According to the legislation tracker Protect Thy Neighbor, there are presently 59 anti-LGBT bills active nationwide in state legislatures. The site is tracking this post-Obergefell avalanche in multiple categories including same-sex marriage, adoption, healthcare, public accommodations, and religious liberty. Hit the link, check out your home state, and bookmark the site, which is a project of Americans United For Separation of Church and State.
Protect Thy Neighbor is monitoring and fighting bills across the country that would allow individuals, businesses, and government employees to harm others in the name of religion. The most common bills would allow discrimination against LGBT Americans and deny access to reproductive healthcare, but these bills have other negative and far reaching consequences as well. You can learn more about the most recent 2016 bills that have been introduced in your state below. This Bill tracker is updated on Tuesdays and Fridays
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACTS
These bills would create or expand a state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. RFRAs authorize religious exemptions to each and every state law on the books. If any state law or policy is deemed to place a “substantial burden” on the religious beliefs of a person (and often even a for-profit corporation), the state must show that it has a “compelling interest” and that the law is “narrowly tailored” to fulfilling that interest. Although RFRAs were originally intended to protect genuine religious freedom, many states are now adopting RFRAs in order to override nondiscrimination laws and deny women reproductive healthcare. For more on RFRA, including talking points on why states shouldn’t adopt Indiana-like RFRAs -or- replicate the federal RFRA, please check out our RFRA page.
These bills would allow or even require government employees, for-profit business, or government contractors and grantees to discriminate against same-sex couples who are married or seeking to marry. Find out more about this issue on our marriage page.
First Amendment Defense Acts: Also known as FADAs, these are copies of a federal bill that would allow private businesses, federal contractors and grantees, and even government employees to discriminate against same-sex couples, unmarried couples, people who have remarried, single mothers, those who have had sex outside of marriage, and others. Check out our FADA talking points here.
Wedding-Services: These bills would allow private businesses and individuals to refuse to provide wedding services or products to same-sex couples or other couples.
Penalties for Recognizing Marriage: These bills would require firing of or pay cuts for government officials and employees who follow the Constitution and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples.
Pastor Protection Acts: We are monitoring these bills, which would prohibit the state from requiring clergy and religious institutions to perform marriages for same-sex or other couples if such marriages conflict with their religious beliefs. See more about clergy and marriage equality here.
Nullification of Marriage-Equality: These bills would defy the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution by declaring that the state will recognize only marriages between one man and one woman.
Changing The State’s Role In Marriage: These bills would eliminate or reduce the state’s role in licensing or solemnizing marriages.