Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairmen of the U.S. bishops’ committees on marriage and religious freedom, on Friday praised a new federal bill to protect Catholic and other organizations that oppose same-sex marriage from discrimination by the federal government.
The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 3133) would “prohibit the federal government from denying or excluding an individual or organization from a federal grant, contract, or employment” based on its belief about marriage, according to the USCCB.
The Act would help protect a Catholic college or school’s tax-exempt status. Last month, The Cardinal Newman Society reported an incident in which a Catholic high school received backlash for firing a teacher whose same-sex marriage was made public.
Archbishop Lori, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, reportedly stated:
“I strongly support the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act. In a growing climate of intolerance against individuals and organizations who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, this Act is an important step in preserving their religious liberties at the federal level.”
The bill was drafted by Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho as an “immediate” response to the Supreme Court’s decision this summer to allow homosexual couples to obtain federal benefits, according to The Washington Post.
Labrador cited a California bill that would force the Boy Scouts to choose between keeping its tax-exempt status and allowing homosexually active men to serve as leaders, as an example of government-backed discrimination, the Post reported.
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