Lipinski, who represents the southwest suburbs of Chicago, is considered on of the most conservative Democrats in Congress.
From Roll Call:
Lipinski said in a statement to Roll Call that he supports the “goals of the legislation.” But he did not co-sponsor it on its initial introduction Wednesday because it would conflict with his stance on religious liberties. He said he is working with his House colleagues to resolve the issue.
“I believe that LGBTQ people should be protected from discrimination and afforded equal treatment under law in public life,” he said. “LGBTQ members are our neighbors, colleagues, friends and peers, and their sexual orientation or identity should not lead them to be treated any less than others.”
Lipinski said he had refrained from signing on to to the Equality Act because it would prevent the application of the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would “potentially have damaging and unforeseen consequences for Americans’ religious freedom.”
“My faith is very important to me, and my belief in the Constitution’s protection of freedom of religion is fundamental to me,” he said.
Lipinski has opposed marriage equality, voted for anti-abortion bills, and opposed the Affordable Care Act. He was challenged in the primaries by Marie Newman and won by only two points. His opponent in the general election was a Holocaust denier who made him look liberal.