U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has announced this week that he will reintroduce the discriminatory anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act to the republican controlled House of Representatives for a vote.
FADA would prohibit the federal government from taking “discriminatory action” against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities (church, privately owned businesses and individuals) to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: “(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
FADA was first filed in the House and Senate in 2015, but was met with protests from Democrats and resulted in just one House hearing amid concerns that Obama would veto the bill. It is currently co-sponsored by 171 House Republicans and just one Democrat (Daniel Lipinski of Illinois.)
Jennifer Pizer, Law and Policy Director at Lambda Legal, states that the FADA “invites widespread, devastating discrimination against LGBT people” and is a deeply unconstitutional bill.
“This proposed new law violates both Equal Protection and the Establishment Clause by elevating one set of religious beliefs above all others,” Pizer said, “And by targeting LGBT Americans as a group, contrary to settled constitutional law.”
The law would also prevent the government from penalizing or attempting to deny special tax incentives and credits to those who discriminate against LGBT people.
Donald Trump promised to sign FADA into law during his presidential campaign.