WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) released the below statement after voting to advance consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act:
“In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court clearly stated that the federal judiciary should not be a policy-making entity. I firmly agreed with this decision, and continue to believe that major policy decisions should be made within Congress and state legislatures.
“I appreciate my fellow West Virginians who have reached out to me regarding the sanctity of marriage, and hold sincere beliefs based on strong traditional and religious values. These convictions must be respected, and no religious entity should be persecuted by any individual, organization, or government institution for the beliefs they hold.
“As such, this piece of legislation ensures all religious liberty and conscience protections provided to religious organizations under the Constitution and existing federal law, such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Non-profit religious organizations will not be required to provide any support for same-sex marriage, or see their benefits, rights, or status, altered when these rights do not arise from the specific issue of marriage.
“This legislation will allow those who have entered into a civil partnership since the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, to continue to have their partnerships respected for federal benefit purposes. This does not lessen the traditional sanctity of marriage or jeopardize the freedom of religious institutions. The House-passed legislation raised concerns among many about protecting religious freedoms, which is why my colleagues and I worked to strengthen those protections in the substitute amendment. I will be supporting the substitute amendment because it will ensure our religious freedoms are upheld and protected, one of the bedrocks of our democracy.”
# # #