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Log Cabin Republicans Urges Against So-Called "First Amendment Defense Act" Hearing

July 5, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

Washington, D.C. - Log Cabin Republicans has sent a letter to House Oversight & Government Affairs Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) in opposition to a hearing for the so-called "First Amendment Defense Act" (FADA) scheduled for Tuesday, July 12.

The First Amendment Defense Act is an overly broad piece of legislation that goes beyond "religious freedom" and instead allows for a literal license to discriminate citing mere "moral convictions". The legislation further provides protections for individuals who not only believe marriage is solely the union of "one man and one woman," but that "sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage" - a distinction that could negatively impact single mothers and domestic partners, regardless of sexual orientation. You can read the full text of the legislation at this link.

"In allowing people to claim 'moral convictions' as a legal justification for refusal of service, the First Amendment Defense Act goes beyond protecting the free exercise of religion and provides justification for discrimination based on mere whim," Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo states in his letter to Chairman Chaffetz. "People of faith are protected by our nation's ultimate law: The Constitution of the United States of America. LGBT Americans have no such federal protections; in 28 states there are no laws whatsoever protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination. Log Cabin Republicans will continue in dialogue with common-sense conservatives and people of faith as we work to strike a balance between LGBT equality and religious liberty. Discussion - not legislation - is what is needed at the present time."


Chairman Chaffetz,

Next week the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be holding a hearing on H.R. 2802, the First Amendment Defense Act. Log Cabin Republicans strongly urges against advancing this flawed and unnecessary legislation.

Log Cabin Republicans has long advocated for a balance between religious liberty and equality for LGBT Americans, and declared that it is possible for people of good will on all sides to come together to reach compromise. The First Amendment Defense Act does not seek compromise, and instead provides an overly broad framework that will only lead to needless litigation and unintended consequences. In allowing people to claim "moral convictions" as a legal justification for refusal of service, the First Amendment Defense Act goes beyond protecting the free exercise of religion and provides justification for discrimination based on mere whim.

People of faith are protected by our nation's ultimate law: The Constitution of the United States of America. LGBT Americans have no such federal protections; in 28 states there are no laws whatsoever protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination.

Log Cabin Republicans will continue in dialogue with common-sense conservatives and people of faith as we work to strike a balance between LGBT equality and religious liberty. Discussion - not legislation - is what is needed at the present time.

Gregory T. Angelo