H.R.2802 – 114th Congress (2015-2016): First Amendment Defense Act doesn’t sound that bad judged by just its name. It’s incredibly short though, so let’s take a look at the text:
Prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (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.
Huh, that seems pretty specifically homophobic. This bill essentially suggests that individuals and businesses can discriminate against homosexuals, so long as they say “my religions says I can be a dick.”
While I think it’s fine to let people practice their religion, this bill is not about religious freedom, it’s about hating gays. Why not use this language?
…in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that violates their religious beliefs.
Because even the staunchest right winger knows that wording would open up a whole bag of worms because religion can be used to rationalize just about any outrageous, bigoted behavior.
It’s sad, and I hope this legislation fails hard, but it looks like it has a decent shot of moving forward. 6 GOP candidates have already said they will support the bill.