Sens. Lee and Romney on different sides of advancing Respect for Marriage Act

Nov 16, 2022, 5:15 PM | Updated: 5:54 pm

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, voted to advance the Respect for Marriae Act on Wednesday while Sen. Mike L...

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks with reporters inside the Senate Subway before going to a vote on the Senate Floor at the U.S. Capitol Building on November 16, 2022 in Washington, DC. Senators voted on a procedural vote to move forward the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation protecting same-sex marriages, which is now expected to have its final vote after the Thanksgiving Holiday (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s U.S. Senators are on opposing sides of the Respect for Marriage Act as it is currently written. In a procedural vote on Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) voted against advancing the act while Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted in favor. 

The 67-32 vote on Wednesday allows the legislation to move forward.  If it were to pass, the RFMA would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and add safeguards for same-sex and interracial marriage.

Sen. Lee’s concerns about Respect for Marriage Act

In a tweet, Sen. Lee noted concern about religious liberty protections that were reportedly added to the RFMA.

According to the Associated Press, a proposed amendment added to the RFMA ensures that the bill does not affect the rights of private individuals or businesses that are “already enshrined in law.” The amendment also reportedly guarantees that a marriage is only between two people.

Religious freedom is protected said Sen. Romney

Sen. Romney was among 12 Republican senators that voted in favor of advancing the RFMA on Wednesday. In a tweet, Romney hailed the added measures which he said provide protections for religious liberty.

On Tuesday, representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that the church’s doctrine recognizing marriage as being between one man and one woman remains unchanged. In the statement, the church representative said the church is grateful to those working to assure that RFMA includes “appropriate religious freedoms while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”

In her response to the RFMA vote on Wednesday, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall called for protections and respect for marriage equality.

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Sens. Lee and Romney on different sides of advancing Respect for Marriage Act