Christian Action League, American Family Association
July 16, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that legalized same-sex marriage, Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) has introduced legislation entitled, the H.R. 2802 – First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). The bill is major religious freedom legislation that would ban the federal government from punishing churches, charities or private schools for the practice of their religious objections to gay marriage.
The legislation would prohibit the government from revoking the tax exempt status of churches that refuse to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies because of their religious beliefs. It would also prevent federal grants or contracts from being denied to any individual or institution (such as food banks or adoption agencies) that believe gay nuptials are immoral.
The measure would also protect Christian radio and television stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use the public airwaves. According to American Family Radio, some are already urging the FCC to revoke their licenses and shut these stations down.
“The Supreme Court’s egregious decision left the door wide-open for assaults on our nation’s First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “In his argument before the High Court, the President’s top litigator essentially told Justice Alito that if it ruled to redefine marriage for homosexuals, religious institutions holding to traditional marriage could possibly lose their tax exempt status. Now that the court in its 5-4 ruling has done this, the issue moves to the forefront and Congress needs to address it immediately. It would be a serious departure from everything we’ve ever believed about freedom of conscience if the same-sex marriage ruling is to be used as a club to beat individuals, associations and businesses that hold to natural marriage into subjection,” he added.
Many Republicans are eager to pass Rep. Labrador’s bill before they head home and face constituents in August town hall meetings. Labrador’s bill has been referred to both Ways and Means and Oversight and Government Reform. But indications are that a quick vote is not likely to happen.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), who controls the House floor schedule, has not committed to a vote before the August recess, and sources say it’s also fair to say that most of the legislative calendar in the fall will be concentrated on the budget and not taking up FADA.
“This is why if those of us who believe in religious liberty can’t prevail upon lawmakers to move this critical legislation as soon as possible, it may remain in limbo for who knows how long, and the longer the wait, the more time gay activists have to create painful scenarios that work against us,” said Dr. Creech.
Take Christian Action:
House Majority Leader McCarthy needs to hear from our state’s Representatives. But that’s not likely to happen unless you make contact with your Representative without delay.
The Christian Action League is an affiliate of the American Family Association (AFA) and AFA has already prepared a message for you to send, or you can write your own.
You can contact your Representative in the U.S. House by clicking here
Even if your Representative is already a cosponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act, it’s important he or she hears from you, urging him or her to push for a floor vote within the next three weeks.
After sending your email, please take a moment to personally call your representative’s office. Elected officials have repeatedly said it only takes a few phone calls from voters in their district to move an issue to the top of the list.