First reported by Big League Politics on March 23, Sen. Mike Lee was rebuked by a religious liberty group for adding a qualifier into a piece of legislation that recognized gay marriage into federal law for the first time.
Lee called the original BLP piece “one of the most irresponsible pieces of reporting that [he had] ever seen.” But he eventually admitted that his bill was in fact the first to recognize non-traditional marriage:
In a new development, Public Advocate of the United States, another religious liberty group sent an email to its supporters criticizing Lee for the same amendment in his bill.
The email subject line was “Religious Liberty DESTROYED.”
“[T]here’s good news and bad news,” the email said.
“The good news is, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has introduced the First Amendment Defense Act (S. 2525) in hopes of significantly strengthening Religious Liberty in America,” the email reads.
“The bad new is, Senator Lee allowed Trojan Horse conservatives — like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan — to hijack and revise the language of this crucial bill,” it continues.
“You see, the original First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) from 2016 prohibits the federal government from discriminating against individuals and institutions that defend Real Marriage between one man and one woman,” Public Advocate wrote. “The newly revised Fake FADA bill (S. 2525) allows the federal government to determine what “real” marriage is. And we both know that’s never good for Traditional Values.”
The email continues to describe that the original language of the bill would prevent government agencies like the IRS from discriminating against individuals, churches, daycares, and various other organizations for holding traditional marriage beliefs.
“But the new Fake FADA bill doesn’t guarantee any of that,” the email says.
The email also implores Public Advocate supporters to oppose the new version of the bill at all costs, for fear of losing ground in the fight for religious liberty.
Liberty Counsel was the first religious liberty organization to pull support from FADA. The organization is an international non-profit public policy and litigation organization focused on religious freedom, sanctity of life, and sanctity of marriage.
“Liberty Counsel supported this bill with the original language,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Now that he has insisted that the language be changed, we will not only withdraw our support but we will actively oppose the bill.”
Hopefully Lee will do the right thing and restore the original language to his bill as pressure mounts from religious freedom groups.