Will House Moderates Sell Out FADA?

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) speaks during a House GOP Leadership press conference (photo credit: House GOP via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

The ink on the First Amendment Defense Act is barely dry, and already some Republicans in the House are trying to subvert it, according to The New York Times:

At the same time, wary Republican moderates have quietly drafted a novel alternative that would actually expand legal protections for gay men and lesbians. Their legislation would narrow the scope of protection offered to groups declining services to same-sex couples seeking to marry.

The details are unclear, including how little would be left of FADA’s robust conscience protections, but Dent proposes basically passing ENDA and adding sexual orientation to the Fair Housing Act.

“This [FADA] opens up a can of worms, and Congress needs to show it can do two things at once: protect religious freedoms and provide legal protections for nondiscrimination,” said Charlie Dent (R-PA) who appears to have wiggled out of the closet as the leader of the fraidy faction.

At a closed door meeting, Dent shared with colleagues the lessons he learned from the Indiana debacle: Republicans cannot risk some bad publicity because of protests by big business leaders.  “I would really hate to see the Indiana nightmare turn into a national debacle,” he said.  Yes, if the entire Congress can be stampeded by a threats from a handful of corporate leaders.

Let’s be clear here: The courts have granted gay marriage.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just unlawfully rewrote the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add “sexual orientation” to the protected categories—without any new conscience exemptions.  Continue Reading