Sen. Tillis supports Respect for Marriage Act; ENC residents respond

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – U.S. Sen. from North Carolina Thom Tillis held a press conference Thursday addressing his support for the Respect for Marriage Act.

The event came as Congress is on track to take the historic step of ensuring that same-sex and interracial marriage rights are protected.

“I’m scared because I want to be able to marry who I want to marry,” Sabrina Lawing, an LGBT supporter says.

The Respect for Marriage Act would require states to recognize legal marriages from other states, including same-sex and interracial marriages.

Sen. Richard Burr, the other U.S. senator from North Carolina, was another one of the 12 Republican senators who supported the bill.

Still, Lawing fears the bill won’t make it over the finish line.

“Why not take some time to provide certainty for these families and take the opportunity to provide greater protections for religious freedom, and that’s why I think it’s sound legislation that will age well,” Tillis said.

Tillis joined 11 other GOP senators in support of the act after negotiations added protections for religious freedom to it. However, the proposition doesn’t have full support from our state.

Reverand Mark Creech, from the Christian Action League of North Carolina, says, “Codifying same-sex marriage into federal law constitutes an official endorsement by the federal government that marriage is mainly an arrangement for the benefit of adults; that husband and wife, mother and father are merely optional to the family and therefore meaningless; that alternative family forms are just as good as a husband and wife rearing kids, and that gender doesn’t matter for the family.”

It is “family” that some say relies on the passing of the bill.

“It worries me to no end because my mom and me are a part of the community and it just hurts to see that in the future, my mom might not be able to marry her partner, and that’s all that my mom and I have hoped for growing up is for her to be able to legally marry who she loves,” Lawing said.

Republicans won the House majority on Wednesday and are unlikely to take up the issue next year.

Because of this, Senate Democrats are quickly trying to pass the bill while the party is still in control of the House.

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