Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from
Utah, has introduced a bill which seeks a religious exemption for
opponents of gay marriage.
“It is concerning that we have people
in this administration who think that religious liberties are just
not that big of a deal,” Lee told the Washington Examiner.
Lee's legislation is a companion piece
to a House bill introduced in September by Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador.
The House version of the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act
has attracted 91 co-sponsors as of Wednesday, December 11.
According to the Examiner,
six Republican senators have signed on to Lee's bill: Senator Marco
Rubio of Florida, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, David
Vitter of Louisiana, Pat Roberts of Kansas and Jim Inhofe of
“Religious freedom … is under
attack by the current administration,” Vitter said. “This bill
will protect groups from administrative attacks, such as additional
hurdles with taxes or obtaining federal grants or contracts.”
Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson
has previously condemned the House version of the bill as a “Trojan
House” which “would swallow civil rights laws and subvert
“Decades of civil rights struggle,
and long experience with both federal and state non-discrimination
statutes, have made clear that we don't need to gut
non-discrimination laws to protect true religious freedom, and
neither private religious views nor prejudice should get a special
license to discriminate in the public sphere,” Wolfson said.