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Breaking: GOP Senator Introduces Religious ‘License To Discriminate’ Against Gays Bill

by David Badash on December 12, 2013

in Bigotry Watch,Marriage,News,Politics,Religion

Post image for Breaking: GOP Senator Introduces Religious ‘License To Discriminate’ Against Gays Bill

Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah has just introduced legislation offering a religious “license to discriminate” against gay people and same-sex marriage. The so-called “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act” is a direct response to the Supreme Court striking down Section 3 of DOMA, a direct challenge to recent news the IRS may tighten rules governing non-profits, and a direct response to Lee’s suggestion that the President will issue an executive order that would force churches, religious institutions, and non-profits to recognize or even consecrate same-sex marriages.

“It is concerning that we have people in this administration who think that religious liberties are just not that big of a deal,” Sen. Lee told the Washington Examiner.

“How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions,” Obama said.

Lee thinks federal officials could work around that promise by trying to revoke the tax-exempt status of churches that support traditional marriage.

“We need not just statements, but we need legislation to protect religious liberty from this kind of potential threat,” he said during the interview.

The legislation would make it legal for any individual, business, and any religious institution to discriminate against a person who is LGBT, who is in a same-sex marriage, or even any person who engages in pre-marital sex.

“This bill protects the rights of individuals and organizations from religious discrimination by the federal government,” Lee said in a statement. “Those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage deserve respect and tolerance.  It is critical that we clarify the law to ensure that their fundamental civil liberties are not at risk.”

Ironically, Lee has signed on as an original co-sponsor Louisiana Senator David Vitter, whose involvement with a D.C. prostitution ring is legendary.

Also on board are Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and, of course, Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Think Progress notes “the implications for this legislation are numerous, but could allow businesses to discriminate against employees with a same-sex spouse, government officials to discriminate against same-sex couples filing their taxes jointly, or religiously affiliated hospitals discriminating against patients with same-sex spouses.”

Senator Lee’s website notes his “’Marriage and Religious Freedom Act’ has been endorsed by the United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops, Family Research Council, National Organization For Marriage, Heritage Action, Concerned Women For America, The Ethics And Religious Liberty Commission Of The Southern Baptist Convention, and Liberty Counsel Action.”

Curiously, Lee does not mention the virulently anti-gay American Family Association, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (Mormon Church), of which he is a member.


Image via Senator Lee’s Facebook page

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mjsimmons December 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm

“How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions,” Obama said.

So all ready the President has put it in terms that this is a line. He will leave it to those groups to decide if they wish to define and consecrate what marriage is. So the issue here is, that the good Senator and his confederates are still crying wolf over an issue that is no longer an issue to the rest of us Americans.

usorthem3 December 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

All that hate in one place should be against the EPA standards for toxic waste.

DebbyBerg December 17, 2013 at 1:58 am


kevin43221 December 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Public displays of intolerance and hatred are the new republican party. These social tactics are marginalizing the right and destroying the party. Legislating women's bodies and marriage are not what the People sent them to Washington to accomplish. Defining who you are by who you hate will surely end in 2016.

Str8Grandmother December 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm

God Damn straight to Hell the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Pope Francis is a fraud just like every other Pope.
ALL these organizations are after an American Christian Political Theocracy.
Thank GOD we have Obama in the White House, he'll never sign this piece of crap legislation.

The sight of HATE GROUP Leader Tony Perkins standing behind the Senator makes me puke.

sfbob December 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

The great thing about Lee's bill…actually there are several:

1. It's patently unconstitutional as it creates a class of citizens for the express purpose of permitting discrimination against them.
2. It'll never pass and even if it did, the President would veto it.
3. It highlights the fact that people in power continue to think it's just fine to discriminate against LGBT people, thus illustrating why more robust civil rights protections for us are needed.

Other than that, it's completely and utterly vile, not to mention being unneeded

teeveedub December 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Would we really expect any less from the imbecile who thought it was a good idea to shut down the government in an attempt to de-fund the Affordable Care Act? How'd that work out for ya, Mike?

Jock56 December 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm

What happened to separation of Church and State, clearly Mike Lee thinks he's beyond that!!! Let's see how many skeletons are in his closet. Unbelieveable to me , how they just can't let it rest, agree with sfbob.

SeanLiberty13 December 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Anti-gay houses of worship already have that protection. It is pro-LGBT churches and other houses of worship who are banned from officiating a marriage between two men or two women that is legally recognized by the government because anti-gay religious fascists say so.

