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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council (FRC) today called for rapid congressional action on the “First Amendment Defense Act” introduced by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID).
The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) would prevent the federal government from discriminating against individuals, organizations, and small business owners who affirm marriage as between a man and a woman.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments about the measure:
“The First Amendment Defense Act reflects our nation’s history of recognizing, respecting and protecting the moral and religious beliefs of people and faith-based organizations. This common-sense measure would prevent the federal government from penalizing someone because they hold to a view of marriage as between one man and one woman.
“No person or nonprofit should lose tax exempt status, face disqualification, lose a professional license or be punished by the federal government simply for believing what President Obama believed just three years ago, that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
“Whether it is religious institutions competing for federal research grants or federal partnerships with development service providers like the Salvation Army, the federal government should not push these organizations out of the public square simply because they believe in marriage between a man and a woman.
“Indeed, the U.S. Solicitor General recently admitted that the tax-exempt status of religious universities is ‘going to be an issue’ if the Supreme Court finds a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.
“We urge Congress to act to pass this vital legislation,” concluded Perkins.
FADA would also prohibit the federal government from penalizing persons for their personal moral or religious beliefs in natural marriage in federal employment, grants, contracts, tax treatment, and other programs. It also protects individuals or entities that believe, teach or establish in codes of conduct that sexual intimacy is reserved for natural marriage.
Polling commissioned this year by the FRC and performed by WPA Opinion showed that 81% of Americans believe that individuals should be able to live and work in accordance with their belief in marriage as between a man and a woman.