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bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
      House Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedSeptember 19th, 2013

What is it?

This bill would prevent the federal government from acting against those who hold the religious beliefs that:
  • marriage is between a man and a woman
  • sexual relations are only appropriate within that union.
In this context, "acting against" means the federal government would be prohibited from using the tax code to discriminate against those who exercise their religious beliefs regarding marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

H.R. 3133 would prohibit the government from using a group or individual's religious beliefs surrounding marriage to taking away:
  • Tax exemptions or deductions
  • Federal benefits
  • Federal grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and loans
  • Federal licenses, certifications, and accreditation,
  • Federal employment, or similar positions


Federal agencies that enforce the tax code, people with religious beliefs about marriage between men and women, the LGBTQ community and allies, religious institutions (including universities), non-profits, and corporations.


A CBO cost estimate is not available at this time.

More Information

In Depth:

This bill was introduced in response to the 2013 scandal revealing that the IRS was heavily scrutinizing certain groups applying for tax exemptions based on their political views. H.R. 3133 aims to protect religious organizations from facing similar scrutiny because of their beliefs.

Following the contentious passage of Proposition 8 in California, the City of San Francisco tried to collect
$20 million in transfer taxes from the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco after it reorganized its assets. While the City lost its case in court, there were suggestions that the attempt at taxing the Archdiocese was politically motivated because of the church's support for Proposition 8. Supporters of this bill point to this case as an example of the kind of discrimination H.R. 3133 seeks to prevent on the federal level.

Opponents of the bill have argued that it would enable discrimination against same-sex couples, the LGBTQ community, and people who engage in pre-marital sex. By allowing organizations that view those lifestyles as immoral to keep their tax-exempt status, critics of the bill contend that the government would be promoting inequality and ignoring the inappropriate use of tax-exempt status.

President Obama just signed an executive order to protect LGBTQ employees from discrimination by their bosses. Still, detractors argue that this bill would embolden business owners to hide behind their claims to "religious freedom" and  refuse service to same-sex couples or deny benefits to their LGBTQ employees. Or, that federal workers with religious beliefs against same-sex marriage would feel comfortable refusing to work on cases involving same-sex couples. Even with 21 states putting protections in place against sexual orientation discrimination, there have been
countless allegations of discrimination against gay couples by business owners who cited religious beliefs as their reason for refusing service. 


Sponsoring Rep. Raul Labrador’s Press Release (R-ID)

Christian Post (in support)

Slate (opposing)

Washington Examiner

Think Progress (opposing)

National Review (in support)

(Photo Credit: Hatena Blog)


Marriage and Religious Freedom Act

Official Title

To prevent adverse treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.

    The federal government must not have the power to discriminate against Christians who uphold the Word of God as infallible Truth and, in obedience to its teachings, refuse to accept the concept of "gay marriage" as binding upon their actions and speech. Christians have strong convictions that God instituted marriage between one man and one woman ONLY. I am in complete agreement with Countable member Barb K., who said: "...It's not natural for a man to marry a man or woman a woman. It's not that it's just how God made us, but the very fact that it is impossible to survive as a race of homosexuals. They cannot procreate. There never has been a culture that existed on homosexuality. Marriage's ultimate design is to give birth, grow and protect the next generation. Giving homosexuals rights, freedoms, and equal status in our culture is good and right, but to grant them the right to legally marry is against human nature. It is not hateful to set these limits on marriage. [Give] them a right to a legal partnership but not legal status as married...." Our religious convictions reflect our desire to live in a right relationship with our Lord and Savior, “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians‬ ‭2:6-8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) As loyal and patriotic citizens of this great nation, we Christians are also taught: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Romans‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) But when governments enact laws that conflict with God's Word, we have this example of Christ's own apostles: “But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'” ‭‭(Acts‬ ‭5:29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) Therefore, we entreat our lawmakers to not force us to have to choose between God and the law of the land!
    Like (16)
    @Loraki said it perfectly. Please read her post. God had it figured out before that tree put on blooms. And why did Adam donate that rib? It's all in the plan of Man
    Like (11)
    I'm an atheist but I believe people should be able to have the freedom to believe or worship how they like, government shouldn't punish that.
    Like (1)
    Marriage is a religious term. Without religion there would be no marriage. The government needs to get out of the marriage business and put it back where it belongs, between the individuals and their creator.
    Like (1)
    In a free market they will simply go out of business.
    We don't discriminate when we ask religions to abide by our laws.