Republicans in Congress are using defense funding to help pass a “religious freedom” law through Congress.
The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved a “religious freedom” amendment to the defense authorization bill. It would undo an executive order from President Obama that prohibits government contractors from engaging in anti-LGBT discrimination against their employees.
The amendment, introduced by Rep. Steve Russell, could be compared to the “religious freedom” laws that caused outrage in Indiana, Arizona, Georgia and elsewhere. In this case, it would limit the federal government to protecting only those groups now named in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the American with Disabilities act, reports the Washington Blade. Neither of those laws protect LGBT people from discrimination, therefore Russell’s amendment would allow religious organizations doing business with the U.S. government to fire or punish any employee based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.