Republican senators introduce bill to allow groups to refuse service to gay couples


A dozen Republican U.S. senators have introduced legislation intended to allow organizations to discriminate against gay people.

The proposed Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, according to a news release from the office of right-wing Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, would bar “the government from denying any person or group tax-exempt status for exercising their religious conscience rights.”

The measure would accomplish this by allow organizations to refuse service or products to gay people by citing religious beliefs.

Lee said, “This bill protects the rights of individuals and organizations from religious discrimination by the federal government. Those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage deserve respect and tolerance.  It is critical that we clarify the law to ensure that their fundamental civil liberties are not at risk.”

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador introduced a similar bill, which has 92 co-sponsors.

The measures have the support of the U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops, National Organization For Marriage, Heritage Action, Concerned Women For America, The Ethics And Religious Liberty Commission Of The Southern Baptist Convention, Liberty Counsel Action and the Family Research Council, which has been characterized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.