Olson Acts to Protect Religious Liberty
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) today acted to defend constitutionally protected religious liberty by cosponsoring H.R. 2802, the First Amendment Defense Act. The bill would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
In the wake of the Supreme Court decision granting a federal right to same-sex marriage, concerns have been raised about constitutional protections for religious entities. Businesses taking a religious stand against practices that violate their personal faith are already being sued. In Oregon, a judge recently ruled against owners of a bakery who declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs. The judge ordered the bakery to pay $135,000 in damages.
â€œReligious freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights,â€ Rep. Olson said. â€œAmericans should be able to agree to disagree about social issues, but we cannot bow down and hand over our constitutional rights in the name of political correctness. Churches should not live in fear of losing tax exempt status because their deeply held religious convictions are not trending on Twitter. Itâ€™s disheartening that a bill protecting the First Amendment is necessary, but religious freedom is too important to risk losing through activist judges.â€
H.R. 2802, the First Amendment Defense Act was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador and currently has 130 cosponsors.
Media Contact: Melissa Kelly