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Religious Tolerance logo

The Obergefell v. Hodges case before the U.S. Supreme Court
involving appeals of 4 same-sex marriage cases, from Kentucky,
Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.

Part 31: 2015-JUNE:
Franklin Graham advocates boycott.
A First Amendment Defense Act which doesn't
defend the First Amendment is proposed.
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We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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thumbs down image2015-JUN-05: Franklin Graham advocates boycott of companies that support marriage equality:

Graham posted a message on his Facebook page:

"Have you ever asked yourself–how can we fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community? Every day it is something else! Tiffany’s started advertising wedding rings for gay couples. Wells Fargo bank is using a same-sex couple in their advertising. And there are more.

But it has dawned on me that we don’t have to do business with them. At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we are moving our accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank. And guess what—we don’t have to shop at Tiffany & Co., there are plenty of other jewelry stores. This is one way we as Christians can speak out—we have the power of choice. Let’s just stop doing business with those who promote sin and stand against Almighty God’s laws and His standards. Maybe if enough of us do this, it will get their attention. 4

His posting received 94,228 "Likes," 42,037 shares, and 10,464 comments. during the first four days!

The Huffington Post has listed the 379 companies that have submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court urging them to legalize same-sex marriage. The brief says, in part:

"Employers are better served by a uniform marriage rule that gives equal dignity to employee relationships. Allowing same-sex couples to marry improves employee morale and productivity, reduces uncertainty, and removes the wasteful administrative burdens imposed by the current disparity of state law treatment." 5

Some of the 379 companies are very well known, and include: Alaska Airlines, Alcoa, Amazon, American Airlines, American Express, Apple, AT&T, ..... Visa, Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, Xerox."

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thumbs down image2015-JUN-17: First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) was introduced in Congress:

Companion Senate bill S. 1598 and House bill H.R. 2802 have been introduced to Congress by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID).

UtahPolicy.com describes the bill as prohibiting:

"... 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. For example, the bill would prohibit the IRS from stripping a church of its tax exemption for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings." 6

Unfortunately, the two sentences are mutually contradictory:

  • The first sentence says that the bill, if it becomes law, would protect a person's beliefs about marriage by same-sex couples.

  • The second sentence talks about something entirely different. It discusses protecting a person's actions in discriminating against same-sex couples.

Senator Lee said:

"There’s a reason the right to religious liberty appears first in our nation’s Bill of Rights. The freedom to live and to act in accordance with the dictates of one’s conscience and religious convictions is integral to human flourishing, serving as the foundation upon which America has produced the most diverse, tolerant, and stable society the world has ever known. The vast majority of Americans today still hold a robust view of religious liberty, yet across the country the right of conscience is threatened by state and local governments that coerce, intimidate, and penalize individuals, associations, and businesses who believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. The First Amendment Defense Act is necessary to ensure that this kind of government excess never occurs at the federal level." 6

Rep. Labrador said:

"Religious freedom is at the heart of what it means to be an American. America set the standard for upholding freedom of belief and worship in a diverse society. No American should ever doubt these protections enshrined in the First Amendment. Our bill ensures that the federal government does not penalize Americans for following their religious beliefs or moral convictions on traditional marriage. Our bill shields against federal intrusion without taking anything away from anyone. In a shifting landscape, it’s time that Congress proactively defend this sacred right. 6

Religious beliefs are already protected in the U.S. by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So these bills can have no effect on the freedom of religious belief, advocacy, speech, assembly, or proselyzing, These rights are already protected by the Constitution to a much stronger degree than a federal law could ever accomplish.

Senator Lee indicates that the bill would protect the ability of an individual, association, or business to "act in accordance with the dictates of one’s conscience and religious convictions." In other words, a person or company would be able to discriminate against others with impunity.

Rep. Labrador indicates that the bill would protect individuals from any government restrictions if they want to convert their religious beliefs into discriminatory actions.

The title of the bill appears deceptive. It does nothing to defend the First Amendment which covers only beliefs, speech, assembly, proselyzing. Its sole aim is to protect the ability of people and companies to discriminate against same-sex couples. It is promoted as a religious freedom bill; in reality it is a bill guaranteeing religious freedom to discriminate against others. It is difficult to see how a bill that allows people to discriminate freely will add to the American's society's diversity, tolerance, and stability. The bill is clearly hate legislation.

The bill currently has 18 co-sponsors in the Senate. All are Republicans. It has 57 sponsors for the companion House bill.

Also on JUN-17, the Family Research Council endorsed the First Amendment Defense Act.

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Webmaster's note: [bias alert]:

I posted a comment to the article in UtahPolicy.com. 6 It quotes some of the above material and concludes:

"The bill is clearly proposing hate legislation and would shield people who want to act against the Golden Rule."

At the time, I wondered what the chances are that the comment will make it past the moderators. I was surprised to see it printed in full.

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The next essay discusses the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court on
2015-JUN-26 that made marriage equality the law of the land. Their
decision will be followed by much joy, celebration, disgust, and sadness.
Many religious conservatives will sincerely fear horrendous retaliation by
God that may result in the deaths of many Americans.

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Persecution Against U.S. Christians On the Rise," Samaritan's Purse, 2015-MAY, at: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/
  2. Max Brantley, "There goes Huckabee again. Supreme Court? What Supreme Court?," Arkansas Blog, 2015-MAY-24, at: http://www.arktimes.com/
  3. Bob Cesca, "Mike Huckabee wants to destroy the Constitution: Inside the dangerous right-wing plot to sabotage gay marriage," Salon, 2015-MAY-27, at: http://www.salon.com/
  4. Franklin Graham, "Have you ever asked yourself ..." Facebook, 2015-JUN-05, at: https://www.facebook.com/
  5. Alexander C. Kaufman, "Here Are The 379 Companies Urging The Supreme Court To Support Same-Sex Marriage," Huffington Post, 2015-MAT-05, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  6. "Lee, Labrador Introduce Bill Protecting Religious Liberty," UtahPolicy.com, 2015-JUN-17, at: http://utahpolicy.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-JUN-17
Latest update: 2015-JUN-26
Author: B.A. Robinson
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