Tell the House of Representatives: Pass the Do No Harm Act
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is being used by the Trump administration to deny LGBTQ people their rights and openly discriminate against people on the basis of gender identity and sexuality.
From denying same-sex couples the right to adoption to denying birthright citizenship to children of LGBTQ parents to rolling back healthcare protections, it's clear that the Trump administration is weaponizing religious freedom to systematically dismantle the rights of LGBTQ people.
It's now more important than ever to pass the Do No Harm Act which would stop extremists from using the RFRA to protect religious freedom without limiting or harming the rights of others.1 Can you add your name in support of the Do No Harm Act and the LGBTQ community?
Tell the House of Representatives: Protect the rights of the LGBTQ community and pass the Do No Harm Act.
The RFRA is a two-decade-old piece of legislation that sought to protect the constitutional rights of religious minorities, but it has since been used as a tool to chip away at the civil rights of our communities. The RFRA was used by the Supreme Court in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores as justification for allowing for-profit companies to deny insurance coverage for contraception if such coverage violated the employer's religious beliefs.2 It has also been used to discriminate against individuals in cases like EEOC v. R.G & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, which protected a funeral home for firing a transgender employee because of her gender identity.3 That's not all – now, the RFRA is being used by adoption agencies to keep same-sex partners from becoming parents.4
The Trump administration is weaponizing religious freedom to discriminate against LGBTQ people and other communities. The Department of Justice released religious-liberty guidelines that expand the interpretation of RFRA to require "an exemption or accommodation for religious organizations from anti-discrimination law...even where Congress has not expressly exempted religious organizations."5 This means that the administration is explicitly allowing for widespread religious discrimination against women, LGBTQ people and communities of color without congressional oversight or approval.
The House of Representatives recently passed the Equality Act – but we need to take it one step further to protect the LGBTQ community and ensure that the RFRA is restored to its original intent.
Tell the House of Representatives: Protect LGBTQ rights and pass the Do Not Harm Act.
- Human Rights Campaign, "Do No Harm Act," accessed June 18, 2019.
- Gwen Aviles, "Congressional Democrats reintroduce the Do No Harm Act," March 1, 2019.
- Ian Thompson, "In an Era of Religious Refusals, the Do No Harm Act Is an Essential Safeguard," ACLU, Feb. 28, 2019.
- Heather L. Weaver, "Discrimination Is the Big Winner in the Justice Department’s New Religious Guidelines," ACLU, Oct. 6, 2019.