The Heritage Foundation, an anti-LGBTQ think tank, is reportedly spending $1.3 to air an anti-LGBTQ ad on TV and online during Thanksgiving weekend.
The ad seeks to turn public sentiment against The Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would require U.S. states to legally recognize same-sex marriage.
The bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that prohibited federal government recognition of same-sex marriages. The act requires federal and state governments to recognize same-sex marriages that occur in states that provide them. Any state that refuses can be sued by the married same-sex couples.
The Heritage Foundation’s ad disingenuously says that the bill would “expose religious schools and nonprofits to lawsuits and attacks from the IRS just because they believe in traditional marriage.”
“Before Republicans can take over the U.S. House, liberals are hurrying to cram through their far-left agenda,” the ad adds. “[Politicians in Washington D.C.] think you won’t stop this attack on people of faith.”
“The 30-second ad will air in local broadcasts during the NFL Thanksgiving Day matchups between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, and New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. The ad will also be seen during coverage of four rival college football games, including Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers on Friday and Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday,” Fox News reported.
The ad directs people to visit the foundation’s website. One of its articles admits that discriminating against same-sex couples is similar to racist discrimination. It also admits that it wants to protect this right to discriminate.
As proof that the bill would harm religious individuals and organizations, the article mentions legal challenges against businesses that refused to provide services to same-sex couples. But these legal challenges predate the bill and occurred, not because of the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing marriages, but because the individuals involved violated state anti-discrimination protections.
Rather than informing the public, the ad is really meant to compel voters to call their Republican senators to get them to oppose the bill. Twelve Republican senators already voted in favor of furthering the bill towards a full vote. The vote is expected to occur after Thanksgiving. If these 12 senators all vote in favor of the bill, it’ll become law barely a month before Republicans gain a House majority.
Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee recently introduced an amendment to the bill that would specifically provide an exception for religious groups and individuals to discriminate. He and 20 other Republican senators signed a letter asking the 12 Republicans who supported the law to withdraw their support.
We still have time to protect religious liberty. We’re asking our colleagues to support my amendment. pic.twitter.com/y7JXkxNXTZ
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) November 19, 2022
However, a revised version of the bill submitted earlier this month added a section that pledged to uphold all federal “religious liberty and conscience protections.” No individual or group will be forced to “solemnize” same-sex marriages nor will the legislation threaten any individual or group’s tax-exempt status, the revised bill states.