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Stop Playing Politics with Religious Liberty

February 7, 2014

Today Catholics for Choice and the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), co-conveners of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice, participate in a day-long forum on religious freedom with leading experts in women’s rights, LGBT rights, religion and constitutional scholarship. Twenty-one experts will lead discussions on the impact that recent attacks on religious liberty will have and the troubling trend in which even progressive lawmakers and usual allies have appeared willing to cave when it comes to defending real religious freedom.

“What we see in the courts about religious liberty is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “There’s so much more at stake. Today’s expert forum exposes a laundry list of rights that religious extremists are seeking to strip away from American citizens under the bogus banner of ‘religious liberty.’

“Religious extremists should not get a free pass from politicians and policymakers when it comes to religious liberty. Democrats and Republicans alike should open their eyes and see that kowtowing to the demands of these bullies will fundamentally undermine constitutional liberty for all Americans. Voters will soon find their rights have been sold out on the basis of false claims and scare tactics that distort the very principle of religious freedom.”

“The National Council of Jewish Women is driven by progressive Jewish values to safeguard individual rights and freedoms,” said Nancy Kaufman, chief executive officer of the NCJW. “Today, many of these rights are under attack. We need not look far to see how conservative religious leaders and their allies are seeking to impose one religious view on all of us—through policies related to the accessibility of basic health care to civil rights for LGBT individuals. NCJW co-convened the Coalition for Liberty & Justice to advance and protect religious liberty for all individuals—a right that is a cornerstone of our democracy. This forum highlights how these issues are in play in our courts, in Congress and in state legislatures, and how allowing one religious view to be enshrined into law would have a dangerous impact in our everyday lives.”

“Catholics for Choice—and the majority of Catholics—support the rights of conscience, religious liberty and human dignity for all,” concluded Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “It is inspiring to see diverse organizations come together today to support real religious liberty and dispel the myths that would seek to undermine it.”