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Defending Real Religious Liberty for All

Experts from the Coalition for Liberty & Justice and allies from the international community met to discuss the current state of church/state separation in light of the US State Department’s announcement of the creation of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, as well as the ongoing litigation over federal contraceptive coverage requirements.

These leading religious liberty advocates discussed the influence of religion on public policy and women’s reproductive health and examined the difference between the protections owed to people of faith from all traditions and the privileging of any one faith’s views over others in civil law.

The Coalition for Liberty & Justice is a broad alliance of faith-based, secular and other organizations that works to ensure that public policy protects the religious liberty of individuals of all faiths and no faith and to oppose public policies that impose one religious viewpoint on all.

Read more about the panel.

The event was held on August 21, 2013 at the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C.

 


 

Listen to the Podcasts

What War on Religion?
Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, explains how rightwing religious groups attempt to grant precedence to the interests of institutions over the consciences of individuals, and why this dangerous for everyone.

 

How Can Discrepancies in the Definition of “Secularism” Impact Human Rights?
Marieme Helie Lucas, an internationally-based panelist from Women Living under Muslim Laws and Secularism Is a Women’s Issue, discusses the influence of Muslim extremists on laws and policies throughout the world and how discrepancies in definitions of secularism can have real consequences for human rights everywhere—and why people in the United States need only look at international examples to see what happens when religious extremism controls public policy.

 

Politics at the Pulpit and the Catholic Hierarchy’s Negative Impact on Reproductive Rights
How do ultraconservative religious groups work to impose their extreme views on everyone? Sara Hutchinson, domestic program director at Catholics for Choice, highlights the recent lawsuits opposing contraception coverage from faith-based universities and for-profit companies to demonstrate how religious extremists, particularly in the Catholic Church, can affect federal law.

 

A Lot Happens, But Not a Lot
Changes: What Can We Do To Achieve Real Religious Liberty?
Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, director of Concerned Clergy for Choice, shares stories from New York state about the ongoing work by religious and non-religious leaders towards achieving real religious liberty. He believes this means, above all else, that a woman will be protected when making personal decisions about planning a family.

 

What is the Coalition for
Liberty & Justice?

Sara Hutchinson, domestic program director at Catholics for Choice, describes the goal of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice: to ensure that public policy protects the religious liberty of individuals of all faiths and no faith and to oppose public policies that impose one religious viewpoint on all.