First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802)
This law was last updated on Nov 13, 2018
H.R. 2802 would prohibit the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that:
- marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; or
- sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
The bill defines discriminatory action to include:
- altering the federal tax treatment of, causing any tax, penalty, or payment to be assessed against, or denying, delaying, or revoking certain tax exemptions of any such person;
- disallowing a deduction of any charitable contribution made to or by such person;
- withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating, or otherwise denying any federal grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or similar position or status from or to such person; or
- withholding, reducing, excluding, terminating, or otherwise denying any benefit under a federal benefit program.
The law would allow a person to assert an actual or threatened violation of this Act as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding and obtain compensatory damages, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or any other appropriate relief against the Federal Government.
Companion bill to S. 1598.
The bill currently has 172 co-sponsors in the House.
On July 12, 2016, Rep. Labrador released a revised version of the bill that would also legalize discriminating against straight couples.
Liberty Council, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council all withdrew support after the proposed amendment was released.
The bill still has support from NOM, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Campaign for American Principles.