First Amendment Defense Act Gains Momentum in House

Washington – Support is growing rapidly in the House for the First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802).  Sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 91%, the bill would prevent the federal government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman.  Supporters include Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) 61%, Natural Resource Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) 74%, Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) 76%, Science Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) 83%, Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) 85%, RSC Chairman Bill Flores (R-TX) 84%, HFC Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) 94% and Policy Chairman Luke Messer (R-IN) 72%.  One Democrat, Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) 31%, is among the bill’s 87 cosponsors.  Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Momentum is growing in the House to protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience.  Heritage Action applauds Raul Labrador for leading this effort and Steve Scalise and Bill Flores for their efforts in moving the bill through the process.  If the House is serious, it must prioritize passage of the First Amendment Defense Act this month. This should be a non-partisan, non-controversial step and there is no reason to delay.”

Heritage Action is key voting in favor of co-sponsorship of the First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802).

Additional information:

“I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs.  All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact; recognize different viewpoints; revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.” (President Barack Obama, June 26, 2015)

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.” (Opinion of the Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, June 26, 2015)