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Lawmakers Confront Big Business Over Religious Freedom
May 4, 2016

Sadly, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently vetoed a religious liberty bill (HB 757) that, “would have safeguarded clergy members from having to officiate same-sex weddings, prevented faith-based organizations from being forced to hire someone who publicly undermines their mission, and prohibited the state government from discriminating against churches and their affiliated ministries because they believe marriage is between a man and a woman.” Read More From Daily Signal.

Under pressure and threats from big business—including Disney, and other Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Coca Cola, Time Warner, Home Depot, and the NFL to name just a few—he rejected the legislation passed in the Georgia legislature.

In an earnest, but direct response, more than 100 legislators representing 13 states signed an Open Letter to the corporate executives for many of these organizations (attached below). Our government leaders are sending a strong message, deploring attempts like this to strong arm and override the will of the people, as well as to protect the freedom of conscience and our religious liberties. If your representative signed this letter, please let him or her know how much you appreciate the stand that was taken.

The CPCF represents a network of committed legislators who believe, “Freedom of conscience can include nothing less than the way a person lives all aspects of his or her life. As a nation, our laws should encourage and support, not penalize, citizens who seek to adhere to their moral convictions.” These leaders need us to join them in promoting prayer, preserving our Judeo-Christian heritage, and protecting the true meaning of religious freedom.

It’s time to say, “Enough,” and fight for our First Amendment rights. People of faith must band together in strategic prayer and action to support our government leaders. As a citizen who understands the importance of defending religious freedom and all we hold sacred, would you commit to praying for and encouraging these men and women who are boldly speaking truth in the halls of power?

Here is a list of those who voted, “Yes” on the House and Senate measure, supporting this bill.


An Open letter to:

Mr. Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
Mr. Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Commissioner
Mr. Mark Emmert, NCAA CEO
Mr. Isaac Perlmutter, Marvel CEO
Mr. Robert Iger, Disney CEO

We write to you today because you recently issued statements against religious liberty legislation in various states around the country. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, we understand that you may have been misinformed and misguided into a position of condoning and promoting government use of the force of law against people of faith in America.

Human dignity requires that a person be free to exercise his or her religious faith; and that no government entity will discriminate or oppress a person based on the person’s thoughts or beliefs.

Freedom of conscience and freedom exercise of religion can include nothing less than the way a person lives all aspects of his or her life. As a nation, our laws must encourage and support, not penalize, citizens who seek to adhere to their moral convictions.

Religious liberties form the first freedom in the Bill of Rights.  The First Amendment prevents government from infringing on the free exercise of religion. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to redefine this foundational truth to mean people of faith can freely exercise their faith in their heart and home, not in the public square. We are here to help correct this false narrative. God, Judeo-Christian principles and prayer are an integral part of our nation’s Founding; and together undergirds freedom for all Americans.

Government, unelected Justices, and big businesses should not be in the business of forcing individuals and entities to act in a manner that contradicts their conscience. The Obergefell decision, the United States Supreme Court’s effort to redefine marriage throughout America, has left private schools, charities, businesses, churches or individuals that disagree unprotected. We need laws protecting their right to live their faith, thus the reason for the recent bill in Georgia. All across this nation, people of faith are being fined, severely penalized or even serving jail time for simply adhering to their deeply held convictions.

Now, most “non-discrimination acts or ordinances” provide special protections based on sexual identity and orientation and undermine the original definition of religious freedom. The pressure to leave faith at the door of the public square is continually increasing for religious schools, nonprofits, public employees, private employees, small business owners, and entities interacting with the government via grants, contracts, or other means (including obtaining tax accommodations from the government). All of these individuals and entities (and more) should be protected from government coercion that would make them violate their consciences.

Lastly, if you were to remove your events and other economic activities from every state that already has significant religious liberty legislation or state court decisions with the same effect, you will find yourselves operating in an increasingly shrinking pool of states.  As of now, 32 states contain these, and others are in the process of adoption.

Please ask yourselves this question: “Do we really want to live in a society where our government may, under the penalty of law, force its citizens to engage in the promotion or solemnization of an act that they find contrary to their conscience and their religious beliefs?” Your efforts are indeed forging a path that contradicts and undermines the principles and concepts that our Founders incorporated as the building blocks of this Constitutional Republic.

We, the undersigned, hereby encourage you to reconsider your recent public threats.  We stand ready to meet with you in order to help you more fully understand the issues facing America’s significant religious population that form the basis of the First Freedom in our Constitution.

