Statement from Sen. Dan Sullivan on Respect for Marriage Act Vote

WASHINGTON D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) released the following statement after voting for final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA):


While I’ve long held that marriage should be an issue left up to the states, the Supreme Court nationalized the issue in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. Although I disagreed with Obergefell, I said then I would respect the Court’s decision and also continue to fight for, respect, and defend the religious liberty of all Americans.


“Even with a Republican president and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, we were unable to codify any substantive religious liberty protections into law—until today. The protections included in the Respect for Marriage Act are vital because the Supreme Court in Obergefell changed the law of the land on marriage in America, but did not also include robust religious liberty protections for religious organizations and the millions of Americans who believe in, preach, and practice traditional marriage.


“I worked relentlessly to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act codifies several religious liberty protections into law, including several protections for churches and non-profit Christian universities that hold traditional views of marriage. While the final product does not include every religious liberty protection I voted to include, it is my sincere judgment that the bill we passed in the Senate today—unlike the House bill—is much more about promoting and expanding religious liberty protections than same-sex marriage.


“This bill has the strongest religious liberty protections for religious organizations that believe in traditional marriage since the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 1993. For this reason, many prominent religious groups that believe in traditional marriage, like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, supported this bill and its strong religious liberty protections.”