Why I Support a Viewpoint-Neutral First Amendment Defense Act

Given the urgent need for such protections for dissenters from gay marriage, why then have Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel chosen to withdraw their support for FADA? Because they object to new language that was inserted that would make FADA “viewpoint neutral” — i.e., that would prevent the federal government from punishing you for believing either that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that same-sex unions can be marriages.

Both FRC and Liberty Counsel raise some good points on the technical language. But these do not seem to be the heart of the objection. “For the first time, the federal government under the proposed FADA will formerly recognize and condone same-sex marriage on par with the natural marriage,” Liberty Counsel noted in a press release in which they announced their withdrawal of support.

The language of the bill does no such thing. It merely acknowledges the that there are people — including, sadly, five of them on the Supreme Court and the guy in that White House — who believe that same-sex unions can be marriages.

I do not know of any Republicans who plan to try to take away the tax-exempt status of the Human Rights Campaign. But the hearing showed very clearly that there are Democrats thinking about whether they can do that to groups such as the Family Research Council. California is about to pass a bill denying students the right to use their college grants at any college that permits neither married gay students in its dorms for married people nor transgender people to live in the dorm room of their choice.

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