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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Nov 18, 2022
Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org.
Some conservative commentators fear that the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which won approval in the US Senate this week, would allow for infringements of religious freedom. They are wrong. The bill does not allow for infringements; it authorizes a frontal assault.
Liberal activists pushed forward this legislation after the Supreme Court, in its Dobbs decision, overturned Roe v. Wade; their goal was to insure against a similar decision that might someday overturn the Obergefell ruling that allows for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. But that rationale is specious. In Dobbs, the Court did not ban abortion; it merely allowed state legislatures to regulate the procedure. In other words it allowed the people of the several states, through their elected representatives, to set their own policies. The thrust of the Respect for Marriage Act is quite the opposite: it is designed to prevent the people from changing policies through the power of the vote. …