Businesses cannot and will not ever have that protection. It is illegal for business owners to force, require or demand customers and employees adhere to the owners personal beliefs. Civilized, educated, REAL American, decent human beings understand that.

Oh and look this anti-American, anti-freedom, segregation Jim-crow like bill is endorsed by grotesque, blood thirsty Nazi hate groups who incite, advocate, encourage, and financially fund rape, torture, beating, imprisonment/encampment, and murder including mass murder of LGBT human beings. Hitler would be so proud of these Fascist barbarians, which is awesome for them because they WILL all be meeting him. One way or another they WILL meet the same fate as him and the rest of his Nazi maggots who were caught, tried, and sentenced for their crimes against humanity. Of this, I am sure. Fair warning.

weshlovrcm December 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Where are the protections for pro-equality men and women of faith and our churches? I guess for some people "religious beliefs" only encompass promoting/celebrating the sin of homophobia. What an empty, harmful, unchristian belief system that must be!

Truth_Addict December 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Here is a note to all you religious fanatics — religion does not own "marriage", the government owns marriage. To begin a marriage you have to get a government-issued marriage license. To end a marriage, you have to get a government-issued divorce decree. Churches do not issue marriage licenses and pastors cannot sign divorce decrees. We have lived under the tyranny of you religious zealots long enough. The government protects ALL citizens, no matter how much your bible tells you to hate some people.

peterblaise December 14, 2013 at 2:19 am


The people in the marriage own the marriage.

The government respects it or not.

Self-ingratiating religious community's representatives respect it or not.

But the marriage is and can only be in the domain of the people in the marriage.

Zack12 December 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Sorry Mike,but when you draft a bill that specifically singles out one group of people and one group of people only,there are going to be constituional issues with that.
But please proceed and ensure your party will be viewed as the bigots they are.

Erihu December 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Another example of a solution looking for a problem. Their Martyr Complex has gotten way out of hand. Their whining about not being able to persecute others, and claiming that this is persecuting them belittles every Christian in another part of the world that faces very real persecution.

Wstender December 13, 2013 at 10:26 am

"The legislation would make it legal for any individual, business, and any religious institution to discriminate against a person who is LGBT, who is in a same-sex marriage, or even any person who engages in pre-marital sex." So individuals, businesses, and religious institutions will be able to legally discriminate against more than 90% of the population. Go for it, GOP! This doesn't resemble lunacy in the least.

soundiver December 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm

No law shall be made on the basis of religion…(this is what separation of church and state means since so many people have seem to have forgotten).
No law shall be made abridging the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

They, erroneously, consider us Un-American when, in reality, it is they who have been allowed to get away with anti-American sentiments for centuries. Really, they just don't like being told that this will no longer be tolerated and are reacting like a spoiled little brat.

peterblaise December 14, 2013 at 2:34 am

"… No law shall be made abridging the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. …"?!?


That's sort of a mashup from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and does not exist as a phrase in that form "… no law …".

There's nothing wrong with knowing this accurately:

The Declaration of Independence: "… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …"

And the meaning of "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" are extremely arguable as to what they mean, so one person's liberty to discriminate is another person's interference with regulated commerce, civil rights law, equal protection, and so on — fun, eh?

And just for the record, here's the separation of church and state clause:

The Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendment I: "… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …"

Now, THAT obviously makes the proposed law arguable, as it isn't much of a challenge to see that this fearful hateful bigot is trying to establish religion as having superior rights, and thereby establishing religion, along with the gazillion other offenses in the proposed law.

There aught to be liability for writing, authoring, signing, voting for, whatever, BAD laws that have a cost and have ramifications — sue the bastards for the cost of fighting and cleaning up their crap!


TCPLA December 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Time to eradicate the power vested in religious institutions by the state to confer legality in marriage. We should follow Europe's lead and require civil marriage ceremonies conducted by civic officials before religious sacraments may be performed by clergy. License prerequisites are not enough. Religious weddings are optional, and should be irrelevant to the legal status of married couples.

bndkllr2 December 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm

What is it with these "conservatives" obsession with sex? I put that word in quotations, because a real conservative doesn't care how other people live as long as they aren't harming someone else.

DebbyBerg December 17, 2013 at 2:01 am

Conservatives and their constant need to legislate the sexual habits and health of the citizens of this country make me wonder just what kind of people are gravitating to this party? Are they really that sex-obsessed? Are they so sexually constipated that they feel the rest of the country should be as unhappy as they are?

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