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senate Bill S. 2525

Should the Federal Gov’t Not Discriminate Against People Based on Their Views About Marriage or Premarital Sex?

Argument in favor

The federal government shouldn’t discriminate against individuals or entities based on their views about marriage or premarital sex, and this bill ensures it doesn’t happen.

TexasTRex's Opinion
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10/20/2018
Of course people need to be protected to have the right to hold traditional beliefs of marriage and sexuality. Seems like anymore these days everyone except those who hold to traditional, biblical values are protected from discrimination. This would be good to pass.
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Roger's Opinion
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10/20/2018
This bill is a good equalizer to protect moral people from the immorality that is the leftists agenda. Once again the leftist democrats show their true face by attacking equal rights for all because they hate anything and anyone that protects the rights of conservatives. It’s clear who the domestic enemies of America are. It’s telling when conservatives can accept and discuss all beliefs and ideas even if they do not enter into those beliefs. whereas the leftist get violent and want to shut down any conversation or ideal that they disagree with...history is very clear about what leftism leads to. Hundreds of millions of dead worldwide that disagreed with leftist ideology.
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Ray's Opinion
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10/20/2018
Mr. Congressman Mike Lee, please get a life and do nothing or do what’s important to the country and it’s people like our democracy, healthcare, our environment, climate change, tax bill you proudly passed to reward the 1% and big corporations, inequality, cyber hacking to our elections, and on and on. Stop wasting our time by trying to continue to divide us and put fear and creat classed of opposing views. Shame on you and your colleagues.
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Argument opposed

This bill would open the door to discrimination by government contractors and private companies against people in same sex marriages, single parents, and others.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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10/20/2018
This bill was fine until you got to the exclusions which allow pretty much anyone in the private sector or anyone working for the government to discriminate the hell out of you. Nice try but no thanks. Do any of you folks saying yay read beyond the title? Actually read the bill?
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Jan's Opinion
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10/20/2018
Another wolf in sheeps clothing bill, designed to look supportive of all kinds of marriages and relationships when, in fact, it will allow institutions to discriminate against non-heterosexual couples without any consequence. Wrong!
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JamieD's Opinion
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10/20/2018
Read the criticisms of this bill. “No discrimination” sounds good until you learn that this bill would allow taxpayer funds to go to organizations that discriminate against same sex couples and single parents. If religions want to impose their views on their communities, they can use their own funds to finance it, not mine.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMarch 8th, 2018

What is Senate Bill S. 2525?

This bill — known as the First Amendment Defense Act — would prohibit the federal government from taking a discriminatory action against a person based on their beliefs about the definition of marriage or premarital sex. “Person” would be defined as any individual or institution regardless of religious affiliation except for publicly traded for-profit companies; federal employees or federal for-profit contractors operating within the scope of their job; and hospitals or healthcare entities with respect to visitation, recognition of a designated representative of healthcare decisions, or refusal to provide medical treatment necessary to cure an illness or injury.

Individuals or institutions that are discriminated against by the federal government for their views could file suit in federal court and seek injunctive relief (like a court order to stop the discrimination), declaratory relief (ie a binding ruling on the matter), and compensatory damages.

Impact

Persons expressing beliefs about the definition of marriage or premarital sex; and government agencies.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2525

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced this bill to create protections for Americans from federal punishment over their beliefs about marriage or premarital sex that are similar to protections for people who decline to participate in abortions. It came about in response to the suggestion by President Obama’s solicitor general during oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges that the IRS might deny tax-exempt status to religious schools that operate in accordance with their beliefs:

“What an individual or organization believes about the traditional definition of marriage is not — and never should be — a part of the government’s decision-making process when distributing licenses, accreditations, or grants. And the First Amendment Defense Act simply ensures that this will always be true in America — that federal bureaucrats will never have the authority to require those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage to choose between their living in accordance with those beliefs and maintaining their occupation or tax status.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) legislative representative, Ian Thompson, called this bill “shameful” and a “blatant example of using religion as a justification to discriminate” and added:

“This bill opens the door to a wide range of taxpayer-funded discrimination. It would let private companies and nonprofit government contractors — which includes a significant portion of social services providers — refuse to provide a service or benefit to people because they do not fit their definition of family, from same-sex married couples and their children, a single parent and their child, or an unmarried couple who are living together.”

This legislation has the support of 22 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / selimakasan)

AKA

First Amendment Defense Act

Official Title

A bill to ensure that the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person speaks, or acts, in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as a union of one man and one woman, or two individuals as recognized under Federal law, or that sexual relations outside marriage are improper.

