Congressman Gary Palmer is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2802, The First Amendment Defense Act, introduced this week. The bill preserves the right for all Americans to hold religious or moral beliefs about marriage without being threatened with legal consequences. Congressman Palmer says the following:
"The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion as our first right. Indeed, the freedom to live according to the dictates of one's own conscience is the reason the pilgrims came to this country centuries ago. It is a right given to us, not by government, but by God.
"I oppose efforts to redefine Marriage. However, should the courts or any state decide differently, the millions of Americans who believe Marriage is between one man and one woman should not be discriminated against or penalized. The definition of marriage preexists government and for millions of Americans it is a religious union."
This bill would ensure that people who affirm the faith based definition of marriage cannot be discriminated against, denied a benefit such as a license or certification, or otherwise penalized, for their beliefs about Marriage. It was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). A companion bill, S.1598, was introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).