1. What would the Marriage and Religious FreedomAct do?
Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 3133, S. 1808) would bar the federal government
from discriminating against individuals and organizations based upon their religiously-motivated
belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual
relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.The Act provides broad protections against
adverse federal actions directed toward individuals and organizations that act
on such beliefs.
2. What are some examples of how such
individuals and organizations would be protected?
Act would prohibit the federal government from denying or revoking a nonprofit
entity's tax-exempt status.It would
also prohibit the federal government from denying or excluding an individual or
organization from a federal grant, contract, or employment.Indeed, the Act would bar any discrimination by
the federal government against individuals or organizations based upon their
religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that
sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
3. Who would the Act protect?
the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would protect a wide array of persons,
including individuals and organizations – both for-profits and non-profits –
regardless of whether or not they are religiously affiliated.Thus, business owners as well as churches would
4. Why is the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act
Act is needed because of growing intolerance toward religiously-minded
individuals and organizations who want to live by their conviction that
marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are
properly reserved to such a marriage.There are a growing number of reports of individual and organizations
holding such beliefs being targeted for discrimination by state
governments.This bill would prevent the
federal government from engaging in similar discrimination.
5. What states are currently engaging or
proposing to engage in this discrimination?
are many examples.To take just one, a
bill was introduced in the California legislature at the beginning of this year
to strip the Boy Scouts of their state tax exemption based on the Scouts'
decision not to have adult men who are homosexually active serve as Scout
leaders.The bill would also have
revoked the tax-exempt status of other youth organizations that hold to an
authentic sexual morality, including organizations affiliated with Catholic
in New Mexico, the State Supreme Court ruled that a husband and wife who own and
operate a photography studio must act against their religious beliefs and take
the photographs of a same-sex commitment ceremony, if they want to do business
in the state.One of the judges
participating in the case said that violating one's religious beliefs was "the
price of citizenship."
light of these and other cases involving government action against those who believe
that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations
are properly reserved to such a marriage, it is vital that Congress act now to
prevent similar intolerance at the federal level.
6. Does the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act
have any effect on states or state law?
No. It only affects the federal government.