TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The U.S. Senate passed a landmark protection for same-sex marriage Tuesday. However, Kansas Republicans voted against the measure.
Sen. Roger Marshall and Sen. Jerry Moran were two of the 36 Republican Senators who voted against the Respect for Marriage Act.
The proposal establishes protections for same-sex marriages that were initially handed down by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges back in 2015 and that some feared could someday be in jeopardy after the high court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer.
Sen. Marshall sent a statement to Kansas Capitol Bureau Wednesday regarding his decision.
“While gay marriage is already the law of the land, this bill goes far beyond making it federal statute by attacking our religious freedoms and threatening to take away religious institutions’ tax-exempt status,” Marshall said.
Opponents of the bill argue that it would increase the threat of legal liability for those who decline to affirm same-sex marriage, and grant a private right of action for private individuals and entities to target those who are “acting under color of State law.” They worry that it could be used to harass and silence religious organizations, like schools, religious ministries and nonprofit charities, that are contractors or grantees of the government or otherwise seen as acting on behalf of the government.
The Kansas Capitol Bureau reached out to Sen. Moran’s team as well. We are waiting on his response.