Pastors Oppose Discriminatory Religious Exemption Bills in Congress

For Immediate Release

July 12, 2016



Michelle Nealy,, 202-735-7123

Graham Younger,, 678-739-8584


Pastors Oppose Discriminatory Religious Exemption Bills in Congress


Washington, DC -- On Tuesday, July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government held a hearing on H.R. 2802, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). A similar bill traveled through the Georgia legislature earlier this year, but more than 300 Georgia faith leaders successfully urged Governor Nathan Deal to veto it. Key leaders of this coalition are also speaking out against the federal bill.


Rev. Tim McDonald, First Iconium Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga.

My faith calls me to welcome all of God’s children into my heart—including those who are gay or transgender. That is why I stand in opposition to the discriminatory, unjustly titled First Amendment Defense Act. I think frequently of the 49 souls gunned down in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando on Latino night. We are living in tumultuous times—and discriminatory religious exemptions like FADA only seek to divide us further. As people of faith, it is our calling to defend the marginalized among us against unfair treatment and harm.


Rev. David Key, Lake Oconee Community Church, Greensboro, Ga.

Freedom of religion is extremely important. Because the First Amendment already protects religious freedom, I know that these religious exemption bills emerging at both the state and federal levels are designed for another purpose: discrimination. At a time of unrest, I hope that our Congress does not create more boundaries and draw more lines that allow American citizens to be targeted for hate. Instead, let us take action that strengthen our communities across the country, not hurt our LGBT friends, neighbors and family.



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