Republicans Push Religious Liberty Bill On Capitol Hill

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — As the Supreme Court readied to release its decision to recognize same sex couples’ marriages all over the country, Rep. Raul Labrador introduced a bill last week to protect the religious liberties of traditional marriage advocates.

The First Amendment Defense Act seeks to protect individuals and organizations who contend that marriage is between one man and one woman from being targeted with federal taxes or removal of benefits.

For example, the bill would not allow the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations like religious oriented schools who maintain traditional marriage views.

Labrador, an Idaho Republican, introduced the legislation with 57 co-sponsors,in the lower chamber, while Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee introduced corresponding legislation with 18 co-sponsors in the Senate.

“We first saw this new wave of intolerance emerge a decade ago in Massachusetts, when Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to stop providing adoption services because they would not — could not — place children in the homes of same-sex couples,” Lee wrote in an op-ed for Deseret News.

“I agree with President Clinton,” he wrote. “If we want to reinforce religious liberty in America, our first step must be to protect that crucial ‘space of freedom’ from undue government interference.”