Yesterday the House Oversight Committee held a five-hour hearing on the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would bar the federal government from acting against businesses or individuals who discriminate against LGBT Americans on the basis of “religious belief or moral conviction.” Among the witnesses were “experts” from several viciously anti-LGBT hate groups including the Heritage Foundation, the Witherspoon Institute, and Alliance Defending Freedom.
Today the Family Research Council withdrew its support for FADA because of a change made to the bill last week which would also legalize discrimination against married straight couples on the same grounds cited above. Via press release from Tony Perkins:
Unfortunately, the proposed language of FADA was changed late last week by bill sponsors in response to criticism to make it protect the view that marriage is the union of “two individuals of the same sex” as well as the view that it is “two individuals of the opposite sex.” The hearing made clear that this “two views” approach has done nothing to mitigate opposition to or win support for FADA.
The Court’s ruling and the Obama administration is already promoting such views, but natural marriage supporters are not protected from government punishment at all. Rep. Bonnie Waston Coleman’s (D-N.J.) commented that this “two views” version of FADA, which was meant to appease the Left, is a “facade”. It is unfortunate that the bill sponsors decided to affirm the Court’s redefinition when it is clear the Left does not want a live and let live policy which the original version of FADA supported.
That policy and reference to FADA’s nondiscrimination protections for supporters of natural marriage was added in two places to the conservative GOP platform! Members of Congress should not be asked to implicitly affirm the Supreme Court’s illegitimate decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in order to protect religious liberty or conscience rights, a message that was clearly articulated in the GOP platform this week. Because of the weakened language of the bill FRC has reluctantly withdrawn its support for FADA.
RELATED: FADA’s two originating sponsors, Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Raul Labrador, are graduates of Brigham Young University. As is Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee who called yesterday’s hearing. You may recall that it was the Mormon Church who also spearheaded the successful campaign for California’s Proposition 8.