LGBT News

GOP Congressman to Reintroduce Anti-LGBT and Religious Freedom Bill; Trump Has Promised to Sign

U.S. Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) is expected to re-introduce his unconstitutional bill, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) that President Donald Trump has promised to sign. Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden first reported the new developments via Twitter:

The bill, which had 172 co-sponsors during the 114th Congress, would make it legal for anyone to discriminate against a wide swath of the U.S. population, under the guise of religious liberty.

Labrador’s legislation “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.”

In other words, the bill makes it legal to discriminate against same-sex couples, even legally-married same-sex couples. It also allows anyone who wants to claim they have a “religious belief or moral conviction” that pre-marital sex between a man and a woman is wrong to discriminate against unmarried men and women.

For example, a pharmacist could refuse to provide contraception to a woman, on the basis of their personal belief.

Given that polls repeatedly find about 60 percent of the nation support the right of same-sex couples to marry, this bill literally would allow discrimination against more than half the nation, including people who have never engaged in any sexual activity themselves but support the right of others to do so.

Taken to the extreme, it would appear a paramedic could, under the bill’s currently filed form, refuse to give medical aid to a child with same-sex parents.

The bill specifically states that it applies not only to people, but to “corporations and other entities regardless of for-profit or nonprofit status.”

A version of Labrador’s bill was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

Holden notes this is not the only bill in the pipeline:

The bill allows discrimination by people and businesses, including government agencies and employees.

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Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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