Congressman Seeks Protection From Federal Discrimination For Those Opposed To Same-Sex Marriage
Illinois 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren is co-sponsoring a bill to prevent the federal government from discriminating against individuals and groups with religious objections to same-sex marriage.
The Republican says the First Amendment Defense Act is needed because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Hultgren is concerned that those who believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman might themselves become victims of discrimination.
“It’s a bill simply to protect the free exercise of religion without taking anything away from anyone. So, again recognizing that we need to be able to express our beliefs freely, and not expect consequences from the federal government,” he says.
He says many who disagree with that ruling are worried it could have repercussions for them.
“Colleges, Catholic charities, others, that are doing non-profit work but are fearful that they could potentially lose their tax-exempt status, or lose access to possible federal contracts or federal work.,” he says.
The Act would prohibit the federal government from those or any other form of discrimination, against any group or person who holds such beliefs.
Hultgren says it specifically does not authorize discrimination by anyone in the federal government against same-sex couples, or prevent the government from providing those couples with services or benefits.