Senator Young, you betrayed us
This week, a bill we’ve been warning about for months, the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act”, was put forward in the Senate. This bill threatens religious liberty, and strips the states of the right to set policy regarding marriage. This bill, if passed, will lead to increased persecution of Christians in America.
There weren’t enough Democrats in the Senate to get the bill to the floor. They needed 60 votes, with only 50 Democrats. They needed 10 Republicans to back the bill, or it would fail. They didn’t get 10, they got 12.
12 Republicans crossed the floor to support this bill, redefining marriage, and removing it from its biblical context at the Federal level. If you pay close attention to the Senate, most of the Senators that crossed the aisle were names you’d expect. Republicans from deep blue states, or with a history of a more libertarian streak on social issues.
The name that shocked everyone was Todd Young.
Back in April, Todd Young won the “True Blue” award from the Family Research Council for his steadfast defense of life, and his unwavering support of the family.
He no longer deserves that award. He has failed Indiana.
He ran for re-election on a Pro-Family message, and just days after securing his seat for the next 6 years, he betrayed his constituents. He went back on his established track record, and voted for a bill that endangers the religious freedom of Hoosiers, and in fact, all Americans.
This is a painful betrayal, because unlike many Senators, Senator Young had actually walked the walk. Even in cases where he wasn’t quite as strong as we would have liked, he always defended the idea that the states have the right to set their own policy on issues like this. He caved on an issue that he knows Hoosiers care deeply about.
He walked across the aisle to stand with Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden, and voted to make Hoosiers more vulnerable to punitive lawsuits while undermining the values that he campaigned on.
When we cut through the language of this bill, what it really does is repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and enshrine same-sex marriage in federal statute. This would be bad enough if it was merely a symbolic gesture…attempting to appease the GLBT activist community by lifting up what the Bible calls “sexual immorality” as a moral model for the nation of what marriage should be.
However, as bad as that is, the damage is much more significant. Why are bakers and florists and creative professionals being attacked and held up in court for years? Why are teachers being fired because they won’t participate in promoting GLBT values? Why do schools feel emboldened to teach kindergartners that their parents lied to them about their gender? Why do so many faith based institutions feel constantly under attack because of their loyalty to biblical principles?
The legal foundation for all of these attacks on free speech and religious liberty started with the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through the US Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. DOMA protected marriage as the union exclusively between one man and one woman within federal statute. The Obergefell decision not only overturned DOMA, it also mandated same-sex marriage nationwide.
By creating this newly found right to same-sex marriage within the US Constitution, the US Supreme Court set the stage for attacks on all those who hold a Biblical view of human sexuality.
Justice Alito predicted this in 2014 within his dissent:
“It [the Obergefell decision) will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy….I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”
That is exactly what has happened, and more, in the intervening years.
That brings us back to Indiana Senator Todd Young’s vote. Despite the rhetoric you are hearing on this bill, what he actually did (along with 11 Republican colleagues) was to codify the basis for all of these attacks on free speech and religious liberty within federal law. Whenever our liberties are under attack by those who want to shut us down and shut us up, they will use this law as their sword. Obergefell opened the door to persecution, this law will guarantee it. Just like the flowery religious liberty language within the Obergefell decision did nothing to stem the persecution that flowed forth from that decision, persecution is here to stay thanks to Senator Young and this new law. The flowery language voicing protection for religious liberty in this bill will do nothing.
Senator Young has guaranteed that the suffering that people of faith have endured under Obergefell will increase. The Left will be emboldened to attack more people like Baronnelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips simply for attempting to live their lives according to biblical principles.
The final vote on this bill has not yet occurred in the United States Senate. Please encourage Sen. Young to reconsider. If it does pass the Senate a concurrence vote will need to occur in the Nancy Pelosi controlled House.
To let Senator Young know how you feel, click here to send him a message.