First Amendment Defense Talking Points

As promised, a new FACT SHEET ON the First Amendment Defense Act/FADA.

It has:
-description
-links to bill
-talking points – all properly cited/linked
-a list of editorial themes you can use to speak/write.

It is on our website here and reprinted below.

Also here is a NEW LIST OF TOWN HALLS, so you can attend if you do not make it to the member’s local office while they are home in your area.

PLEASE do one or more things:  Call their offices locally; Visit the office; Go to town hall; Write in your local paper or blog or go on radio. Write for your church or community paper with links showing how to get involved.

Ok?

Ok!

And if you get a moment, tell us what happened when you tried? so we can remind these representative when they return to DC, what they heard at home!

My gratitude!!

Helen

The First Amendment Defense Act “FADA”

House Bill text here.

Senate Bill text here.

  1. What does FADA do?

It bars the federal government from discriminating (i.e. acting against…) individuals and organizations based upon their beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman or that sex is reserved for marriage.

  1. What kind of FEDERAL discrimination against religious people and groups is barred by FADA on the basis of the person or group’s beliefs about marriage

A lot. The feds would be barred from:

  • Taking away churches’ tax exempt status.
  • Taking away your ability and mine to donate to a charity and get a tax deduction.
  • Excluding a religious school from participating in federal grants or contracts for helping the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned.
  • Excluding a religious school’s ability to receive federal student loan program.
  • Excluding your right to any federal benefit you currently get.
  • Refusing to license or accredit a school or charity.

And so many more.

  1. Does FADA affect STATES’ ability to discriminate against its own citizens or institutions based on their beliefs about marriage?

 

Sadly, no. It’s only about banning the FEDS from discriminating with THEIR money or other entitlements.  States would have to pass separate laws to protect religious freedom. Many have, even if they may need to be beefed up for full protection against being forced to cooperate with things like abortion or same-sex marriage.

  1. What’s a really good BRIEF case for the need to pass FADA?
  1. The Obama Administration and a Majority of the Supreme Court agree that same-sex marriage could result in lost tax exemptions and lost religious freedom for individuals and institutions.
  1. If religious freedom loses to a Supreme-Court-manufactured right to same-sex marriage, it will lose to a Supreme-Court-manufactured right to abortion.All the conscience protections attached today to “abortion rights” and benefits, will be ripe targets on the exact same grounds: a government’s claimed interest in a “fundamental constitutional right” that is supported by the privileged and political elite, trumps a right that does not enjoy this support: religious freedom.
  1. Gay rights groups are successfully raising millions of dollars for their campaign completely to shut down any religious freedom challenge that would stand in the way of forcing every private citizen and institution to cooperate with same-sex marriage.
  1. Powerful corporations are frightening state lawmakers and citizens into submission by threatening to take business operations and jobs elsewhere if religious freedom does not bow to same-sex marriage. They could do this on any issue, abortion, contraceptive benefits, … anything. Bowing to their power is a really bad precedent.
  1. If the federal government ends the tax exempt status of religions supporting marriage between men and women,Black churches and religious charities without significant resources will be among the first to fall. Since Catholic charities are among the largest private provider of services to poor Americans, this will be a tremendous loss.
  1. FADA does not permit discrimination against LGBT people. It’s about prohibiting the federal government from punishing religious Americans and religious institution who won’t join in celebrating a same-sex marriage.
  1. Religious Freedom is enjoying new support following the Court’s invention of same-sex marriage, and people’s realizing that real people with businesses that don’t’ discriminate at all against LGBT people are getting hurt…just because they won’t help celebrate a same-sex marriage.NOW is the time to act.

5.  What are some editorial themes for editorial letters/bulletins/talks/blog posts?

I. Theme: The Obama Administration and the Supreme Court have agreed that same-sex marriage threatens Religious Freedom…what are we waiting for to pass FADA?

–       use above material

–       use local religious charity as example of what is at stake

II. Theme: If Religious Freedom Loses to same-sex marriage, it will lose to abortion. We need FADA.

-we have lived a long time with legal abortion alongside religious conscience NOT to participate. We need to accommodate religious conscience here too.

-Use local religious charity or school to show what’s at stake…show all the good they do for the community.

III. Theme: Religious Freedom is so much a part of our life, we don’t know what it feels like to lose it…until we look at some of the people in the U.S. who have lost theirs.

-Tell the story of a real person who has lost religious freedom over same-sex marriage. Here are some of their stories:

  • Seventy year old florist who employed and served LGBT persons fined out of existence for declining to make flowers for same-sex ceremony.
  • Married couple who wrote this to prospective client and was put out of business: “Photographing a gay wedding is not the best match for us. However,” they said, “we can refer you to a colleague who would make a great match…”
  • Black deaf professor was put on leave for signing petition that same-sex marriage should be brought to vote. She was reinstated after 3 months, but legal details are still being worked out regarding restoring her reputation.
  • Black woman fired from University of Toledo for writing a letter to the editor when she took offense to the comparing of the same-sex marriage movement to the civil rights movement.
  • Police officer suspendedfor “discrimination” after asking that he not lead the gay pride parade with celebratory circles on motorcycle but instead have another role at the parade. “He said, “It is unquestionably my duty as a police officer to protect everyone’s right to hold a parade or other event, but is it also my duty to celebrate everyone’s parade?”  For that particular assignment, he explained, “It looks like we and I are in support of this parade.  I said I would feel the same way if this was an abortion parade.  I would feel the same way if it was a marijuana parade.”
  • The Giffords said they’d be happy to open up Liberty Ridge Farm’s barn to a reception, but because of their faith, couldn’t-in good conscience-participate in the ceremony.  The Giffords later found out that McCarthy had taped the private phone conversation with Cynthia and subsequently filed a complaint against them with the New York Human Rights Commission.

In August 2014, the New York Human Rights Commission ruled that the Giffords were guilty of “sexual orientation discrimination,” were fined $13,000 for refusing to violate their faith, and ordered to implement staff re-education training classes that taught the state’s viewpoint on marriage.

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