Republican Senator Ted Cruz (TX) and spokesperson for Senator Mike Lee of Utah, Conn Carroll, announced their plans to reintroduce a bill that would discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, according to BuzzFeed News. The senators believe that this bill, the First Amendment Defense Act, will be very successful in a Republican-managed House and with President-elect Donald Trump’s support.
Until just recently, Congress had stalled the law because President Obama was expected to veto it. But since homophobic Trump was elected, he has pledged to sign it into law. FADA would prevent the federal government from taking “discriminatory action” against a business or person for discriminating against LGBTQ people. Basically, this law is aimed at protecting the right of any individual who refuses service to LGBTQ people based on these two beliefs: “(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.”
Carroll said this in a statement to BuzzFeed News:
‘Hopefully November’s results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year. We do plan to reintroduce FADA next Congress and we welcome Trump’s positive words about the bill.
‘During oral arguments in Obergfell, President Obama’s solicitor general admitted that if a right to same-sex marriage were created, religions institutions, including many Catholic schools, could have their tax exempt status revoked by the IRS. The First Amendment Defense Act was created to make sure that does not happen.’
Still, Carroll says that “FADA in no way undermines federal or state civil rights laws,” but it would make it so that people or businesses who discriminate against LGBTQ people suffer no consequences.
Law and Policy Director at Lambda Legal, Jennifer Pizer, told NBC that the bill “invites widespread, devastating discrimination against LGBT people,” and targets “LGBT Americans as a group, contrary to settled constitutional law.” She also warned that the language used in the bill also leaves room for discrimination against heterosexual couples who are not married and single mothers. “It’s an unconstitutional effort to turn the clock back to a time when unmarried mothers had to hide in shame, and LGBT people had to hide, period.” Pizer said.
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