House Bill 279 which is a response to a Kentucky Supreme Court decision that weakens the protection we deserve when it come to the free exercise of religion. One of the most basic of civil rights is the right to practice a faith without undue government interference. The government should have to have a compelling reason to interfere and use the least restrictive means to do so. That was the way it was in Kentucky until last October when our Supreme Court said NO, and lowered the standard required to protect our religious freedom.
In an excellent article – Is Religious Liberty Truly Threatened? – Jason Hall, CCK’s associate director, explains the threats we face today. Because of these threats we need to urge members of the General Assembly to override Governor Beshear’s veto of HB 279.
Members of the General Assembly need to hear from you as soon as possible. It is easy for you to make your voice heard. First of all you can click on this highlighted link and be taken to a page where an email message is ready for you to send. Once there you can also alert your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to send messages to their State Representatives and House leaders by clicking on the Facebook and Twitter icons.
Here is another way to speak out. Click on the link in the tweet below. If you are on Twitter you can retweet this message right now.
Urge Ky House Members to Override Governor’s Veto of Religious Freedom Bill capwiz.com/ccky/issues/al…
— Catholic Conf. of KY (@CCofKY) March 23, 2013
Members of the General Assembly return to Frankfort on Monday to consider vetoes and finish up other legislative business. They will be working Monday and Tuesday. So don’t wait until then. Email your message now and they will see it when they return. You could also follow-up your email with a phone call to 1.800.372.7181 on Monday and urge support for the veto override. Phones may be busy, so please be patient and keep trying.
The Governor released a list of those who asked him to veto HB 279 and both the public school teacher unions were on the list. If you are a public school teacher and Catholic, are you aware your union is not supporting this effort to strengthen the right to worship by keeping government from unduly trampling on this right? It pays to know what your dues are buying.
The entire video of the floor debate is available on the CCK YouTube channel. Here is just a brief excerpt that reveals the kind of opposition we face from a few members of the General Assembly. Fortunately 82 State Representatives and 29 State Senators sent the bill to the Governor. Please encourage them to renew their commitment to religious liberty and override this disappointing veto.
Photo courtesy of OrthodoxNet.com Blog; video courtesy of Legislative Research Commission – complete video archived at www.lrc.ky.gov