The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund’s mission is to defend religious freedom by providing protective legal services at the trial level to persons whose religious liberty and free-speech rights have been attacked. FCDF is a nonprofit public-interest law firm which defends the conscience rights and religious freedom of those of all faiths and no faith.
Why FCDF is Needed
What makes FCDF unique—and so very much needed—is its focus on trial-level defense. Whereas other public-interest attorneys and nonprofits tend to focus their work at the appellate level, FCDF has seasoned expertise at the trial-court level where these rights most need to be defended. Too many cases never get to the appellate level—precisely because harassed, oppressed, intimidated men and women do not have the resources to defend their rights at trial. That is where the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund comes in. Moreover, FCDF is the only such firm based in California, where the push against religious liberty is particularly strong.History
The official launch of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) took place at the beautiful home of Claire Reiss in La Jolla, California on September 6, 2012. About 75 people gathered to hear various speakers—including chairperson Maggie Gallagher—who addressed the pressing need for the FCDF. Click here for photos from the launch.
FCDF’s president and chief counsel, Charles LiMandri, had previously attended a private summit on marriage and religious liberty in New York, which gathered together Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop-Elect Salvatore Cordileone, Princeton University’s Robbie George, the evangelical pastor Jim Garlow, and many others. At that summit, it quickly became clear that serious Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Mormons all agree: if we do not halt the secular progressive agenda of harassment and intimidation of people of conscience, our children will not experience or enjoy the freedom and liberty that we have long known as Americans.
Already, individuals and organizations—victims of discrimination and defamation—are starting to seek out FCDF. In extreme cases, American people of conscience—especially supporters of life, marriage, and the family—have literally had their jobs or even their lives threatened. FCDF is available to represent all those whose freedom of conscience is threatened, including churches, nonprofit organizations, and business owners, professors, and other individuals. It has already advised clients in about a dozen such cases.