The Republican National Committee has officially sided against the American people and against the “family values” that they pretend to support. The Republican National Convention has newest “defense” bill (defense of their “right” to discriminate) is the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill which the ACLU has described as “a Pandora’s Box of taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples and their children.”
It’s an attempt to enshrine the same tired right-wing complaints about the infringement of their “religious liberty” by having to interact and do business with same-sex couples and their families on the federal level. The bill would protect bigots who deny services to gay Americans, even if the organization receives taxpayer dollars.
The bill cites the case of the Massachusetts Catholic Charities, which was shut down in 2006 when four bishops refused to place children for adoption with gay couples and, in a show of stunning hypocrisy, forfeited federal funding and shut down their services than place an abandoned child with a loving same-sex family. The RNC endorsements also cites the backlash against multiple individuals who discriminated against gay Americans over frivolous and petty denials, like those of florists and bakers, as victims of “intensifying hatred and intolerance.”
But it is clear on which side the intensifying hatred and intolerance lies. The bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT). While the bill is not going to make it past a presidential veto (which is almost guaranteed), it is a loud declaration that the Republican Party is officially taking a stand against the wishes of the American people and against human decency. If they want to make the culture war the central issue of the 2016 election, they’ll see the same results they did during the past two elections.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.