    Of course people need to be protected to have the right to hold traditional beliefs of marriage and sexuality. Seems like anymore these days everyone except those who hold to traditional, biblical values are protected from discrimination. This would be good to pass.
    Like (28)
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    This bill was fine until you got to the exclusions which allow pretty much anyone in the private sector or anyone working for the government to discriminate the hell out of you. Nice try but no thanks. Do any of you folks saying yay read beyond the title? Actually read the bill?
    Like (260)
    Follow
    Share
    Another wolf in sheeps clothing bill, designed to look supportive of all kinds of marriages and relationships when, in fact, it will allow institutions to discriminate against non-heterosexual couples without any consequence. Wrong!
    Like (176)
    Follow
    Share
    Read the criticisms of this bill. “No discrimination” sounds good until you learn that this bill would allow taxpayer funds to go to organizations that discriminate against same sex couples and single parents. If religions want to impose their views on their communities, they can use their own funds to finance it, not mine.
    Like (155)
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    This is a thinly veiled attempt to allow people to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. Congress needs to stop trying to foist evangelicalism on the entire population. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.
    Like (95)
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    And exactly where in this bill is the anti-discriminatory guarantee for people in this country who do not (1) practice any organized religion (2) support a woman's right to choose or (3) do not believe the definition of marriage should be limited - in itself a nod to religious leaders that MY government has their back? The Constitution of the United States, to which all of the GOP Senators swore an oath, requires the separation of church (of any religion) from the 'State' - the government these people were elected to protect. Keep your freakin religious views out of the laws of MY country and I will keep my agnostic/atheist views out of your churches! By giving preference to people who agree with your views, you are providing a platform for discrimination against those who do not. There is enough discourse, division and fake cries of victimization in our country. You want to give the country the belief you are accomplishing something? Figure out how to promote an environment where not everyone who disagrees with you is an 'enemy' to be defeated and vanquished. THAT would be earning your taxpayer-provided salary, benefits and eventual pension.
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    Seems simple enough until you read the fine print. Typical GOP nonsense designed to contribute to divisiveness and class warfare. Interestingly the very thing they always accuse others of doing.
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    Frankly, I don’t think the government should have anything to do with marriage at all. It’s a religious institution. However, this bill isn’t a “anti-discrimination” bill as much as it is a “license-to-discriminate” bill. It gives the leeway for discrimination to everyone else. That’s not the right thing to do. Please vote NO.
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    This is a purposely deceptive attempt to allow right-wing fundamentalists to discriminate.
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    This bill would a lot companies like Chic-Fil-a and Hobby Lobby to discriminate against people that don’t share their religions views. It legalizes discrimination.
    Like (34)
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    This is disgusting. I refuse to live in a theocracy. If your beliefs deny the humanity of others, or prevent you from providing the same level of care to every person, you need to find another line of work. I’m a voter in Ohio’s 12th congressional district and I strongly oppose this bill.
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    Promote, encourage & allow real discrimination? Really! Gee, what a surprise - sponsored by a Republican white guy from Utah!
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    This is discriminatory. It also wrongly defines a “person” as entities other than human beings. Corporations and organizations are not “persons”. Republicans and Conservatives around the world, are wrong about human life and existence. They are oppressive in their views and their unethical and immoral beliefs.
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    At every turn the GOP tries to privatize public services and now they want to exempt these private companies from rules the federal government has to (and should!) follow. This bill is snake oil- don’t be fooled!!!
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    This bill would open the door to discriminate against same sex marriages, since it defines marriage to be between a man and a woman. Reading is fundamental, read the whole bill! Plus, this bill is sponsored by a republican, therefore I do not support it. Mike Pence is behind this.
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    Just a way to discriminate legally.
    Like (18)
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    Republicans chopping away at our freedoms—read the whole bill!
    Like (17)
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    This would enshrine in law the ability to turn down service to anyone that was living a lifestyle that the businessman/woman didn’t agree with. So they could openly and without penalty discriminate against the LGBTQ community, religions they don’t like, Muslims, etc. what’s next. Color designated drinking fountains. I’m pretty sure we already fought this fight, why would we want to move backwards?
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    This bill is deceptive and should not be passed. It doesn’t actually protect LGBT people and does nothing for the first amendment.
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    We see this as condoning discrimination and we do not want it passed. We want all citizens to be protected equally. Please oppose this bill!
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