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House committee to debate bill regarding LGBT workplace rights

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform plans on taking up a new bill that addresses LGBT rights in the workplace. The debate is planned on July 12th and it is widely expected to pass Committee. The bill, the First Amendment Defense Act, would allow business, government, and other entities that receive taxpayer funds to ignore laws that conflict with their religious beliefs. This bill is the latest in a series of laws that the Republican lead House has taken up regarding LGBT rights.

The broad language in the bill allows entities to deny services and refuse to hire people if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. The purpose is to allow government and businesses to discriminate against members of the LGBT community. But the language is so broad that it could include other groups of people including children born out of wedlock and unmarried couples.

Religious belief is not specifically addressed nor is there an enumerated method to determine valid versus invalid religious beliefs. It probably is not even an advisable idea for the government or courts to begin taking "litmus" tests of peoples' religion.

If you believe that your employer is discriminating against you then you may want to speak to an attorney. People are allowed to discriminate based on any number of factors, from the movies that someone likes to the style of socks they wear. But the government specifically prohibits certain types of discrimination that entities are prohibited from engaging in. A lawyer can review your situation and determine the best course of action to address your concerns. It might be a lawsuit or may be filing a request for a governmental investigation.

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