Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on police use of force and community relations on on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP)

The following is an exchange I had with my US Senator, Thom Tillis regarding a piece of federal legislation – H.R. 8404 (“Respect for Marriage Act”)

Hello Senator Tillis,
I am writing to ask you to please, please, please VOTE AGAINST H.R. 8404. It is very important and not only that, it is the right and the constitutional thing to do.

The First Amendment reads: “Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise.” This is a cornerstone of the freedom and liberty we enjoy and cherish in this country. It is an absolute bar on the intervention of Congress into matters of religion. There is no such thing as “Wall of Separation of Church and State”; it is a legal fiction. It was only introduced, against the standard practice of the Supreme Court of referring to primary documents and references in reaching its opinion on a particular case, in the case of Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing Township (1947). It was introduced in the majority opinion by Justice Hugo Black, a leadership member in the KKK. “Wall of Separation” was a provision included in the KKK oath. 

H.R. 8404 reads: “(a) In General.—No person acting under color of State law may deny—
“(1) full faith and credit to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State pertaining to a marriage between 2 individuals, on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals; or
“(2) a right or claim arising from such a marriage on the basis that such marriage would not be recognized under the law of that State on the basis of the sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin of those individuals.
“(b) Enforcement By Attorney General.—The Attorney General may bring a civil action in the appropriate United States district court against any person who violates subsection (a) for declaratory and injunctive relief.
“(c) Private Right Of Action.—Any person who is harmed by a violation of subsection (a) may bring a civil action in the appropriate United States district court against the person who violated such subsection for declaratory and injunctive relief.

H.R. 8404 is a liberal attempt to not only codify “same-sex marriage” into federal law, but it is egregious attempt to violate the first amendment’s guarantee that US citizens and US churches have the FREEDOM to worship and believe as they choose (the “Free Exercise” Clause).

If passed, churches and other religious organizations, will be forced to accept the LGBTQ agenda and will be forced to recognize and accept gay marriage. It is a blatant attempt to destroy our traditional family structure.
I am not saying that I am against tolerance or in favor of discrimination. In fact, I am not. I believe people love who they love. It’s a matter of the heart. But just because we want to live in an ideal world and an ideal country, we cannot violate our US Constitution, our Bill of Rights, to do so. That is where the Article V amendment process comes into play. That is the constitutional provision that allows the Constitution to update to the changing societal values (that is the only way the Constitution can be “a living, breathing document.” Justices, on their own, cannot take it upon themselves to do an end-run around the Constitution and change it at will).

You have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”

Please honor your oath, support and defend our US Constitution, and bring honor to the federal government. The States, which are the true depositories to define and regulate marriage, will do what they think best. We have to believe and have faith in that.

Most Sincerely,
Diane Rufino, attorney, molecular biologist, high school teacher, writer, blogger, and activist
My Blogsite: 


Dear Ms. Rufino: Thank you for taking the time to contact me about same-sex marriage. I appreciate hearing from you.

The House recently passed legislation that would codify the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges, which established the right to marriage for interracial and same-sex couples. I support codifying the right to marriage in federal law. I am working closely with my Senate colleagues to ensure that legislation to codify the right to marriage does not in any way limit or inhibit religious freedom. 

As Senator, I believe that all individuals should receive equal treatment under the law. This is as true for the LGBTQ+ community as it is for any other American. 

I also strongly oppose any effort to infringe on any American’s First Amendment rights to religious freedom. I will only support legislation that maintains the existing law in North Carolina and across the country regarding marriages between two people and does not include any restrictions on the religious liberty rights of individuals and religious institutions.

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I serve on the committee with jurisdiction over this issue. Please know that if this legislation comes before the Judiciary Committee or the full Senate, I will keep your views in mind.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about other important issues.   

Thom Tillis
US Senator


Hello Senator Tillis, 

I tried to send you this message online, but I kept getting the message, “Your message cannot be delivered.”  And so I figured I would send you a physical letter, with the same message.

This response is in response to the response that you sent me (refer to that response, attached below). Before reading what I would like to share, please refer to your response below.

I understand that is YOUR belief and personally, I believe as you do. But I am concerned about what the federal law at issue will do to the tenets of certain churches. As you know, respecting the equal treatment of individuals and their choice of life partners doesn’t exactly line up with the fundamental tenets of certain religions. Can you assure me that federal law will not infringe upon those tenets and the church’s first amendment guarantee to follow those tenets?

I ask this because in this country, we enjoy a free-market approach to almost everything. If a person does not like or would rather not be associated with a church because of its stance on alternative marriage, they can leave that church and find another. Or, a new church can be founded on principles and lessons that best suit their social values. In the end, I believe it will all work out and there will be a fitting religion for everyone in this country, and that is the way it should be. 

I would like to ask you two questions and then I will leave you alone:

  •  Do you believe Jesus Christ was a racist homophobe? Do you believe Christianity is built on racist homophobic tenets?  I shutter to think what the liberal/progressive element of our country would do to Him if he would come to us again, in this current time.
  •  What do you think is meant by “Congress shall make no law……..”?

Thank you for agreeing to keep my concerns in mind when the bill comes up for a vote.


Diane Rufino, attorney, molecular biologist, high school teacher, writer, blogger, and activist
My Blogsite:

About forloveofgodandcountry

I'm originally from New Jersey where I spent most of my life. I now live in North Carolina with my husband and 4 children. I'm an attorney
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  1. J MAN says:

    The Senator is true to form . . . a fence-rider. Some say RINO but occasionally, he gets it right.

    I had a similar exchange with him but did not hesitate to respond back once more to let him know my position was firm!

    You’ll notice, they (legislation writers) threw in “interracial” marriage to muddy the waters. As far as I know, there is NO STATE that prohibits “interracial” marriage. However, North Carolina voters (majority) voted FOR a marriage protection amendment in 2012 to ensure the only recognized MARRIAGE was one between 1 man and 1 woman. Shortly thereafter, that was upended by a perverse decision by the SCOTUS.

    I will say this to you, as I’ve already said to Tillis, if he votes to support this legislation, I will NOT vote for him in any future election. Yes, I’m that firm on the issue.

    In another matter: My wife just saw a post that said Belk was sponsoring a “gay pride” parade in Kinston on 10/8. I went to the Belk site and confirmed . . . they have gone “gay mad!” Louise said she was done with them. Sad, they’re already struggling mightily financially . . . oh well. Stupid decisions lead to poor financial performance.

    Jerry W. McRoy

    1017 Van Gert Drive Winterville, NC 28590

    (252) 364-2795 – Home

    (908) 246-8881 – Mobile – E-mail

  2. J MAN says:

    Mr. Tillis loves to say, “I will keep your views in mind.” I always get that from him too. He’s quite good at evading a firm commitment.
    – J Man

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