Freedom of faith, conscience and speech


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• A coercive contraceptive mandate imposes pro-abortion ideology on all with pro-life views.
• The gutting of the only federal conscience regulation in health care opens the door to discrimination.
• The denial of federal funds to a ministry, just for opposing abortions, threatens care for human trafficking victims.
• The administration's court case to restrict faith-based organizations' hiring rights minimizes religious liberty.
Firings, discrimination and coercion of life-honoring health care professionals imperil health care access.

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In the News

Obama Administration Refuses Win-Win Religious Liberty Solution

The Federalist commentary by Lori Windham

October 1, 2015

The government could easily open those subsidies to any employees of religious groups who want the coverage not included in their employers' plan. This would satisfy the government's concerns, satisfy the ministries' religious beliefs, and ensure that Americans still receive vital services from groups like the Little Sisters. For that reason, the Eighth Circuit Court of appeals sided with religious ministries last week. Echoing a unanimous Supreme Court opinion on religious freedom, it said, "[I]f a less restrictive means is available for the Government to achieve its goals, the Government must use it."


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Filed under: CourtsContraceptionBecket Fund

State university faculty bans "racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, classist, or generally offensive language"

Freedom2Care commentary by Jonathan Imbody

September 4, 2015

A reasonable response would be for parents and students to boycott rather than subsidize such universities, and for Congress to cut off all federal aid to public institutions like the University of Washington that violate the Constitution. Then the faculty and administrators can parade around in robes and soft hats in their multi-million-dollar auditoriums and prattle on about transphobia, species-ism, GOP-ism, and whatever else they can't tolerate, all day long--until they have to get to the unemployment offices before closing time.

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Filed under: Religious freedomFree speechEducation

Terms Banned on Campus: Illegal Immigrant, Male, Female

Townhall commentary by Katie Pavlich

September 2, 2015

Want a good grade in certain classes at Washington State University? Then you better avoid using the terms "illegal immigrant," "male" and "female" as part of your descriptive vocabulary. Universities around the country have recently release lists of banned words and phrases that professors consider "microagressions." Terms on those lists include "American," questions like, "where are you from" and the concept that hard work is how individuals get ahead in life.

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Filed under: CommentariesFree speechEducation

KY Clerk Not Issuing Gay Marriage Licenses Causes Uproar. NC Shows Better Way

Daily Signal commentary by Ryan T. Anderson

September 2, 2015

The citizens of Rowan County have a right to receive in a timely and efficient manner the various government provisions-including licenses-to which they are entitled. At the same time, the employees of Rowan County (including civil servants) have rights, including religious liberty rights, and they are entitled to religious accommodations. But a religious accommodation, like religious liberty in general, is not absolute.

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Filed under: Religious freedomHeritage FoundationMarriage

Clerk's gay marriage protest divides the Republican field

The Hill

September 2, 2015

Gov. Mike Huckabee:"She's a Democrat, and I salute her today. I stand with her."
Carly Fiorina: "When you are a government are agreeing to act as an arm of the government."
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fl): "While the clerk's office has a governmental duty to carry out the law, there should be a way to protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of individuals working in the office."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.): "As a public official, comply with the law or resign."
Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.): "I think one way to get around the whole idea of what the Supreme Court is forcing on the states is for the states to just get out of the business of giving out licenses."
Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.): "Someone who works in the government has a bit of a different obligation than someone who's in the private sector."

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Filed under: Religious freedomMarriageHomosexuality

Supreme Court rejects county official's request in gay-marriage case

Washington Post

September 1, 2015

Davis - who stopped issuing licenses to all couples, gay and straight - had not indicated late Monday how she would respond to the court's decision. Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal group that is representing Davis, demurred earlier Monday when asked how she would respond if she lost. "She's not going to resign, but to issue a marriage license is a direct conflict with her religious convictions," he said. "So it would put her in a real Catch-22 over having to make a decision about her convictions."

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Filed under: Religious freedomMarriageLiberty Counsel

Antiabortion group beats Obamacare contraception rule in court

Washington Post

September 1, 2015

We are delighted that the court has ruled in our favor on this crucially important case," March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement. "The government should not be allowed to force organizations like the March for Life to have health insurance with drugs and devices that can cause an abortion."
"Pro-life organizations should not be forced into betraying the very values they were established to advance," enior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom Matt Bowman said in a statement. "This is especially true of March for Life, which was founded to uphold life, not to assist in taking it."

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Filed under: ContraceptionAlliance Defending FreedomMarch for Life

Sexual freedom is afforded more protection than religious liberty

Washington Times commentary by Travis Weber

August 28, 2015

Why then, does the federal government refuse to acknowledge such requests for exemptions in other contexts, such as regarding contraception and abortion, and same-sex marriage? The conscientious objectors are often similarly motivated by religion, and just as sincere. Why did the Obama administration refuse to accommodate the beliefs of the Little Sisters of the Poor and fight these women all the way to the Supreme Court? Why did the solicitor general contemplate revoking the tax-exempt status of conscience-based schools if they decline to approve of same-sex marriage? It would appear the government wants to pick and choose which religious claims to support based on their content.

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Filed under: CommentariesReligious freedomFamily Research Council

Duke University freshmen refuse to read 'Fun Home' for moral reasons

USA Today

August 25, 2015

Incoming freshman at Duke University are reportedly refusing to read their summer novel, Fun Home- an LGBT, graphic novel by Alison Bechdel - due to their Christian and moral beliefs. According to the Duke Chronicle, freshman Brian Grasso posted in the Class of 2019 Facebook page that he would not read the book "because of the graphic visual depictions of sexuality." "I feel as if I would have to compromise my personal Christian moral beliefs to read it,"Grasso added. Many other students shared Grasso's beliefs, saying that they were against reading the novel which details Bechdel's tumultuous relationship with her father, a closeted gay man, while coming to terms with her own sexuality.

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Filed under: Religious freedomHomosexualityEducation

Little Sisters of the Poor Gets Short-term Relief From HHS Mandate

Townhall by Leah Barkoukis

August 24, 2015

The Little Sisters of the Poor has been through more than any faith-based charity should have to go through all to continue the noble work they're doing without violating their faith. But, for the time being at least, some good news has come their way. After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the group must comply with Obamacare's abortion mandate, The Little Sisters of the Poor found reprieve Friday morning after the Tenth Circuit issued an order temporarily safeguarding the group and other ministries from being forced to violate their faith. “The federal government doesn’t need the Little Sisters or any other ministry to help it distribute abortion-inducing drugs and other contraceptives,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the Little Sisters, said in a statement.

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Filed under: CourtsContraceptionBecket Fund

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