WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-Elizabethtown, N.C., joined a group of House members in introducing a landmark bipartisan bill on Thursday to protect freedom of conscience on the issue of marriage.
The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would prohibit discrimination through the federal tax code against individuals or institutions that exercise religious conscience regarding marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Most religious institutions fall within the 501(c) portion of the U.S. tax code, which allows for tax exemption. Under the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, no individual or institution which celebrates and defines marriage as between one man and one woman would be denied or lose exemption from taxation provided for under federal law.
“It is critical that institutions which hold the fundamental belief that marriage is between one man and one woman be protected in their convictions,” McIntyre said. “The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act will ensure that this right is protected, and they are not penalized for their beliefs and values.”
The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act has more than 60 original cosponsors and has been endorsed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Organization for Marriage, Heritage Action, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Concerned Women for America.
Congressman McIntyre is co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus on Capitol Hill.