Three out of the top four GOP candidates just committed to passing the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in their first 100 days in the White House.
Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Trump: Which one would you guess refused to make that commitment?
Donald J. Trump.
The pledge request to prioritize FADA was made by Heritage Action, FRC Action, and the American Principles Project (APP, where I work).
FADA would protect gay-marriage dissidents from punishment by the federal government or its regulatory arms, including the IRS: “The Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man or one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” Christian schools, charities, individuals, and small-business owners would receive guarantees of equal access to charitable tax deductions, contracts, loans, accreditation, and employment.
As we explained to all the candidates:
Serious scholars suggest religious schools should expect to be punished by the withholding of federal funds under current law if they do not treat same-sex unions as marriages. “It seems to me very likely that, in the coming years, schools and universities that accept public funds and support will be required — as a condition of those funds — to have nondiscrimination rules that forbid discrimination on sexual-orientation grounds,” one such scholar, a professor who oversees the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame’s law school, told The Atlantic. “And, these rules will not distinguish between sexual-orientation discrimination and non-recognition of same-sex marriages.”
We told them that Americans like Kelvin Cochran are losing their livelihoods because they publicly oppose gay marriage.
It seemed like such a simple ask: “Millions of Americans can disagree over the definition of marriage, however, it is essential that the millions of Americans who support natural marriage are not punished by the Federal government for their support for marriage as it has been understood for millennia.
“We ask, therefore, for your public assurance that you would prioritize passing the First Amendment Defense Act in the first 100 days of your administration.”
Carson, Cruz, and Rubio said yes. Donald J. Trump said no.
Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.