2018 in a 7-2 decision that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s conduct in evaluating a cake shop owner’s reasons for declining to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violated the Free Exercise Clause.Likewise, this bill does nothing to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Fulton vs. City of Philadelphia, which interpreted the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause in favor of religious liberty for foster care agencies. In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a unanimous decision (9-0) that the refusal of Philadelphia to contract with Catholic Social Services (CSS) for the provision of foster care services unless CSS agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
    3. The RMA Also Addresses Interracial Marriage and the Bob Jones University vs. United States Precedent that had the Potential to Threaten Religious Institutions.The bill also codifies the federal legality of interracial marriages,[1] while expressly protecting the views of religious organizations and individuals who believe in traditional marriage from being wrongly labeled as akin to racists. This is an extremely important aspect of this bill. In the aftermath of Obergefell, one of the biggest risks to religious liberties for all organizations and institutions that believe in traditional marriage is that the federal government might go after them and specifically after their tax-exempt status for their beliefs on traditional marriage.In my view, this is a very significant concern because of the precedent of the 1982 Supreme Court decision in Bob Jones University vs. United States.[2] That was a case in which Bob Jones University lost its tax-exempt status due to its policy of prohibiting interracial marriages and interracial dating. While very few argued that the decision was incorrect, it has been feared that that case would be used as precedent to remove tax-exempt status from educational and other religious institutions that do not support same-sex marriage. Indeed, during the Supreme Court oral argument on Obergefell in 2015, President Obama’s Solicitor General stated that a religious institution losing its tax-exempt status because of its belief in traditional marriage was “going to be an issue.” This comment made seven years ago has been cause for alarm for religious institutions that believe in traditional marriage, especially because there have not been protections for religious organizations’ tax-exempt status in statute. Chief Justice Roberts also highlighted this very real concern in his dissent in Obergefell: “Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.”[3]This bill directly addresses this problem. The RMA shuts the door to any group wrongly trying to use the Bob Jones precedent to take away the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that believe and practice traditional marriage. First, this bill includes an express provision prohibiting the federal government from discriminating or retaliating against religious organizations that hold a traditional view of marriage by denying eligibility for or right to federal benefits, rights, accreditation, legal claims or defenses, or tax-exempt status.(7)(a) “No Impact on Status and Benefits Not Arising From a Marriage.—Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to deny or alter any benefit, status, or right of an otherwise eligible entity or person which does not arise from a marriage, including tax-exempt status, tax treatment, educational funding, or a grant, contract, agreement, guarantee, loan scholarship, license or certification, accreditation, claim or defense.”Second and importantly, this bill also expressly affirms that traditional marriage supporters and their beliefs are decent and honorable. This establishes a clear, congressionally explicit national policy that can be cited in all future cases where an opponent wrongly alleges that traditional beliefs about marriage are as unacceptable in the United States as racism or bigotry. Instead, the United States’ official statement on traditional beliefs (and other beliefs) about marriage is provided in the RMA, which states: (2)(2) “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.”
    4. The RMA Expressly Prohibits Federal Recognition of Polygamy.There have been some concerns that the original House version of the RMA, which was flawed in many ways, would open the door for polygamy. While polygamy is illegal in every jurisdiction of the United States, the Senate version expressly addresses this issue by stating that the federal definition of marriage is between two individuals and valid in the State where lawfully entered. (5)(a) “For the purposes of any Federal law, rule, or regulation in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual’s marriage is between 2 individuals and is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into.”Further, the bill includes an express provision that the language of the RMA cannot be used to require or authorize federal recognition of a polygamous marriage. (7)(b) “No Federal Recognition of Polygamous Marriages.—Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to require or authorize Federal recognition of marriages between more than 2 individuals.”
    5. State Law Sovereignty over the Definition of Marriage Remains and is Respected.As noted above, because of Obergefell, same-sex marriage is taking place in every state in the country, which would continue whether this bill passed or not. Obergefell also ensured that regardless of the definition of marriage one state may have, that state must give full faith and credit to same-sex marriages entered in other states.            In the very unlikely event that Obergefell is overturned in the future, this bill would not mandate that Alaska must undertake same-sex marriages or enact a new federal right to same-sex marriage. Instead, this bill would respect state laws, like Alaska’s constitutional provision defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and leave states the traditional sovereignty to set their own definition of marriage. If states have traditional marriage definitions, like Alaska, they would no longer be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. If Obergefell were ever overturned, this bill would only require same-sex and interracial marriages lawfully entered in one state to be provided full faith and credit in the other states.[4]
    6. Conclusion.

