Bacon Votes to Protect First Amendment and Title IX
Washington, DC, May 17, 2019
Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) today voted to protect the First Amendment rights of Americans and religious-based groups who want to freely exercise their faith and speech. LGBTQ citizens do need equal protections, but it must be done in a way that also respects and protects religious groups who hold traditional views of marriage based on their deeply held religious beliefs. H.R. 5, the “Equality Act” attacks the First Amendment rights of faith-based organizations who believe in traditional marriage.
“Section 1107 of this legislation specifically says the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot be used as a defense in the application of the law, by those who believe in traditional marriage affecting many people of faith including Jews, Christians and Muslims,” said Rep. Bacon. “The LGBTQ community must have protections, but we must defend our freedom of religion, or more precisely, make clear that government cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion while doing so.”
Under this Act, churches, private schools, faith-based shelters and adoption agencies would be forced to hire individuals who do not agree with their faith-based principles. It enables the government to tell them who to marry and who can adopt, and how to shelter abused women, effectively making the First Amendment no longer valid.
“This bill is an attack on religious freedom. While we must ensure the LGBTQ community has their Constitutional rights protected, we must protect the First Amendment rights of those who hold faith-based views of traditional marriage,” said Rep. Bacon. “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has served our nation so well since Bill Clinton signed it into law and it should continue to be honored. The House Democratic leadership purposefully removed Religious Freedom Restoration Act protections in this bill.”
H.R. 5 also greatly threatens women’s rights and tramples their fight for equality. For example, this bill will gut the Title IX protections that have enabled our women to compete in sports throughout our country. “Increasingly, biological men are competing and winning as women in sports, which shows why Title IX was needed in the first place,” Rep Bacon said. “Congress has a constitutional duty to protect religious freedoms and women’s equality. I sympathize with the protections that the LGBTQ community is seeking, but it must not be at the expense of religious freedoms.”
“I asked the Democratic leaders to include religious protections in this bill and they refused. We proposed amendments that provided religious protections and safeguarded Title IX and the Democratic leadership refused to allow,” said Rep. Bacon. “I firmly belief LGBTQ rights and religious freedom can coexist in our country, but both must be protected. This bill violates our First Amendment.”