Commentary: Connecting the dots on marriage for Senate Republicans

News & Politics

Someone should tell Senate Republicans you don’t win the election dance by slapping the face of the date that brung ya.

The GOP enters the 2022 midterms courting conservatives, evangelicals, and a wave of suburban parents angered over ideological and sexual agendas being pushed on their children in schools. Yet by flirting with voting for the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, Senate Republicans are risking divorcing their base on the eve of the big dance, Nov. 8!

How can Republican leadership not see this? It’s time to connect the dots …

On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unraveled the foundational law of nature and nature’s God with an unconstitutional ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court followed suit in the summer of 2015, throwing out the time-tested parameters that define marriage and anchor human sexuality.

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Today, the U.S. Senate is being asked to codify this undoing of marriage into law. It appears the far left is concerned that America will come to its constitutional senses and, as the Dobbs case has done with abortion, return the issue to the states and to the people.

The left has good reason to be concerned. The more America connects the dots from unraveling marriage to the unraveling of gender, to boys playing girls’ sports, to schools hiding gender transition plans from parents, to children being drugged and operated upon, to the suddenly unanswerable “What is a woman?” question, to “birthing person” terminology and the “What restroom do I use?” confusion that now permeates business, education, and culture, the angrier the GOP’s traditional voters will get.

And how much angrier will they be with a GOP vote for the Respect for Marriage Act, which will effectively weaponize the federal government (and its 87,000 new IRS agents) against Bible-believing Christians, churches, and ministries who believe in one man-one woman marriage (Matthew 19:4-6)?

This is why the Senate should vote no on the “Dis”-Respect for Marriage Act, while insisting this issue is best left to the states – not D.C.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a pertinent question in the 2015 Obergefell hearings: “If we remove the parameters … what will constitute a marriage?”

Her question rightfully suggested that altering a foundational and God-ordained institution would have ripple effects beyond same-sex weddings.

I argued similarly during Iowa’s 2010 judicial retention election that unraveling marriage would have natural consequences, threatening both cultural foundations and constitutional freedoms. Two former Iowa Supreme Court justices, Mark McCormick and Robert Allbee, insisted my warnings were merely “sky is falling” rhetoric.

Twelve years later, my warnings have been realized. Today, the redefinition of marriage has led to skyrocketing rates of gender confusion among children, Christian businesses sued out of existence for “discrimination,” and demands to normalize polygamy, polyamory, and even pedophilia (which appears to be the next great horizon of American academia).

It wasn’t the sky falling; it was the natural consequence of intentionally destroying our culture’s foundational pillars.

Today, the left wants to use Biden’s America to cement drag queen story hour in our libraries, sex-of-the-day locker rooms in our schools, and pronoun insanity in our culture under the guise of same-sex marriage.

One would expect the pro-family GOP to squelch on arrival the Respect for Marriage Act for what it is: a foundational violation of marriage, states’ rights, the voice of the people, and religious liberty. But instead, Republicans in the House joined the far left to ensure its passage. Now, all that remains is for a few Republicans in the U.S. Senate who are willing to ignore the GOP party platform to slap the Republican base in the face for the sake of woke pollsters who spin re-election tales.

But there is no significant voting bloc the GOP will add to its fold, let alone gain favor with, by betraying marriage. Nor can the GOP expect to suddenly win favor with Hollywood or the New York Times crowd. In short, there is nothing to gain here for Republicans whatsoever.

Whether it’s betraying the Almighty God they swore their oaths of office to or lining up Christian ministries for future Mar-a-Lago sieges, this would amount to one of the worst (and dumbest) betrayals in American history. The GOP needs to connect the dots on this, and quickly.

Bob Vander Plaats is president and CEO of the FAMiLY Leader, a Christian non-profit organization working at the intersection of faith and government in America’s first-in-the-nation state of Iowa.

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