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Six GOP candidates sign religious freedom pledge

Six GOP candidates sign religious freedom pledge

The White House is lit in rainbow colors to mark the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage in June

Same-sex marriage equality can expect a powerful ally if the next White House resident is Republican. Six GOP candidates have signed a pledge, promising in their first 100 days they will support religious liberty legislation.

According to Think Progress, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum promise to support the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). The bill  blocks the government from preventing discrimination by businesses that believe ‘marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman’ and ‘sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.’

The proposal is supported by the American Principles Project, Heritage Action for America, and Family Research Council Action.

‘It has become clear that the First Amendment Defense Act is rapidly becoming a signature issue that unifies the GOP,’ Maggie Gallagher, senior fellow at American Principles Project, said in the group’s statement announcing the pledge. ‘Three out of the four top contenders for the nomination — Carson, Cruz, and Rubio — have pledged to prioritize passing FADA in their first 100 days of office. Additionally,  [Jeb] Bush, [Lindsey] Graham, [Rand] Paul, and now for the first time, Donald Trump, have publicly expressed support for FADA.’

Gallagher is the founder, former president, and board president of the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-LGBTI organization.

Think Progress notes that if passed, FADA would allow government workers to discriminate against LGBTI people. Businesses and organizations, even those receiving government dollars, could not serve LGBTI citizens.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) endorses FADA. According to Think Progress, the American Civil Liberties Union calls the legislation ‘a Pandora’s Box of taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples and their children.’