February 8th, 2017
As Inauguration Day has come and gone, the legislature of the United States has switched presidents and political parties, meaning LGBTQ law is likely to change. Proposed changes in legislation under this new administration will affect individuals of a variety of sexes, races, religions, and ethnicities. Individuals who are interested in LGBTQ rights should understand the potential legislative changes that are anticipated to occur.
The First Amendment Defense Act
With the great potential to become law, the First Amendment Defense Act attempts to prohibit the federal government from taking any discriminatory action against an individual (which can include either a non-profit or profit corporation) who acts in accordance with a religious or moral belief that marriage should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman. The First Amendment Defense Act offers no protection for individuals who have other types of views about marriage or sexual relations. When this Act was first introduced in Congress, the Act received 172 co-sponsors. The Act later stalled in Congress, but there has already been a plan announced to revive the First Amendment Defense Act in 2017 and President Trump has already announced a plan to sign the First Amendment Defense Act into law.
Health Insurance Issues
The future Secretary of Health and Human Services has a significant history opposing LGBTQ policies. The future Secretary is also an opponent of the Affordable Care Act and has announced support of plans to repeal and replace it. While the Affordable Care Act currently prevents transgender individuals from being denied healthcare because the individuals are transgender, this type of right for transgender individual is at risk of being taken away if the Affordable Care Act is removed.
The Department of Justice
While LGBTQ individuals gained significant rights during President Obama’s administration, the future Attorney General of the United States has a history of opposing LGBTQ rights. As a result, there is a significant possibility that the future Attorney General of the United States will support the passing of a variety of anti-LGBTQ legislation, which could reverse the changes made during President Obama’s administration over the last eight years.
Many state legislatures have recently introduced a variety of anti-LGBT bills that are at risk of becoming laws. The state of Oklahoma has introduced 27 anti-LGBTQ bills within the last year, which have all been met with significant opposition. North Carolina has also introduced some significant anti-LGBTQ legislation. Because state law requires less agreement than federal law, there is a great risk of more anti-LGBTQ legislation being passed within the next few years.
The Goal of the Universal Life Church
There are many issues that have the potential to significantly alter the rights held by LGBTQ individuals. As various legislative changes occur throughout the next presidency, the Universal Life Church’s blog will focus on the various changes that are anticipated to occur. It is the goal of this blog to discuss these changes for readers interested in LGBTQ rights.
(image courtesy of Levi Saunders)