I sincerely appreciate your engagement on this and other issues of concern. As many of you know, I have been fighting to strengthen religious liberty protections in statute since I arrived in Washington, D.C. 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. I would have liked more, but sincerely believe that the protections afforded in this bill are much better for America’s faith community than if the bill had not passed—especially as it relates to the Bob Jones University concern explained above.

As noted above, in the last several weeks, my team and I have spent dozens of hours researching, listening to and meeting with Alaskans, and pressing my Senate colleagues for improvements to this bill that was received from the House completely devoid of religious liberty protections. I have fully considered and taken to heart your input, questions, concerns, and admonitions. The Alaska faith community, of which I consider myself a part, was especially gracious in speaking with me about the importance of a Biblical view of marriage. In response, I committed to ensuring the bill included the strongest religious liberty protections that could be agreed upon in order to protect the right to teach and practice these sincere religious views. That commitment included my insisting that the Lee, Lankford, and Rubio amendments received a vote when they would otherwise have not made it to the Senate floor for consideration.

Nevertheless, I realize that many in Alaska’s faith community were not supportive of this bill and my vote in support, including many from my own Catholic faith community. This is personally an uncomfortable place to be and is one of several reasons why this has been one of the most challenging and difficult votes of my Senate career. I recognize that people of good intentions can and do disagree strongly on this issue. But, in the final analysis, as a practicing Catholic and conservative, I agreed with the important conclusion of Walter Kim, the President of the National Association of Evangelicals, regarding the religious liberty protections included in this bill: “These are important, commonsense provisions that represent a significant contribution to strengthening the legal protections for those who [] believe that God designed marriage as an exclusive covenantal relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of creating strong families that in turn bless their community and nation. We cherish the freedom to preach, teach, and practice these core convictions, while respecting our fellow citizens who do not share these beliefs.” 

[1] In Loving vs. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), the U.S. Supreme Court held as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection clause Virginia’s state prohibition of interracial marriage. If Loving were somehow overturned, which is unimaginable, this bill would mandate that states recognize interracial marriage lawfully entered in other states. 

[2] Bob Jones University vs United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983).

[3] Obergefell vs. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644, 711 (2015) (Roberts, C.J., dissenting).

[4] This requirement mirrors the Full Faith and Credit provision in Article IV of the United States Constitution which reads: “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.” 

Sincerely,
 
Dan Sullivan
United States Senator 

Senator Sullivan’s letter to faith leaders:

62 COMMENTS

  1. My compliments to whomever wrote this excellent technical article. A testament to an enviable education. I’ll analyze it soon.

    • These weasel words were written by a professional obfusticating boot-licker. Senator Dan may have reviewed it before it was emailed, but he most certainly did not write it. The letter is designed to confuse opposition and try to retain the religious conservative voter base that has supported Senator Sullivan in the past. If Dan really thinks the unamended (yeah, Lee, Lankford, and Rubio – the ones Dan claims credit for forcing a vote on – FAILED) RFMA protects religious liberty he is seriously ignorant of the law and the courts. RFMA directs violations of RFMA to be handled through legal action. This legal action will have the effect of censoring opponents of the entire LGBT agenda, not just proponents of exclusive traditional marriage. There will be a flood of lawsuits and harassing lawfare. Eventually, SCOTUS will have to rule on this nonsense, but I’m not optimistic as to the outcome.

