By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com February 28 2014 1:52 PM ET
A proposal to bar openly gay players from the NFL was released to members of Congress Thursday evening. It would prohibit the league from "employing self-declared homosexual football players."
Earlier this week, lobbyist Jack Burkman predicted that dozens of members of Congress would rally behind his proposal, which he has titled the American Decency Act of 2014. The act would impose fines somewhere between $3 million and $8 million on athletes who come out while active.
His legislation also stipulates that the Department of Justice "shall have the power to enforce this legislation by all appropriate means."
Burkman said the proposal was a direct action following the coming out of NFL hopeful Michael Sam.
“We are losing our decency as a nation,” Burkman said. “Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”
Since announcing that he was writing the language of this bill, Burkman has lost clients, and his own brother, who is gay, has spoken out against him.
Here is the full text of the proposed bill, which would requre introduction by a member of Congress:
RESOLVED by the U.S. House of Representatives of the United States of America, that the following article is proposed as federal law under the jurisdiction of the United States of America, enforceable by Executive action.
BE it enacted by the House of Representatives and by the Senate of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that:
Section 1. The National Football League and all teams thereof are hereby prohibited from employing self-declared homosexual football players. This prohibition shall only apply in cases where a football player has openly declared himself to be a homosexual.
Section 2. The prohibition detailed in article (A) above shall not apply to any team of the National Football League that provides facilities for homosexual players which are entirely separate and distinct from the facilities used by heterosexual players.
Section 3. Provisions (A) and (B) above shall pre-empt all relevant state law.
Section 4. The US Department of Justice shall have the power to enforce this legislation by all appropriate means.
Section 5. Should one part of this legislation be deemed at any point unconstitutional, all other parts shall be considered separate and entirely severable for Federal Constitutional purposes.
Section 6. Each violation of (A) and (B) above shall result in a fine of not less than $3 million not more than $8 million.