In New HRC Video, Rowan County Couple Asks Candidates: Will You Defend the Constitution?

WASHINGTON –The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has released a new video featuring a Kentucky couple who were denied a marriage license by Kim Davis. In the video, David Moore and his partner, David Ermold of Rowan County, Kentucky ask the candidates whether they are willing to defend the constitutional right of same-sex couples to get married, or whether they will support government officials who discriminate against LGBT people for religious reasons. Watch the video here.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that David Moore and David Ermold, and every other loving, committed same-sex couple in the nation, have the right to marry legally in every corner of our country. The law is also clear that government employees may not promote discrimination with taxpayers’ money, and more than two-thirds of Americans agree,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “Voters deserve to know whether those running for president will stand on the right side of history, or with those who violate the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens.”

Republican candidates running for President have split on the issue of the Kentucky clerk, but many have been vocal in support of the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA), which, as introduced, would allow government employees cite religious objections and argue that they would not be required to serve same-sex couples. For example, FADA would allow an employee like Kim Davis to argue she was permitted to deny a marriage license to a couple, or allow an employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs to argue that they were not required to process a claim for survivor benefits for the same-sex spouse of a servicemember for personal religious reasons.

So far, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Scott Walker have all supported FADA, while the remaining candidates have not taken a position.

Polling released this week by GQR for the Human Rights Campaign showed that 60 percent of Americans are less likely to support a candidate who supports a bill like the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) that would allow government employees to argue that they can discriminate against LGBT people for religious reasons.

And when asked about whether a government official like a Kentucky Clerk should be able to discriminate against LGBT couples, the survey found that only 24 percent support allowing government employees to cite their religious beliefs as a reason to deny service to a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person. A bipartisan 68 majority percent oppose allowing government employees to be able to deny service. Republicans opposed allowing government employees to discriminate 50 percent to 41 percent. Non-college graduates opposed discrimination 67 percent to 24 percent, and seniors opposed discrimination 64 to 26 percent.

The poll's findings come after the New York Times Editorial Board warned against FADA, calling it a “ploy” that “would deliberately warp the bedrock principle of religious freedom under the Constitution.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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