GOP Senators Introduce Bill Allowing Individuals to Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

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A dozen Republican senators have introduced a bill that would bar the government from denying any person or group tax-exempt status for exercising their religious beliefs, effectively giving individuals a 'license to discriminate' against LGBT couples

The proposed Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, authored by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah (pictured above with FRC's Tony Perkins), would allow organizations to refuse service or products to gay people simply by citing their religious beliefs. Lee believes that while President Obama promised to respect religious liberty in his statement on the Supreme Court's repeal of DOMA back in June, his administration may do otherwise. Washington Examiner reports:

Lee thinks federal officials could work around that promise by trying to revoke the tax-exempt status of churches that support traditional marriage.

"We need not just statements, but we need legislation to protect religious liberty from this kind of potential threat," he said during the interview.

Co-sponsor Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) echoed Lee's words, saying that the bill was a way to protect religious liberty and traditional values.

David Vitter"Religious freedom is a foundational principle to our great nation, and it's something that Louisianians and folks across the country cherish – including millions of Americans, like myself, who support traditional marriage," he said. "But, for a number of reasons, this basic freedom is under attack by the current administration. This bill will protect groups from administrative attacks, such as additional hurdles with taxes or obtaining federal grants or contracts."

You may recall Sen. Vitter espousing his 'traditional values' back in 2007, when it was revealed that he had been involved in a high-profile prostitution ring in Washington D.C.

The legislation mirrors a the House version which was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) back in September.

Comments

  1. AdamTh says

    Do these Tea Party guys seriously expect that bill to be approved by a Democratic controlled Senate and signed by President Obama? This just shows how much they are disconnected from reality.

  2. Michael says

    They don’t think out these things, do they? So I can discriminate against anyone based on my “religious beliefs”.

    It’s like them fighting for the right to have Christian clubs allowed in school which, ultimately, benefited the LGBT community even more seeing, since they had won that case successfully, they were not able to stop gay-straight alliances.

  3. Mike says

    I’d argue they’re not disconnected at all. They absolutely know it’s not going to pass. But now it’s on the record that this is what they wanted. Now they can run home for re-elections saying they tried, and their intolerant constituents will vote for them because of it.

  4. Jim says

    This absurd bill goes nowhere–for now. But if Democrats lose the Senate in November 2014, watch out! There will be a flood of such anti-gay bills in 2015 as Republicans try to appease the Tea Bagger party in anticipation of the 2016 general election. November 2014 could be a reprise of November 2010 unless Obama starts delivering more than tweets and press releases.

  5. says

    @Mike,

    Exactly. They know this bill doesn’t have a snowballs chance of getting out committee let alone getting passed by the Senate. This is all theater for the folks back home and the national groups that send them money.

  6. simon says

    The Repug party is in danger of imploding. First you have this group of religious Talibans represented by Tony Perkins who threatened to split the GOP if they don’t get their way. Then you have those Tea party crazies who opposed the recent Senate budget deal. Boner was so exasperated that he called them “ridiculous”. It is difficult to see how they can hold together in face of these challenges by the party crazies.

  7. *****overTX says

    Well, we know that there are at least 12 members of the United States Senate which believe more in their religion than they do in the Constitution of the United States which they swore to preserve, protect, and defend.

  8. andrew says

    Sen Mike Lee R-UTAH should amend his bill and protect Christians who refuse service or products to Mormons because, as Bible believing Christians know, Mormons are members of a CULT. Sen Vitter should add an amendment protecting prostitutes from having to service hypocritical Senators. This is just a way for these conservative Republicans to show their bigoted conservative base that they are true believers and are fighting the good fight in the cultural war. They know their proposal is not going anywhere.

  9. Spock says

    Of course we all know “religious liberty” means that anyone can do (or not to) anything at all, at any time, anywhere, so long as it is because of their deeply held religious beliefs.

  10. verbocityeric says

    why just deny service to LGBT persons? Why not jews, african americans and unmarried women? My belief system says your belief system is counterfeit, so i don’t have to respect you. you’d think a mormon would know better than to propose this.

    and will someone please explain how tolerance negatively affects the practice of one’s religion?

  11. jpeckjr says

    Snark alert. I’m all in favor of this legislation. What’s the point of having a religion if you can’t use it to harm people? And what’s the point of being a US Senator if you can’t introdue ridiculous, dead-end bills that help you raise campaign funds? End of snark.

  12. Bill says

    @verbocityeric: The answer to your rhetorical question, “Why not jews, african americans and unmarried women” is that those groups are both too large and have too much support from the general population and discriminating against them became a non-starter for the vast majority of the public earlier. There are way too many women (about 1/2 the population), many more African Americans than gays, and the bigots all “know” that Jews control the media and the banks, not to mention that antisemitism went out of style decades ago.

  13. Molc says

    Using religion as a justification for bigotry by R-Nazis/KKK. No surprises there, but MaryM and his other aliases (R-Towleroad troll), will be doing cartwheels of joy in the hope it succeeds. They all want us in concentration camps and dead.

  14. Sargon Bighorn says

    BILL, actually those groups you mentioned have been singled out for protections under US law. Whether they have large numbers or public support is not material. Gay folk are not so protected. It has nothing to do with population size of the group.

