In his editorial this morning, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune comments:
Earlier this month, Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador gave us -- perhaps inadvertently -- a glimpse into what it could mean to have him serving as Idaho's next governor.
The occasion was the July 12 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Labrador's "First Amendment Defense Act."
Labrador says his measure protects people who exercise a "religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is the union of one man and one woman" from federal reprisals such as the withdrawal of grants, contracts or tax breaks.
Now you could choose to dismiss arguments advanced by the American Civil Liberties Union that Labrador's bill would empower federal officials to deny people grants, loans or even jobs on the basis of a sincerely held religious objection to their same-sex union.
As well, you can discount the
ACLU's idea that Labrador's bill could allow federal contractors to engage in discrimination on the basis of their own moral views.
And you may see as wildly overblown the idea that this bill not only targets same-sex couples for discrimination but single parents and cohabitating couples.
Certainly Labrador would agree with your skepticism. He has said those objections are exaggerated. The Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking service PolitiFact buttresses his interpretation. And just to be fair, his recent amendments protect the religious or moral views of same-sex couples in the same way.
But you can't ignore the callous timing. More here.