Oh, and it would allow businesses to fire LGBT employees too. Sorry EEOC.
It’s the First Amendment Defense Act, which has been described by the ACLU as “Indiana on Steroids.”
Senator Mike Lee (UT-R) and Congressman Raúl Labrador (ID-R), who introduced identical versions last month in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, call it a response to the Supreme Court’s decision permitting same-sex marriages. You can view a copy of Senator Lee’s press release here. And here he is speaking with NPR about FADA.
What does FADA say?
The stated purpose of the FADA is to “prevent discriminatory treatment of any person (which includes for-profit businesses) on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.” Specifically, if enacted, the bill would prevent the government from taking “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.” Additionally, the FADA would be “construed in favor of a broad protection of free exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of this Act and the Constitution.”
What would FADA do?
In a press release from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization claimed that the FADA “would allow organizations and businesses contracting with the federal government to circumvent critical federal protections designed to protect same-sex couples and their families from harmful discrimination.” HRC also stressed that businesses “could refuse to approve an individual’s request for FMLA leave to care for a sick same-sex spouse, or file an employee’s spousal benefits as married in an ERISA plan based on their religious objection to same-sex marriage.”
Will FADA pass?
My two cents are immaterial as GovTrack.com gives the bills a neglible chance of passage.