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Faith Groups: Add Religious Freedom to Marriage Equality Bill

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A variety of religious organizations signed on to a letter calling on the U.S. Senate to adopt a proposed amendment to the Respect for Marriage Act, with the amendment designed to allay concerns about implications for religious freedom if the act passes and writes marriage equality into federal law.“The amendment protects the right to believe as we choose while leaving intact the core mission of the legislation to respect marriages,” reads the letter, released Monday by a coalition, organized by the Interfaith Alliance, that includes Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh groups.

It is addressed to two of the Respect for Marriage Act’s lead sponsors, Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Susan Collins. Baldwin is a Democrat from Wisconsin, Collins a Republican from Maine.The act would make marriage equality federal law and therefore protect it from Supreme Court action, given that Justice Clarence Thomas has called for the overturning of Obergefell v.

Hodges, the 2015 high court ruling that struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage. It would also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which was struck down in the Obergefell and Windsor v.

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