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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 LeeTed Cruz won't wear mask to speak to reporters at Capitol Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election MORE (R-Utah) and 21 Republican co-sponsors, including Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOwners of meatpacker JBS to pay 0M fine over foreign bribery charges Questions raised about conflicts of interest around Biden son-in-law America needs an industrial policy — now more than ever MORE (Fla.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Republicans offer constitutional amendment to block Supreme Court packing 10 bellwether counties that could signal where the election is headed Conservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform MORE (Texas) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMellman: What happened after Ginsburg? Bottom line Bottom line 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 John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 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."