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July 20, 2015

GOP Bill Would Shield Faith Nonprofits on Gay Marriage

Conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill are pursuing legislation to protect tax-exempt groups that object to same-sex marriage on religious or moral grounds, setting up a possible intra-party battle on the issue, The New York Times and The Washington Post report.

More than 150 GOP senators and representatives are calling for quick action in the wake of last month's Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage to bar the government from revoking tax exemptions or other benefits for nonprofits that decline to employ or provide services for people in same-sex unions. Their proposal is similar to an Indiana state measure that was modified after sparking a national uproar in the spring.

Moderate Republicans have proposed attaching provisions to the bill to strengthen anti-discrimination protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in housing and the workplace. "I think everybody agrees religious institutions should be protected to practice their faith as they see fit, but I'm concerned there are some who want to take the Supreme Court decision and open up a new front," said Rep. Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican who is pushing the amended version.