From Press Release
WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union and over 70 national, state and local groups sent a letter today to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) urging him to cancel a hearing on a bill that would allow taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, women and others.
Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has scheduled the hearing on the “First Amendment Defense Act” for July 12, the one month anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
“It’s outrageous that Congress would hold a hearing on legislation that would make it legal to discriminate against LGBT people with taxpayer dollars one month after the mass shooting that killed 49 people and injured 53 others at a gay club in Orlando,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project. “Congress should instead focus its efforts on protecting people against violence or discrimination, regardless of who they are or whom they love.”
The bill’s supporters argue that the singular intent of the bill is to prevent discrimination against “people and institutions that define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.” In practice, the ACLU said, the bill will permit sweeping taxpayer-funded discrimination. Based on a professed religious belief or even a legally ambiguous “moral conviction,” private organizations and certain federal contractors would be empowered to refuse a range of services to LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples.
The letter is here:
National Organizations Signed On
Advocates for Youth
American Civil Liberties Union
American Humanist Association
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP)
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Catholics for Choice
Center for Inquiry
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Family Equality C
Feminist Majority Foundation
Freedom for All Americans
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
Human Rights Campaign
Institute for Science and Human Values
Jewish Women International(JWI)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Marriage Equality USA
National Abortion Federation
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum