The First Amendment Doesn’t Need Any Defense

by Nathan Rupert Flicker/creativecommons

by Nathan Rupert

The proposed First Amendment Defense Act is Congress’s attempt to legalize LGBT discrimination.

Aligning with faith groups to diminish the influence of religion in government was one of the chief strategies we developed while meeting with like-minded activists at the recent Netroots Nation and LGBT Netroots Connect. While this includes tactics such as direct contact with welcoming congregations, the nexus of this alignment right now centers on defeating the passage of the nefarious First Amendment Defense Act, the aim of which is “to prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.”

While the Baptists have predictably came out in support of this bill, hoping to institutionalize legal discrimination, more than 3000 leaders this week sent a letter to Congress opposing its passage.

The religious liberty upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. Recently, however, what we have seen promoted as defending religious liberty too often reflects one particular religious perspective that does not at all respect that diversity of faith and belief, or the intent of our Founders. We believe that the First Amendment Defense Act does not respect the spirit of religious liberty—nor does it reflect fundamental values of treating all people with fairness and equality—and we therefore strongly oppose this legislation. . .

[W]e cannot in good conscience support legislation that favors one religious viewpoint over another and in the process discriminates against LGBT people, single mothers and unmarried couples.

This bill is picking up steam, so now is the time to call your representative in Congress, and align with those who oppose the passage of this bill by adding your name to the Groundswell petition.

More on ending the influence of the religious right in government, here and here.



Alison Gardner