    • I sense your comment is sarcasm of the highest order. As an analogy, if the “enviable education” is a $200,000 Rolex watch, the above article is akin to throwing it into a Vitamix Blender and turning it to Frappe’.
      .
      The fact is, our government should have nothing to do with marriage or the birthing of children. These should be private matters between citizens. The tax code should have no consideration for marriage. Health insurance benefits should be negotiated as a private transaction between private parties. Government benefits should be negotiated with the recipients just like they would be between private parties. If people are too stupid to designate a representative for emergencies then it should default to the next nearest kin. A conservative senator would understand the intrusion of government into these matters is what is causing the controversy. Think, government gives, withholds, or takes free stuff based on your marriage status. Anyone who has ever raised children knows this is a formula guaranteed to create controversy.

      • agree –
        Marriage as a religious sanction, consummated by divine action, would NOT survive well under a State civil institution to be governed as such.
        .
        Thoughts to ponder
        “The real test of marriage, all down through the ages, has been that continuous intimacy which is inescapable in all family life. Two pampered and spoiled youths, educated to expect every indulgence and full gratification of vanity and ego, can hardly hope to make a great success of marriage and home building—a lifelong partnership of self-effacement, compromise, devotion, and unselfish dedication to child culture.”

  2. We are a Blue state now, thanks to the uninformed and stupid. Rank Choice Voting was voted in by these same people. Our congress delegation is doing as the please since they know that the voters are not paying attention. Senator Sullivian has made many bad decisions while in Washington DC. If I ever get to vote again before I die, it won’t be for him. But our votes don’t matter anymore!

  3. My neighbor is painting a fence. He has contracted with another neighbor to paint it for x dollars. I don’t like this. I want him to have my son paint it for y dollars. How can I estoppel this contract? I feel the need to interfere. Is this America, btw, or Swizieland, or possibly Great Britain since we’ve grown accustomed to GB Parliamentary ways?

  4. My bull just fell dead from diarrhea.

    You caved, Dan. Just admit it. You took a hard look at who bothers to vote in Alaska and pandered.
    So much for always faithful, except to yourself.

  5. I don’t see anything in Sullivan’s letter protecting the faith based baker, photographer, events host, those individuals who are targeted by the same people that you just voted to protect.
    Sullivan will be up for election in 2 years, we can’t have another Lisa in office for years and years. This liberals make it a priority to search out faith based businesses so they can be told no and sue them, people are getting tired of their lifestyle being pushed into our face and we need to just accept it.

    • Sorry, but we have to wait until 2026 to get rid of Ohio Dan.

      See, the Senate is elected to 6 year terms, Governors and Presidents are 4 year terms and the House is elected to 2 year terms.

      Since Ohio Dan won reelection in 2020, we have to wait until 2026

      • Doubt we can, we can’t get rid of lisa the machines won’t let us. These people don’t represent us! 70% of the nation is not happy with our direction yet the same people keep getting elected.

    • You repubs will line up behind him just like you did for Don Young. Don’t kid yourselves.
      Kudos to you Dan Sullivan for explaining the “why”. Still I am trying hard to find marriage in the US Constitution. Which enumerated power would I find marriage in?

    • Exactly. This bill leaves out the essential protection for those who do not want to be forced to communicate messages that violate their beliefs. It is NOT true to say that the Supreme Court holding Masterpiece Cake Shop provides that protection. The Supreme Court weazled out of a substantive holding by citing the animus of the Colorado Un-Civil Rights Commission.

  6. The GOP deserves to collapse and cease to exist. Faulty logic like this is why the base revolts against them every so often.

  7. That’s a lot of words to just say you caved in to the pedocrats and got zip in return.
    That’s some top notch Alaskan representation right there.

  8. Dan Sullivan:
    Your long-winded response that one of your staffers wrote for you, probably before you even voted, is full of disrespect for the very people who helped put you into office. Obviously, you hold a double placement of values, depending on which audience is being addressed. What are your core values, Dan? Is being a senator from Alaska just your professional title to get you into DC social circles? Or, are you afraid that disenfranchising yourself among the Democrats and progressives may make you look stupid among those peers?
    WHO ARE YOU, DAN? Really,……tell us.

