Today is the 16th annualÂ International Religious Freedom Day, and theÂ federalÂ government wants to remind you about theÂ International Religious Freedom Act.
Today isÂ International Religious Freedom Day, and as theÂ U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) would like to remind you, todayÂ marks the 16th anniversary of the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA).
"By enacting IRFA, Congress and the President recognized that religious freedom matters," the USCIRF announced in a statement today. "Among its provisions, IRFA created an international religious freedom office in the State Department and the U.S. Commission on Intentional Religious Freedom (USCIRF), on which we serve, as an independent, bipartisan entity tasked with monitoring religious freedom worldwide and making policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State and Congress."
The USCIRF is currently headed byÂ Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, a former Democratic congressional candidate who founded and runsÂ the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, named for her father, the lateÂ Congressman Tom Lantos.Â
Under Dr. Swett, the USCIRF condemned Russia's anti-gay laws.
â€œWith space for free expression shrinking rapidly in Russia, enactment of this bill would further erode human rights protections in Russia,â€ said U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett. â€œSpeech limitations violate Russiaâ€™s international commitments, and this law will lead to abuse and arbitrary rulings against permissible speech that some deem â€˜offensive.'â€
But Dr. Swett's predecessor and the Commission's current Vice Chair is Dr. Robert P. George,Â easily one of the most successful anti-gay activists the world over. Dr. George co-foundedÂ NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, he is aÂ senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute, which funded the infamous anti-gay Regnerus study, heÂ is founder of the American Principles Project, which employs his fellow NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher, and heÂ drafted the Manhattan Declaration, which calls on its signatories to support anarchy rather than support same-sex marriage or the right of women to reproductive freedom.
Also on the Commission,Â Mary Ann Glendon, who has written in support of banning same-sex marriage via a constitutional amendment, warning that religious freedom "is at stake."
Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don't go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles.