“First Amendment Defense Act” Could Gut Obama’s Executive Order Protecting LGBT Federal ContractorsBy Megan Clayton • July 16, 2015 • 5:27 pm
Despite its name, the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) does nothing to protect or defend the Constitution. On the contrary, this misguided legislation—which already has dozens of co-sponsors and is picking up steam in the United States Congress—would provide individuals, organizations and businesses a license to discriminate against others, including LGBT Americans.
Need proof that this bill would have real consequences? Look no further than President Barack Obama’s amendment of Executive Order 11246, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the existing order covering federal contractors. The order was signed by President Obama in July 2014—and since then has protected 16.5 million employees from discrimination according to estimates from the Williams Institute.
If the FADA were to become law, much of this Executive Order would be unenforceable—rolling back critical non-discrimination protections for millions of hardworking LGBT Americans nationwide. Not only that, but with more than 70% of the country supporting LGBT employment non-discrimination protections, this shameful bill is simply out of touch the values held by a bipartisan majority of Americans.
Next week, FADA is scheduled to be considered in a House Committee, which means we don’t have much time to urge lawmakers across the country to reject this dangerous, license to discriminate bill.