Thursday, September 19, 2013

NOM likes the "Marriage and Religious Freedom Act"

Paul Labrador
Rep. Paul Labrador
National Organization for Marriage is promoting an article in the Washington Post. Rep. Paul Labrador (R-Idaho), a Cracked Teapot®, is probably best known for his Grazing Improvement Act (HR-657). Now he is proposing a bill that would supposedly protect religious institutions and "other nonprofit groups that don't recognize same-sex marriages" from potential discrimination by the Internal Revenue Service. The identity of "those other groups" and how they do or don't recognize equal marriage remains unknown.

According to the Washington Post, “Asked if he had any evidence of government-backed discrimination against religious or conservative groups opposing same-sex marriages, Labrador cited a California bill that would revoke the tax-exempt status of the Boy Scouts unless they permit gay people to become scout leaders.”

Perhaps Mr. Labrador doesn't know that the California bill never became law. Moreover, permitting gay Scout leaders has nothing to do with marriage. Ignoring those issues, exactly how that might provide a prospective template for what the IRS might do is inexplicable. Although, Congress would have to pass a law similar to California's — in which case Mr. Labrador's law would be irrelevant.

Why do I get the feeling that Mr. Labrador has matters other than marriage in mind?

If I take him at his word, Mr. Labrador seems to understand neither the US Constitution nor marriage. The only "groups" that "recognize" marriage are religious institutions who have always had the right to determine whether or not to sanctify a marriage. That is enshrined in the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

I'd prefer not to speculate on the actual text of this proposed bill. I will continue to watch the bills that this guy sponsors.
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