Legislation granting protections for tax-exempt organizations and individuals objecting to same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds is gathering momentum in the House. The bills, drafted by Representative Raúl R. Labrador, Republican of Idaho, and Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, already have 130 co-sponsors. On Thursday, the Republican Study Committee, the largest, most organized group of conservatives in the House, demanded a vote.
“All religious Americans deserve assurance that they can carry out their conscience without a federal government crackdown,” said Representative Bill Flores, Republican of Texas and the committee’s chairman.
Do they? What if their conscience tells them they have to kill same-sex couples? Or set fire to their houses, or kidnap their children? What if their conscience tells them white Christians should have dominion over everyone else, and they start shooting up government offices? What if their conscience tells them to persecute immigrants, or independent women, or atheists, or Jews, or trans people?
A competing Republican group has drafted a bill that goes in the opposite direction – it would would narrow the scope of protection offered to groups declining services to same-sex couples seeking to marry.
Last week, after Republican governors in South Carolina and Alabama pressed for the removal of the Confederate battle flag at their capitols, Southern Republicans in the House moved to preserve the right to lay those flags on Confederate graves at federal cemeteries, prompting an uproar led by African-American House members.
Oh for god’s sake – can they leave no provocation undeployed? Do they have to go to the wall for racism?
Republican leaders made it clear they saw a need for a legislative response to the court’s action. Without legal protection, Republicans fear religious broadcasters could lose their federal licenses if they do not grant same-sex marriage benefits to employees. Faith-based charities like World Vision, which rely on government grants, could face pressure — or even the loss of their tax-exempt status — if they do not drop requirements that employees sign a statement of faith, including respect for “traditional” marriage. Catholic schools risk losing federal teacher-assistance grants and assistance with school meals, Republicans say.
Mr. Labrador, in an interview Friday, said he was willing to work with Mr. Dent — and even the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group — to get the language right, although he said measures expanding legal protections for homosexuals were outside the scope of the bill.
“We’re trying to draft the narrowest bill possible. We’re just trying to protect people’s freedom of religion,” he said.
Gay rights advocates say those concerns are overblown. In the last 30 years, only a handful of organizations have ever lost their tax-exempt status, and those have been mainly over fraud charges. Religious organizations that do not hire women have never been threatened.
Of course not. Nobody gives a fuck if women are shut out. Women are just women. Discrimination against then just doesn’t matter, it’s trivial, it’s fluff, it’s nothing.