Tag: #First Amendment

Gender, Sports, the First Amendment – Faith Under Fire – 3/21/24

Gender, Sports, the First Amendment – Faith Under Fire – 3/21/24

Gender, Sports, Parental Rights, and the First Amendment – “Faith Under Fire”

A small Christian school has sued its state sports association, after the Vermont Principals Association evicted the school’s teams  from the group. The Mid Vermont Christian School’s girls basketball team forfeited a state tournament game, rather than play an opposing team which included a 6-foot tall player who was born male.

Attorney Jake Reed says the forfeit which ended a successful sports season was a sharp punishment in and of itself, but the statewide group retaliated by forbidding that school from all participation in any other sport (and academic competitions) sponsored by the association. Mid Vermont is also out of a state tuition program, taking away advantages for students and families.

This brought a First-Amendment lawsuit, and the next hearing in the case happens in April. Greg Gillispie asked Reed about matters or parental rights and recent trends on how courts have been ruling in transgender cases and allegations of bias against people of faith.

Jacob Reed is an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization which takes on cases related to religious freedom, marriage and family, free speech and the sanctity of life. His emphasis with ADF often centers on schools, students and educational matters.

Details of this specific case can be found here and here.

These are the links to the school and to the state association.

Diversity of viewpoints on a SUNY campus (an update) – 3/14/24

Diversity of viewpoints on a SUNY campus (an update) – 3/14/24

Faith Under Fire” from Family Life

A reversal by campus leadership will now allow a group of conservative students to receive official recognition for their local chapter of Turning Point USA at SUNY/Cortland. The student senate there had initially vetoed approval of Turning Point as a campus organization. However, a First Amendment lawsuit was filed, claiming that the senate had discriminated against the students’ Constitutionally-protected viewpoints and that opponents had launched a planned assault on the students bringing a petition for consideration. According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the petitioners endured 100 minutes of questioning and demeaning responses from student senators and a philosophy professor. Students Gabriella Delorenzo and Megan Rothmund next took there concerns to the college president. Erik Bitterbaum warned that they would likely be denied again, telling them, “We silence voices all the time in this country. That’s the tragedy and also the greatness of democracy.”

A review committee at the State University of New York school reversed the rejection, giving the Turning Point chapter the same rights and privileges of other officially-sanctioned campus organizations.

In this exclusive Family Life interview, ADF attorney Matthew Hoffman gives background on this specific lawsuit (which as of now continues to be pending, as ADF wishes to assure that SUNY/Cortland’s policies protect a full range of viewpoints in future decisions). Hoffman, who also works with ADF’s Center for Academic Freedom, also offers his perspectives on freedom of speech and thought on campus and in the culture, and the danger that officials who try to shut down or punish prominent groups and speakers also have a “chilling effect” on others who agree with divergent viewpoints.


For more information:

The Alliance Defending Freedom:  ADFlegal.org

Specifics on the case and SUNY’s two actions:  adflegal.org/case/turning-point-usa-suny-cortland-v-cortland-college-student-association

Matthew Hoffman:  biography

Turning Point USA:  national website

SUNY/Cortland:  Student Government Association

Family Life News has also reached out to SUNY officials for their comments.

Faith Under Fire – Gerald Groff Religious Freedom Case – 04/17/23

Faith Under Fire – Gerald Groff Religious Freedom Case – 04/17/23

A Pennsylvania Christian had worked for the U.S. Postal Service until he faced multiple employment repercussions for refusing to work on Sundays due to his religious convictions.

This case regarding First Amendment claims goes to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the justices hearing oral arguments this Tuesday (April 18).

Gerald Groff of Lancaster County had sought work with USPS because it would be an employer where he would not be asked to work Sundays. That changed when USPS launched a new contract with a private corporation that wanted Sunday deliveries.

In 2019, Groff resigned from his position as a rural mail carrier after years of — he says — being harassed, targeted and disciplined for refusing to work Sundays so that he could abide by the Third Commandment, to “keep holy the Sabbath day.” Groff then sued USPS for violating his religious rights. After his claims were denied by both a Pennsylvania district court and the 3rd Circuit Court, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to take up his appeal on Jan. 13. He is being represented by the First Liberty Institute.


First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys gave Family Life’s Abigail Hofland a preview of the arguments to be made in the nation’s capitol.

Groff’s first-person story is here.  Other coverage of the issues in this case: FNNABCCNA.


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