Why everyone should be concerned about the First Amendment Defense Act
Yesterday, a state Senate committee recommended the First Amendment Defense Act, a controversial piece of legislation, move forward for a vote. In an opinion column, Robbie Medwed, an Atlanta native and LGBT activist, argues the measure's potential impacts.
State Sen. Greg Kirk, R-Americus, would be the first person to tell you his Senate Bill 284, the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” that’s working its way through the Georgia General Assembly, does not allow discrimination against LGBT people. He’s wrong.
In fact, the bill, now combined with the Pastor Protection Act, does allow discrimination against LGBT people. It also allows discrimination against anyone who has sex outside of marriage (single mothers and anyone else’s who’s even a little bit sexually active without a ring), anyone who disagrees that same-sex marriage should be OK, and, in a stunningly shallow attempt to hold everyone to the same standards, anyone who is against same-sex marriage. Kirk really thinks that allowing anyone to discriminate against anyone makes the bill fair. Apparently he hasn’t thought that maybe he should just not endorse discrimination, which would be far easier.
As it stands now — and things change every day — FADA and PPA have been combined into one super bill that guarantees religious clergy the right to not be forced to perform a same-sex wedding if they don’t want to — already a right guaranteed by the First Amendment — and allows any religious nonprofit to use tax dollars to discriminate against couples it doesn’t like.
Read more at Creative Loafing Atlanta