GOVERNMENT

Sen. Mike Lee working on religious liberty amendments in bill to codify gay marriage

Sep 13, 2022, 4:30 PM | Updated: 4:32 pm
Senator Mike Lee is among those working on an amendment to protect religious liberties in The Respe...
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, addresses a crowd during a rally on April 25, 2014, in Sandy, Utah. Two well-funded challengers will attempt to unseat second-term Lee in Utah's Republican primary in a race that will test whether loyalty to former President Donald Trump remains a litmus test for Republican voters. Lee will appear on the ballot alongside former state lawmaker Becky Edwards and political operative Ally Isom on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY, UT  — Senator Mike Lee is among those working on an amendment to protect religious liberties in The Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that Senate Democrats are hoping to pass to make gay marriage a federal law.

“Some have raised concerns that religious organizations and individuals could experience retaliation under the current (marriage equality) bill,” said Communications Director Lee Lonsberry.

Furthermore, Lee’s office confirmed to KSL NewsRadio that the senator is “actively” working to address concerns over religious liberties. Further, he is exploring solutions to protect them.

“Senator Lee is actively working with his senate colleagues to address those concerns,” said Lonsberry.

In leaked audio posted by progressive advocacy group Move On, Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson says he will only support a bill with these protections.

“I’m working with Mike Lee, the best attorneys…the best senators who are attorney’s in the Senate and we’re just going to have a smokin’amendment,” Johnson can be heard saying.

Lee’s office did got give specifics of exactly what those protections might look like. Even with protection, he may not support the bill. 

What’s at stake with the bill

If the bill to codify gay marriage does pass, would churches lose tax-exempt status if they don’t perform a same-sex marriage?

Also, how would schools, universities, and social service groups be impacted? Could cases be made accusing pastors of hate speech if they cited biblical teachings that they believe point to marriage between a man and a woman?

Senate Democrats are hoping for 10 GOP Senators to agree to support the bill to stave off a republican delay.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House in July with 47 Republicans voting in favor of it.

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Sen. Mike Lee working on religious liberty amendments in bill to codify gay marriage