Excerpt from: CREDO Action
Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz butted heads in the presidential primaries, but there’s one thing they can always agree on: discriminating against LGBTQ people under the guise of religious freedom. The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which Sen. Cruz is planning to introduce and Trump has said he will sign, codifies discrimination against LGBTQ people into federal law.1
Republicans are playing a dangerous game with the lives of LGBTQ people. FADA is likely to be just one of many attacks from the Trump-Pence administration. Just days ago, a White House insider leaked a draft of an anti-LGBTQ executive order. It shows we need to be preparing ourselves for a full-fledged federal attack on LGBTQ people and be ready to fight tooth and nail to protect our communities.2
We must show there’s not only massive opposition to FADA, but to Republicans’ entire extremist, bigoted and discriminatory agenda. Can you add your voice today?
FADA prohibits the government from holding any business or person accountable for discriminating against LGBTQ people. Specifically, it would allow people and businesses to discriminate based on the beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman, and sex should only happen within such a marriage.3 To be absolutely clear, what Sen. Cruz and others who support FADA are saying is that anyone who has sex outside of a heterosexual marriage deserves to be discriminated against.
This legislation isn’t just dangerous for LGBTQ people. People, businesses and institutions would be able to legally discriminate against single mothers, unmarried couples and anyone who has sex outside of marriage with the blessing of the federal government. Those discriminated against would have no avenue for recourse, should FADA pass.
A majority of Americans support equal protection under the law for LGBTQ people, but that has not stopped attacks from conservative extremists across the country. In the majority of states, bigots can fire people from their jobs, evict them from their apartments or deny services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and presentation.
In 2016, 100 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation moved in state legislatures across the country.4 From “bathroom bills,” which explicitly target transgender people by making it illegal for them to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity to Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, which make it legal for people to use religion as way to validate their discrimination against gay or transgender people, the attacks are varied in their approach but stem from the same bigotry and intolerance.5
Right-wing legislators are not only refusing to create a climate of safety and inclusion, they are also proactively attempting to dismantle the rights of LGBTQ people. Elected officials who stigmatize and target LGBTQ people contributes to a larger social context of intolerance. In a 2009 survey it was reported that more than half of LGBTQ people in the United States expect to be a victim of a hate crime.6
Right after the election, hundreds of thousands of CREDO activists signed our petition pushing back on the Russell Amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act, a provision which would have given religiously affiliated organizations license to discriminate against women, the LGBTQ community and religious minorities using taxpayer dollars, undermining the protections currently in place for people employed by federal contractors. We won that fight and showed the new administration that when they attack the LGBTQ community, they attack all of us.
Congress cannot allow right-wing, anti-LGBTQ Republicans to bulldoze LGBTQ rights. We need them to stand strong. Will you add your voice?
- Go to the link below to sign the petition to Congress that reads:
Block the First Amendment Defense Act, which would legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
Thank you for all that you do,
Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Mary Emily O’Hara, “First Amendment Defense Act Would Be ‘Devastating’ for LGBTQ Americans,” NBC News, Dec. 21, 2016.
2. Sarah Posner, “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination,” The Nation, Feb. 1, 2017.
3. O’Hara, “First Amendment Defense Act Would Be ‘Devastating’ for LGBTQ Americans.
4. Jennifer Bendery and Michelangelo Signorile, “Everything You Need To Know About The Wave Of 100+ Anti-LGBT Bills Pending In States,” Huffington Post, Apr. 15, 2016.
5. “Anti-LGBT Religious Exemption Legislation across the country,” ACLU, accessed June 23, 2016.
6. Michelle A. Marzullo and Alyn J. Libman, “Hate Crimes and Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People,” Human Rights Campaign Foundation, May 2009.
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