GOP Lawmakers Introduce Disgusting Bill That Would Allow Religious Groups to Discriminate Against Gays

Earlier today, a group of Republican congressmen led by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) introduced the 'Marriage and Religious Freedom Act' which would  “protect freedom of conscience for those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

The Washington Post reports:
Labrador

The bill drafted by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) is a "narrowly-tailored piece of legislation" that would protect groups "from discrimination by the federal government," he said in an interview this week.

Labrador said he began drafting his proposal partly out of fear that the IRS and other federal agencies might unfairly target groups that oppose same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law barring gay couples from obtaining federal benefit this summer.

After the court's decision, "there were a lot of ideas about what to do," Labrador said. "Some people looked at overturning it, or doing a constitutional amendment. I looked at the immediate need, which is the protection of religious institutions and churches, so that they can continue practicing their religion as they see fit."

The Human Rights Campaign reports that it "permits federal workers, as well as recipients of federal grants and contracts, to refuse to serve married same-sex couples based on their personal religious beliefs about marriage.  It also gives anyone the right to sue the federal government for monetary damages if he or she believes the federal government has discriminated against them based on their religious convictions regarding marriage for same-sex couples."

They offer a few examples:

If passed, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would permit a federal worker processing tax returns, approving visa applications or reviewing Social Security applications to walk away from their responsibilities whenever a same-sex couple's paperwork appeared on his or her desk.  It would also allow a federally-funded homeless shelter or substance abuse treatment program to turn away LGBT people.  Despite the cosponsors claims, there is no evidence that federal programs have or would discriminate against individuals because of their religious beliefs about marriage.  Protections against discrimination based on religious belief are explicitly and robustly provided under the First Amendment and federal nondiscrimination statutes.

Here's a copy of the bill, via Think Progress.

They add:

The consequences of this legislation would be immense, such that a few individuals could short-circuit the rights of gay and lesbian couples across the country. Given its prudish inclusion of opposition to premarital sex, these consequences could likely apply to many straight couples as well.

BrownNOM has, of course, given the bill a major endorsement:

“This is a critical piece of legislation to protect religious liberty as a cornerstone of our country and deserves our full support,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “Efforts to redefine marriage pose a direct threat to the free exercise of religion. This legislation would protect the right of organizations to communicate their views about marriage without threat that the tax code will be used to punish them. We applaud Congressman Labrador and his colleagues for their leadership on this important issue.”

“This bill is crucial. Those who wish to redefine marriage would like nothing better than to wield the tax code as a weapon against those who hold a traditional view of marriage. Further, during the IRS hearings before the House Ways and Means Committee we all heard that some legislators would support stripping the tax-exempt status of some groups that support traditional marriage,” continued Brown. “Individuals and groups should be able to freely speak their views about marriage in the public square without fear of governmental reprisal including having their tax exemption stripped. This legislation protects religious freedom and our constitutional rights.”

The bill, they report, has 60 co-sponsors.

Comments

  1. David says

    And, at the same time, makes it very clear to straight people that they can be victims of fundie bigotry too! I’m wondering if this guy might actually be an asset.

  2. Bob R says

    If it does get through the House, I cannot imagine it surviving the Senate. Nor can I imagine the President not vetoing it should it ever get that far.

    Raul is a product of BYU, just another despicable Mormon.

  3. sjaeger says

    So if my religious belief based upon the buhble is that slavery is alright; then I could have slaves? Is that really what they want? ….. Actually maybe they would at that.
    And if I want to ban divorce based upon the buhble and treat my children as chattel and sell them to others I could? Time to even more so slap these people down. This would be a short and very slippery slope to the actual theocracy we all fear.

  4. finkles2000 says

    But aren’t anti-LGBT discrimination laws separate from gay marriage laws? I mean, even in a state in which gay marriage isn’t legal, LGBT citizens can still be protected under anti-discrimination laws (although, unfortunately, I live in a state w/out those protections). Bigots, man. Freakin’ bigots . . .

  5. Gordon says

    Raul Labrador makes me ashamed to be an Idahoan. He seems to be trying to prove that he is a “great American” by excluding everyone who is not a white bigot. I am sad I never have a chance to vote against him as he is not in my district.

  6. GJ says

    Where were you 20 years ago? But this is “disgusting.” What a fairy.
    Who wants the approval of church groups? Sorry that there’s not enough brain wash to go around.

  7. Alfonso says

    I say this as a Hispanic immigrant myself, but why does it feel the minority elements of the republican party (ethnic republicans, gay republicans, woman republicans) are more fundamentalist than their general republican counterpart? It’s like, they know they have something to prove in being a good “patriot” and instantly wanna flash their big d-ck by out crazing the crazies in their own party.

  8. Michelle says

    Rep. Mike McIntyre, a DEMOCRAT is tweeting about his support of this bill. PLEASE tweet him your opinions back and inform him why he and this prejudice bill are flawed.

  9. Todd says

    And so we should start the Church of Jesus’s Love. Then we should make it clear that it is against any of the church members freedom to religion to process any bigots applications, licenses and other pertinent applications. It should be full IRS sanctified so to be tax exempt.

  10. COJ says

    ALL religions are filled with hypocritical, lying, vile nasty scumbags who run to religion and scream their religion to deflect from their HORRIBLE behaviors. In fact, when a person makes it a point to introduce themselves as religious, I instantly trust them that much less.

  11. Klien says

    There will come a day in society where religious people are the clear minority (an looking at statistics, it’s only a few decade away) and these same form of bullying mistreatment religious folks enforce on others, will be something they have to face themselves. Karma always works itself out.

  12. Bill says

    So it give people “the right to sue the federal government for monetary damages if he or she believes the federal government has discriminated against them based on their religious convictions regarding marriage for same-sex couples?”

    OK, what happens if a same-sex couple states that their religious convictions are that only people who are married should have sex, and they are planning on getting married to follow those convictions? Can you sue the federal government if some paperwork is delayed?

    It can work both ways, and throwing a monkey wrench into the works if this idiotic legislation passes might not be a bad idea.

  13. dam846201 says

    I find it strange that Right-wingers, such as Labrador, want to make marriage between a man & a woman, with no mention of love or affection, the only accepted marriage in this country. I happen to love my man & respect him enough to move to a state with Marriage Equality. Until love enters the H8RS’ vocabulary, they will remain on the losing side of the argument!

  14. Jerry6 says

    Anyone stupid enough to believe in ANY of the GODS various men have invented over the years to control other men, will believe anything. Just look at the Muslim world: The three factions actually kill each other over differences in their beliefs. That would be like the various Christian beliefs doing the same.

  15. Sean Westmann says

    This entire bunch of GOP bigots should be impeached for treason against the Constitution of the US, indicted, and sent for a long vacation to individual cells in Guantanamo to ponder and reflect on their hate-mongering behaviors and atitudes.

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