Republicans To Reintroduce Bill That Targets LGBTQ People
Ted Cruz, one of the senators that backs the First Amendment Defense Act, alongside President-elect Donald Trump
Republican senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee plan to reintroduce a bill that if passed could result in devastating setbacks for LGBTQ equality.
The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) had barely gained a House hearing back in 2015, but with the House being controlled by the Republican party, Cruz and Lee are hoping that President-elect Donald Trump will back the act.
According to a report from NBC, 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 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.'"
"Hopefully November's results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year," Conn Carroll, Lee's spokesman, told BuzzFeed. "We do plan to reintroduce FADA next Congress and we welcome Trump’s positive words about the bill."
"The prospects for protecting religious freedom are brighter now than they have been in a long time," Cruz added.
If LGBTQ people face opposition from both Congress and the White House, one route of refuge will likely be court. As Think Progress reported, there was one example in which Federal Judge Carlton Reeves ruled against Mississippi's HB 1523, a bill that is similar to FADA's protections for those against marriage equality.
"A law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of equal protection of the laws in the most literal sense," Reeves wrote.
The passing of FADA would tarnish the progress President Obama made in the White House for LGBTQ people, including everything from instructing the Department of Justice to not defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (which banned the marriages of same-sex couples) to legalizing marriage equality in the United States.