GOP Senators To Re-Introduce Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Next Year

Susan Walsh/AP

The Republican sponsors of a so-called “religious freedom” bill plan on re-introducing the legislation next year in the hopes that Donald Trump’s election will boost chances for the bill to be signed into law, Buzzfeed News reported.

The bill, the First Amendment Defense Act, would ban the federal government from revoking tax exemptions from or denying grants to individuals or corporations with religious or “moral” beliefs opposing same-sex marriage.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the legislation last year, and a counterpart measure was filed in the House, but neither bill made it to a full vote in either the House or Senate.

“Hopefully November’s results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year,” Conn Carroll, a spokesman for Lee, told Buzzfeed.

Cruz also told Buzzfeed News that Trump’s election gives him hope that the bill could gain support in 2017.

“The prospects for protecting religious freedom are brighter now than they have been in a long time,” Cruz said. “We are having ongoing conversations with our colleagues both in Congress and leaders in the new administration about a multitude of ways we can honor the commitment made to the voters in this last election.”

During the presidential campaign, Trump pledged to sign the legislation “to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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