In their latest effort to smother social progress, House Republicans are proposing a bill that would authorize discrimination against same-sex married couples.
Under H.R. 3133, curiously dubbed the “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act,” any person with religious beliefs that promote intolerance for homosexuals would be legally entitled to refuse services to LBGT citizens, regardless of state or federal laws.
Leading the pack is Idaho Representative Raul Labrador, who stated, “Regardless of your ideology, we can all agree about the importance of religious liberty in America. Our bill will protect freedom of conscience for those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue.”
Labrador went on to skew the president’s statements on the importance of recognizing same-sex marriage, stating, “As President Obama said, ‘Americans hold a wide range of views’ on marriage and ‘maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom’ is ‘vital.’ We agree.”
More than 60 Republicans have co-sponsored the act, which has been endorsed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and an assortment of other conservative organizations.
In the unlikely event that the bill passes, homosexuals could be turned away from homeless shelters and treatment programs, refused spousal visitation in hospitals and denied leave to care for a sick spouse.
And if a federal employee did not like same-sex marriage, they could deny tax breaks or even visas, potentially resulting in deportation.
In this blatant display of hate masquerading as liberty, existing legislation would simply be cast aside for anyone who prefers discrimination over lawfulness.
But as Think Progress pointed out, the bill simply favors one set of beliefs over another — and this logic pierces quickly through the thin veil of “freedom” behind which Labrador and his cronies are attempting to hide.