WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday filed a resolution seeking to overturn the District of Columbia’s 2014 Human Rights Amendment Act that protects LGBT students from discrimination at D.C. based religious schools.
A second resolution would upend D.C.’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014, which prevents employers from taking action against workers based on their decision to use birth control or seek an abortion.
The measures, known as disapproval resolutions, could in theory halt local laws passed last year by the D.C. Council and signed by the city’s mayor. But to do so, Cruz’s measures would require support of both chambers of Congress and the signature of President Obama.
Although rarely successful at stopping D.C. laws, the resolutions are often more effective politically, giving members of Congress legislative records to build bona fides with constituent groups that feel strongly about the District’s often liberal stances on social issues.
Cruz, who was joined by Oklahoma Sen. Jim Lankford, in sponsoring the resolutions, said “the D.C. Council is attempting to force religious institutions to provide services, make employment decisions, or participate in activities that directly violate their faith.”
Under the Home Rule Act, all legislation passed by the D.C. Council must first be transmitted to Congress for a period of review. If both houses pass a resolution of disapproval that is signed by the President, the legislation in question will not become law.
Unless the 114th Congress acts, the tentative enactment date of the bills is April 17, 2015.