While the media and others have announced Joe Biden as the presumptive winner of the 2020 presidential election, many others want to wait for all the votes to be counted and any potential legal proceedings to be completed. At Alliance Defending Freedom, we join with our fellow Christians in simply praying for God’s will to be done.
But while we wait, we do know that we can be sure of these three things:
- God is in control, regardless of who is in the White House.
- Our God-given freedoms must continue to be protected.
- Now is the time to step up and defend them.
And we are choosing to focus on these certainties during an incredibly uncertain time.
The reality is that the challenges to religious liberty, free speech, the sanctity of life, and freedom of conscience are not on hold. They will continue no matter who is ultimately declared the winner of the election. And with God’s blessing (John 15:5), ADF will always be at the very center of the fight for freedom.
Here are just a few ongoing cases where ADF is actively defending your rights.
Lorie Smith owns graphic design studio 303 Creative and specializes in creating and designing custom websites. The past few years, Lorie has wanted to expand her business to create custom wedding websites that proclaim and celebrate the beauty of marriage as God designed it, as the union of one man and one woman.
But a Colorado law stands in her way.
State officials are interpreting this law to require Lorie to use her artistic talents to celebrate same-sex marriages if she celebrates marriages between one man and one woman. The law even prohibits her from publicly explaining her religious beliefs about marriage on her website. If Lorie were to operate her business consistently with her beliefs, it would mean costly and burdensome investigations, fines of up to $500 for each violation, and oppressive mandates, like re-education training designed to compel Lorie to agree with Colorado’s views on marriage.
That’s why Lorie, with the help of ADF, filed a lawsuit against the state in 2016. And this month, on November 16, ADF will argue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Lorie’s behalf.
In 2019, Florida State University student Jack Denton was elected president of the Student Senate. But just eight months later he was removed.
Why? Because Jack privately shared his Catholic beliefs with other Catholic students.
Because of his beliefs, Jack was the target of a smear campaign among his fellow students. Petitions were circulated calling on him to be removed as Student Senate President. Jack listened to six hours of student comments berating him for his beliefs. And he was ultimately removed from his position.
But Jack has the right to share his beliefs under the First Amendment to our Constitution.
That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in federal court against the university on Jack’s behalf. ADF is also advocating for Jack's constitutional rights within the Florida State University system.
Thankfully, in October a court acknowledged that Jack’s free speech rights were violated and ordered Florida State University to pay him as president of the Student Senate while the lawsuit continues. And just a few weeks later, the Student Supreme Court of Florida State University ruled that Jack should be reinstated to his position as Student Senate President.
ADF is also representing a Mississippi third grader, Lydia Booth, whose school officials forced her to remove a mask that said “Jesus Loves Me.”
Lydia had worn her “Jesus Loves Me” mask several times before without any incidents. And other students and faculty had been allowed to wear masks with a wide variety of messages, including masks displaying the Jackson State University logo, the New Orleans Saints logo, and “Black Lives Matter.”
Yet, school officials forced this third grader to remove her mask. In order to justify this, they pointed to a school policy that prohibits messages on masks that are “political, religious, sexual, or inappropriate symbols, gestures or statements that may be offensive, disruptive or deemed distractive to the school environment.”
But school officials can’t pick and choose which messages students are allowed to express and which they aren’t. And they certainly can’t single out religious speech for worse treatment than other types of speech.
That’s why ADF has filed a lawsuit against the school district on Lydia’s behalf. If masks expressing other beliefs and views are allowed, then “Jesus Loves Me” should be allowed as well.
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