House Introduces Harmful Bill to Deny Protections to Same-Sex Couples

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Angela Dallara
Media Relations Manager, Freedom to Marry
angela@freedomtomarry.org
646-430-3925

House Introduces Harmful Bill to Deny Protections to Same-Sex Couples

WASHINGTON - Today a handful of members of the House of Representatives introduced the so-called “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act,” which would permit individuals, institutions, and government contractors to discriminate against legally married same-sex couples by simply asserting religious opposition, even while receiving federal funds.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

"This sweeping Trojan Horse proposal would swallow civil rights laws and subvert constitutional protections, and is a dangerous 'solution' to a non-problem.  Decades of civil rights struggle, and long experience with both federal and state non-discrimination statutes, have made clear that we don't need to gut non-discrimination laws to protect true religious freedom, and neither private religious views nor prejudice should get a special license to discriminate in the public sphere."

Some of the most egregious repercussions of the law include:

  • Allowing businesses to refuse to provide Family and Medical Leave Act leave for the same-sex spouse of an employee to care for a sick loved one and to deny pension protections to married same-sex couples. 
  • Allowing federal employees to refuse to process the tax returns or Social Security claims of married same-sex couples.
  • Allowing individuals to pick and choose whether they want to comply with federal laws, simply by invoking religious views.
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Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.

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