Friday, December 13, 2013

HR 3133

 A bill introduced before congress on the 19th of September, but never voted on, is regaining traction.  A similar bill is now being introduced into the senate.  It is important for us as it blatantly frames a set of rights based on participation in a religion. 

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3133 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
1st Session



To prevent adverse treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.


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In this case the right is to "act", as long as it is in response to polygamy, same-sex marriage, or premarital sex.  Interesting as that is the idea that protection only comes if the individual shows that they are doing so for religious reasons. 

SEC. 3. PROTECTION OF THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

(a) In General.--The Federal Government shall not take an adverse action against a person, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.


I don't know exactly why the bill got forgotten towards the end of September, but I suspect that it had something to do with the government shutdown that occurred a little over a week after the bill was introduced.  Bolstering this guess is the fact that one of my senators -Mike Lee of Utah- is actively introducing the new senate version.  Mike was also actively promoting the government shutdown, and a guy can only do so many things at once.

There are so many things wrong with this bill that I don't expect it to ever pass congress, and if it did I doubt it would get a presidential signature.  It may, however, be used as a platform on which anti-atheist as well as anti-homosexual speeches may be introduced into the congressional record.  Who would want to do this?

Well... Michelle Bachmann is one of the co-sponsors.   I'm going to miss her a little. 

Also amongst the house bill's 91 cosponsors are three out of the four Utah congressmen:
Mr. Chaffetz
Mr. Stewart 
Mr. Bishop
The Bill's sponsor (Raúl Rafael Labrador R-ID) is a BYU graduate who served an LDS mission in Santiago Chile.

The other LDS co-sponsor is
Mr. Salmon (R-Ariz)
So it appears as if over half of the voting LDS members of the house are co-sponsors named in the house bill.  The new Senate bill is supposedly, according to the introducing Senator Mike Lee, sponsored by senators Vitter, Rubio, Roberts, Hatch, Coburn, Blunt, Inhofe, Wicker, Risch, Cochran and Graham.  So there is unanimous support for this new bill from Utah's senators. 





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