PR: NC Values joins national groups denouncing federal legislation targeting religious freedom

Date: July 27, 2022
Contact: Laura Macklem
[email protected]


Fitzgerald asks Senator Tillis to Reconsider “Pathway to Polygamy” Legislation: 

The US House passed H.R. 8404, a bill repealing the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” and re-classifying the definition of marriage as open-ended and fluid. This would threaten the valued institution of natural marriage and open private religious entities up for litigation and punishment because of their religious faith. Along with 83 other state and national pro-family groups, NC Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald penned a letter to House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and all other Republican Senators to strongly denounce this bill. 

 “This legislation is a dangerous stunt to empower the federal government to discriminate against people and groups who hold sincere beliefs about marriage, and would make charities and other religious entities a target for litigation. It only hastens and intensifies hostility against them and leads to persecution of people of faith,” said Fitzgerald. “Under this law, any union could be considered a marriage, including polygamy.”  

 This “Pathway to Polygamy” bill would require federal recognition of any state’s definitions of marriage without any parameters. This would include plural and time-bound marriages, marriages involving a minor or relative, or any newly defined marriages. Such recognition impacts a myriad of federal laws and policies regarding marriage, its benefits and parental rights. In addition, the IRS could use this legislation to strip non-profit organizations from their tax-exempt status if they adhere to marriage as it’s been defined for all of human history by almost every culture. 

H.R. 8404 effectively deputizes activist groups and private individuals to sue other individuals, organizations, and businesses with a sincerely held belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. This could include: 

  • faith-based adoption and foster care providers, health care institutions, and schools 
  • social service organizations that work jointly with the government to serve their communities 
  • faith-based and other organizations and businesses that provide services under contract with the government 
  •  any other individuals or organizations that act “under color of state law.”   

US Senator Thom Tillis said he supports this legislation and would vote “yes” to redefine marriage. “By stating he will support this legislation, Senator Thom Tillis puts himself at odds with the values of North Carolina, abandoning the very voters who got him elected to the U.S. Senate, just 10 years after he, as Speaker of the House, led the passing of an amendment to the Constitution recognizing that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. This bill would devastate religious freedoms, and would make people of faith an easy target for litigation and persecution,” said Fitzgerald.   


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