Republican Senator Mike Lee (UT) and Representative Raul Labrador (ID) are continuing to push for federal legislation that would make anti-gay discrimination legal across the United States. Similar legislation has been enacted state-wide (e.g. Indiana) and is seen by many to be a backlash against the LGBT community’s victory on same-sex marriage.
Were this proposed legislation to pass, the cause of equality would be severely eroded as activist group Freedom for All Americans notes,
The so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) is a broadly written bill that would allow individuals and organizations to discriminate against millions of Americans—including LGBT people, single mothers, unmarried couples, same-sex couples and others—based on their marital status.
“This bill does nothing to advance religious freedom, but it does attack the economic well-being of LGBT Americans all across this country,” said Matt McTighe, Freedom for All Americans campaign manager.
So what exactly would the bill do? Here’s a breakdown:
- Much of President Obama’s amended Executive Order 11246, which protects LGBT employees of federal contractors from job discrimination, would be left unenforceable. The Williams Institute estimates the executive order protects an additional 16.5 million employees.
- A government contractor could fire an employee with a strong performance record after executives learn that employee recently married his partner of the same sex.
- A school that receives federal funding could fire a teacher it suspects of having a premarital sexual relationship with her longtime boyfriend.
- An employer could refuse to grant FMLA leave for an employee to care for her same-sex spouse, even though the two are legally married.
- A federal government employee could refuse to process a claim, benefit or service to which a married same-sex couple is entitled under federal law, and to which the United States Supreme Court has held the couple is fully entitled under the Constitution.
As MSNBC reports, the bill has an alarming amount of support from House Republicans: