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July 26, 2022 02:58 PM UTC

Local Religious Right Rushes To Re-litigate Marriage Equality

  • 12 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Centennial Institute’s Jeff Hunt, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea.

Yesterday, we were forwarded an “urgent national petition” sent out by the Centennial Institute, the conservative political activist wing of taxpayer-funded Colorado Christian University, calling for Colorado’s U.S. Senators to oppose legislation protecting marriage equality following the threat made by Justice Clarence Thomas in the recent Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade that other recently-won personal freedoms like marriage rights were next on the chopping block:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Respect for Marriage Act” on July 19 by a vote of 267 to 157. The Act, which was suddenly rushed through the House without any public hearings or input, is an attack on millions of Americans, particularly people of faith, who believe marriage is between one man and one woman and that legitimate distinctions exist between men and women concerning family formation that should be recognized in the law. The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate, which needs 60 votes to move the bill forward.

The proposed Act seeks to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996, requiring federal recognition of any one state’s definition of marriage without any parameters whatsoever…

The IRS could rely on this congressional declaration supporting same-sex marriage to strip non-profit organizations of their tax-exempt status if they adhere to their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. This Act effectively deputizes activist groups to sue religious individuals, organizations, and businesses with sincerely held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman. [Pols emphasis] This could include faith-based foster care providers, religious social service organizations that work jointly with the government to serve their communities, religious organizations and businesses that provide services under contract with the government, and any other persons or organizations that act “under color of state law.”

There’s a lot of irony in religious conservatives condemning a law that “deputized activist groups to sue,” after Texas’ abortion ban enabled precisely that in order to punish anyone who helps someone from Texas obtain an abortion. In that circumstance, “deputizing” the people to get sue-happy is just fine!

Setting aside that rank hypocrisy for a moment, a nearer-term political conflict for Colorado Republicans seems imminent now after Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea jumped at the opportunity to burnish his maverick-y brand by announcing his support for the very same Respect for Marriage Act. In doing so, just as conservative radio host Dan Caplis condemned O’Dea for his soft stance on abortion, O’Dea has just given the Republican party rank-and-file with yet another reason to undervote the Senate race. Even though O’Dea prevailed in the primary, don’t underestimate the importance of the religious right as part of the Colorado Republican coalition. Fighting against same-sex marriage and discrimination protection for LGBTQ+ Americans goes way, way back in the Colorado Republican Party.

Having survived the Republican primary in which marriage like abortion was a question for O’Dea to avoid whenever possible, O’Dea is now rushing to neutralize these traditional Republican landmine issues by openly triangulating off his own party’s position. The great danger of O’Dea’s strategy is leaving one’s self with no support at all.

It’s going to be awfully hard for Jeff Hunt to rally the faithful for Joe O’Dea now.

Comments

12 thoughts on “Local Religious Right Rushes To Re-litigate Marriage Equality

  1. Just curious.   Why do you say “taxpayer funded”?  CCU is not a public university.  Students may receive scholarship assistance, or there might be research grants that head that way, but I wouldn’t call that taxpayer funded.  Please explain. 

  2. Just curious.   Why do you say “taxpayer funded”?  CCU is not a public university.  Students may receive scholarship assistance, or there might be research grants that head that way, but I wouldn’t call that taxpayer funded.  Please explain. 

  3. What does this phrase from the CI petition even mean?

    legitimate distinctions exist between men and women concerning family formation that should be recognized in the law. 

    Seriously, if that’s a code or dog whistle, it’s too garbled for my ears. It could be the old “ Kids need daddies, so shame single moms and make divorce harder” schtick. Or is it an attack on the inclusive term “ pregnant people”? Or…

    It could be rallying support for individuals who discriminate based on religious beliefs- re- litigating the Masterpiece “ No gay cakes for thee” lawsuit. SCOTUS ruled that the baker’s 1st amendment rights were violated. 

    notaskinnycook, unmuddy the message for me. 

    It’s likely that some Walgreens pharmacists will face lawsuits for their discrimination against women seeking contraception. There’s already a boycott against Walgreens for standing behind their religious-bigot pharmacists- but is CI trying to pre-emptively shore up the “Religious discrimination is protecyed free speech” argument? #BoycottWalgreens

    1. I got nothin’, kwtree.                                                                 
      They do have a lotta’ damn gall complaining about being able to bring suit against “religious individuals, organizations, and businesses…” after the decision in Dobbs.                                       
       I will say they’re barking up the wrong tree if they think Bennet and Hick can be won over to their point of view. 

    2. "It could be the old “Kids need daddies, so shame single moms and make divorce harder” schtick"

      It's no coincidence that this is happening at the same time as J.D. "Jethro" Vance is telling women in abusive marriages that they need to stand by their men for the good of the children.

    3. I think that SCOTUS did find that Phillips First Amendment Rights were violated because he did not receive a fair hearing from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, but it did not rule on the underlying issue, can a business refuse service based on the owner's religious convictions. 

      1. Dwyer! Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for weighing in. I know on the Masterpiece Cake case, there are still appeals going on, and folks keep testing him, like “ Will you make a gender reveal cake for a trans woman? No? See ya in court!”

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