Senator Orrin Hatch is calling it quits after seven 6-year terms in the U.S. Senate. But he turned a few heads with what he said in his farewell speech from the Senate floor.
During his address on Wednesday, the Utah Republican said one of his proudest accomplishments was passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. But then Hatch, who is a Mormon, said he thought the religious community and homosexual activists need to find compromise and stop opposing one another:
"I believe we can find substantial common ground on these issues that will enable us to both safeguard the ability of religious individuals to live their faith and protect LGBTQ individuals from invidious discrimination."
Then the 84-year-old lawmaker gave his parting wish for the Senate:
"As one of my final acts as a U.S. senator, I challenge my colleagues to find a compromise on this crucially important issue – a compromise that is true to our founding principles."
OneNewsNow spoke with American Family Association vice president Walker Wildmon, who points out that Christians didn't start this fight and are not out to get anybody or to punish people or suppress their constitutional rights.
"Christians, historically, have been nice to everybody, even people of the opposite faith," says Wildmon. "That's what we do is we reach out to people who don't know Jesus Christ. But at the same time we still have to hold true to what the Bible says."
He says having Christian beliefs and believing in the Bible is somehow wholly unacceptable in American culture today.
"At the end of the day, some homosexual activists want to punish Christians for their beliefs – and they want it to be to where everyone gives a hat tip to their lifestyle and basically applauds them," he concludes.
Hatch, who entered the Senate the same month Jimmy Carter moved into the Oval Office, was among those awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last month by President Donald Trump. While in Congress he served as chair of several key committees. He failed in a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.