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Continuing A FAD of wasting congressional time, anti-equality lawmakers introduce FADA

by Jeremy Hooper

No government agency has ever denied anything to anyone simply because that anyone believes marriage should exclude same-sex couples. Where people have occasionally (but very rarely) run into problems is when they've flouted nondiscrimination policies of a jurisdiction or institution, when they've served as political activists for anti-LGBT causes, or have in some way positioned their strong beliefs above an LGBT person's tangible rights and/or welfare.

201506172044What Sen. Mike Lee (R), Congressman Raúl Labrador (R), and their (R) partisan cosponsors are seeking here are special rights:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, today reintroduced legislation to clarify and strengthen religious liberty protections in federal law, by safeguarding those individuals and institutions who promote traditional marriage from government retaliation.
The First Amendment Defense Act would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. For example, the bill would prohibit the IRS from stripping a church of its tax exemption for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings.

“Religious freedom is at the heart of what it means to be an American,” Labrador said. “America set the standard for upholding freedom of belief and worship in a diverse society. No American should ever doubt these protections enshrined in the First Amendment.

“Our bill ensures that the federal government does not penalize Americans for following their religious beliefs or moral convictions on traditional marriage. Our bill shields against federal intrusion without taking anything away from anyone. In a shifting landscape, it’s time that Congress proactively defend this sacred right.”


What the anti-LGBT right is looking for here is a foothold. An inroad. You can be sure that they are about to attempt a multiyear campaign that they'll try to position as the new abortion debate. Their hope is that they will piece together various measures that will slowly chip away at equal marriage rights over a long game.

If they were able to pass a law like this, they would surely use it as a beginning for both next step legislation and novel new court fights. This legislation doesn't speak to a problem that actually exists, but rather to a problem they are hoping to create for us. Do not be fool: they are going to start stirring up some sh*t, and stirring hard. Personally, I think it will largely fail. But I'd be very careful about giving them, the same team that tried to take every mile of freedom from under our feet, even one single inch.


*All you need to know about the legislation: The exceedingly anti-LGBT Family Research Council is enthusiastically endorsing it.

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