    • Worthy questions Chrissy, after such a serious blunder. When you hear him speak in person, he really sounds like a conservative – but this brings that idea into question like no other blunder he has made previously.

  9. This guy has to write a letter for every decision he makes. At least it wasn’t whiney like the Haaland one. A simple “no” would have sufficed.

  10. Thank you for doing the actual journalism of publishing Sen Sullivan’s exact position and the reasoning thereof.

    Too many people have been reacting based on the alarmist, and often outdated and thus factually incorrect, interpretations of various pundits, most seeking attention and “clicks”, who refuse to address the issue in a calm, rational analysis of the legal and political basis of the issue in detail.

  11. To be clear, it is everyone’s right to disagree about such issues, both as a matter of Faith and of Law, but given it is in this case a question of Law the disagreement needs to be informed and rational disagreement on the precise legal matters involved. Not merely on one’s “feelings” in the manner of the “Progressive” Left.

  12. Why the explanations? If he actually believed what he wrote he wouldn’t try so hard to convince others. The letter simple showed other of his weakness and an even feebler excuses.
    There are very few politicians that stick by their principles.

    • Frank, you’re missing the whole sausage – the amendments failed. RFMA is not democracy, it is communist social engineering and censorship of any oppositions – we call that tyranny.

  13. I never had a sister, but I suppose if I did it would be nice to know that now I could legally marry her no matter what state law says. I do have a brother, and from reading this legislation it’s clear that my brother, his wife, and I could now marry; all 3 of us. And why not? For that matter, within ten years a guy will be able to marry his bird dog. Great that Congress and the White House can tackle priorities like this before they look at the federal deficit, inner city crime, inflation, and the like. Yes, we send these people back to Washington, and while it requires that they have 30 or 40 staffers there is just no telling what beneficial work they can accomplish given enough time and money. What a world!

  14. Funny I emailed Sullivan right after the passage to remind him he works for us, and I received the exact same back in the email return with the exception of the to change to my name versus Alaskan. Can you smell a weasel trying to cover his base with a predefined letter just ready to hit send when we the Alaska people send our disgust of his blatant disregard of the constituent’s views. I will fire back another e-mail to debunk all his claims that this will not affect our 1st Amendment rights.

  15. I give it a year before Biden’s IRS goes after BYU or Liberty University.
    Do as we say, or face our wrath.

    We voted for this hypocrite, Alaska. And RCV. This is on us.

  16. So, being anyone of the alphabet letter identifiers is now a religion? Two magnets with the same polarity repel. Marriage is between a male and female. Not by some self claimed sesame street want to Be’s

  17. Dan:
    I am a former Marine myself, so you will understand when I tell you that you have absolutely no honor. You claim to be a Marine and as such you swore to uphold the US Constitution and as a senator your job is to allow the proper functioning of the federal government (also as per the Constitution). Maybe you think you can explain why you even participated in this charade? After all, you tried to amend the bill to change some of the bad parts, but still voted for it when the amendment failed.This bill should never have even been considered as it is outside the US Constitution so falls to each state to address as they see fit. By becoming a federal law this, ‘law’ prevents me, as a private business owner/operator from simply choosing what customers I will or will not serve. Anywhere. Not just in a state that made the law for itself. Who do you think you are, telling me how to conduct my business?
    The only explanation I need to hear from you is how you sold out to the progressives. What did you gain from going against the needs of the state of Alaska?

  18. The not honorable senator is indeed a carpetbagging coward. An act of deception followed by a condescending effort to justify his action. Shame on him.

  19. No one should ever have to write a novel of this nature to justify their (un)righteous position. People will do and say anything in order to justify their sinful choices…in this case a vote.

  20. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof…” Dan Sullivan’s entire word salad is simply that… an excuse why he voted to make a law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Shame on him. This being said he seems to have a semblance of guilt left, as he felt it necessary to publish this letter, unlike Lisa Murkowski, who clearly feels immune to such pressures from her constituents.

