Today, Congressman Doug LaMalfa opposed H.R. 8404, a bill that repeals the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” and creates an explicit right to same-sex marriage.
This legislation creates a private right of action— or ability to sue — over refusing to participate, perform or provide a service for an LGBT wedding. Consequentially, churches and other places of worship will be able to decline LGBT weddings in their chapel, but they could still be sued for not allowing the wedding in an adjacent garden on church property. Existing contracts with religious adoption and foster care services will be in jeopardy if they focus on placing children in traditional homes, which this bill will now deem as a form of discrimination. Additionally, the new law will create new opportunities for the IRS to terminate tax-exempt status for churches, religiously affiliated charities and other traditional values organizations for not participating in or endorsing same-sex marriages.
“I will not support a bill that places a target on Christian or other faiths’ values,” LaMalfa said. “Today’s vote will place any traditional church’s tax-exempt status in jeopardy and will result in defunding and the exclusion of Christian-type adoption agencies. This bill does not keep things as they are currently; it empowers big government and Leftist extremists to either force its values on religious Americans or face staggering legal costs. Freedom of expression and association lost today, while an all-powerful government got stronger.”