July 12 FADA Hearing Statement
Advocates for Youth is outraged with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s decision to move forward today with a hearing on the so-called “First-Amendment Defense Act” (FADA). July 12 marks one month since 49 people were killed in the Orlando, Florida nightclub Pulse, in an act of hatred and violence that explicitly targeted the Latinx LGBTQ community. In the weeks since, several members of Congress have heard and responded to the devastation felt by LGBTQ, Latinx, and Muslim communities and their allies, advocating for comprehensive gun control and reform of blood donation policies, among other means of truly attempting to make policy change for Orlando.
But on July 12, instead of taking action to address the needs of victims and survivors, this Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would perpetuate further discrimination against and stigmatization of LGBTQ people across the country. FADA allows broad discrimination against LGBTQ people; specifically, it empowers federal employees, federal contractors and grantees, non-profit organizations and many for-profit businesses receiving tax-payer dollars to discriminate against and/or refuse services to LGBTQ people, based on their religious views on marriage and sexuality. This legislation contributes to a restrictive national discourse against sexuality where hatred like that of the Pulse shooter is allowed to take root.
In the wake of the horrific attack at Pulse, this country and our Congress should come together to support the country’s most marginalized, not perpetuate legal discrimination and stigmatization under the guise of freedom.