Secular Coalition to Justice: Stop Promoting Religious Discrimination

September 16- The Secular Coalition for America, along with dozens of other civil rights organizations, has written to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that he direct the Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”) to review and withdraw its June 29, 2007 Memorandum that erroneously interpreted the the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to exempt religious organizations receiving federal dollars from abiding by federal nondiscrimination provisions.

The letter to Holder asserts that the OLC Memo wrongly concluded that RFRA is “reasonably construed” to  allow religious organizations to discriminate on the basis of religion in who they hire to perform federally funded social services.

"Although the OLC Memo’s conclusion is focused on one Justice Department program, its overly-broad and questionable interpretation of RFRA has been cited by other Federal agencies and extended to other programs and grants.  The guidance in the OLC Memo is not justified under applicable legal standards and threatens to tilt policy toward an unwarranted end that would damage civil rights and religious liberty."

The Secular Coalition fears that the OLC's memo will have far-reaching consequences if it is not withdrawn by the Obama Administration's Department of Justice.

The complete coalition letter can be found here.

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