Why Can’t I Get Excited about the Respect for Marriage Act?

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

President Biden signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act earlier today. I figured that would be an easy thing to write about. I tried and nothing came out. I just don’t have anything to say about the new law. I mean, I think it’s a good thing. It feels like one of the few legit political wins we’ve had in a while. But, for some reason, I can’t get very excited about it.

The easy answer is that I’m just cynical now. That wouldn’t be wrong. I have basically lost all faith in government institutions. I didn’t even really care about voting in this past election. I’m basically in scrap it and start over mode lately. But that can’t be the whole story.

Another part of it is that I don’t trust the Supreme Court. The Respect for Marriage Act isn’t a constitutional amendment. What’s to stop the court from doing to this what they did to Roe vs. Wade? I know Roe was a court ruling and this is a law, but the Supreme Court has power over both. They may decide that the federal government has overstepped their bounds and make this another issue for each state to decide. Who knows how long this victory will last.

Finally, the law has at least one glaring problem. It has an exemption for religious non-profits. Even with this law, they can refuse service to the LGTBQ+ community. Given how many non-profits are run by religious organizations, that’s a major problem.

If you can, please tell me why I’m wrong, why I should be excited about this victory. It would be nice to have some hope going into the new year.

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