Backgrounder posted April 10, 2014
Protecting Religious Liberty in the State Marriage Debate
Abstract For years, a central argument of those who favor same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love as they choose, but does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents demonstrates that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual…
Issue Brief posted April 7, 2014
The “Heat and Eat” Food Stamp Loophole and the Outdated Cost Projections for Farm Programs
In February, Congress passed a new farm bill that lacked meaningful and necessary reform. Making matters worse, Congress made critical mistakes that will have a major impact on both food stamps and farm programs. The most significant attempt at food stamp reform was to close the “heat and eat” loophole, which allows states to artificially boost the amount of food stamps…
Backgrounder posted April 4, 2014
Marriage, Reason, and Religious Liberty: Much Ado About Sex, Nothing to Do with Race
Is opposition to same-sex marriage at all like opposition to interracial marriage? One refrain in debates over marriage policy is that laws designating marriage as exclusively the union of male and female are today's equivalent of bans on interracial marriage. Some further argue that protecting the freedom to speak and act publicly on the basis of a religious belief that…
Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014
New Preschool Spending an Unnecessary Burden on American Taxpayers
President Obama has proposed spending $75 billion over the next 10 years to create a new federally funded preschool initiative. His fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposes spending billions to expand access to “high quality preschool” for every four-year-old child in the country. Legislative proposals in the House and Senate mirror the President’s plan.
Legal Memorandum posted February 13, 2014
Obamacare Anti-Conscience Mandate at the Supreme Court
In February 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized guidelines requiring employers to pay for coverage of contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs and granted a narrow exemption for certain religious employers. Many employers believe that complying with this mandate would violate the tenets of their faith, but failure to…
Backgrounder posted January 30, 2014
Religious Freedom and Marriage in Federal Law
Legal recognition of same-sex marriage will increase the potential for conflicts with religious freedom. The majority opinion in the recent U.S. Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor intensifies these concerns by characterizing traditional marriage policy as a form of irrational prejudice.
Public policy should value, not condemn, those who uphold the ideal of a…
Backgrounder posted January 15, 2014
Adoption, Foster Care, and Conscience Protection
Foster care and adoption policy should put the best interests of children first. In any given year, hundreds of thousands of children spend time in the U.S. foster care system, a quarter of them seeking adoption into a loving family. Yet many of these children bounce from home to home, never adopted, and enter adult life without any family ties. Public policy therefore…
Backgrounder posted January 13, 2014
Obamacare’s Many Loopholes: Forcing Individuals and Taxpayers to Fund Elective Abortion Coverage
Obamacare requires that, as of January 1, 2014, all individuals obtain qualified health insurance through their employer, on an exchange, or elsewhere. Consequently, millions of Americans have been looking to purchase health plans through state and federally run health insurance exchanges.
In order to avoid a hefty fine, individuals must purchase a plan that satisfies…
Issue Brief posted January 3, 2014
New Mexico Photography Business Seeks Supreme Court Review
Elaine Huguenin is a photographer in New Mexico who declined to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because creating images of that event would have violated her religious beliefs about marriage. A discrimination complaint was filed against Elane Photography, which is the photography business that Elaine Huguenin co-owns with her husband, Jonathan.
On August 22,…