Proposed bill would let employers sack single mothers

Sex out of wedlock could become a sackable offence as Republicans seek to protect companies with staunch religious beliefs.

Proposed bill would let employers sack single mothers
Rep
ublicans are pushing a bill which would protect employers who wish to impose their own religious beliefs on employees – critics say the legislation would put a whole host of employees at risk, including pregnant women.

The First Amendment Defense Act was born in response to the U.S Supreme Court’s recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage and while it may sound patriotic, it’s anything but fair.

The bill seeks primarily to support Americans who oppose so-called “non-traditional” marriages – compelling the government not to take action against employers or companies that who believe “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.”

Ian Thompson, a legislative representative at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the broadly-worded bill not only targets lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but also "clearly encompasses discrimination against single mothers."

And – obviously – that’s not the only problem with the bill.

Thompson said the conservative bill would abolish current anti-discrimination protections for LGBT federal contractors – signed into law by President Barack Obama last year. It would also mean LGBT people could be legally turned away from homeless shelter services and drug treatment programs.

"This bill is Indiana on steroids,” he said, referencing the state’s controversial religious freedom bill which faced national backlash.

Despite widespread uproar, it seems Republicans aren’t balking – NPR posed the hypothetical scenario of a university firing a woman for having sex out of wedlock to Sen. Mike Lee:

“There are colleges and universities that have a religious belief that sexual relations are to be reserved for marriage,” he responded. “[They] ought to be protected in their religious freedom.”

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