Catholic Colleges Need FADA

Photo credit: elPadawan via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: elPadawan via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In a letter addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, officials representing nine Catholic colleges — in addition to representatives from dozens of other schools and public policy organizations — joined the Cardinal Newman Society in a Family Research Council-led effort calling on legislators to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in order to “prohibit federal government discrimination against those who continue to believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”

The letter stresses that the passage of FADA is very much needed to ensure that government does not discriminate against groups holding to the traditional view of marriage:

Charities, non-profits, and family owned businesses with religious beliefs or moral convictions about marriage should not be penalized by the federal government for their beliefs. FADA prevents the federal government from engaging in discrimination, whether in grants, contracts, licensing, accreditation or tax treatment against individuals and entities who continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and that sexual relations are reserved for such a marriage.

Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly commented: “The very survival of Catholic education and faithful nonprofits like The Cardinal Newman Society is threatened, unless Congress intervenes and ensures our full protection. Congress needs to stand by the First Amendment and defend America’s bedrock principle of freedom of religion.”

The signatories requested that congressional leaders schedule a vote on FADA “for early this year.” FADA was  introduced in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) last June, along with an identical bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). A new version of FADA was released on last September.

Brittany Klein is the co-author of Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ and serves on the board and academic council of the International Children’s Rights Institute.