In recent months, the media has been flooded with images of citizens gathering in city centers and lining the streets holding banners, waving signs, and speaking up for their religious freedom. Simultaneously, American courtrooms are now bursting with lawsuits brought by businesses and religious organizations demanding protection of their rights of conscience.
On Saturday, October 20, just 17 days before the national election, concerned Americans will again take to the streets and voice opposition to government oppression in the form of the “HHS Mandate” that violates their cherished religious freedom and requires them to violate their consciences. These “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies will take place in cities coast to coast, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis. The nationwide campaign is being sponsored by the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Coalition. A complete list of rally locations is available at StandUpRally.com.
The HHS Mandate was implemented on August 1st under a provision of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that empowers the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to mandate that certain preventive services be provided free of copays in employer health plans. Under the HHS Mandate, all employers, even religious institutions, are now required to offer free contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
“Many people hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would undo the HHS Mandate by overturning Obamacare in their ruling this past June,” commented Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and one of the co-directors of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. “But instead the court has left it to the people to reverse this unjust mandate through the democratic process. On October 20, we’ll be calling on the American people to vote for candidates who will overturn the HHS Mandate and restore religious liberty in America.”
“The HHS Mandate is a completely unjust government intrusion into the very practice of religion itself, forcing religious institutions to compromise their doctrines and beliefs,” said Monica Miller, executive director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and also a co-director of the October 20 event. “This is a crucial issue as we head into the election, and it is vitally important to keep this issue alive. The Stand Up for Religious Freedom nationwide rallies are a powerful way to generate continued awareness that the HHS Mandate must be opposed — that this immoral law must be stopped.”
To date, Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies are being organized in 92 cities in 35 states, with more cities being added to the map daily. Tens of thousands of citizens are expected to take part in these peaceful, non-partisan demonstrations at local federal buildings, court houses, Congressional offices, city parks, and churches. Many of the rallies will be attended by heads of religious institutions and prominent community leaders.
Over 300 Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies took place in March and June, drawing over 125,000 participants.
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