Speaker Ryan Orders Congressman To Gut Religious Liberty Bill, the First Amendment Defense Act
Speaker Paul Ryan may have forced Congressman Raul Labrador to cut out the heart of his own legislation to protect relgious liberty and subsitute language to recognize same sex marriage-- the opposite of the original intent of his own bill.
Charisma News reports July 29, in part:
"........recent changes have many wondering if a bait-and-switch deception was perpetrated on Americans. A number of the FADA's biggest early supporters have now become its most vocal opponents.
Prior to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's hearing- during a period known as "markup"- Labrador offered an amendment that substantially changed not only the text of the bill, but its intent, as well. The revised House version of the FADA now includes same-sex "marriage" as a new protected class."
National Review Confirms Gutting of Religious Liberty Bill
Maggie Gallagher of National Review, a neo conservative publication that supports "compromise" throws in with the new language and writes July 29 in part:
"let's tweak the language, by all means, and carefully consider the consequences. But I see nothing wrong in principle with promising to supporters of gay marriage supporters that they won't be punished by their government for their views, either.
Original Text Had Proper Language
The text of the First Amendment Defense Act (the Religious Liberty Bill, HR 2802) is posted
here. NO changes posted here.
The drumbeat of support and anticipation for a showdown in recent days was loud.
Religious Liberty supporters seemed to be in a clear majority on the committee and in Congress.
On July 11 the Daily Signal reported:
"Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are bracing for what is likely to be a contentious hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill over legislation aimed at protecting individuals and organizations who hold traditional views about marriage and sexuality.........."
On July 13 CNS news reported Congressman Labrador's pitch to the committee, in part:
"It is unsurprising then that when it came time for our Founding Fathers to list those rights most fundamental to a free and fulfilled people, the freedom of religion was prominently placed before the rest," Labrador said Tuesday at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Washington.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to testify before you today because I fear that this fundamental freedom is threatened," the congressman said.
World magazine reported June 29
"FADA is one of the most important pieces pending before Congress, and yet despite its incredible support base, both House Leadership and Chairman Chaffetz haven't committed to decisive action," said Mike Needham, CEO of Heritage Action.
Elsewhere on publicadvocateusa.org we have Senator Mike Lees remarks posted.