Congressman Dold Urged to Co-Sponsor First Amendment Defense Act

July 9, 2015

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


By Nancy Thorner – 

Conservatives are still reeling over the bad decision by the Supreme Court on June 26th, 2015, to redefine marriage, which the Constitution does not give the court authority to do.

Because of the complexity of the marriage decision, a long haul commitment will be necessary, for what was being addressed by the states through the democratic process has now been shut down by five unelected judges who have declared the gay marriage conversation and controversy close.

The situation is similar to what took place after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  However, after 42 years the pro-life movement is still alive, as Roe was unable to change the truth about unborn children or the Constitution. Most hearkening is that support for the pro-life position is growing, especially among young people, due, in part, to ultrasound.

Just as pro-life advocates persevered after Roe, those who are committed to the truth about marriage — an exclusive union of man and woman — must work to restore our constitutional authority to foster a marriage policy that serves the common good and which reflects the truth.

Granted, such citizen activism might seem like a tall order, even by those who view gay marriage with disfavor, but not to do so allows the judicial usurpation of politics to go uncontested

Five steps to take in wake of bad gay marriage decision

Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation, in his editorial of July 1, “What Do We Do Now”, suggested the five steps outlined below that ordinary citizens might take in the wake of the bad decision by the Supremes that sanctioned gay marriage in every state.   It must never be forgotten that there is strength in numbers to effect positive change.

1)  Elections have consequences: “You can’t afford to sit out this next election. It is very likely that the court will soon take a religious liberty case deciding whether citizens who do not believe in same-sex marriage will have their constitutional rights protected.”

2)  Policy also matters:  “We The People, and our elected representatives in Congress and state legislatures, can make policy that prohibits the government from violating our rights. This is why the First Amendment Defense Act is so vitally important.”

3)  States also matter:  “If you are concerned about faith-based adoption agencies shutting down, or bakers and florists and photographers being fined thousands of dollars simply for declining to celebrate a same-sex wedding, then you need to also be concerned about state and local policy.”

4)  Ideas also matter:  “The judicial redefinition of marriage has no basis in our Constitution, but it didn’t come out of thin air. For the last 50 years, we have not done enough to combat the faulty liberal ideology that has wreaked havoc on America’s families.”

5)  Our lives also matter:  “Even if government policy tells a lie about marriage for a time, we must refuse to believe the lie when it comes to how we live our lives and what we teach our children.”

Most Americans say “yes” to the idea of a tolerant, pluralistic nation with a peaceful coexistence.  But is it right to allow ideologues and activists to sow their seeds of disharmony by having the government coerce those with whom they disagree?  We must work together to protect these cherished American values.  As stated by Jim DeMint:

“It is important that all Americans should remain free to believe and act in the public square based on their beliefs about marriage without fear of government penalty. After all, protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms.”

Importance of First Amendment Defense Act

The First Amendment Defense Act is one way of achieving civil peace even amid disagreement. To protect pluralism and the rights of all Americans, of whatever faith they may practice, this act is good policy.  Liberals committed to tolerance should embrace it.

The First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802), introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), “would prevent the federal government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. That protection would extend to tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, contracting and grants.”

Unfortunately, the need for this legislation is real. The Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli admitted during Supreme Court oral arguments that religious schools may lose their tax-exempt status for continuing to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman if the Supreme Court redefines marriage.

Those involved in the wedding industry, including photographers, florists, and reception hosts have been hauled into court for declining to use their artistic talents to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies. And faith-based adoption agencies in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. have been forced to end foster care and adoption services rather than abandon their belief that children do best with a married mother and father.

To be clear, the First Amendment Defense Act simply protects religious liberty and the rights of conscience. Americans are free to live and love how they choose and everyone should respect the intrinsic dignity of all human beings. The bill simply affirms that the federal government respects the rights of individuals, businesses, and organizations that wish to act in accordance with their beliefs about marriage, without taking away federally funded benefits or services from anyone.

Representative Dold, if committed to tolerance, must embrace H.R. 2802

With this in mind, as a constituent of Representative Bob Dold (R-10th), my question to Congressman Dold is why he has not joined 70 of his colleagues in the House who are co-sponsoring the First Amendment Defense Act (HR 2802-114)?  Illinois’s own, Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) at 34% is a sponsor.  Robert Dold at 22% should be!

Even though Representative Dold was one of five House members who supported the President’s view in  calling on the Supreme Court to extend same-sex marriage nationwide, he should find it unacceptable for the  the federal government to discriminate against any individual or group based on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman.

If a constituent of Representative Dold, let him hear from you.  His D.C. office number is 202-225-4835.   If  your own U.S. representative in not on the list of House co-sponsors of HR 2802-114, let him or her know and get them on board.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 at 10:13 AM | Permalink


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