On January 20, the Obama administration made it clear that the new HHS mandate requiring employers to provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans would be imposed on religious institutions.
The HHS provided a "religious exemption" so narrow that it would exclude Catholic hospitals, universities and charities, forcing these institutions to act in direct opposition to Catholic teaching through the health care plans they provide.
Institutions run by other religious organizations would be similarly affected. Religious leaders across the country have been speaking out against the HHS Mandate, including 181 Catholic bishops, and numerous lawsuits have been filed by Catholic institutions.
The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom welcomes all participants, of whatever religious persuasion-and even those of no religious faith-who are united by support for and desire to protect the United States Constitution's First Amendment right of religious liberty currently under attack by the HHS Mandate.
It is not the purpose of these Rallies to promote or advocate for any political party or political movement. Thus Rally participants are asked to not bring political party or candidate signs to the rallies or distribute such literature.
All those who attend are expected to comport themselves peacefully at all times while asserting their Constitutional right to freedom of assembly.
Families, even those with small children, should feel at home and comfortable attending this Rally.
If opposition protests are conducted, Rally participants will not engage counter demonstrators or hecklers with loud verbal argumentation, name-calling or derogatory remarks, nor will such opponents be physically engaged in any way.
Any interference with Rally participants' rights to freedom of speech and assembly will be referred to police authorities by local Rally leaders.
If Rally participants are approached by media for comment, they should refer reporters and journalists to local rally coordinators for an interview.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.StandUpForReligiousFreedom.org