Legal Victory Confirms Need for Equal Campus Access Act

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Great news for First Amendment rights at public universities! InterVarsity at the University of Iowa won big at a federal district court, the same that heard the Business Leaders in Christ case. This decision reaffirms the need for Congress to enact the Equal Campus Access Act.

Congress should see this decision on its merits and pass the Equal Campus Access Act to bring the clarity and force of law to this issue. The Equal Campus Access Act is a bill that adds one sentence of language to law, ensuring students don’t lose their first amendment rights on public college campuses—specifically pertaining to faith-based clubs.

The decision by the court not only upholds InterVarsity’s ability to require leaders to adhere to its core Christian mission, but also goes a step further to find, for the first time, that university officials can be held personally liable. This is a change from the norm of the university paying damages if university officials are found to have knowingly acted unconstitutionally or unlawfully.

In this instance, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa found that specific officials at the University of Iowa should have known they were acting unlawfully in no longer recognizing InterVarsity as an official club on campus due to its leadership requirements.

Enacting the Equal Campus Access Act into law will alleviate any confusion public universities may have regarding the rights of religious clubs and faith-based organizations on campus. It would make clear that faith-based clubs cannot be discriminated against for following their sincerely held beliefs.

Congress must act. No longer should this be an issue left for the courts to untangle.  As this decision demonstrates, it should already be clear in the light of the Constitution.

In the Senate, the Equal Campus Access Act is S. 1168 and has 27 cosponsors. The identical bill is in the U.S. House as bill H.R 3243 and has four cosponsors.

CWALAC and our field leaders recently lobbied on this bill on our lobby day resulting in an additional four cosponsors on the Senate bill. Your voice makes the difference. Please make your views on this bill heard by using our action center to ask your senators and representative to cosponsor this bill, if they have not already done so.



Protecting Christian Adoptive and Foster Care Providers

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s Director of House Legislation, Shari Rendall, talked to Rep. Mike Kelly about the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (H.R. 5285), a bill to ensure that faith based charities will not be squeezed out of our communities because of their moral and religious convictions.

Protecting Vulnerable Children

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At the age of 14, Justina Pelletier was taken away from her family and made a ward of the state after being wrongly diagnosed by doctors at Boston Medical Center. Prior to diagnosis, she was a normal teenager who enjoyed ice-skating. Now, she is confined to a wheelchair.

As a result, a new law has been proposed to protect children from medical exploitation. Shari Rendall, Concerned Women for America’s Director of House Legislation, speaks with Mark Trammel, Legal Director for Liberty Center for Law and Policy and the Director of Public Policy for Liberty Council Action, regarding Justina’s Law (H.R. 4989). This bill would prohibit federal funding for medical research when that research presents a greater-than-minimal risk with minimal or no prospect of direct benefit to a child that is a ward of the state.

To learn more about Justina’s Law, listen to the interview. To make sure this never happens to another child. E-mail or call your representatives and urge them to support this bill.

Defending Israel and the Defenseless

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The Senate passed an emergency measure to provide 225 million dollars in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System.  However, the Senate was unable to move through the Israel Strategic Partnership Act (S.462), an act that would have strengthened America’s relationship with Israel.

Please urge your senator to support the Israel Strategic Partnership Act.

Additionally, please ask your senator to support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S.1670). This piece of legislation would protect women’s rights and regulate abortion during a time when babies can feel excruciating pain.

Listen as Alexandria Paolozzi, Senate Legislative Director for Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, gives an update on the Israel Strategic Partnership Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

And remember to e-mail or call your senators and urge them to support these pieces of legislation.

Legislately!: The New Game-Changer in Defense of Marriage

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weberRep. Randy Weber (R – Texas) spoke with Concerned Women for America’s Director of House Legislation, Shari Rendall to discuss H.R. 3829, the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014. Rep. Weber introduced this bill in the House of Representatives in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down section 3 of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. This bill would allow states to define marriage as they wish and gives direction to federal agencies when applying benefits. Listen to Rep. Weber’s interview, educate yourself and email or call your elected representatives and urge them to support this bill.


Legislately!: Secretary Sebelius Continues to “Navigate” Funds for Abortion Providers

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Nance_Rendall.jpg America is 17 trillion dollars in debt, but Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius continues to waste money. On her watch, a group of community organizers, including Planned Parenthood, with little training and no background checks, will have access to your personal information and are receiving 64 million of your hard-earned dollars to recruit ObamaCare recipients and fund a horrendous abortion business.Most of you know Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) is a hero to the pro-life movement. She understands about protecting taxpayers from funding abortions. Now she has taken great leadership in stopping Secretary Sebelius’ “navigator fund.” Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s (CWALAC) CEO and President, and Shari Rendall, CWALAC’s House Legislative Director, talk with Rep. Black about her efforts to defund the navigator program and how YOU can get involved.