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NLF Briefs • Briefings • Case Involvment • Minutemen Institute • Litigation

Religious Liberties


Judge Roy Moore and the Ten Commandments (1996) -- Judge Moore invites clergymen to open his jury organizing sessions with prayer and displays the Ten Commandments on his courtroom wall. The ACLU has been trying for years to stop the Judge's "religious" practices. But Judge Moore refuses to change. Represented by the National Legal Foundation, Judge Roy Moore has brought a suit that will finally answer the question on every Christian's mind: Have we completely removed God from our courtrooms?

Studley v. Laramie County School District (1995) -- A group of Christians planning to attend the Denver Promise Keepers conference wanted to rent their local high school gym to hold a rally. The school board refused to rent the facilities to a Christian group. The National Legal Foundation challenged the school policy and won a preliminary injunction, forcing the school to allow the rally. Additionally, the court ordered the school policy changed.

Shumway v. Albany County School District (1993) -- In 1993 the Wyoming Attorney General circulated a warning stating that public school facilities could not be used for baccalaureate services, whether sponsored by school officials or private groups. The National Legal Foundation, representing a group of parents and students from Laramie, Wyoming, secured a victory in the Federal District Court which has allowed these religious services to continue.

Doe v. Small (1992) -- This three year battle against the ACLU began when an atheist in Ottawa, Illinois sued the city to prevent the local Jaycees from displaying paintings of the life of Christ at Christmas time. It ended when the citizens of Ottawa, with assistance from the National Legal Foundation, gained an 11-to-0 victory in the Eighth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals permitting the display.

Dallas v. Beauregard (1991) -- This legal fight centered around a Dallas statute that made it a criminal offense to engage in street evangelism. The National Legal Foundation successfully defended the Christian's freedom of speech and the statute was overturned, opening an avenue for the Gospel to reach those who may otherwise remain unaware of God's saving grace.

Parker v. Stern (1987) -- Some, may recognize this court battle as the "Jesus loves New York" case. In April 1986, a group of New York City churches were denied permission to hold a religious assembly in Central Park. A two-year legal battle ensued, from which the National Legal Foundation and our religious freedoms emerged victorious, and on September 19, 1987, Christians gathered and prayed in Central Park.


Free Speech


Sullivan v. Denver (1997) -- Terry Sullivan and others have faithfully and peacefully protested the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Denver since 1988. Three of these peaceful protesters were the victims of a vicious beating by two Planned Parenthood security guards. The right to peacefully picket and distribute literature related to abortion on sidewalks near abortion facilities is at stake. The National Legal Foundation intends to protect that right.


Public Education


Westside Community SchooIs v. Mergens (1990) -- The National Legal Foundation successfully defended a group of Omaha, Nebraska, high school students' right to organize a Bible Club in their school. This case, which preserved the student's right to free speech, freedom of association, "equal access", and religious liberty, was argued before the Eight Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually the United States Supreme Court.


the Family
Same Sex Marriage -- The National Legal Foundation works closely with the National Campaign to Protect Marriage (NCPM). Steven W. Fitschen, Executive Director of the NLF, is also a member of the NCPM's National Steering Committee. Together we have been able to assist numerous states in the passage of anti-same sex marriage statutes, as well as help push the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through Congress.

No Special Privileges -- In recent years homosexual groups around the country have sought special rights for their members. The National Legal Foundation, in spite of our recent setback in Colorado, remains committed to stemming the tide and stands ever ready to assist and advise concerned citizens on this issue no matter where it arises.

  • Romer v. Evans (Colorado Amendment 2) (1995) -- The National Legal Foundation helped Colorado for Family Values draft a state constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from granting special rights to homosexuals. On May 20, 1996, the Supreme Court struck down the amendment declaring if unconstitutional.
  • Alachua County, FL (1996) --  Alachua County, Florida, also sought to prevent special rights for homosexuals. Homosexual groups are putting forth the argument that Romer v. Evans is a controlling case and the county ordinances should also be declared unconstitutional. The National Legal Foundation does not agree. We fought, though unsuccessfully, to distinguish the case and uphold the anti-special rights ordinance. However, the fight has only just begun.



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© 2006 by the National Legal Foundation & Minuteman Institute