The “First Amendment Defense Act,” H.R. 2802, is a bill purporting “To prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.” The proposed bill is an abomination. You can read it in its entirety here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114hr2802ih/pdf/BILLS-114hr2802ih.pdf
The bill provides that “the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
This begs some questions (not in any order of importance).
First, do you want Congress or any state assembly legislating morals? I surely do not. And how many individual “religious belief[s] or “moral conviction[s]” does the United States Congress intend to address during this and future terms?
Second, what century are these congressmen living in, to say that “sexual relations are properly reserved to [a marriage between one man and one woman]”? Men have sexual relations with men, and women have sexual relations with women. Get over it. The relationships of and interactions between consenting adults is none of Congress’ damn business, and it’s none of yours either.
Third, since when do we need a statute that protects citizens’ First Amendment right to exercise their religious beliefs? The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is clear in its prohibition against laws “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit state action that violates this clause.
Given that the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and given that it prohibits state and federal governments from violating First Amendment religious rights and freedoms, the enactment of a federal law “defending” such religious rights and freedoms is profoundly unnecessary.
Fourth, how does this proposed bill not constitute an endorsement of certain, very specific, religious beliefs? How does this bill not impose the “moral conviction[s]” of its proponents? The bill’s obvious endorsement of the “religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage” is, on its face, violative of the Establishment Clause. In other words, the bill violates the very freedom it purports to “defend.”
Finally, when are these partisan actors — these political panderers — going to stop trying to pass laws that intrude on the most personal and private aspects of our lives? They are so vocal about governing with “less government”; why are they so intent on enacting so many intrusive and offensive laws? Why do they give no consideration to those citizens — their constituents — whom they are alienating and offending?
To our legislators I say this: You are the United States Congress. Do your job and stay out of our personal lives.