Republicans are in the process of trying to pass a bill that will promote the discrimination of LGBT people and anyone who has sex but are not in a heterosexual marriage. The bill, known as the First Amendment Defense Act is being pushed by Senators Ted Cruz from Texas and Mike Lee from Utah. Many people view the bill as an attack against free speech protection. Cruz and Lee expect the bill to be passed in 2017.
Many people believe that the bill is based on the outdated standard that sex is only acceptable between a married man and woman. If the bill passes, the government will not have the authority to reprimand anyone that has discriminated against people who do abide by the limited definition of the bill. If the government were to interfere and try to assist discriminated people, they would then be at risk of getting sued.
Lee’s representative Conn Carroll believes that the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States will lead to the bill getting passed. Both Republicans and Democrats alike understand the potential negative impacts of the First Amendment Defense Act getting passed. The passing of the bill would damage not only the LGBT community, but also single mothers and unmarried heterosexual couples.
Jennifer Pzier, the Law and Policy Director of Lambda Legal believes that the passing of FADA is a violation of both Equal Protection and the Establishment Clause by putting one set of religious beliefs about other ones. The bill also targets the LGBT community as a group, which is different from constitutional law. Pzier feels that the law is unlawful and unconstitutional.
FADA has been proposed in the past, but was always rejected. However, the bill seems to have an actual shot at getting passed, as over 150 Republicans have co-signed the bill, along with a couple of democrats.
Some parts of the bill have been passed in different states. While Governor of Indiana, Vice President elect Mike Pence instigated the Religious Freedom law. This law encouraged the discrimination of LGBT individuals, hidden under the statement of freedom of religion. There have been boycotts. The HB 1523 bill in Mississippi that allows businesses to refuse service to people because of their gender or sexual preference has also been met with backlash. The lawsuit Barber vs Bryant against HB1523 is currently in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. HB1523 has been identified as the opposite of the Equal Protection and Establishment Clauses.
The majority of people are hopeful that FADA will not pass, and are certain that this bill will cause society to suffer.