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Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)
Rep. Raul Labrador, champion of discrimination
As marriage equality is put into practice in more and more of the government, a concern has spread through the House: Who will protect groups that want to discriminate? And out of this concern, a new bill has emerged:
[Rep. Raul] Labrador said he began drafting his proposal partly out of fear that the IRS and other federal agencies might unfairly target groups that oppose same-sex marriage after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law barring gay couples from obtaining federal benefit this summer. [...]

Asked if he had any evidence of government-backed discrimination against religious or conservative groups opposing same-sex marriages, Labrador cited a California bill that would revoke the tax-exempt status of the Boy Scouts unless they permit gay people to become scout leaders. He also cited comments by Democratic lawmakers, who have said that groups who don't recognize gay marriages should lose their tax-exempt status.

So the "discrimination" in question is loss of tax exemptions and not, say, being forced to shut down by teams of armed government agents? "Discrimination" means having to pay taxes just like millions of other organizations as the price for being allowed to continue discriminating against people based on whom they love? We're to believe that tax-exempt status is, at least when it comes to marriage equality, a right that can only be lost through illicit discrimination, not a privilege that can be lost for all sorts of reasons? Sorry, that doesn't fly. And it doesn't fly when it comes to the Democrats co-sponsoring Labrador's bill, either.

No, the government gets to say "if you want to treat some people or some marriages as less equal than others, you don't get to get out of paying taxes." That is not some new idea, just because it now might be applied in a way you personally don't like.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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