The First Amendment Defense Act, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and in the House by Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), attempts once again to claim the First Amendment guarantees the right to discriminate against gay people. These bills do not even hide their true purpose. The discrimination is written right into the opening lines.
Both H.R. 2802 and S. 1598 begin: To prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.
Are they planning on bringing back the religious objections to inter-racial marriages? Because that’s what it looks like and nothing is too far-fetched for the current crop of conservative extremists. But no, reading further down they clarify that this discrimination is only for the LGBT community.
(a) In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 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.
So, this law almost exclusively reserves discrimination for same-sex marriages. But it does leave open the possibility for court clerks to deny marriage licenses to couples who are already pregnant. Or perhaps they heard a rumor at church that so-and-so is a slut. They can’t in good conscious award that person with a license to pervert the sacred sacrament of marriage. Heavens no!
“No American should ever doubt these protections enshrined in the First Amendment,” Labrador said while introducing the new legislation.
Apparently he has a very strict definition of “American” that doesn’t include those with other religious beliefs. Weird, usually Labradors are an overly-friendly breed, but this one seems to be going out of his way to exclude people from the American Dream.
Not to worry, for if this bill even makes it out of both houses, it still has to be signed by Obama. There’s no way they can get enough votes to over-ride a veto for this doozy. And even if they do, a law cannot overrule the Constitution. When the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages were constitutionally protected by the 14th Amendment they created a ruling that can only be changed by another constitutional amendment.
That’s just the way it works here, no matter which god you’re trying to appease.