  21. I give “Big Dan” an A++ for obfuscation! There is a lot there to “refine” to resolve any misgivings you may have. Why he’s in Washington, D.C., working on your behalf like all the rest of the bums in the “upper chamber!”

    While we parse his words, he chews away and belches during the dinners held in his honor!

    Load that fork, Dan, and make the most of your steak and lobster dinner! After dinner, slup down a bottle or two of Chateau d’Yquem! You deserve the easy life!

  22. Senator Sullivan, many many words, but what of Property Rights? The right to my labor and my person for example, am I now a criminal if I do not ply my trade for someone that I choose not to support in their lifestyle decision? If I cannot own my creativity or my energy and must now be forced to work for someone I do not wish to work for, am I not a Slave?

    I wish I could demand my hard earned dollars sent to you in your last contest for re-election back. Go to H E double golf sticks Sir.

  23. Our learned Senator Sullivan went to a lengthy literal obfuscation in his feeble attempt to defend a very bad decisional vote.

    He put considerable effort in preparing this b…s…. epistle.

    Sullivan clearly will spare no effort in defending himself. How about defending the J6 prisoners illegally held in illegal confinement. Now there is a real travesty of justice. But it goes on and on and is ignored by Sullivan although he is in a position to influence Silence and effort abound when it’s about me seems to be the Sullivan mantra.

    I too contributed to Sullivan’s initial senatorial election. Fool me once, but never twice.

  24. Our learned Senator Sullivan went to a lengthy literal obfuscation in his feeble attempt to defend a very bad decisional vote. He put considerable effort in preparing this b…s…. epistle. Sullivan clearly will spare no effort in defending himself. How about defending the J6 prisoners illegally held in illegal confinement. Now there is a real travesty of justice. But it goes on and on and is ignored by Sullivan although he is in a position to influence. Silence and effort abound when it’s about me seems to be the Sullivan mantra. I too contributed to Sullivan initial senatorial election. Fool me once, but never twice.

  25. Carl, you grasped the essence of Sullivan’s letter: it’ll go down in history as the Epistle of Dan to the Alaskan Heathens! So all is well in Sodom and Gomorrah, eh, Dan?

  26. “My hands are tied”, “we’re a nation of laws”, this is the path to despotism when, in the face of evil, good men do nothing.

    Dan everything you just wrote will be litigated in court. To get the answers and precedent there’ll be George Soros’ money on one side, the poor baker lady on the other.

    You’ve put us all in danger of lawfare and financial ruin for our beliefs just to keep that Federal money flowing to Alaska. Marriage is between a man and a woman. If you can’t say it, don’t pretend you believe it.

  27. Furthermore, regarding the Evangelical you spoke to who abdicated his responsibility when he said: “We cherish the freedom to preach, teach, and practice these core convictions, while respecting our fellow citizens who do not share these beliefs.”

    The number of ‘fellow citizens’ who ‘do not share our beliefs’ is growing because of legislation like this. If that continues and you are curious about where this leads, go to England where Christians are now a minority in their own country. Have a look at all the cameras and police required just to keep all those lovely multicultural religious and atheistic groups from being at each other’s throat. That’s the future. Tribalism. Christendom offered us a way out of it, now we’re going backwards.

    If you were a real Catholic you would have listened to your pastor.

  28. Dan’s membership in the “Gang of 12, or 19”, aligns him with the Socialist Agenda, working against Alaskan’s and American’s interests. “Gangs of 8, Czars, Binding Caucasus, Omnibus Bills/CR’s and so on – MUST BE REPLACED WITH REGULAR ORDER GOVERNMENT, BUDGET AND OVERSIGHT. Dan should resign, but objective evidence shows he’s bought and sold – and NOT to Alaskan or American FREEDOM & LIBERTY.

  29. Sullivan brags that he was successful in forcing votes on three amendments, what he doesn’t tell you is that they all failed. I won’t support Sullivan again.
    ‘https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/11/29/senate-rejects-lee-religious-liberty-amendment-passes-so-called-respect-for-marriage-act/

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