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First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598)

This law was last updated on Nov 13, 2018


State

Federal

Number

S. 1598

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Jun 17, 2015

Topics

Conscience and Refusal Clauses, LGBTQ, Religious Freedom

Full Bill Text

www.congress.gov

S. 1598 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.


Related Legislation

Identical to H.R. 2802.

STATUS

The bill currently has 37 co-sponsors in the Senate.

On July 12, 2016, Rep. Labrador released a revised version of H.R. 2802 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.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on FADA that same day, where Alliance Defending Freedom provided testimony.


People

Primary Sponsor

Organizations