If you follow the news closely, you might be concerned about the recent federal court decision involving marriage in Perry v. Schwarzenegger – the challenge to California’s marriage amendment – as well as the implications for religious freedom in the CLS v. Martinez decision at the U.S. Supreme Court. But I want you to take heart, for several reasons.
- The fight in both crucial cases is far from over. Perry in California is already being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Martinez has been remanded back to the lower courts for re-examination, with an excellent chance that the case will be heard again at the high court in days to come.
- A recent report prepared for our Board of Directors shows that this past year, ADF has won 82 percent of the cases we’ve litigated this last year – an astonishing measure of God’s hand of blessing on our legal efforts. Let me give you a fast glimpse of what some of those victories look like:
- A few weeks ago, I told you about Dr. Kenneth Howell, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, who was fired after an anonymous student complained about his explanation of the Catholic Church’s position on human sexual behavior – in an elective class on the doctrines of the Catholic Church.On July 28, after receiving two letters from ADF attorneys on behalf of Dr. Howell, the university informed him he was being reinstated to teach the course again.
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State threatened the town of Greece, New York, with a lawsuit to block board members from opening their meetings with prayer. But on August 6, a federal court found the board – represented by ADF – to be completely within its constitutional rights in beginning with an invocation, citing no evidence of any effort on the board’s part to proselytize or promote or disparage any one faith to the exclusion of others.
- On July 15, in Washington State, after three years of efforts by the Department of Health to force pharmacists to sell drugs (particularly the “Plan B” or “morning after” pill), even if doing so violated their conscience, a federal court put a halt to those efforts. The decision came as the culmination of a lawsuit filed by ADF and allied attorneys in 2007 to protect pharmacists and pharmacies against state regulations that forced them to stock or distribute the drugs. The court issued its ruling after the state pharmacy board agreed to revise its rules to allow those with conscientious objections to such medications to refer customers to other pharmacies.
God is mercifully working coast to coast to grace our efforts and bless our work on behalf of our clients. Don’t let the temporary “setbacks” dismay you – the battle is the Lord’s, and ADF is in it for the long haul. Please pray for the unfinished business still before the courts with regard to the Perry and Martinez cases, and for all of our attorneys and allies as they work to secure the protections of religious liberty for all Americans. Thank you very much. John 15:5.
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