Six Republican candidates have backed a new ‘religious freedom’ law – which would allow religious people to discriminate against married gay couples.
Three of the four frontrunners in the race for the party’s 2016 Presidential nomination are among those to pledge their support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which is designed to ‘protect’ those who discriminate against gay couples.
The draft law would ban the government from taking any action against a person who: “Believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
Six candidates signed a pledge from the anti-gay American Principles Project to push through the law and “sign it into law during the first 100 days of my term as President”.
Signatories include Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Former Senator Rick Santorum, and Former Governor Mike Huckabee.
All of those signatories aside from Fiorina were already known to be ardently opposed to LGBT rights. Santorum, Rubio, Cruz and Carson are among those who have also pledged to reverse the Supreme Court decision on equal marriage, potentially voiding thousands of existing marriages.
Maggie Gallagher of the American Principles Project – who previously ran the anti-gay National Organisation for Marriage – said: “It has become clear that the First Amendment Defense Act is rapidly becoming a signature issue that unifies the GOP.
“Three out of the four top contenders for the nomination — Carson, Cruz, and Rubio — have pledged to prioritize passing FADA in their first 100 days of office.
“Additionally, Bush, Graham, Paul, and now for the first time, Donald Trump, have publicly expressed support for FADA.
“Real, concrete protections for gay marriage dissenters appear to be just one election victory away.”
The claim that Donald Trump has expressed support for the law is surprising, given his recent flip-flopping on LGBT rights.
Mr Trump strongly opposed equal marriage, but has since conceded it is a “dead issue” and backed employment protections for LGBT workers.