Former Vice President Mike Pence said he supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman and that he would vote along this principle were he voting on the Democrat-led Respect for Marriage Act.
Pence addressed the radical legislation during an interview with “The Hugh Hewitt Show” this week on the former vice president’s brand new book, “So Help Me God.” Hewitt questioned Pence about how Republicans should respond to the legislation.
“I would vote for it,” Hewitt said, claiming the legislation protects religious liberty (though many religious leaders argue that the legislation does not, in fact, properly protect religious liberty).
Pence responded by discussing when Indiana enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015. As governor, Pence signed the act into law.
“Almost overnight, it was mischaracterized by the national media and the political left in the country as somehow a license to discriminate when in fact some 30 states at the time had religious freedom acts,” Pence said, noting that former President Bill Clinton had also signed the federal religious freedom law.
“It was in the days leading up to the Obergefell decision that would legalize same-sex marriage that there was a desire to ensure that people with deeply held religious beliefs, beliefs that I share, that marriage is between one man and one woman, would continue to be able to hold those beliefs in work and in worship and in their lives,” he explained.
Pence insisted that he will always hold his own deeply held views “about traditional marriage.”
“If I was in the Congress of the United States, I would vote in a way consistent with my values,” he said. “I truly do believe that at the end of the day in Indiana, we squared it by simply standing on the express language of the Indiana constitution. One of the ways God used that experience in my life, was, six months after that controversy in Indiana, we were able to bring the state back together by focusing on the religious liberty, the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience, that is in the Indiana constitution. ”
“I would vote my values,” he said again, pressed to say whether he would vote for the legislation. “I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”
HR 8404, which passed the House of Representatives in July, “provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages,” repealing provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman.
The legislation also “repeals and replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right or claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin,” allows “the Department of Justice to bring a civil action,” and “establishes a private right of action for violations.”
Democratic advocates say the legislation promotes equality, but religious leaders strongly warned that it explicitly targets people of faith.
On Wednesday, HR 8404 received 62 “aye” votes and 37 “no” votes in the Senate.
Twelve Republicans voted for advancing the legislation: Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Shelley Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Todd Young of Indiana.
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