Advancing Liberty Through Action

"I Can't Do This. . ."

Nov 12, 2022

Democrats will vote NEXT WEEK on the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) states: “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.”

Democrats (and at least four Republicans) are pressing hard to pass HR 8404. They are working hard to get a few more votes, and, absent that, they could abolish the filibuster with only 51 votes. But they have always underestimated YOU! With the corporate lobbyists, celebrities and donor pressures on these senators, I urgently need your voice to help stop this. 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. This will effectively create a massive loophole making child sexual abuse legal nationwide. 

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

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

Warren denied her request.

Elissa’s first kiss on her 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, he 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, honor 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!

Democrats have promised to vote this week. This is a very real threat. Meanwhile, Sens. Baldwin and Susan Collins (R-ME) proposed an amendment, which is nothing more than window dressing purporting to protect religious freedom. And some senators are still waffling.

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.

Under HR 8404, neither the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) nor the First Amendment will protect religious and conscience objectors—even if this amendment is added. 

  • 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 zero nonreligious exemptions, so until the Smith decision is overturned, this amendment is meaningless.

The proposed amendment is 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.

This amendment fixes nothing! And we need to make sure our senators understand that! The LC Action staff created a memo exposing this ruse, and it is being circulated among staff and legislators to expose the truth. What good is it if some people are free to watch the rest of the nation slip into the pits of Hell?

Democrats have promised to vote this week. This is a very real threat. Send your urgent faxes to the Senate today to oppose HR 8404.

We will see a frenzied rush next week to pass this bill and perhaps even more attempts 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 take another action step by signing our petition to Congress.


“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.