WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, condemned an amendment introduced in the Senate as a last ditch effort to undermine marriage equality. Introduced by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the anti-LGBT amendment would endorse the idea that businesses and organizations should be allowed to use taxpayer funds to discriminate against married same-sex couples.
“With nearly 60 percent of Americans supporting marriage equality, the Senate should reject Sen. Inhofe’s effort to turn back the clock on equality,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “Senator Inhofe’s long record of opposition to LGBT rights is already notorious, but the question this week is whether the U.S. Senate rejects his extreme, anti-equality agenda. Sen. Inhofe isn’t even in touch with his own constituents. The Oklahoma legislature rejected more than a dozen bills aimed at harming LGBT people. Fair-minded Senators from both parties should reject this amendment.”
Using misleading language, the amendment attempts to turn the table on non-discrimination provisions by specifically requiring that “…federal agencies do not discriminate against an individual, business, or organization with sincerely held religious beliefs against abortion or that marriage is the union between one man and one woman…” The First Amendment already protects religious and political speech. This amendment is an attempt to garner support for the faulty idea that businesses and organizations should be able to discriminate against married same-sex couples without jeopardizing their access to government contracts and other federal funds.