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GOP senators reintroduce bill to protect opponents of same-sex marriage

GOP senators reintroduce bill to protect opponents of same-sex marriage
© Greg Nash

A group of 22 GOP senators is reintroducing a controversial measure that would protect opponents of same-sex marriage from federal actions intended to curb discrimination. 

The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) would bar the federal government from taking any action against individuals who discriminate against same-sex couples or others based on "a sincerely held religious belief."

The bill would also protect those who discriminate against marriages not recognized under federal law or individuals who engage in sex outside of marriage.

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The measure was introduced by Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Energy: Colonial Pipeline says it has restored full service | Biden urges people not to panic about gasoline shortages | EPA rescinds Trump-era cost-benefit rule Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick Hillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech MORE (R-Utah) and 21 Republican co-sponsors, including Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioAlabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs daylight savings bill Study: Early unemployment cutoff would cost 16M people 0B The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting MORE (Fla.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFormer OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Seth Rogen says he's not in a feud with 'fascist' Ted Cruz, whose 'words caused people to die' GOP votes to replace Cheney with Stefanik after backing from Trump MORE (Texas) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchFinancial market transactions should not be taxed or restricted Bottom line The Republicans' deep dive into nativism MORE (Utah). 

FADA was introduced in both the House and the Senate in 2015, but only received a hearing in the House. 

The bill never advanced to a full vote, however, amid protests from Democrats and concerns among Republicans that then-President Obama would veto the measure if it reached his desk. 

Supporters of the bill say that it is necessary to protect First Amendment guarantees, while opponents argue that it ultimately amounts to an attempt to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination. 

Lee told BuzzFeed News in November 2016 that he planned to reintroduce FADA after President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE took office. 

As a presidential candidate, Trump indicated that he would sign the measure if it were sent to his desk, saying that it would "protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths."