Merely one month after the horrific tragedy at the Pulse club in Orlando, Congress will be hearing a sweeping anti-LGBT legislation.
The Republican-led House will be hearing a debate on the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This bill is one we have seen in different forms, it’s a “religious freedom” bill in federal form.
It will allow business and individuals alike to refuse service to someone if a customer violates their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Jim Obergefell, who will testify at the hearing, said: “The Orlando tragedy on June 12 was a time of heartbreak for millions around the world and the worst attack on the LGBT community in our nation’s history. Today, exactly one month after this horrifying event, this hearing is deeply hurtful to a still-grieving LGBT community.”
The FADA bill has 171 sponsors who maintain that the bill doesn’t specifically target LGBT people, the bill would protect any individual or business from losing tax exemptions, federal contracts or federal grants if they have a “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.”
Rep. Sean Maloney, D-N.Y. said to Out: “It says a lot about the party of Donald Trump and Paul Ryan that they’re willing to hold a hearing on this horrible legislation to fund discrimination, but refuse to hold hearings on important legislation like the Equality Act.”
“It’s wrong and it’s discrimination—plain and simple. It is my hope that FADA would not pass even if it made it to the full floor of the House. But I wouldn’t put it past them to do everything they can to enshrine discrimination in federal law.”
For those unaware, Equality Act would add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to the federal Civil Rights Act, and the bill has yet to advance to committee hearing.