On June 17, 2015, Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in the House and Senate, respectively.
In 2014, HRC inducted Lee, one of the most outspoken anti-equality members of Congress, into HRC’s Hall of Shame. That same year, he introduced the State Marriage Defense Act with fellow anti-LGBTQ Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). He has voted against non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers, students, and even homeless youth.
Labrador, who was elected to office in 2011, received a zero on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard. He voted three times against a provision to prevent federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ employees, and in 2013 he even voted to strip a provision protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in domestic violence programs.
FADA, the dangerous piece of legislation these two congressmen are fighting for, would sanction unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. On its face, this bill purports to prohibit “discrimination” by the federal government based on individual beliefs about same-sex marriage. In reality, this bill would allow non-profit organizations and businesses contracting with the federal government to circumvent critical federal protections designed to protect LGBTQ families from harmful discrimination.
On Tuesday, which is the one month anniversary of the Orlando shooting, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on FADA. Although HRC joined over 50 national organizations and 20 local and state organizations in a letter to Chairman Jason Chaffetz urging him to cancel the hearing, it appears that the hearing will happen as planned on Tuesday.