There is a bill currently being drafted – known as the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) – that will push for the rights of individuals and organizations to refuse service or recognition of same-sex couples on grounds of religious tenets without the fear of federal retaliation. Supported by more than 100 House Representatives already, many proponents of the bill express that they want to ensure the religious freedoms granted in the Constitution are upheld and are not intentionally targeting same-sex couples. They also claim that it does not explicitly encourage the removal of federally funded benefits or services from anyone.
Although the First Amendment Defense Act was actually proposed several days before the United States Supreme Court's June 26th ruling that legalized same-sex marriage and granted same-sex couples numerous new rights regarding family law and equal treatment, this new bill clearly challenges some of its mandates. Critics of the FADA are concerned that it will allow people to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community unchecked. Additionally, they fear the bill will potentially reward that behavior through tax and legal loopholes.
What Does This All Mean for the Supreme Court's Ruling?
While the FADA does bring even more controversy to the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage, it does not necessarily affect it. Not yet, anyway. For now, same-sex couples can still marry and divorce, regardless of what state they live in. Even if this new bill should be ratified in the future, it would not undo the legalization of same-sex marriage and may only make it more difficult for same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses or divorce paperwork.
With hot debates still in the air and showing no signs of dying down anytime soon, it is entirely understandable if you do not understand how family law has changed since the historic ruling late last month. At Amdur, Maggs & Dugan, our Monmouth County family law attorneys can help you make sense of any legal disputes you might be facing, and we can even support your rights and defend your property during a same-sex divorce. Contact our New Jersey team today for more information.