The Freedom From Religion Foundation condemns the recent maneuver in the House to defeat a measure protecting gay rights.
An amendment by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., to uphold an executive order barring discrimination by federal contractors was defeated 213-212 after a dramatic floor fight. Democrats shouted "Shame! Shame!" as seven Republicans switched voters under pressure by House Speaker Paul Ryan. "The federal government shouldn't stick its nose in this business," Ryan remarked.
Maloney's amendment, attached to a defense policy bill, would have prevented the use of taxpayer dollars to violate President Obama's executive order barring discrimination.
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor says the unfortunate faith-based funding initiative, in which religious entities may compete as federal contractors without having to create secular aims, is resulting in grants to groups that openly discriminate both in policy and hiring against LGBT citizens.
The faith-based funding initiative enacted by President George W. Bush has blurred the line between state and church, Gaylor notes. "Where public money goes, public accountability should follow, but churches and religious groups want to feed at the public trough while playing by their own rules," Gaylor adds.
Gaylor observes that adding sexual orientation as a protected class to the Civil Rights Act is long overdue. "The secular community and all who revere civil rights must pressure Congress to pass the Equality Act," Gaylor concludes.