Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sen. Mike Lee is full of crap on FADA

Mike Lee
Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee has chosen Heritage Foundation's blog to ramp up support for his Senate version of the First Amendment Defense Act. According to Lee:
During oral arguments in [Obergefell v. Hodges], U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli confirmed that if the court created a right to same-sex marriage, then the Internal Revenue Service would be empowered to revoke the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that maintain a traditional belief of marriage.

And the threat doesn’t end there. Schools that have educated children for decades could lose their accreditation. Hospitals could be shut down. This would be a huge blow to the civil society that helps stitch our nation together.
“In the Bob Jones case,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said, referring to the 1983 Supreme Court decision, “the court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?”

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., representing the Obama administration, said that was possible. “I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics,” he said, “but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is going to be an issue.”

Verrilli did not “confirm” anything. Verrilli's uncertainty is far short of Lee's claim that the IRS would be empowered to revoke the exemptions of Christian Schools. Furthermore, last August IRS Commissioner John Koskinen resolved what Verrilli said would “be an issue.” He promised that the IRS will not change the standards it applies to religious tax-exempt organizations because of Obergefell.

Accreditation is not in the control of the federal government. Lee knows perfectly well that private organizations set the standards for, and ultimately convey, accreditation. FADA has no effect.

Personally I think that if a gay person is idiotic enough to attend a Christian college then he should be entitled to the same privilege as a heterosexual student if the college provides housing for married students. But that's me. Ultimately the accommodation of gay students is an issue that is dependent upon state or municipal nondiscrimination laws because we are not protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And by the way, these Christian colleges exist on Title IV federal student aid. All taxpayers subsidize these schools.

Lee goes on to state:
The First Amendment Defense Act would protect these vital institutions. It is a narrow and targeted response that would do one thing and one thing only: prevent the federal government from discriminating against people’s beliefs about marriage and what it entails.
Narrow?
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 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 and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
That is a license to discriminate. It means, for example, that a federal contractor using my tax dollars can refuse to hire me simply because I am gay—married or not married.
Now, you may hear tall tales—and some outright falsehoods—about this bill. Some may suggest that FADA would give private businesses a license to violate anti-discrimination laws with impunity. This is just not so. The bill does not preempt, negate, or alter any civil rights laws, state or federal. To be clear: This bill does not take anything away from any individual or group, because it does not modify any of our existing civil rights protections.
That is a lie. Lee knows perfectly well that an Executive Order prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in hiring LGBT citizens. Actually amends a nondiscrimination Executive Order 11246, issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson, by adding sexual orientation and sexual identity. FADA nullifies that amendment.

Lee is just a religious crackpot in magic underwear. Enough. Nobody needs the right to discriminate against LGBT citizens and taxpayers.

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