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  • Backgrounder posted April 10, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Leslie Ford 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  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2014 by Daren Bakst, Rachel Sheffield The “Heat and Eat” Food Stamp Loophole and the Outdated Cost Projections for Farm Programs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 by Ryan T. Anderson 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…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2014 by Sarah Torre Everything You Need to Know About the Fight for Religious Freedom at the Supreme Court

    Today the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases challenging a coercive Obamacare rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that forces employers to provide coverage of potentially life-ending drugs and devices — regardless of religious objection. Two families, the Greens and the Hahns, will be at the high court seeking to preserve their…

  • Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014 by Lindsey Burke, Rachel Sheffield 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. Proposals to…

  • Commentary posted February 27, 2014 by Jennifer A. Marshall When Tolerance Turns to Coerced Celebration

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last night vetoed what should have been a straightforward religious freedom bill. Minor clarifications to existing law got lost in an avalanche of gross mischaracterization as national pundits predicted the bill would usher in a "homosexual Jim Crow" regime with rampant denial of services by business owners to gays and lesbians. The development is…

  • Commentary posted February 19, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson ‘Homosexual Jim Crow Laws’? Get Real

    “Christians backing this bill are essentially arguing for homosexual Jim Crow laws.” So asserts Kirsten Powers in today’s USA Today. What could justify such an assertion? Nothing. Powers is wrong about the law. The bill in question is a religious-liberty protection being debated in the Kansas legislature. The bill would protect all citizens from being forced by the…

  • Commentary posted February 18, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Leslie Ford Bake Us a Cake, or Else!

    For years now, a central argument of those in favor of same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love how they choose. But does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents show that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual…

  • Legal Memorandum posted February 13, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery, Sarah Torre 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 by Thomas M. Messner 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.[1] Public policy should value, not condemn, those who uphold the ideal of a…

  • Backgrounder posted January 15, 2014 by Sarah Torre, Ryan T. Anderson 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 by Sarah Torre 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…

  • Commentary posted January 8, 2014 by Jennifer A. Marshall Incentives Matter in Fighting Poverty

    Fifty years in, the War on Poverty has fortified the welfare state–industrial complex while weakening society’s little platoons and disarming the vulnerable. Far from giving the poor “a fair chance to develop their own capacities,” as President Johnson sought, public assistance too often has created long-term dependence while undermining work and eroding marriage — the…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2014 by Robert Rector How the War on Poverty Was Lost

    On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson used his State of the Union address to announce an ambitious government undertaking. "This administration today, here and now," he thundered, "declares unconditional war on poverty in America." Fifty years later, we're losing that war. Fifteen percent of Americans still live in poverty, according to the official census poverty…

  • Issue Brief posted January 3, 2014 by Thomas M. Messner 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,…