ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Equality New Mexico, New Mexico’s statewide civil rights advocacy organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, calls upon allies of fairness, respect, and LGBT equality to refrain from providing funds to the campaign of U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce.
Rep. Pearce is a co-sponsor of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), an inaccurately and misleadingly named piece of legislation introduced in U.S. Congress this month that would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples.
“Not only is this legislation unnecessary, it is an outright slap in the face to our New Mexico values of fairness and respect,” says Amber Royster, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico. “Imagine New Mexico State University being protected by federal law for firing a professor because she’s pregnant and unmarried, or being a same-sex couple and having your tax return refused because an IRS agent opposes same-sex marriage – these are exactly the kinds of things this legislation does.”
In addition to the sweeping discriminatory provisions, the legislation includes for-profit corporations in its definition of “a person,” and allows individuals, groups, and businesses, including recipients of federal funds, to file lawsuits under this act and potentially receive damages from taxpayer money.
“Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Intel, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast – these companies have been visible allies to the LGBT community, and some have even made contributions to EQNM," continued Royster. "Unfortunately, these companies are also funneling money to Representative Pearce, a staunch opponent to LGBT rights and equality. This drastic piece of legislation requires that we are much more critical of what companies we promote as and call allies, particularly those that contribute financially to legislators and candidates who espouse intolerance, inequality, and hate.”