First Amendment Defense Act Would Allow People and Companies Who Claim Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs to Discriminate Against LGBT People
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Bills that have sat languishing in the House and Senate may find new life if efforts by the National Organization For Marriage (NOM) are successful. The faith-based anti-LGBT organization is campaigning for congressional lawmakers to hold hearings on and pass the First Amendment Defense Act. FADA would protect any person, group, organization, company, or corporation that claims to have a sincerely held religious belief about LGBT people, same-sex couples, and marriage, from obeying laws designed to provide protection in those areas to LGBT people and other minorities.
NOM Friday afternoon emailed supporters asking them again to participate in their "Fax For FADA campaign." President Brian Brown claims the campaign is working.
"I am getting good reports from Washington, DC that our Fax For FADA campaign is making a big impact. Word is that the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) will be scheduled for a hearing very soon. Our faxes to the House Republican leadership and members of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee are having an impact!"
Like nearly everything NOM does, those claims are subject to interpretation. And, of course, this is also a fundraising drive for them. NOM provides no statistics on how many faxes (people still have fax machines?) they have sent, or the name(s) of their sources, of course. There's a corresponding petition they claim has 3333 signatures.
The First Amendment Defense Act "prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage," according to a summary.
The bills, if passed, literally would give license to anyone to refuse to interact with, serve or do business with any adult who is not in a different-sex monogamous marriage, unless they can prove they are not having or have not ever had sex.
The bills were introduced by two Republicans last year, Senator Mike Lee (Utah) (photo, right) and Rep. Raul Labrador (Idaho) (photo, left).
They has 38 sponsors – all Republicans – in the Senate and 167 sponsors in the House, including two Democrats: Rep. Ralph Abraham (Louisiana), and Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Illinois).