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July 14, 2014

Senate Bill Targets Religious Freedom Act—Call Now!

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations

Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom. Read more >>

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) has fast-tracked a bill which, if passed into law, would repeal certain provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), significantly threaten the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion clause, and further erode religious freedom in our nation.

The full Senate will vote on the bill this week (Majority Leader Reid canceled any committee hearings on this bill in his rush to vote on it), so we ask for urgent calls to your two U.S. senators to oppose this bill.

The bill is misleadingly titled the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014” (and is also known as the “Murray bill” since Senator Patty Murray from Washington state is the primary sponsor). It was introduced by Senate Democrats to overturn the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case.

Bipartisan Protection

The bill would do this by changing certain provisions of the RFRA, a bipartisan law from 1993 which was supported by every member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 97 U.S. senators, organizations from across the political spectrum including HSLDA and the ACLU, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

HSLDA Founder and Chairman Mike Farris helped draft the RFRA to protect religious freedom, which for many homeschool families is the foundation for why they have decided to educate their children at home.

We urge you to please call your two senators immediately and ask them to reject this blatant attack on religious freedom. You can reach them by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and you can email them at this page. If you do not know who your senators are, you can find their contact information by typing in your address at HSLDA’s Legislative Toolbox.

Your message can be as simple as the following:

“Please reject the Murray bill. This bill violates religious freedom, seeks to overturn Supreme Court precedent, and is unnecessary. It changes the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bipartisan law which has been around unaltered for over 20 years. It would threaten the ability of employers of faith to follow their conscience when they start a business.”
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Additional Resources

Text of S. 2578

• U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops letter in opposition to S. 2578

• John McCormack, Weekly Standard: “Democratic Bill Would Grant Executive Power to Deny Religious Freedom to Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques”

• Ed Whelan, National Review: “Senate Democrats’ Religious-Freedom Deprivation Bill”

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Protect Your Family

We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>