Published On: Fri, Dec 20th, 2013

Sen Mike Lee proposes bill to protect churches from federal sanctions if they oppose gay marriage

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) discussed the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act on The Glenn Beck Program Thursday, describing how the proposed legislation could be a game-changer for churches across the country.

Lee, who introduced the bill with eleven original cosponsors last week, said the most “fundamental purpose” of the legislation is to protect religious institutions, particularly when it comes to their views on marriage.



“It would make it impossible for the federal government to discriminate against such churches, or against similarly situated organizations, based on the belief and action taken in conformity with the belief that marriage exists between one man and one woman,” Lee explained.

“It is concerning that we have people in this administration who think that religious liberties are just not that big of a deal,” Lee said in an interview with the Washington Examiner Tuesday.

Lee’s “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act” is meant to prevent federal officials from revoking churches’ and other nonprofits groups’ of their tax-exempt statuses over their support for traditional marriage.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) explained the thinking behind the bill: “Religious freedom is a foundational principle to our great nation, and it’s something that Louisianians and folks across the country cherish — including the millions of Americans, like myself, who support traditional marriage.”

“But, for a number of reasons, this basic freedom is under attack by the current administration. This bill will protect groups from administrative attacks, such as additional hurdles with taxes or obtaining federal grants or contracts,” he said.

Along with Vitter, the bill’s cosponsors include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

“What I would like to do is make sure that we go out of our way to protect churches from adverse action that could be taken against them as a result of their doctrinal views of the definition of marriage,” Lee told the Examiner.

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