  15. erick70115 says

    Vitter states: “Religious freedom is a foundational principle to our great nation, and it’s something that Louisianians and folks across the country cherish – including millions of Americans, like myself, who support traditional marriage.”
    For this scum who was busted for using multiple Washington, D. C. prostitutes while the wife was at home in Louisiana, to lecture anybody about what marriage is makes me want to puke.

  16. TANK says

    These Republican hatemongers are not only ugly on the inside but they are very unappealing physically, also. None of them are cute in the slightest: maybe that is why they are so hateful and vicious. Hopefully enough good people will stand up and foil this evil plot by some seriously wicked bitches.

  17. gordon says

    Straight white men trying to force the US to live by their concept of a “perfect” world. Pfaughhh. They are not “Christians” but “christians” in name only. Christ would never do what they are doing. Fear of the different should never be the basis for laws. Hate is so easy to start, and so difficult to end.
    The same old tired saw of Black, women, Jews, Irish, Catholic, etc having to be controlled or destroyed is repugnant.

  18. Gigi says

    David Vitter’s a co-sponsor of the bill? Seems about right.

    “New allegations tie Sen. David Vitter to a high-priced brothel in his hometown, one day after he publicly apologized for his connection to an alleged prostitution ring in Washington, D.C.

    On Monday, Vitter acknowledged being involved with the so-called D.C. Madam, hours after Hustler magazine told him his telephone number was among those she disclosed. A day later, new revelations linked him to a former madam in New Orleans and old allegations that he frequented a former prostitute resurfaced, further clouding his political future.”

  19. Jack M says

    These guys should be ashamed to stand up and call themselves men. All that effort put into something like that when they should be concentrating on things like education.

    I guess it’s no coincidence that a failing education system in the US produces people who think irrational hatred is a priority.

  20. dam846201 says

    So nice to see whore-monger, David Vitter, speaking out for religious freedom. I mean, the man is more pious than the Pope! I thought TPers were cray-cray before; this is incontrovertible proof of their h8red of the United States of America and those who are “different” in their view!

  21. q says

    The rest of us; ‘The constitution tells us we have Freedom of and from your Religion….”

    GOPers, Vitter and Antoinette Perkins; ‘No. Just Freedom of Religion’

    The rest of us; “Okay, we have the constitutional right to be Free Of Your Religion.”

    GOPers, Vitter and Antoinette Perkins; “Intolerance!!!!…”

    Like a Charlie Brown School Teacher; Waaa wa waaaa waaa waaaaaaa!

  22. q says

    The rest of us; ‘The constitution tells us we have Freedom of and from your Religion….”

    GOPers, Vitter and Antoinette Perkins; ‘No. Just Freedom of Religion’

    The rest of us; “Okay, we have the constitutional right to be Free Of Your Religion.”

    GOPers, Vitter and Antoinette Perkins; “Intolerance!!!!…”

    Like a Charlie Brown School Teacher; Waaa wa waaaa waaa waaaaaaa!

  23. Mitch says

    This bill is a job creator. What’s not to support? Once passed, I’ll open a chain of stoning coliseums (thankfully, protected by my newly legislated religious freedoms) that offer stone-to-death services to purge our society of adulterers, stubborn and rebellious sons, witches, and those who gather sticks on the Sabbath day. Once fully operational, I expect to work hand-in-hand with the fashion and hair police. Contact me for franchise opportunities.

  24. jamal49 says

    @JIM You nailed it. My biggest fear. We are always but one election away from Republican regaining complete control of both House of Congress and then the Presidency. Imagine a Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican White House! It would be a catastrophe for LGBTQ people not to mention a catastrophe for America! Register to vote for 2014 and vote out every last damned Republican!

  25. kathtastic says

    I don’t understand why people think that the rights of one group of people should be above the rights of another group of people. Religious freedom is a foundational freedom guaranteed under the constitution and is a fundamental right of all Canadians and Americans. Passing this bill does not mean that religious groups will discriminate against the LGBT community. Most importantly, forcing a LGBT lifestyle or belief system on other people/groups is discrimination. The freedom and equality the LGBT community wants is the same freedom and equality that non-LGBT communities and religious groups want; same freedom/equality all Canadians and Americans want. We won’t force others to believe in or accept our traditional Christian views and we won’t forcefully teach religion in the public school system. We want equal treatment-we don’t want the LGBT community to force their beliefs on us or demand acceptance from us and we don’t want the sexual mechanics between LGBT couples to be taught in our schools. Teaching tolerance of all human beings is not the same as teaching tolerance of 1 particular minority group. Comments on this story and from this story are discriminatory against all people belonging to a religious group. That’s unacceptable.

  26. andrew says

    These Senators are the face of what passes for Conservative and Republican in the USA today. You will hear no Conservative Republicans, who might not agree with them, speak out against them. The silence of the “more responsible” Conservative Republicans is deafening. It is their cowardliness that has allowed the Republican Party to be taken over by the extremists.

  27. says

    “I don’t understand why people think that the rights of one group of people should be above the rights of another group of people.”

    Exactly, @Kathtastic. The problem is that the religious zealots in the GOP believe that the religious (or Christians, anyway) should get special, unconstitutional passes to discriminate. The truth is religious liberty is already protected in the US, whereas the liberties of LGBT people are not.

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