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July 21, 2014

Senate Defeats Anti-Religious Liberty Bill

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations


Joshua D. Denton
Federal Relations Intern

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 >>

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill which targeted religious freedom. Supporters of the bill needed 60 votes to end debate, but the attempt failed by a vote of 56-43.

This was a blatant attempt to weaken the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by stripping away key religious liberty protections for Americans of all faiths. It would have forced all employers to cover all current or future health care items or services required under government mandates, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

Effective Response

We are grateful for your help in defeating this bill and for all of your phone calls to senators in response to our action alert. Mike Farris played an integral part in drafting the RFRA, and ensuring that its provisions strengthened the liberty of all Americans.

It is outrageous that a majority of senators attempted to weaken our First Freedom. Thankfully, however, there are still senators who stood strong against this attempt. We encourage you to visit this page to see how your senators voted. If they voted “nay” on ending debate and moving to a full Senate vote on the bill, please thank them for standing for religious liberty. A “yea” vote meant that they were most likely in favor of the bill to weaken religious liberty.

Deeply Held Beliefs

Senator Blunt (MO) said supporters’ floor comments about the bill made the chamber a “fact-free zone.” He added: “This is not about your pocketbook; this is not about what something costs. This is about whether or not the government has done everything possible to accommodate peoples’ deeply held religious beliefs.”

Please click here for a short video of Senator Blunt’s remarks. Or you can follow this link to view Senator Blunt’s press release online.

Thank you for joining with us to defeat this dangerous bill. It is because of people like you that we are able to protect homeschooling and religious freedom for all.

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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 >>