Religious bigots The Heritage Foundation spending $1 million on anti-LGBTQ+ Thanksgiving adverts

A same-sex couple gets married outside in white dresses

Religious anti-LGBTQ+ think tank The Heritage Foundation has launched a $1 million campaign opposing the Respect for Marriage Act.

In ads that will air over Thanksgiving during NFL games between New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, and New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, as well as college football games.

The Heritage Foundation dubs the bill, which would protect same-sex marriage, as an “attack on people of faith”.

According to Fox News, the total bill for the campaign is $1.3 million, including $300,000 worth of digital ads, and is therefore the most expensive campaign run by The Heritage Foundation to date.

Despite the think tank’s claims, the Act does not aim to attack religious people, but instead protect marriage equality amid fears that the Supreme Court could put same-sex marriage in the firing line following the overturning of Roe v Wade

At the time that a decision was made in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization earlier this year, gutting abortion rights across the US, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that the ruling that legalised same-sex marriage, Obergefell v Hodges, should also be reviewed.

If passed, the Act would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, and would protect same-sex marriage as well as interracial marriage.

But The Heritage Foundation claims that the “far-left” Act’s supporters are “sneaking” it through to make religious groups vulnerable to litigation and “attacks from the IRS”, and even that it would pave the way for the legalisation of polygamy.

In reality, religious liberty protections were inserted at the final hour to garner Republican support, including ensuring that religious organisations that oppose marriage equality will not lose their tax-exempt status.

The Act passed through the Senate with 50 Democrats and 12 Republicans voting in favour on 16 November, a vote which was celebrated by president Joe Biden who said at the time: “No one in a same-sex marriage or an interracial marriage should have to worry if their marriage will be invalidated.”

Because of the last-minute religious liberty protections, the Respect for Marriage Act must now return to the House of Representatives for a final vote, before heading to Biden’s desk.

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