Buoyed by Donald Trump’s election, opponents of gay marriage want the president-elect to help them overturn last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriages.
The Human Rights Campaign, a group that backs gay marriage, said that President-elect Donald Trump ran his campaign as “a consistent opponent of marriage equality.”
Trump has sent mixed messages on the subject.
In January, he told “Fox News Sunday” that he would “strongly consider” appointing conservative judges who would reverse the ruling. But only days after winning the presidency, he told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the question was “irrelevant because it was already settled” by the high court.
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While scrapping the landmark decision could take years, opponents want to strike quickly, getting Congress to pass a bill that would give new federal protections to those who say they oppose gay marriage on moral grounds.
As a candidate, Trump promised to back the bill, called the First Amendment Defense Act, sponsored by Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador.
No American should be threatened or intimidated because of their belief in traditional marriage.
Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador
It would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract or license to any person or business based on their beliefs regarding marriage.
In a statement immediately after the election, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that wants to overturn the Supreme Court decision, said Trump’s election had created “a bright and exciting time.”
In a tweet after the “60 Minutes” interview, he said the issue is hardly “settled.”
And in another follow-up statement on Friday, Brown said: “You see, to a very large degree, making America great again means making American families strong again. It means promoting the truth of marriage.”
You see, to a very large degree, making America great again means making American families strong again. It means promoting the truth of marriage.
Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage
He called Labrador’s bill “critical legislation to protect people who believe in marriage from being targeted by the government for persecution.”
Labrador’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
For now, Labrador’s bill remains stalled in Congress.
At a hearing in July before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 70 gay rights and civil rights groups objected to the legislation, calling it an attempt to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.
Labrador defended his bill, saying that “no American should be threatened or intimidated because of their belief in traditional marriage.”
Both Labrador and Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, the chief author of a companion bill in the Senate, told the committee that their legislation would not override any state discrimination laws.
The Human Rights Campaign, a group that backs gay marriage, said Trump ran his campaign as “a consistent opponent of marriage equality.”
And the group said that Trump’s backing of the First Amendment Defense Act would open the door for “Kim Davis-style discrimination across the country.”
Davis, a Kentucky clerk, gained national attention last year when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and went to jail instead.