Conservatives promoted a bill Tuesday that might be their staging ground to oppose gay rights — the First Amendment Defense Act
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, sponsor of the bill, told a House hearing — a month and a day after the massacre at an Orlando nightclub — the law simply is a way to protect Americans' "religious beliefs" about marriage, The Washington Post
"This bill does not take anything away from any individual or group, because it does not modify any of our existing civil-rights protections," Lee told the hearing.
However, according to the Post, 3,000 people have signed a petition against the bill, seeing it for what it is — a way to weak-leg laws that protect gay rights.
Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke gave examples to the Post of actions that feds would not be able to stop if the bill became law:
- "Enforcing the Fair Housing Act against a landlord that advertises that it will not rent to unmarried parent."
- Take action against health-care providers who deny "coverage for mandated preventative services — such as counseling for sexually transmitted infections, contraception, or domestic violence screening and counseling — to employees who are married to a same-sex partner or who have extramarital relations/sex."
Barney Frank, the former Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts who's married to a man, took issue with the intent of the bill.
"How in the world does requiring that developer to rent to same-sex couples in any way impinge on his religious freedom?"
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