Advancing Liberty Through Action

Please Quit—I Can't Do This

Sep 19, 2022

Last week we averted a disaster. Democrats planned to vote today on HR 8404, the “Respect for Marriage Act,” but now they temporarily delayed the vote to get a few more Republican votes.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) states: “We’ve asked Leader Schumer for additional time, and we appreciate he has agreed. We are confident that when our legislation comes to the Senate floor for a vote, we will have the bipartisan support to pass the bill.” (emphasis added)

Democrats (and four Republicans) are confident they will still pass this bill. But they have always underestimated YOU! Because of our efforts and your voice, we stopped the vote today, but WE MUST NOT REST UNTIL HR 8404 IS DEAD!

We need to hold their feet to the fire, because if HR 8404 passes, EVERY “state, territory and possession” will be forced to honor same-sex, incestuous, polygamous and child bride laws, effectively creating a massive loophole making child sexual abuse legal nationwide. —Mat

Do not let this craziness be forced onto all of America. Tell the Senate to Vote NO on HR 8404!

Elissa Wall was forced into marriage at just age 14. She thought beds were only for sleeping, but even this innocent perspective had her begging the cult leader, Warren Jeffs, to give her two years to grow up first before getting married.

Warren denied her request.

Elissa’s first kiss on the honeymoon was caught on camera, and she is seen trying to protect herself with both hands pushing against her “husband.” He also happened to be her first cousin.

When the “marital relations” progressed from there, Elissa was sobbing and begging him to stop, “Please quit... I can’t do this,” she said, but he didn’t. He told her it was “God’s will.” The innocent girl knew nothing about such things. She still thought that babies came from heaven. Her childhood innocence was stolen, which is the title of her book.

Elissa was repeatedly abused over the next five years; she even started sleeping in her car to avoid the abuse. Still, she had four unsuccessful pregnancies and one child who passed away during labor—all before she turned 18. Finally, she was able to escape. Her abuser received scant justice, and, with a simple plea bargain, served only 30 days in jail.

There are many other girls still trapped in these cults. Sometimes these girls are traded as commodities. Wives are traded almost like a baseball card swap or barter system, like when one father gave his daughter to the cult’s “prophet,” he received an extra wife in return as a bonus!

This child abuse does not just happen inside these cults. One woman shared that her father was tired of paying child support, so he agreed to her underage wedding to improve his financial situation!

But rather than knowing the truth and fighting this evil, some senators are bowing to powerful special interests and perverted worldviews to make life even WORSE for children caught in these abusive “marriages.” HR 8404 will take the abuse these children face and legitimize it, honor it and expand it across all 50 states and territories!

When we began writing about this subject, we did not realize the extent of child bride abuse. Our eyes have been opened and we cannot remain silent. Tell senators to block this bill now and stop this cycle of abuse!

Some senators are waffling. Meanwhile, Sens. Baldwin and Susan Collins (R-ME) proposed an amendment, which is nothing more than window dressing purporting to protect religious freedom. I’ll explain from my experience as a constitutional attorney arguing repeatedly before the U.S. Supreme Court—and winning—this amendment does NOTHING to protect people of faith! It essentially says that HR 8404 does not preempt federal law or the Constitution. So what? It couldn’t do that anyway.

The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the First Amendment protect religious freedom, but neither one will protect religious and conscience objectors under HR 8404—even with this amendment. 

  • First, RFRA only applies to the federal government, but marriage will be effectuated on the state level. As such, RFRA will not apply.
  • Second, a faulty U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1990 (Employment Division v. Smith) greatly limited religious freedom protections under the First Amendment. Current precedent states only if there are other, nonreligious exemptions, then religious exemptions also must be allowed. However, HR 8404 has no exemption, so until the Smith decision is overturned, this amendment is meaningless.

The proposed amendment is worthless, designed solely to fool a few Republicans to get 60 votes to pass the bill. Even if conscience and religious objectors were opted out, this amendment does nothing to protect child brides like Elissa. It doesn’t stop pedophiles from abusing kids. The door would still be open for polygamy and incest. And same-sex “marriage” would be forced on the nation. What good is it if some people are free to watch the rest of the nation slip into the pits of Hell?

This amendment fixes nothing! And we need to make sure our senators understand! Our memo exposing this ruse is being circulated among them to expose the truth.

While temporarily delayed, the vote is still coming. This is still a real threat.

We will see a frenzied rush for the six to seven weeks of the lame-duck session after the midterms—perhaps even attempting to abolish the filibuster. But our team is in the thick of this battle, and we rely on friends like you to raise your voice, educate your friends and support our ministry on Capitol Hill. You can support LC Action through a recurring monthly gift or a one-time donation. Act now to DOUBLE your impact through our Challenge Grant.


Mat Staver, Chairman
Liberty Counsel Action

P.S. You can also add your name to our petition to urge Congress to reject the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act."


“H.R.8404 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Respect for Marriage Act.” Accessed September 16, 2022.

Lamichhane, Trishna. “Where Is Allen Steed Now? Elissa Wall Ex Husband — Does He Have a New Wife?” Show Biz Cast, June 8, 2022.

“The 14-Year-Old Child Bride Forced to Marry in a Polygamous Sect | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN.” YouTube, October 29, 2019.