BuzzFeed News is reporting that Republicans will reintroduce a bill in 2017 to “protect people and corporations that hold a religious objection to same-sex marriage”.
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah is set to re-file the bill. A spokesman for his office has said that the Trump presidency affords the legislation a better chance of going through. Sen. Ted Cruz is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“Hopefully November’s results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year,” said Conn Carroll, Lee’s spokesman.
“We do plan to reintroduce FADA [the First Amendment Defense Act] next Congress and we welcome Trump’s positive words about the bill.”
By “positive words”, Carroll means Trump’s campaign statement that he would sign FADA because it would “protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”
The bill was filed in the House and Senate in 2015, but only received a hearing in the House. It died after Democrats opposed it and amid GOP fears that President Obama would veto it regardless.
“The prospects for protecting religious freedom are brighter now than they have been in a long time,” said Ted Cruz. “We are having ongoing conversations with our colleagues both in Congress and leaders in the new administration about a multitude of ways we can honor the commitment made to the voters in this last election.”
BuzzFeed outlined FADA as such:
“We made great progress last Congress, the first Congress it was introduced, the House had hearing,” said Carroll, adding “we have every reason to believe the momentum will continue next year.”