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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 9520
Rancho Santa Fe, California  92067

Physical Address:  (UPS & FedEx Only)
16236 San Dieguito Road, Suite 3-15
Rancho Santa Fe, California  92067
Please note that we cannot receive regular mail at our physical address.

Phone: (858) 759-9948

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Parents Sue San Diego School District Over "Anti-Islamophobia" Campaign

Yesterday, the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) filed a federal civil rights lawsuit yesterday on behalf of a group of concerned parents against the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) challenging the constitutionality of the district’s controversial “Anti-Islamophobia” program.  Named defendants also include every member of SDUSD’s Board of Education and Superintendent Cynthia Marten.  In addition to six parents, FCDF is representing Citizens for Quality Education – San Diego (CQE-SD), a local grassroots organization dedicated to public school reform, and the San Diego Asian Americans for Equality (SDAAFE), which defends the interests of the Asian American community and promotes active involvement in public affairs.

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Proposition 8 and Traditional Marriage


Proposition 8 was the well-known 2008 California ballot proposition that passed a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. FCDF President Charles LiMandri served as General Counsel for the National Organization for Marriage in California during the successful ballot campaign. Although it was passed by a solid majority of Californians, Proposition 8 was overturned in August 2010 in United States District Court, a decision that was predictably upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February 2012. The case then proceeded to the United States Supreme Court in 2013, but the Supreme Court refused to decide the case on its merits due to a procedural deficiency. The fate of Proposition 8 remained in an uncertain legal limbo until 2015, when the Supreme Court heard Obergefell v. Hodges and discovered that the Federal Constitution required all states to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Although the day the Supreme Court decided Obergefell was “one of the darkest days in American jurisprudence,” the fight for traditional marriage is not over. FCDF is following the lead of its Advisory Board Members, including Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Dr. Robert P. George, and Dr. Ryan T. Anderson in advocating for treating Obergefell v. Hodges as similar to Roe v. Wade. Both are highly unjust decisions which the American people do not want, and which the American people will not accept.

The Skyline Church Case

Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) has filed suit, along with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys on behalf of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, California. The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court for the County of San Diego against the California Department of Managed Health Care (CDMH) for forcing Skyline Wesleyan Church as well as other churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans. FCDF alleges that this abortion mandate violates Skyline Wesleyan’s Federal and California Constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion, and equal protection under the law, and the California Administrative Procedure Act.

In August 2014, the California Department of Managed Healthcare (CDMH) issued a mandate requiring all group health insurance plans in California to provide coverage for all legal abortions, including completely voluntary and elective abortions. Previously, organizations which did not want to provide insurance coverage for voluntary abortions could simply purchase health insurance which did not provide for it. This included numerous churches, non-profits, and other organizations of conscience.

“Because Obamacare requires employers to provide health insurance coverage, the California mandate has now challenged churches with no way to opt out of paying for abortions,” said FCDF Chief Counsel Charles LiMandri. “Let’s be reasonable – California is violating its own laws and constitution as well as the U.S. Constitution by forcing organizations to deny their religious beliefs by complying with these mandates. Not only did CDMH change the contracts between church and health insurance providers, but they even tried to prevent health insurance providers from informing churches about the new coverage!”

March 4, 2015 - FCDF's view on the controversy involving Archbishop Cordileone

Below is a response to an email inquiry FCDF received regarding whether the California State Assembly has the right to intervene in how the Catholic Church runs its schools and designates its teachers. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone recently made a few changes in the policies at Catholic schools in San Francisco. President and Chief Counsel responds to the question:

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February 25, 2015 - Assisted suicide helps very few, endangers more

Assisted suicide helps very few, endangers more
BY LAURA PETRILLO 02/25/2015 The U.S. health care system does many things well, but it is becoming increasingly clear that helping people die peacefully is not one of them. Many people spend their last months of life in emergency rooms, infusion centers or intensive care units, receiving interventions that not only fail to prolong life, but instead increase suffering for both the dying and their survivors.  Read More

February 21, 2015 - Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities: CURRENT FEDERAL LAWS PROTECTING CONSCIENCE RIGHTS

Over the past forty-one years, numerous federal laws and regulations have been enacted to protect rights of conscientious objection. Many of these laws relate to controverted areas of reproductive health. Some are nondiscrimination laws protecting those who object to participation in abortion on any grounds whatsoever.  Read more

February 20, 2015 - Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Lori Urge Support For The Health Care Conscience Rights Act

Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop Lori Urge Support For The Health Care Conscience Rights Act
WASHINGTON—Congress should reaffirm the principle that government “should not force anyone to stop offering or covering much-needed legitimate health care” because of a conscientious objection to abortion or other procedures, said Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore.   Read more

February 19, 2015 - California Catholic Conference: Urge Legislators to Vote “No” on Assisted Suicide

California Catholic Conference: Urge Legislators to Vote “No” on Assisted Suicide
Once again, a bill to legalize the practice of assisted suicide has been introduced in the California State Legislature, in the form of Senate Bill 128 (SB 128).
This time, the bill has been announced in the Senate and is being authored by two democratic legislators:  Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel)*.   Read more

Welcome to The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund

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 501(c)3 nonprofit public-interest law firm which defends the conscience rights and religious freedom of those of all faiths and no faith.