First Amendment Defense Act Would Explicitly Authorize Discrimination Against LGBT People
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is now pandering specifically to Catholics with a new press release listing his positions on issues like abortion, education, and so-called religious liberty. Along with several other concerning positions the statement, titled, "Issues Of Importance To Catholics," includes Trump's promise he will sign the First Amendment Defense Act, to “protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”
However, that alone is a contradiction. Trump has specifically stated repeatedly that he will unite Americans as “one people, under one God, saluting one flag.”
As is conventional with the terminology used in Trump’s press releases, the First Amendment Defense Act has little to do with protecting the First Amendment or religious freedom. Instead, it’s specifically a bill that would allow discrimination against same-sex couples by any person, business, or institution.
The bill aims to block “any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
In other words, the government can’t "discriminate" against someone for discrimination.
The bill defines discrimination against these people as withholding federal money from them or taking away their tax deductions.
If the bill passes Congress and is signed by the president, people like Kim Davis would be able to keep their jobs while refusing to allow gay couples to marry, and public schools with anti-trans policies will be at no risk of losing federal funding.
On the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton’s website mentions her support for the Equality Act, which would do exactly the opposite, protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination and adding them to current anti-discrimination laws.
Image by Dominic Massa via Twitter