Harmful Bill to Deny Protections to Same-Sex Couples Introduced in House

9/19/2013

Press Contact:

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

Washington, DC – 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 campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.