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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 16, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 51
GOP resurrects FADA

Bill legalizes anti-LGBT discrimination
Section One
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GOP resurrects FADA

Bill legalizes anti-LGBT discrimination

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said on December 12 that he would reintroduce the so-called 'First Amendment Defense Act' (FADA) when the new Congress convenes next year.

The bill provides that the federal government 'shall not take 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 bill prevents federal courts and agencies from enforcing the civil rights of LGBT people when they are targets of discrimination, as long as the offending parties claim a religious motive.

The bill was first introduced in 2015 by Lee in the Senate and Rep. Raul Labrador in the House but it has not been scheduled even for a committee hearing, much less a vote.

According to Lee's office, the election of Donald Trump will give the measure a new lease on life.

'Hopefully November's results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year,' said Lee's spokesman, Conn Carroll.

During the campaign, Trump promised to sign FADA, saying it would 'protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.'

Carroll added, 'We do plan to reintroduce FADA next Congress, and we welcome Trump's positive words about the bill.'

FADA is supported by all the usual suspects: Heritage Action, the American Principles Project, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and Liberty Counsel.

A version of FADA was introduced in Georgia by Republican state Sen. Greg Kirk in January. It passed both houses of the state legislature but was vetoed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal in March.

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