RFRA: Religious Freedom or License to Discriminate?

Based on religious objections with increasing frequency, we are seeing individuals, businesses, organizations and institutions claiming a right to discriminate by refusing to provide services to women, LGBTQ people and the disability community and by resorting to hiring discrimination. These are the same arguments that were used in the 1960s to oppose laws requiring integration in restaurants because of “sincerely-held beliefs” that God wanted the races to be separate. We even saw some religiously affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. At this moment, the radical right is working to expand allowance of this discrimination under the guise of “moral” reasons.

Imposing beliefs on others who do not share them goes against the very fiber and core of Secular Humanist, Feminist and shared American family values and principles. Toni Van Pelt will discuss the history of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and outline the damage it has done to date and the potential for future damage. Toni will also discuss ways you can help to stem the tide of religious special exemptions to the rule of the law and to assist and insist in the establishment of secular moral principles in American culture.

Toni is co-founder, President, and Congressional Advocate for the Institute for Science and Human Values (ISHV). She launched and directs one of the first public policy offices of the Secular Humanist movement in Washington DC, which focuses on the importance of science, the use of empirical evidence as the basis for public policy, separation of church and state, secularism, and women’s and LGBTQI rights. Toni regularly presents on a variety of issues including proposed federal legislation and regulations, human rights, how to effectively participate in federal and state government, and how to lobby legislative bodies. Furthermore, she educates on—and lobbies for the passage of—the United Nations Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). As a secular humanist and feminist activist, she serves on the board of the Institute for Humanist Studies and on many of the boards and committees of the National Organization for Women.

Toni has spoken at many places across Florida, Washington, Texas, Louisiana and even in Mexico the past few months. UnitedCoR is pleased to announce Toni’s upcoming availability:

Washington, DC and will be available for a June 18 presentation.

Peoria, Illinois and is available on August 19 or 24 in the Chicagoland area.

New York City, before or after September 8

Denver/Breckenridge, Colorado: In late September

Houston, Texas: October 21-23 for a conference and Board meeting of the Institute for Humanist Studies. Toni is available to come earlier Austin, San Antonio or after the weekend.

Free thinkers need to have the facts about the destruction of freedom of and from religion that is rapidly advancing in the culture today. To schedule a speaking engagement with Toni, please email: [email protected], or phone (727) 278-8446.