Same-Sex Marriage Is Next

So you don’t have a uterus, and you don’t care about the Supreme Court’s decision striking down Roe v. Wade? Better hope you aren’t a member of the LGBTQ community, either–because gay folks are now in the line of fire, per Talking Points Memo.

After passing the House with the support of 47 Republicans, the Respect for Marriage Act, which would protect marriage rights for same-sex couples if the Supreme Court were to overturn its 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, faces much dimmer prospects in the Senate. There is one reason why: the Christian right still controls the Republican Party. Movement leaders know it took 50 years to reverse Roe, and are committed to a similar strategy to undermine and eventually overturn Obergefell. With abundant clues in the Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe that LGBTQ rights could be next on the chopping block, it is unimaginable that movement leaders would sink that goal by allowing this bill to become law.

Republican senators are keenly aware of this. That is why South Dakota’s John Thune and Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy accused Democrats of introducing the bill to distract from inflation. It is why Florida’s Marco Rubio called it “a stupid waste of time,” and claimed gay Floridians are “pissed off” about something else — high gas prices. And it is why Maine’s Susan Collins, who was one of the bill’s four original Republican supporters, came up with the laughing-crying emoji argument that, because Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) had struck a surprise deal on Democratic legislative priorities late last month, she would struggle to win fellow Republicans’ support for the marriage bill. “[I]t was a very unfortunate move that destroys the many bipartisan efforts that are under way,” she told HuffPost.

The article went on to document the “avalanche of opposition” to the bill from the Christian Right that effectively controls today’s GOP.

The Family Research Council Action began calling the bill the “(Dis)Respect for Marriage Act” before it even reached the House floor, and pointed to the provision in the party’s   platform (back when the GOP still bothered with such things) that states, “[t]raditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values.”

FRC Action also ginned up fear among its members by alleging that the bill would be used to persecute them and take away their religious freedom. (I remind readers that–in Christian Nationalist language, “religious freedom” is defined as freedom to impose their fundamentalist  Christianity on everyone else.)

It reminded them that in the 1970s, the IRS revoked the tax exemption of the segregationist, fundamentalist Christian Bob Jones University over its racist policies, suggesting, despite the fact that it hasn’t happened in the seven years since Obergefell, that universities and nonprofits that oppose marriage equality could face a similar fate. The American Family Association called the bill “an Orwellian attempt to pretend that the Court’s very recent discovery of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage is not controversial and offensive to many people around the country.” The Heritage Foundation called it a “publicity stunt” aimed at “tak[ing] the spotlight off progressives’ radical policies and paint conservatives as bigots — and all this conveniently before the midterm elections.”

Ever since Justice Alito’s dishonest framing in Dobbs, I have warned that his attack on the doctrine of substantive due process–the doctrine that certain matters are none of government’s business–threatens numerous rights beyond abortion. If a woman no longer has the right to choose abortion, what about choosing to use birth control? What prevents government from decreeing that same-sex marriage erodes “the foundation for a free society?”

As Talking Points Memo concluded,

It’s crucial not only to understand what Christian nationalism is as an ideology, but to understand how right-wing operatives have attained the power to subvert democratic structures and democratic values in order to make it the core of anti-majoritarian rule. The opposition to the Respect for Marriage Act is an object lesson in how that power works. Christian right operatives and lawyers argue that America is a Christian nation, that Christians’ right to practice their religion must be protected from secular, progressive incursions like constitutional rights for LGBTQ people, and that it is the duty of judges and government officials to ensure that these “biblical” values are secured. With a sympathetic majority on the Supreme Court and a razor-thin Democratic majority in the Senate with filibuster rules favorable to conservatives, the Christian right has every incentive to deploy this power. And because Republicans no longer have an alternative base upon which to build a coalition, they will continue to relent.

Voting Blue has never been more important.


  1. What amazes me is some women still support the GOP. Some gays are centrists. POC also votes for GOP.

    And now they are all screaming at me to vote blue because they are getting ready to lose rights that were a stretch, to begin with, because they keep electing centrist democrats or republicans.

    In most elections, they say the Left and Right fringe causes all the problems. LOL

    Who do they think is fighting for their rights? LOL

    They’ve been playing this game for 40 years as the country keeps ratcheting further and further to the right.

    Will progressives bail them out in November? Will young people support Dems in November?

    Will Charlie Brown trust Lucy and take off running to kick the ball one more time? LOL

  2. Iam proud to say that, in replying to various ultra-right wing groups’ candidate questionnaires, I have done my best to receive the lowest-possible approval ratings. Compound questions have been an impediment – if I say “yes” or “no” it could be implied that I support Christo-fascism to some minute degree – in all but one. On that one I received a telephone call from Eric Miller. I believe his PAC for this election is Advance America. He introduced himself, said the group had not received my response to its questionnaire (I didn’t point out that I had answered the questions in my blog & on Twitter). So he read the questions to me and I answered. It is my fervent hope that my seven answers of “No” garnered me the lowest-possible rating. If not, I’ll ask for a re-do.

