Raul Labrador: Exercising Religious Liberty with the Fear of Government Penalities

The following were remarks made by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 91% at the Heritage Action Conservative Policy Summit earlier this month.

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Public Policy Should Not Condemn Americans with Traditional View of Marriage

Marriage policy matters both for the well being of children and the preservation of religious liberty.  At the federal level, legal recognition of same-sex marriage will increase the potential for conflicts with religious freedom.

This is not theoretical.

Think of the baker accused of violating the law in Colorado for declining a request to bake a cake for a same-sex union on the basis of his faith.  An administrative law judge in Denver, Colorado declared Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop violated the law by refusing to bake a cake for the same-sex wedding. 

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Barack Obama’s Hostility to Freedom of Religion and Traditional American Values

Examples of President Barack Obama’s hostility to religious freedom in America abound.  Perhaps the most prominent example of his assault on religious freedom is the Department of Health and Human Services anti-conscience mandate in Obamacare, which requires employers to provide health insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations.  But the list goes on, and we’ve compiled just a few examples below.

Obamacare’s Anti-Conscience Mandate

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will take up two cases challenging the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate.  The anti-conscience mandate is a violation of employers’ First Amendment right of free exercise of religion, which is also guaranteed by the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA).

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Leftists’ Muddled (And Frightening) Message on Life, Marriage, and Family

From marriage, to life, to family, leftists’ message has become so muddled and confusing, it is almost impossible to discern where they truly want America to go besides down. 

In an effort to advance “women’s rights,” liberal feminists have championed abortion for decades.  But to be consistent in their justification of elective abortions, they have to defend sex-selective abortion, a practice that has resulted in disproportionately large swaths of female populations missing worldwide.

Only a handful of states in the U.S. have outlawed the practice, and it is well documented that Planned Parenthood has refused to admit that they will not perform sex-selective abortions unless it has been made illegal.

Arguably, few institutions are more deceptively named than Planned Parenthood; they are in the very lucrative business of preventing parenthood through abortion. 

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Protecting Marriage and our First Freedom

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 3133) introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 91% today currently has over 60 original co-sponsors, including members from both political parties.  This legislation is coming at a pivotal time for the fate of marriage law in America, and consequently, for the fate of American society as a whole. The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson notes:

The bill is an important step for conscience protection. Government policy should respect those who stand for marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Even in jurisdictions that have redefined marriage, those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman should be free to live in accord with their moral and religious convictions.

Why does this matter?  He continues:

[I]n a growing number of incidents, government has not left these Americans free. Last month, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment does not protect a photographer’s right to decline to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony—even though doing so would violate the photographer’s deeply held religious beliefs as a Christian.

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