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Religious liberty and free speech gives us all the right to speak and exercise our religious faith. There are severe cultural forces at play that seek to coerce us into compliance with “acceptable thought and speech”. We should never be penalized for believing and acting on our faith as it relates to marriage being between a man and woman.

The First Amendment Defense Act has been introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate to address that from a policy and legal perspective. It is a short bill and you can read the text here. It currently has 36 Senate co-sponsors and 130 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

If you want to email Congress expressing your support, you can do it here.

“Our bill shields against federal intrusion without taking anything away from anyone.  In a shifting landscape, it’s time that Congress proactively defend this sacred right.” ~Labrador, an Idaho Republican

SPONSOR: Rep. Labrador, Raul R. [R-ID-1] (Introduced 06/17/2015)
COMMITTEES: House – Oversight and Government Reform; Ways and Means
LATEST ACTION: 06/17/2015 Referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

Here is the Senate version which is identical to the House of Representatives version.

SPONSOR: Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT] (Introduced 06/17/2015)
COMMITTEES: Senate – Judiciary
LATEST ACTION: 06/17/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

“There’s a reason the right to religious liberty appears first in our nation’s Bill of Rights,” said Senator Lee. “The freedom to live and to act in accordance with the dictates of one’s conscience and religious convictions is integral to human flourishing, serving as the foundation upon which America has produced the most diverse, tolerant, and stable society the world has ever known. The vast majority of Americans today still hold a robust view of religious liberty, yet across the country the right of conscience is threatened by state and local governments that coerce, intimidate, and penalize individuals, associations, and businesses who believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. The First Amendment Defense Act is necessary to ensure that this kind of government excess never occurs at the federal level.”

“Religious freedom is at the heart of what it means to be an American,” Labrador said. “America set the standard for upholding freedom of belief and worship in a diverse society. No American should ever doubt these protections enshrined in the First Amendment. Our bill ensures that the federal government does not penalize Americans for following their religious beliefs or moral convictions on traditional marriage. Our bill shields against federal intrusion without taking anything away from anyone. In a shifting landscape, it’s time that Congress proactively defend this sacred right.”

After Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling, How We Can Protect Freedom for Everyone Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Respecting religious liberty in the marketplace is particularly important. After all, as the first lady, Michelle Obama, put it, religion “isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well.”

Gay Marriage and the Future of Evangelical Colleges David R. Wheeler, The Atlantic

Now that same-sex couples have the right to wed, will higher-ed institutions that condemn LGBT students still be eligible for federal funding?