  3. Well, they’ve pissed off at least 50% of the women in the country with their loss of rights and coming after “the gays” is going to piss off the rest of left leaning thinkers. They really are the party of “Stupid” and I can’t wait to see their demise this November. ROE your vote!

    The arrest of 45 will cause “parties” in the streets, not violence.

  4. Let’s concentrate on the most important word in that bill, “Respect…”! Republicans have lost all semblance of “Respect” for the rights of all people and the meaning of what America stands for. The age-old term “Politics makes for strange bed-fellows.” has taken on new meaning as they have chosen to share beds with the criminal faction on a national level and have forced their way uninvited into the beds of American citizens and want to rule the most intimate areas of our lives.

    “Voting Blue has never been more important.”

  5. Oh the irony in the AFA using the word “Orwellian”.

    I propose the use of a new word to describe their world-view, and I haven’t seen it used before:


    My shortest reply ever. You’re welcome.

  6. Back in the 90s, I used to listen to Focus on the Family at night. I was a single mom at the time and Dr. Dobson was known for giving parental advice, suggestions for discipline and even recipe planning for us working moms. The show was mostly benign in nature when suddenly he began a campaign against LGBTQ people. This was about the same time that my evangelical church began talking about how the gays were endangering their rights to marriage.
    What was more astonishing was the hatred in their voices when discussing people who Jesus clearly loved and God made in His image.
    I turned off Dobson and never went back to that church.
    Love one another, my arse!

  7. The following line in today’s column stands out as a perfect example of chutzpah.

    “The American Family Association called the bill ‘an Orwellian attempt to pretend that the Court’s very recent discovery of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage is not controversial and offensive to many people around the country.’”

    Fascinating, for two reasons. First, the reference to Orwell is misplaced. Orwell would have recognized that the Christian Right organizations are based on the same principles that “Big Brother” used in running his country. Second, the reference to the bill being offensive to many people seems equivalent to a hydrant pissing on a dog.

    Obergefell filled a need that the so-called “Christians” do not recognize, so they feel that the bill deprives them of the right to discriminate against other people. Where, O where in the New Testament does Jesus express similar feelings?

  8. I believe that the most important thing we can do is to address the immediate crisis, which is the overturning of our system of government. Some of you will be surprised that I haven’t always voted Democratic and I hope to return to a time when that doesn’t seem as necessary as it does today. I recall being hit on the head and cursed at by a little old lady with her umbrella because I signed a petition to allow the Communist party a place on the ballot.

    I prefer contests of ideas, not personalities, but I’m also a realist. The GQP poses a clear and present danger to this nation. The ONLY way to eliminate that danger is to emphatically reject the party in the next two elections and the only way to do that is to vote blue. So count me in.

  9. The founders would be appalled at the use of government to impose, as opposed to allowing, different cultures on unwilling citizens. That’s what Republicans are all about, that’s what tyranny is all about.

    In other words, it’s about one size fits all. Everyone alike. There is certainly ample experience among the human race of what cookie-cutter culture is like. Look to the Middle East.

  10. Single flashpoint issues with a microphone distract from the far more important larger platform to address what is right for our nation. Focus rather on the comprehensive platform of the Democrat Party. This is what we are for when we vote Blue:

    Protecting Americans and recovering from the COVID 19 pandemic

    Building a stronger fairer economy

    Achieving universal, affordable, quality healthcare

    Protecting communities and building trust by reforming our criminal justice system

    Healing the soul of America

    Combating the climate crisis and pursuing environmental justice

    Restoring and strengthening our democracy

    Creating a 21st Century immigration system

    Providing a world class education in every Zip Code

    Renewing American leadership

    Click on the link above for more details. Vote what you are for … not what you are against.

  11. Norris,

    What a joke! You wave that in front of most voters and their eyes would roll completely over. What a bunch of vague homilies that the party has done little to address in the last 2 years. This list is EXACTLY why minorities and young people are less apt to vote. How about a pragmatic list with things like:

    – a path to citizenship for “The Dreamers”
    – a “no fly, no buy” gun safety law
    – reducing subsidies for factory farms
    – reducing subsidies for fossil fuel producers
    – providing transparency for “dark money” political contributions

    Don’t make me gag with a list of “elite” dreams.

  12. Hypocrites + Christians=Hypochristians. There it is, about as simple as you can get.

    The actions of these so-called Christian leaders surely are not anything at all what I was taught that Jesus would do.

    I agree with AgingGirl that the arrest of 45 would surely tamp down this idiocy. Cut off the head of the snake is necessary.

  13. Lester — thank you for illustrating the concept of a “circular firing squad”.

    Your attack on Norris was uncalled for and shows why Dems have trouble getting the message out there. What’s the point in attacking someone with essentially the same views and aspirations? Save your vitriol for the GOP talking points.

    And BTW — Are you a person of color? And how old are you that you think you know why “minorities and young people are less apt to vote” Show your bona fides.

