January 18th, 2017: Good News. Clubs Reopen After Three Year Ordeal: http://www.lc.org/newsroom/details/011817-good-news-clubs-reopen-after-threeyear-ordeal
Protecting Religious Liberty through the Russell Amendment
Background: Earlier this May, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) adopted a religious liberty amendment offered by Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), known as the Russell Amendment. The House NDAA, which included the Russell Amendment, ultimately passed by a vote of 277 to 147. Unfortunately, the Senate passed their own NDAA without including Russell Amendment language. The House-Senate Conference Committee, led by Representative Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), is currently working to resolve the differences contained within the NDAA before it goes back to both chambers for a final vote.
What is the Russell Amendment?
The Russell Amendment “applies decades-old religious protections from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and those contained in the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 to federal grants and contracts.” Essentially, it reaffirms the freedom of religious-based organizations to hire employees who share the organization’s religious beliefs without the federal government discriminating against them by denying grants or contracts.For example, the Russell Amendment would protect the ability of Catholic adoption centers to hire employees who believe in traditional marriage and still receive a federal grant or contract.
Why do we need the Russell Amendment?
For decades, left-leaning politicians, organizations, and members of the media have attempted but failed to elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to special protected status similar to race, religion and sex under federal anti-discrimination law. On July 21, 2014, President Obama bypassed Congress and issued an executive order elevating sexual orientation and gender identity to special protected status for the purpose of federal grants and contracts.
The President’s executive order represents another attempt to impose a radical LGBT agenda on all religious organizations. The Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino and Melanie Israel explain that President Obama’s actions “show that the president wants absolute freedom to discriminate against religious social service providers that interact with the government—all because many religious organizations won’t endorse the LGBT cause.” President Obama’s recentattempt to force transgender bathroom access on the entire public school system is another example of his radical LGBT agenda.
Liberal Opposition: On October 25th, 42 Senate Democrats sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee asking that the Russell Amendment be stripped from final NDAA language during conference negotiations. President Obama followed up with this letter by threatening to veto the NDAA if it contained language protecting religious liberty via the Russell Amendment while socially liberal groups organized a tweet fest around the hashtag #RejectRussell.
Call to Action: Congress should reaffirm its commitment to protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans. Republican Leadership should not be intimidated by the Obama administration’s blatant attack on religious diversity; instead, they should fight to preserve the policies that have served our diverse nation well for more than half a century. The NDAA Conference Committee should stand strong and ensure the Russell Amendment remains in the final conference agreement.
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit against kim davis over marriage licenses http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/21/judge-dismisses-lawsuits-against-kim-davis-over-marriage-licenses.html
12/12/2015: Mr Jefferson on Religious Liberty http://responseaction.com/Article/mr-jefferson-religious-freedom?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=Read%20The%20Full%20Article%20%E2%96%B6&utm_campaign=RAN%20Weekly%20Newsletter%20Dec%2011%202015
The Plan to Defend Religious Liberty
Call your member of Congress to thank them for supporting The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) or encourage them to co-sponsor it. See here for issue description. http://heritageactionsentinel.com/issue/religious-liberty/#brief. See here for contact info for Congress and Senate https://ashevilleteaparty.org/?page_id=430
Our Founding Fathers created a nation with freedom of religion at it’s core.
But that freedom is at risk. Earlier this month the Supreme Court decided to essentially rewrite the Constitution to redefine marriage. Now Democrats and the radical left want to take the next step by taking away the ability individuals and organizations to live in a manner consistent with their sincerely and deeply held religious beliefs.
This month the House of Representatives has the opportunity to act on the First Amendment Defense Act. This bill, introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), would ensure that the federal government couldn’t take way non-profit tax-exempt status of or deny grants, contracts, accreditation, or licenses to individuals or institutions for following their faiths belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
We cannot allow the left to take away American’s fundamental right to live out our religious beliefs and worship as we see fit. Conservatives must protect religious liberty everyone.
Help us by spreading the message with your network: Religious liberty must be protected. First Amendment Protection Act https://ashevilleteaparty.org/?page_id=10839 (It’s outrageous that we even need this since we are supposed to have our religious freedom protected with the First Amendment!)
Ryan Anderson Religious Liberty Links
Indiana Protects Religious Liberty. Why That’s Good Policy. (Sarah Torre and Ryan Anderson explain RFRA policy)
The True Facts about Religious Liberty (Includes info graphic from 1st Amendment Partnership to share on social media)
Why Are Lawmakers Changing Their Minds on Religious Freedom Law? (Questions why 1993 RFRA sponsor Chuck Schumer has changed his mind on the issue)
Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Wrong About Indiana Religious Freedom Law (Ryan Anderson takes on Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Washington Post op-ed, which characterized religious freedom laws as “dangerous”)
Meet 10 Americans Helped by Religious Freedom Laws Like Indiana’s (Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist documents how RFRA protects religious free exercise, in many cases, for religious minorities)
To reach your reps, see here: https://ashevilleteaparty.org/?page_id=430
1/26/2015: Religious Liberty Under Attack in D.C.: There are two bills passed by the D.C. City Council that would impinge on religious freedom in the city:
The D.C. City Council is working to undermine religious liberties in its jurisdiction. Two bills—both passed by the Council and signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser—will saddle religious organizations and employers with a choice between upholding their beliefs as they perform their organizational missions or complying with a coercive government regulation that forces them to violate their beliefs and missions.
•The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (B-20-0790) would force religious employers to cover elective abortions. The Act would also force religious employers opposed to abortion to hire openly pro-abortion employees.
•The Human Rights Amendment Act (B-20-0803) eliminates a 1989 provision passed by Congress that protects religious educational organizations from being coerced into “promoting, encouraging, or condoning any homosexual act, lifestyle orientation, or belief.”
Congress, however, has constitutional authority over D.C. Under the law governing the City Council, Congress can block city legislation from going into effect as well as defund the enforcement of these provisions through appropriations riders. The Framers of the Constitution intended for Congress to have final authority over the federal district. You can read more about Protecting Religious Freedom in D.C.