Friday, February 8, 2008

CLS Urges Senate to Retain SAMHSA Charitable Choice Provision

CLS today joined a letter urging the Senate to reject calls to eliminate statutory protections of religious liberty in the legislation governing the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The "charitable choice" provision of legislation signed in 2000 allows faith-based social service providers to participate in government-funded programs without relinquishing their religious identity. The ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Human Rights Campaign and others want to eliminate this protection of religious liberty. The key issue is whether faith-based organizations participating in government-funded programs may continue to take religion into account in their personnel decisions.

CLS appreciates the tireless work of Stanley Carlson-Thies of the Center for Public Justice on behalf of charitable choice and religious freedom.