Eye on the Opposition: The First Amendment Defense Act’s Extreme Supporters

By Megan Clayton • August 5, 2015 • 5:44 pm
Bills with lofty titles rarely live up to their names. And the First Amendment Defense Act, introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), is no exception. It sounds like a celebration of the Constitution, but it’s nothing more than an attempt to legalize discrimination. Simply put, the First Amendment doesn’t need a “Defense Act” – it’s already the First Amendment.
To understand the true intentions of the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” one need look no further than the list of cosponsors and supporting organizations. The list of organizations using the bill for fundraising includes a number of actual hate groups, and the bill’s list of cosponsors includes many members of Congress who have made names for themselves with fiercely anti-LGBT policies.

“The First Amendment Defense Act” sounds like a celebration of the Constitution, but it’s nothing more than an attempt to legalize discrimination.

Here are four of the of the bill’s most prominent and vehement supporting organizations, each of which is designated an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In addition to support from hate groups, many of the bill’s co-sponsors have anti-LGBT records that are nearly as concerning.  Here are five co-sponsors along with their statements or records:
Finally, here’s everything that’s wrong with the First Amendment Defense Act in one short video. Not only did bill sponsor Senator Mike Lee choose the Family Research Council, one of the hate groups listed earlier, as the venue to promote his bill, but his explanation of why it is needed doesn’t make much sense. Watch:

Sen. Lee acknowledges that the President has said he didn’t intend to do anything to force churches to perform a same-sex marriage against its religious beliefs. Lee notes that “This shouldn’t have to be said. It’s like walking past someone on the street who says, ‘I don’t intend to kidnap you.’ His point is that such a statement is absurd- and it is, because kidnapping is already illegal. Then, without a hint of irony, he says the President’s statement is incomplete- that it needs to be backed up with law to ensure churches won’t be forced to marry same-sex couples and so that no American will have to embrace such beliefs. Except, to his point, that’s already illegal. See the First Amendment.

[fbcomments url=""]