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Marriage Equality

Antigay Discrimination Bill Endorsed by Republican National Committee

Antigay Discrimination Bill Endorsed by Republican National Committee


The legislation, aimed at countering the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage, is called the First Amendment Defense Act.

A controverisal bill aimed at undercutting the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decison by the Supreme Court apparently now has the full support of the GOP's brain trust and piggy bank.

The Republican National Committeeapproved a resolution Monday that in essence endorses discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The text of the resolution claims it aims to "protect the rights of believers to equal treatment by the government of The United States of America," according to the Patriot Post.

Although that website says in endorsing the First Amendment Defense Act, "the GOP is trying to ensure every American can live at peace in a pluralistic society," the liberal-leaning ThinkProgress points out that the bill would prevent the federal government from acting against businesses and nonprofits that discriminate against same-sex couples. This would mean that government workers could refuse to perform their duties, and businesses and organizations -- including those that operate with support of taxpayer money -- would be free to discriminate.

The American Civil Liberties Union has called the bill "a Pandora's Box of taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples and their children," notes the Washington Blade.

Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, told The Advocate the report in ThinkProgress is an attempt to take the spotlight away from a positive move by the RNC earlier this month to reject a pair of resolutions, one calling on sex education classes to teach "the harmful physical aspects" of homosexuality and another urging states to pass laws that attempt to nullify marriage equality. "Clearly folks on the left are trying to diminish the bold stand against antigay bigotry the RNC took at its most recent meeting," he said. "What happened in Cleveland was a major step forward for the GOP."

Ellen Barrosse, RNC chair of the Conservative Steering Committee, told the conservative website The Daily Signal that neither the RNC resolution nor this bill have anything to do with discrimination but are instead "an attempt, for those of us who are people of faith, to protect religious organizations."

The RNC resolution specifically references multiple cases in which private business owners have faced legal consequences for refusing to serve to same-sex couples, in violation of nondiscrimination laws. It also mentions several individuals who faced public scrutiny for their antigay views, suggesting that all of these people are victims of "intensifying hatred and intolerance."

ThinkProgress wrote that "by allying with these individuals and resolving that their actions need to be 'protected' by 'equal treatment by the government,' the RNC has directly endorsed discrimination against the LGBT community."

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