Fill in the blank: The proposed First Amendment Defense Act _____.

By Perspective Staff

…combines church and state.

Maritza Huerta | Columnist

This bill protects religious groups and individuals who believe the sanctity of marriage remains solely between men and women, according to a Feb. 3 PBS article. The article also states that it’s unclear how the act will be updated if at all; yet this bill simultaneously protects and violates constitutional rights of the American people.

The bill allows particular Americans to practice religious freedom to openly discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans — denying queer Americans life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How separate can church and state be when religion is all too prevalent in our our laws?

…will legalize discrimination.

Ian Tancun | Columnist

While a First Amendment Defense Act has not yet been signed into law, it is apparently something that Republican members of Congress are planning to reintroduce, according to a Feb. 3 PBS Newshour article.

Such a bill would legalize discrimination. A business-owner could legally refuse service to an LGBTQ+ customer by citing a conflict between the customer’s sexual orientation or gender identity and the business-owner’s religious beliefs.

While I consider myself an agnostic, I respect the freedom people have to follow whatever religion they choose. That is their personal business, and it has no impact on my life, unless this bill is passed.

Religion is a personal choice; sexual orientation is not.

Knowing that religion could be used as justification for discrimination is disturbing. A law which marginalizes an entire group of people for something they have no control over is not reflective of a democratic society.