Senate Rejects Religious Liberty
This is a dark day for religious freedom in America, but we must not be discouraged. We have done what we can. The rest is up to the Lord.
From The Epoch Times. A bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate approved the Respect for Marriage Act on Tuesday after rejecting on close votes a trio of detailed amendments that sponsors claimed were required to protect the right of religious freedom of practice and expression.
On a count of 61 to 36, the majority—including 49 Democrats and 12 Republicans—adopted a measure approved by the House of Representatives in July and that President Joe Biden has promised to sign. The House still must OK the Senate’s minor revisions of the original proposal.
The vote on the controversial proposal capped a series of procedural hurdles requiring at least 60 votes that proponents overcame with support from the chamber’s 50 Democrats and the dozen Republicans who supported final passage.
The dozen Republican senators were Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, and Sen. Todd Young of Indiana.
Late Monday during a lengthy roll call on a cloture motion to limit debate, three of the dozen GOP senators supporting the bill withheld their votes until proponents agreed to allow floor votes on amendments offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Each of the proposed amendments was designed to ease the threats posed by the proposal to religious freedom.
Throughout the debate on the proposal, opponents claimed the bill will inflict profound damage on freedom of religion, including after proponents accepted an amendment they said would remedy such fears.
In an impassioned floor speech delivered before the voting began on the amendments, Lankford asked, “Is today about respecting the rights of all, or about silencing some and respecting others?” …
Lankford’s amendment needed only a simply majority, but was defeated on a 45-52 vote. No Democrat supported it, while Republicans Portman, Collins, and Murkowski voted against it.
The Lee amendment gained the support of all 12 of the GOP supporters of the proposal but the only Democrat to support it was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The amendment thus failed on a 48-49 count. The Rubio amendment failed on a 48-to-49 vote.
Baldwin said the amended proposal is needed to “give the millions of Americans in same-sex and interracial marriages the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages.” …
Not voting were Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).
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(Excerpt from The Epoch Times. Photo Credit: MIKE STOLL on Unsplash)
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