  14. the christians right to practice their religion. who the hell ever said they cant..where is the right to be a christian framed in the constitution ,bill of rights,etc? where is it that I, have to be a christian in America to live under the rights (or lack of)given to me by my goverment? how does this christian religion become a goverment,when seperation of state and church is my right? i grew up in a catholic home. school, check, aunt was a nun,check, i dont believe in any of it. wheres my right to be free from harm by a religious group whos bought (with greed and influence)a whole party that is part of our goverment, without a law to determine i must obey these testaments that deny my right to be free? do i get the same rights not to believe in a religion,especially theirs?
    for laughs i tuned into jimmy swags show, seems sonny is looking to fill some tight shoes.
    the words again,seem to only say,god is right send money now! what would they do if they never had a god to sponge off of and buy a republican party? shades of goebbels..

    please understand,if anyone wants to practice a religion,do as you please,and with devotion,and without fear. my own understanding of the god, isnt what many others believe.i hold the highest respect to others to follow and practice their religious beliefs,as long as its stays in their court.

  15. Within the last 20 years I have made the following observation to at least one priest and to several non-laity. If G-d made us in his image, both male and female, then doesn’t this make G-d bisexual??? With what we perceive as ALL the parts??

  16. Denise…our nearest primate relatives have all been observed having same-sex contacts. The zoo where I work has had several same-sex couples who were finally given an egg to raise because it was obvious they wanted one. Science is relevant here….not theism. And, as far as I know, theists say that their deity made all animals…so….apparently it’s NOT just our species with a fluctuating sexual identity.

  17. Lester — As I used to tell my middle schoolers — it’s not WHAT you said, it’s the WAY you said it.

  18. “Atwoodian!”works for me.
    The Xiain Nationalists want nothing but total control, have found the correct bed partner for that, will, and do,
    make up their own version of American history to “prove” the supposed validity of their POV, and that
    is the end of that story.
    VOTE BLUE!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Kathy M. – apologies, my “WAY” was not aimed at you, it was my frustration with the DEM party and their inept messaging which has materially enabled the GOP,

  20. Same sex marriage and abortion could not be more different. Public opinion has moved dramatically when it comes to same sex marriage. The debate over same sex marriage is over. As far as abortion goes, public opinion has barely budged in the nearly 50 years since Roe was handed down. We will still be debating abortion (okay, not me, but others) one hundred years from now. It’s an extremely divisive issue with both sides having legitimate positions. One can’t say the same regarding same sex marriage.

  21. Paul, just a quick note. We have been debating Roe while a majority of Americans wanted it to remain as law. They still do. It should be much harder to change something that a majority thinks is necessary (i.e. choice and the autonomy to make our own decisions about what to do with our own bodies), than to eliminate the right to marriage for gays and lesbians. Don’t believe for a minute that the newfound popularity of LGBTQ couples will keep it legal. SCOTUS has proven that they will do what ever they want, regardless of law, Constitutionality, or popularity.

  22. Well, isn’t this fun.

    An old plank in the Republican Party’s platform (from back when they actually had a platform) stated “[t]raditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values.”

    Okay, let’s take a look at the tradition of millennia. Just a small sample:

    David married Michal, the daughter of King Saul. 1 Samuel 18:27.

    Michal, while still married to David, was then married off to Paltiel. 1 Samuel 25:44

    And then David got Michal back. 2 Samuel 3:14

    David also married Abigail (who had been married to Nabal, but what the heck). 1 Samuel 25:42

    David also married Ahinoam. 1 Samuel 25:43

    “David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. ” 1 Samuel 27:3

    Oh, and then Maakah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah. 2 Samuel 3:2-5

    Don’t forget Bathsheba, who was inconveniently married to Uriah when David conceived a son with her. 2 Samuel 11:2-5

    We won’t even mention Jonathan. 1 Samuel 18:1-4

    Some of David’s other wives and concubines were forgettable enough that their names were not recorded – though the names of the children born were:

    “Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of hit people Israel. After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet.” 2 Samuel 5:12-16

    It is not historically accurate to pretend that “marriage between one man and one woman” has been the model for millennia. Utah had some different opinions not all that long ago. Still does down in southern parts of the state.

    It is a wee bit deceitful for Bible-thumpers to ignore what the Bible actually says, and instead pretend it says what they want it to say.

  23. Thank you slipstream for reminding us of King David’s sexual voyage through women. That’s just one multi-faceted example of why book banners should be careful what they wish for. If they are fair about it, book banning groups will have to ban the Holy Bible in school libraries due to all its sex, violence, deceipt, torture, enslavement, satanic stories, etc.

    Yes some Christians are very selective in the Bible passages they exalt and censor. They want to insulate their families from anything with which they disagree. Instead of world-proofing their child, they want to childproof the world. While most parents try to protect their children from negative influences, I fear that ‘childproofing’ by some Christians is constrained by their biblical selectivity. Nowhere does Jesus condemn homosexuality, but Clarence Thomas and Christian nationalists seem not to have noticed.

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