This is the fifth article in a series of articles titled “To Strengthen America” with the purpose of presenting information to the public of some bills currently being considered by congress. Ten bills are discussed in this series of “To Strengthen America” all of which were addressed at the 2014 Conservative Policy Summit, http://heritageaction.com/policysummit/#.Uyy762dOXmJ

 

HR 3133 & S 1808 The Marriage and Religious Freedom ACT (MARFA)

 

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act also known as MARFA was introduced by Rep. Paul Labrador of Idaho on September 19, 2013 and currently has 101 co-sponsors. http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/3133/cosponsors?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr3133%22%5D%7D

This bill has been referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as well as the Committee on Ways and Means.  The Senate bill 1808 introduced by Senator Mike Lee of Utah on December 12, 2013 is an identical bill in the Senate.

 

As a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service has summarized the bill as prohibiting “the federal government from taking an adverse action against a person on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief that: 1- Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or 2- sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr3133#summary/libraryofcongress

 

According to the bill an “adverse action” is defined as “any federal government action to discriminate against such person” and it includes the following adverse actions toward people who believe in traditional marriage as:

 

  • The denying or revoking of tax exemptions.
  • Not allowing a deduction of charitable contributions.
  • The denying or withholding of the giving of a federal grant, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or similar position or status.
  • The denying or withholding any benefit under a federal benefit program.
  • Discrimination towards any individual or organization based on their belief of traditional marriage.

 

Basically this bill says that the government cannot do any of the above.

 

It also “permits a person (any person regardless of religious affiliation, corporation, or other entity; of for-profit or nonprofit status) to assert an actual or threatened violation of this Act as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, and to obtain compensatory damages or other appropriate relief against the federal government.”  In addition, authority is given to the Attorney General to bring actions for the enforcement of this Act.

 

Read the full text of

HR 3303  http://www.opencongress.org/bill/hr3133-113/text

S 1808 http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1808/text

 

I am trying to write this series of “To Strengthen America” without much personal bias, but I must add my opinion on this bill.  I feel that it is a good bill.  I favor this bill because I am a Christian and I believe in the bible.  Because I believe the teachings found in the bible, I do not support homosexuality or same sex marriage.  I have a right to speak what I believe.  All Americans have that right to speak what they believe. I care about all Americans.  I care about all my relatives and friends and acquaintances of relatives and friends who are of the LGBT community. Just as the Savior taught that we are to love our neighbors, I am not condemning them, or judging them, or bullying them.  They are still God’s children and I leave the judging up to God.  However, the name-calling and stereotyping of me and of other people who believe in the bible and who are trying to follow God’s teachings that is occurring, is exactly what the LGBT community does not want done to them, so why should they have a right to persecute or bully Christians?  I and other Christians have a right to speak what we believe and this bill protects our rights.

 

Contact your congressmen regarding this bill at http://whoismyrepresentative.com/

 

Other sources regarding this issue:

http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2013/7/yes-threats-to-religious-liberty-happen-here-old

http://patriotupdate.com/articles/law-man-versus-law-god/

 

Read the whole “To Strengthen America” series:

http://patriotupdate.com/articles/strengthen-america-part-hr-1847/

http://patriotupdate.com/articles/strengthen-america-part-ii-hr-2300/

http://patriotupdate.com/articles/strengthen-america-part-iii-s-2015/

http://patriotupdate.com/articles/strengthen-america-part-iv-hr-2767-path-act/

Watch for the next five articles on PatriotUpdate.com