‘Respect for Marriage Act’ would codify child-bride marriages into federal law | Eastern North Carolina Now | Will also force every state to honor child-bride marriages

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By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
August 10, 2022

Liberty Counsel (LC), a national religious liberty organization, is still sounding the alarm about HR 8404 – The Respect for Marriage Act. The legislation, which would codify same-sex marriage into federal law, is still pending in the U.S. Senate and could be voted on at any time.

Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, contacted the offices of U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to urge them to oppose the bill. Burr has not responded, and Tillis said he would support the measure.

“This is an exceedingly dangerous bill. Same-sex marriage is already legal in America because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges,” said Rev. Creech. “But the only thing the people’s representatives have voted on is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which sought to protect the traditional definition of marriage several years ago. Sadly, the High Court erroneously ruled DOMA unconstitutional. HR 8404 would repeal DOMA, which is still in federal law, and not only codify marriage as between two adults of the same sex, but it would do even more – much more.”

Liberty Counsel reports:

“The bill goes way beyond forcing every state to honor same-sex marriage. It will also force every state to honor child-bride marriages – a practice so radical that even Saudi Arabia has outlawed it. But it continues right here in America…

“Between 2000 and 2015, there were 207,459 minor marriages in America, and that number does not include full data from all 50 states. Twelve-year-old children were given marriage licenses in three states (A.K., LA and S.C.). Thirteen-year-olds were given the green light to marry in 14 additional states.

“Many other states, including California, have NO age limits for how old a young girl can be! In Alabama, a 14-year-old was married off to a 74-year-old. That’s a 60-year gap!

“This [HR 8404] should be called the “Child-Rape Authorization Act”…

“It will also force all 50 states to recognize and honor ANY other twisted definition of marriage that a state, territory, or ‘possession’ of the federal government can envision in the future (like father-son incestuous ‘marriages’).

“Make no mistake about where this bill will end up. The goal is to abolish marriage by deconstructing it. If this bill is passed, a minor strikethrough of ‘2’ will force polygamy and polyamory on the states.”

Rev. Creech said it’s critically important to understand what this bill actually does.

“States typically recognize each other’s marriage licenses. But so far, states have had discretion about what they will recognize and what they won’t. Nothing has been mandated by the federal government for recognition except same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges and interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, said Rev. Creech. “But this legislation would authorize and codify into federal law that even child-bride marriages must be recognized in every state. Think of the problems that will arise. There is no telling where this will take us. This is so wrong – so crazy – so immoral! When we were fighting to prevent same-sex marriage from being legalized, the Christian Action League repeatedly warned about these possible scenarios.”

In August of last year, The North Carolina General Assembly passed, and Governor Roy Cooper signed S.B. 35 – Max 4-Yr Age Difference to Marry Under 18 Yrs.

Before this new law, a 16 or 17-year-old could marry in North Carolina with a parent or guardian’s written consent. Minors 14 or 15 years old could also marry. S.B. 35 raised the legal age to marry from 14 to 16. Now anyone over 16 and under 18 is allowed to wed in North Carolina, but only if they marry someone no more than four years older. Plus, the couple must have filed a certified copy of an order issued by a district judge signing off on the marriage.

See Related Story: About Changes to Marriage Law in N.C.

The reason behind the initiative to raise the legal age to marry was that child marriage was making North Carolina a hot spot for human trafficking. Various advocacy groups argued that when minors marry, there is a greater risk for sexual and domestic violence, medical and mental health problems, and poverty.

“The ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ will unquestionably frustrate and complicate the very purpose of the legislation passed last year, which was and remains to make our state safer for children. It will make it of little to no effect.”

Last week, the Christian Action League explained to its many supporters that if passed, HR 8404 would also undo a law in the state that allows magistrates to recuse themselves from performing a same-sex marriage if it violates their religious beliefs.

See Related Story: If Federal Legislation for Same-Sex Marriage Passes, Religious Protections for N.C. Magistrates No Longer Assured

Liberty Counsel says this legislation is urgent and that radicals are frantic to pass it.

“They bypassed congressional hearings, silenced congressional testimony and rushed this bill through on a shortened time frame. At any time the Senate floor is open, they could pass this with a simple voice vote, or they just need a few more Republican votes to get past the filibuster.

“And that’s the last hurdle to this becoming law,” says L.C.

URGENT ACTION: Contact Sens. Burr and Tillis and ask them to oppose the “Respect for Marriage Act.” Please don’t delay. Time is of the essence.

Senator Richard Burr: 202.224.3154

Senator Thom Tillis:   202.224.6342

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