The nephew of Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) criticized his aunt after she tearfully opposed same-sex marriage legislation in the House earlier this week.
Andrew Hartzler, who is gay, called his aunt a “homophobe” in a video posted to Twitter, where he said her fears about inadequate religious liberty protections are incorrect.
HOUSE REPUBLICAN SUPPORT FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL SHRINKS DESPITE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AMENDMENT
Andrew Hartzler also claimed his aunt is only upset because she wants to “force [her] religious beliefs onto everyone else” and that she will “have to learn to coexist with all of us.”
The younger Hartzler is currently a plaintiff in a lawsuit to strip religious schools of their exemption for following anti-discrimination statutes after he personally was reprimanded for having his boyfriend at his dorm at Oral Roberts University, according to Buzzfeed News. Oral Roberts, a religious university, has an honor code that prohibits “homosexual activity.”
The Respect for Marriage Act requires the federal government to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages, which are already recognized based on the Supreme Court cases Obergefell v. Hodges and Loving v. Virginia. Lawmakers who were critical of the bill argued the bill did not sufficiently protect religious liberty rights.
The congresswoman “adamantly” opposed the Respect for Marriage Act, which she dubbed the “Disrespect for Marriage Act,” arguing it was “unnecessary” and “misguided” legislation.
“This bill only serves to further demonize biblical values by establishing a private right of action against organizations who believe in natural marriage, opening the floodgates for predatory lawsuits against people of faith. The bill’s only purpose is to hand the federal government a legal bludgeoning tool to drive people of faith out of the public square and to silence anyone who dissents,” she said in a speech on the House floor Thursday.
She lamented the Senate for not including rigid religious exemptions for those whose faith dictates marriage as being between a man and a woman and tearfully urged her fellow lawmakers to “find the courage to join me in opposing this misguided and dangerous bill.”
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The Respect for Marriage Act passed in the Senate 61-36, without an amendment brought by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), which he says would have protected religious liberty rights, and passed the House 258-169.