If 2015 was the year of RFRA madness, 2016 may be all about FADA fever.
The bad news is, so-called First Amendment Defense Acts (FADAs) are generally worse than Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs). In fact, one LGBT legal expert called Georgia's FADA “RFRA on steroids.”
This week, Georgia freshman GOP state Sen. Greg Kirk — a former Southern Baptist pastor — introduced a state version of a proposed federal law designed to give virtually every individual and entity — from government employees and contractors to for-profit businesses — a license to discriminate against same-sex couples, even legally-maried ones, and their children. Similar bills have been introduced in at least four other states, Illinois and Oklahoma, Virginia andWashington.
Kirk, who is in his first term, was elected in 2014 and won the GOP primary by just 222 votes. There was no Democratic challenger.
“The consequences of FADA would be devastating, if upheld,” constitutional law scholar Anthony M. Kreis writes at GeorgiaPol.com. "The fear of discrimination against LGBT persons, women, and others, that stokes opposition to the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act is – unlike [with] RFRA — a feature of FADA and not a bug."