Republican presidential candidate Jeb
Bush on Friday reiterated his support for a federal bill which would
protect opponents of marriage equality.
Introduced June 17, 2015 by Senator
Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, the First Amendment
Defense Act (FADA) seeks to bar federal “discriminatory action”
against those who oppose such unions based on a “religious belief
or moral conviction.”
“The Federal Government shall not
take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially
on the basis that such person believes or acts in a religious belief
or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the
union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly
reserved to such a marriage,” the bill states.
Speaking at the Faith & Family
Forum in Greenville, South Carolina, the former Florida governor
reiterated his support for FADA.
“I support it. Absolutely,” Bush
said. “If the Congress would pass something – I would support
that. And I think it is really important that there is respect for
people's religious conscience. As we know, it's the first freedom.
There are ways that now it's under threat.”
Bush also criticized the Supreme
Court's June finding that gay and lesbian couples have a
constitutional right to marry, calling it “wrong.”
“Embedded in that decision – the
wrong decision that was made – it’s not implicit, it’s direct;
that under consideration there now could be that people of faith
could lose their tax-exempt status, people of faith might have rights
restricted, might not be able to access government funding if they’re
involved in the social service arena,” Bush said.
Bush, however, is not among the three
GOP candidates who have signed a pledge to push for passage of FADA
and sign it into law during the first 100 days of their
administration. Ben Carson and Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio
have signed the pledge.