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4/21/2006 5:03:05 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado--Calls Needed to Support Homeschoolers' Religious Freedom

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 21, 2006

Colorado--Calls Needed to Support Homeschoolers' Religious Freedom


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We have a tremendous opportunity to secure religious freedom for all
Coloradans this Tuesday!

Passage of a Religious Freedom Amendment (HCR 06-1007) in Colorado
will help maintain your homeschool freedom. We are using RFAs to help
homeschoolers successfully avoid onerous requirements under the
homeschool laws in Pennsylvania and Florida.

HCR 06-1007 is scheduled for the House State, Veterans, and Military
Affairs Committee on Tuesday, April 25, 1:30 p.m. in room 0107. We
need your calls and attendance. It was introduced by Representative
Mark Cloer and drafted by HSLDA (working with a broad national
coalition of religious groups).

At present, more than a quarter of the states have acted to protect
religious freedom. Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois,
Arizona, South Carolina, Texas, Idaho, New Mexico, Missouri,
Pennsylvania, Alabama and Oklahoma have passed their own state
Religious Freedom Acts.

HSLDA's legal staff has worked with religious freedom coalitions in
the states (and the national state religious freedom coalition),
helped draft legislation, lobbied individual state legislators,
attorney generals, and governor offices, sent out numerous e-lerts,
and provided testimony at some legislative hearings in order to
advance these Religious Freedom Acts.

The phone calls of thousands of homeschoolers particularly contributed
to the passage of the RFAs in Illinois, Arizona, Texas, South
Carolina, Idaho, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Illinois was successful
after two HSLDA e-lerts and a tremendous outpouring of calls by
homeschoolers convinced legislators to override the governor's veto.

Religious freedom is one of the foundation blocks for the right to
homeschool. Therefore, passage of a RFA in Colorado will strengthen
your right to homeschool.

ACTION REQUESTED

1) Please call as many members of the committee below and give them
this message:

"Protect religious freedom for all in Colorado. Please vote to support
the Religious Freedom Amendment, HCR 06-1007."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler because this
bill will help protect everyone's religious freedom.

Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee who need your calls
are:

Rep. Paul Weissmann, (D), Chairman
(303) 866-2920
Rep. Ann Ragsdale, (D), Vice-Chairman
(303) 86-2843
Rep. Terrance Carroll, (D)
(303) 866-2909
Rep. Fran Coleman (D)
(303) 866-2966
Rep. Rafael Gallegos, (D)
(303) 866-2916
Rep. Nancy Todd (D)
(303) 866-2919

2) Also we need your attendance to support HCR 06-1007 which is
scheduled for a hearing before the House State, Veterans, and Military
Affairs Committee on Tuesday, April 25, 1:30 p.m. in room 0107. Room
0107 is where the House Education Committee regularly meets and is
located in the basement of the capitol between the elevators.


BACKGROUND

On June 25, 1997, by a 6-3 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
The City of Boerne v. Flores that the 1993 federal Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA) was unconstitutional. By making this ruling,
the Court gave the lowest level of protection to religious liberty,
one of the foundational freedoms of homeschooling. Under this minimal
standard, Colorado can override a homeschooler or other citizen's
right to freely exercise his religious beliefs merely by proving that
its regulation is "reasonable." Since nearly all state regulations can
be determined to be "reasonable," Christians will lose.

Since the devastating Boerne decision, state and federal courts across
the country have diminished religious freedom in many ways. For
example:

> The longstanding practice of pastor-congregation confidentiality has
been repeatedly violated.

> A church-sponsored hospital was denied accreditation for refusing to
teach abortion techniques.

> There have been conflicts with zoning ordinances, such as the forced
termination of a church ministry to the homeless because it was
located on the second floor of a building with no elevator.

> A church ministry was prohibited from feeding more than 50 people
per day.

Passage of this act will raise the standard of protection for
religious freedom in Colorado for individuals, homeschool parents,
churches, and all who desire to freely exercise their religious
beliefs.

If passed, the Colorado RFA will restore the high standard of
protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal
RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions. Under the Nevada RFRA, if an
individual's religious belief is in conflict with a state regulation,
the state will have to prove, with evidence, that its regulation is
essential to fulfilling the state's compelling interest and is the
least restrictive means of doing so. If the state fails to carry the
burden, the regulation must give way to the individual's religious
freedom. Restoring this protection for religious freedom will simply
"even the playing field."

Don't let one decision by the U.S. Supreme Court denigrate this
inalienable right. Urge your state representative now to restore
protection for religious liberty in Colorado by supporting HCR
06-1007.

Sincerely,


Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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