IRFA Action

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Letter to Senators on anti-Hobby Lobby, anti-RFRA bill (July 15, 2014)

The Center for Public Justice and IRFA ask Senators not to adopt S.2578, a bill designed to reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision by excluding for-profit businesses from the religious freedom protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Letter to President: LGBT Ex Order Must Have Strong RF Protections (June 25, 2014)

Leaders of faith-based organizations, church leaders, constitutional law experts, and others connected with faith-based services ask the President to include strong protections for religious organizations in his planned Executive Order for federal contractors.  Some 160 leaders signed the letter.

Letter to the President About Possible LGBT Ex Order: Include Strong Rel. Freedom Protection (January 22, 2014).

Religious freedom advocates, leaders of faith-based organizations, and church leaders ask the President to protect the rights of religious organizations when he eventually issues the promised Executive Order for federal contractors.

Comment to the Department of Health and Human Services regarding proposed rules on childcare funding (August 5, 2013).

In May, HHS  released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making proposing and discussing revised regulations to improve child care. Among other things, the new regulations would direct states to turn more often to grants and contracts in place of certificates (vouchers) to pay for child care.  This would  reduce the role of faith-based providers.  IRFA submitted a comment on the proposed new rules.

Comment on proposed changes to the Combined Federal Campaign (May 23, 2013).

The federal government has proposed an extensive revision of the regulations that govern the Combined Federal Campaign–the program that facilitates donations to charities by federal employees.  Many faith-based organizations are worried that the proposed (and unclear) expansion of the prohibition on discrimination may result in squeezing religious charities out of the program.  IRFA submitted a comment pointing this out.

Comment to US Commission on Civil Rights regarding the conflict between nondiscrimination principles and civil liberties (April 20, 2013).

IRFA stressed the importance of protecting the religious identity and faith-shaped practices of religious service organizations, and commended to the Commission the views of several of the witnesses it had heard and several other resources.

Comment on the February, 2013, NPRM regarding the HHS contraceptives mandate (March 28, 2013).

On Feb. 1, HHS announced “proposed rules” concerning the applicability of the contraceptives mandate to faith-based service organizations, houses of worship and their integrated auxiliaries, and for-profit companies.  IRFA submitted a comment in response to this Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), stressing the inadequacy of the proposed “accommodation” of religious nonprofit organizations.

Comment to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (September 18, 2012).

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently solicited public comments on its Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan. The plan is intended to help the EEOC to cope with an increasing number of job discrimination issues despite reduced resources. The draft plan said nothing about ensuring protection for the religious hiring rights of faith-based organizations as various new enforcement initiatives are undertaken. IRFA submitted a comment to draw attention to this important issue.

Comment on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) regarding the HHS contraceptives mandate (June 18, 2012).

The comment points out that 1) the best possible accommodation cannot undo the grave harm caused by the creation of a two-class system of religious organizations, 2) a definition of organizations eligible for an accommodation should not be connected to the Internal Revenue Code definition of churches, and 3) an accommodation should not automatically enroll the employees of religious organizations in contraceptive and abortifacient coverage.

Letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding the HHS contraceptives mandate, signed by over 140 leaders of faith-based organizations (June 11, 2012).

150 Protestant and Catholic leaders and supporters of faith-based service organizations, churches, and religious freedom groups sent this letter, organized by IRFA, to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, asking that the administration reverse course by eliminating the two-class system of religious organizations that it has created.

Letter to President Obama asking for a broader exemption to the HHS contraceptives mandate (December, 21, 2011).

This letter, organized by IRFA and signed by a range of  leaders of faith-based organizations, stresses that not only Catholics are deeply concerned about the HHS contraceptives mandate.

Letter to President Obama thanking him for maintaining the religious hiring freedom (October, 17, 2011).

This letter organized by IRFA and signed by faith leaders thanks President Obama for maintaining laws establishing religious hiring rights.

Letter to Joshua DuBois, head of White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (August 26, 2011).

This letter organized by IRFA and signed by leaders of faith-based organizations requests that Joshua DuBois advocate for the rights of faith-based organizations with regard to the HHS contraceptives mandate.

Letter to President Obama defending religious hiring rights (July 12 2011).

A coalition of faith-based leaders, organized by IRFA, requests that President Obama defend the historic freedom of faith-based organizations to consider religion when they make hiring decisions.

Letter to the Department of Justice regarding the Executive Order “Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnership With Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations.” (January 27, 2011)

IRFA requests that the Department of Justice be active to protect the rights of faith-based organizations as this Executive Order is implemented.

Letter to President Obama regarding federal faith-based initiatives policy (March 1, 2010).

A letter organized by IRFA and signed by leaders of faith-based organizations commends President Obama for his commitment to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and cautions the President against heeding the advice of the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination.