Legislation has been introduced in the United States Congress to protect the rights of small businesses and non-profit organizations who believe in the true definition of marriage.
The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) has been filed in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mike Lee of Utah and in the U.S. House by Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho.
The bill would prohibit the federal government from discriminating against charitable organizations and business owners who affirm marriage as exclusively the union of one man and one woman.
The provisions of the proposed law would ban discrimination in the awarding of federal grants and contracts, the issuance of licenses, and the operation of programs. The bill would also bar any action by the federal government to withdraw tax exemptions from churches and non-profit groups who uphold the traditional definition of marriage.
The legislation is a response in part to autocratic actions by President Obama which penalize faith-based agencies and businesses. Earlier this year the President issued an unlawful executive order prohibiting any federal contractor from discriminating based on "sexual orientation."
Now the Obama Administration is proposing to expand the scope of the executive order to ban "sexual orientation" discrimination by any recipient of federal funds.
This would require countless religious organizations to violate their religious conscience in order to continue to receive federal payments or reimbursements for their charitable services to clients who qualify for government assistance.
Concerns about the institutional freedom of religious organizations were heightened during recent oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on the legal effort to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions.
When asked by Justice Samuel Alito whether religious schools could be stripped of their tax exemption because of their beliefs in traditional marriage, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verilli replied, "It's certainly going to be an issue."
Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation says that adoption of the FADA is critical. "Non-profit status isn't a political gift reserved for those groups who win the favor of a particular government administration."
"No group should be denied or lose non-profit status because it believes that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, or that sexual relations should be reserved for marriage."
Anderson argues that federal contractors should not be subject to a political litmus test. "All Americans should be free to compete for contracts and other funding from the government without penalty because of their reasonable beliefs about morally contentious issues."
"The federal government should not seek to enforce monolithic liberal secularism by using the tax code and government contracting to reshape civil society on controversial moral issues--issues that have nothing to do with the contracts or tax policies at stake," Anderson adds.
We suggest you contact your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative to urge their support for the First Amendment Defense Act.
You can contact Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Claire McCaskill by using these links:Senator BluntSenator McCaskill
You can reach your U.S. Representative by using this link:Your Congressman