Respectfully,

Representative Scott Sanford (TX-70)
Representative Matt Krause (TX-93)
Representative Randy Powell (KS-30)
Representative Rick Saccone (PA-39)
Senator Kevin Lundberg (CO-15)
Former Representative Ken Kurtz (MI-58)
Representative Dade Phelan (TX-21)
Representative Dennis Paul (TX-129)
Representative Paul Workman (TX-47)
Representative Jodie Laubenberg (TX-89)
Representative James White (TX-19)
Representative Scott Turner (TX-33)
Representative Mark Keough (TX-15)
Representative James Frank (TX-69)
Representative Jeff Leach (TX-67)
Representative Matt Schaefer (TX-6)
Representative Matt Shaheen (TX-66)
Representative Molly White (TX-55)
Representative Will Metcalf (TX-16)
Representative Phil King (TX-61)
Representative Matt Rinaldi (TX-115)
Representative Stephanie Klick (TX-91)
Representative DeWayne Burns (TX-58)
Senator Janice Bowling (TN-16)
Representative Mike McClellan (ME-66)
Representative Gilbert Pena (TX-144)
Senator John Cosgrove (VA-14)
Representative Tom Newell (OK-28)
Representative Stuart Spitzer (TX-4)
Senator Norman Sanderson (NC-2)
Representative Sally Kern (OK-84)
Representative Dale Crafts (ME-56)
Representative Sandy Salmon (IA-63)
Representative Rick Miller (TX-26)
Senator Mark Allen (OK-4)
Representative Dean Fisher (IA-72)
Representative Bert Jones (NC-65)
Representative Mike Hill (FL-2) R
epresentative George Cleveland (NC-14)
Representative Steven Holt (IA-18)
Senator Jason Schultz (IA-9)
Representative Tan Parker (TX-63)
Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (CO-1)
Representative Gordon Klingenschmitt (CO-15)
Representative Paul Stam (NC-37)
Representative Jeff Collins (NC-25)
Senator Larry Grooms (SC-37)
Representative Ed McBroom (MI-108)
Representative Chris Whitmire (NC-113)
Representative Pat McElraft (NC-13)
Representative Yeulin Willett (CO-54)
Representative Larry Pittman (NC-82)
Representative Rayne Brown (NC-81)
Representative Dean Arp (NC-69)
Representative Lori Saine (CO-63)
Representative Garry Smith (SC-27)
Senator Dennis Guth (IA-4)
Representative Joe Daning (SC-92)
Representative Eric Bedingfield (SC-28)
Representative Allen McNeill (NC-78)
Representative Thomas E. Pope (SC-47)
Representative Paul Lundeen (CO-19)
Representative Kenny Bingham (SC-89)
Senator Tom Corbin (SC-5)
Senator Paul Campbell (SC-44)
Representative Stephen Goldfinch (SC-108)
Representative David Hiott (SC-4)
Senator Larry Martin (SC-2)
Representative Todd Atwater (SC-87)
Representative McLain Toole (SC-88)
Representative Peter McCoy (SC-115)
Representative Ralph Norman (SC-48)
Representative Don Wells (SC-81)
Representative Mike Forrester (SC-34)
Representative Steve Moss (SC-30)
Senator Harvey Peeler (SC-14)
Representative Gary Simrill (SC-46)
Representative Bill Taylor (SC-86)
Representative Mike Burns (SC-17)
Senator Chip Campsen (SC-43)
Senator Ross Turner (SC-8)
Representative Jeff Johnson (SC-58)
Representative Greg Duckworth (SC-104)
Representative Mike Ryhal (SC-56)
Senator Wes Hayes (SC-15)
Senator Danny Verdin (SC-9)
Representative Pat Fallon (TX-106)
Representative Trent Ashby (TX-57)
Representative John Zerwas (TX-28)
Representative Dan Flynn (TX-2)
Senator Kevin Bryant (SC-3)
Representative John Smithee (TX-86)
Representative Phil Stephenson (TX-85)
Representative Todd Hunter (TX-32)
Representative Tony Tinderholt (TX-94)
Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. (TX-3)
Representative Wayne Faircloth (TX-23)
Representative Anne Thayer (SC-9)
Representative Allen Fletcher (TX-130)
Representative Ed Thompson (TX-29)
Representative Doug Miller (TX-73)
Senator Wayne Shaw (OK-3)
Senator Katrina Shealy (SC-23)
Representative Cindy Burkett (TX-113)
Representative Jonathan Strickland (TX-92)
Representative Gary VanDeaver (TX-1)
Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson (TX-56)
Senator Ronnie Cromer (SC-18)
Representative Bill Zedler (TX-96)
Representative Matt Shea (WA-4)

Click here to download the Open Letter