By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, June 18, Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) announced in a statement that he is an original co-sponsor of HR2802, The First Amendment Defense Act, which was introduced this week. The bill’s sponsors claims that it preserves the right for all Americans to hold religious or moral beliefs about marriage without being threatened with legal consequences.
Congressman Palmer said in a statement, “The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion as our first right. Indeed, the freedom to live according to the dictates of one’s own conscience is the reason the pilgrims came to this country centuries ago. It is a right given to us, not by government, but by God.”
U.S. Representative Palmer continued, “I oppose efforts to redefine Marriage. However, should the courts or any state decide differently, the millions of Americans who believe Marriage is between one man and one woman should not be discriminated against or penalized. The definition of marriage preexists government and for millions of Americans it is a religious union.”
According to information supplied by Rep. Palmer, this bill would ensure that people who affirm the faith based definition of marriage cannot be discriminated against, denied a benefit such as a license or certification, or otherwise penalized, for their beliefs about Marriage.
The First Amendment Defense Act was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). A companion bill, SB1598, was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).
Retired Judge, State Representative Jim Hill (R-Odenville) introduced legislation protecting State Judges and ministers from marrying persons, when that union is a violation of that officials closely held religious beliefs. That legislation passed the House but got bogged down in the Senate during the last days of the 2015 legislative session.
The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether the states will be forced to marry same sex couples in defiance of thousands of years of historical and cultural norms or not as early as Monday.
In anticipation of the ruling on Wednesday, June 17, the living former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) presidents elected since 1980 issued a joint statement June 17 declaring, “The Scriptures’ teaching on marriage is not negotiable. We stake our lives upon the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. We will not accept, nor adhere to, any legal redefinition of marriage issued by any political or judicial body including the United States Supreme Court.”
On May 28, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) told ‘World Net Daily’s’ Rob Unruh that US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg and Elena Kagan could be impeached by Congress if they make a ruling on the case. Moore said that the two Justices conducted themselves inappropriately by officiating at same sex marriages while this issue was before the Court. Moore said that both have a documented history of activism on this topic and that if they rule on the case it could, ““undermine the Supreme Court’s credibility.”
The Montgomery based Foundation for Moral Law has filed a motion asking that Kagan and Ginsburg recuse themselves. The Am0erican Family Association, Vision America Action, National Organization for Marriage, the US Justice Foundation, the Louisiana House of Representatives and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) have all embraced the call for Kagan and Ginsburg to stand down on this case.
Congressman Gary Palmer represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.