According to politifact.com, Occupy Democrats is an advocacy group that was created to counterbalance the Tea Party and to give President Obama and other progressive Democrats a Congress that will work with them to grow the economy, create jobs, promote fairness, fight inequality, and get money out of politics. It sounds good, doesn’t it?
Occupy Democrats also has a Facebook page, and most of my liberal Facebook friends are fans of the page.
Of course, I often see posts where my liberal FB friends have shared memes from the Occupy Democrats Facebook page, and those memes are almost always wrong about everything. Here is another example.
On July 17, 2015, Occupy Democrats shared a meme on Facebook stating: “House Republicans just passed a bill that makes it legal for single mothers to be fired by their employers.”
According to Politifact, the meme was shared more than 60,000 times, suggesting a lot of people found the news outrageous. Politifact determined through a cached image of Occupy Democrats’ website and a Huffington Post article that the meme’s underlying beef was with the First Amendment Defense Act, HR 2802, introduced by Republicans on June 17. HR 2802 was a conservative response to the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage.
At the time of the meme, the bill had not been passed by the GOP led House. Rather, it had only been submitted to a committee for consideration.
Some Americans saw the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage as a potential affront to their religious beliefs under the First Amendment.
The authors of the First Amendment Defense Act attempted to address how the court’s decision could affect religious institutions in a situation that came up during oral arguments. Justice Samuel Alito asked in April whether a religious school could lose its tax-exempt status if it opposes same-sex marriage, and the U.S. solicitor general, who was arguing for same-sex couples said, “It’s certainly going to be an issue.”
The First Amendment Defense Act mentions this exchange in its text and proposes that it should be illegal for the federal government to impose tax, grant or benefit sanctions on organizations that oppose same-sex marriage because of religious or moral convictions.
Since the bill does not mention women at all, where does the concern for single moms losing their jobs come into play?
Politifact goes on to indicated that the part which worries some people is section 3(a), which reads: “Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief of moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”
Emily Martin, vice president and general counsel of the National Women’s Law Center, pointed to the last part about sexual relations being reserved for the marriage of one man and one woman. The wording “can absolutely” be applied to women who are pregnant outside of marriage, she said.
The introductory clause “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” Martin said, seems to indicate that FADA would overrule other existing laws on this issue.
Usually, when an individual feels that she has been discriminated against, she has to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency would then investigate the concern and give a ruling or provide the complainant with a “right to sue.”
However, Martin argued that, in an extreme scenario, it’s possible the EEOC would not have jurisdiction in cases under this bill since the FADA specifically forbids the federal government from taking discriminatory actions against a person.
Samuel Estreicher, director of the Center for Labor and Employment Law at New York University’s Law School, says he would not read the bill as repealing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which protects against sex discrimination). Still, he said it could use some clarification.
The bill’s primary sponsors in the Senate and the House say the bill is not supposed to target single mothers. In a phone interview, Representative Raul Labrador (R) from Idaho, said the First Amendment Defense Act deals exclusively with possible federal government actions against employers that do no support same-sex marriage. The Federal government would not be able to use tax or other federal sanctions, such as withdrawing benefits or tax-exempt status, against employers who oppose same-sex marriage. The federal government would not be able to use tax or other federal sanctions, such as withdrawing benefits or tax-exempt status, against employers who oppose same-sex marriage.
Labrador also said that the bill does not address employer-employee relationships, and if an employee felt that she was discriminated against, she would still be able to seek recourse through employment protections through the EEOC or Title VII. Labrador then indicated that he would make the bill clearer.
Politifact indicated that it did reach out to Occupy Democrats, but did not hear back.
In their conclusion, Politifact indicated that there were big flaws with this claim. According to some quick googling, the bill has never gotten out of committee. Thus, stating that House Republicans just passed a bill… is a lie. Furthermore, the bill does not legalize the firing of single mothers. Instead, it deals with discriminatory actions that the federal government should take against religious institutions that oppose same sex marriage. Politifact rates the claim as false.
To this conservative political blogger, this claim is more than false, it is ridiculous. I can’t really connect the dots. Furthermore, in most states, an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. When you sign on as an employee, the contract that you sign indicates that both the employee and the employer have a right to terminate the contract.
Having said the above, even though the employer doesn’t have to give the employee a reason for termination, such an action is rare. Companies that did this often would get an unwanted reputation.
Note: This will be the last post in my series illustrating the lies, half-truths, and out of context statements often made by Occupy Democrats. However, I will continue to monitor this site and may report on them in the future.