Vermont Backs Down on Religion-Free School Choice after SCOTUS Knocks Down Maine Policy

Vermont families that want to send their children to religious schools will no longer be excluded from the state’s tuition benefit program, as a result of legal settlements in two cases brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

The plaintiffs who were denied funding under the Town Tuition Program, which provides tuition for students who live in areas without local public schools, will get reimbursement for money spent out of pocket on tuition. Other families denied funding can apply as well.

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Lawsuit Moves Forward from Professor Fired for Gender Ideology Criticism

A federal lawsuit against the University of Louisville for the demotion and dismissal of a professor who questioned transgenderism moved forward.

Professor Allan Josephson’s attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom argued his case the first week of November in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The university dismissed him in 2019 after several years of controversy stemming from his participation at a Heritage Foundation event on transgenderism.

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Herschel Walker Rips Biological Men Competing Against Women in Sports: ‘Unfair and Wrong’

Georgia Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Herschel Walker blasts allowing biological men to compete against women in sports in a new runoff election campaign ad that features former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines.

Gaines tied with transgender athlete Lia Thomas for fifth place in the women’s 200-yard freestyle finals during this year’s NCAA championships, but was not awarded the fifth-place trophy.

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Suspended Vermont Student and Coach Father Sue School District for Retaliating After Complaint About Biological Male in Girls’ Locker Room

A Vermont high school volleyball player who was suspended from school and her father, the team’s coach, who was suspended from his job, are suing the school district for retaliating against them following their complaint about the policy that allows biological males in the girls’ team locker room.

Blake Allen, 14, a student at Randolph Union Middle School, and her father, Travis Allen, who coaches his daughter’s volleyball team, spoke out against a biological male, claiming to be female, being allowed in the girls’ team locker room while they were changing. Now, the family is suing the school district after Blake was suspended and Travis was fired from his job, asserting the district retaliated against them, the Daily Signal reported Thursday.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Requests Injunction Blocking Harrisonburg City School’s Transgender Policy

The Alliance Defending Freedom is seeking a temporary injunction blocking the Harrisonburg City Public School’s transgender policy from going into effect while the conservative legal group’s lawsuit against the district’s school board goes forward.

In June, a group of HCPS parents and students represented by the ADF sued the district over its policy; the plaintiffs are focused on requirements that staff use preferred pronouns and protect students’ privacy from their own parents.

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Virginia Nurse Files Lawsuit Alleging CVS Fired Her for Refusing to Administer ‘Abortion-Causing Drugs’

The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit alleging that the CVS-owned MinuteClinic fired nurse practitioner Paige Casey from her northern Virginia job after Casey refused to violate her religious beliefs and provide “abortion-causing drugs.”

“Casey’s religious objection never posed an issue to coworkers, patients, or supervisors, and just two days before she was fired, she received a merit-based pay increase. For three and a half years, CVS respected Casey’s religious beliefs by allowing her to decline to provide or facilitate the use of abortion-inducing drugs. But in January, CVS informed her that they would no longer accommodate her faith and fired her a few months later—directly violating Virginia’s Conscience Clause,” the ADF said in a press release.

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Hanover County School Board Passes Transgender Policy Crafted with Help from Conservative Legal Group

The Hanover County School Board passed a transgender policy crafted with help from conservative legal group the Alliance Defense Fund. The policy includes an extensive process for transgender students to request access to their preferred bathroom, including allowing the board to request the student’s criminal history documents.

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Hanover County Public Schools Introduces Restroom Policy Opposed by Transgender Advocates

After refusing to pass a transgender policy required by Virginia law, the Hanover County Public School Board has introduced a proposed transgender policy that, if enacted, will require a written request from both the student and their parents if that student wants to use a restroom or locker room that doesn’t correspond with their biological sex. Under the proposed policy the school board would approve or deny the requests.

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Democrats’ January 6th Committee Quietly Collaborating with the Left’s ‘Top Censor’

A left-wing nonprofit that labels conservative and Christian groups “hateful” is reportedly funneling research to the committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — which claims to be “nonpartisan.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a legal advocacy group with former employees President Joe Biden has handpicked for federal roles, is collaborating with the committee, Politico reported. The group has provided roughly 40 pages of research and written testimony to the committee to facilitate its investigation of the riot, an SPLC lawyer told the outlet.

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Christian Student Silenced by School Receives Settlement

A college student will receive a massive settlement from his school after it tried to silence him from speaking about his faith, according to a Wednesday press release from Alliance Defending Freedom.

Georgia Gwinnett College settled with Chike Uzuegbunam for $80,000 six years after the lawsuit was first filed, which alleged that the school repeatedly denied him the right to speak about his Christian faith to other students, the press release said.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Sues Harrisonburg City Public Schools over Transgender Policy

A group of parents and teachers are suing the Harrisonburg City Public Schools (HCPS) over policies that require teachers to use students’ preferred pronouns and to keep the students’ preference confidential from their family. The plaintiffs are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has filed several lawsuits against Virginia school districts over transgender- and equity-related policies.

“Parents—not public schools or government officials—have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, care, and education of their children,” ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert said in a June 4 press release. “Teachers and staff cannot willfully hide kids’ mental health information from their parents, especially as some of the decisions children are making at school have potentially life-altering ramifications. As the clients we represent believe, a teacher’s role is to support, not supplant, the role of the parent.”

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Briefs Filed in Virginia Supreme Court in Case of Teacher Fired for Not Using Preferred Pronouns

The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed its opening brief in the Virginia Supreme Court in the case of Peter Vlaming, a teacher who was fired after he declined to use a student’s preferred pronouns. Seven other organizations filed briefs supporting Vlaming on Tuesday, including the Office of the Attorney General on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Under our Constitution, Virginians have an absolute right not to be forced to publicly disavow their sincerely held religious beliefs—and that applies equally to public-school teachers. Even on pure speech grounds, the government cannot force its employees to falsely express their agreement with controversial messages they don’t believe without identifying a compelling state interest that cannot be achieved through significantly less restrictive means,” the ADF brief states.

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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Albemarle School Board over 2019 Anti-Racism Policy

Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Claude Worrell said Friday he would dismiss a lawsuit against the Albemarle County School Board; in the lawsuit, a group of parents argued that anti-racist school policy required “the indoctrination of Albemarle students in an ideology that denigrates students—all students—based on their race.

“The policy violates students’ civil rights by treating them differently based on race and by compelling them to affirm and support ideas contrary to their deeply held moral and religious beliefs,” said a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing the plaintiffs.

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Commentary: Ohio Professor Wins Settlement in ‘Preferred Pronoun’ Case

In a refreshing religious liberty result from the world of academia, free speech won and preferred pronouns lost.

A professor at Shawnee State University, in Portsmouth, Ohio, will be able to honor his conscience as a Christian who believes God created human beings as male and female and that a person’s sex cannot change, and will not be required by the school to compromise that belief when addressing students.

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Former Elementary School Assistant Principal Sues Albemarle County School Board after Quitting Due to Alleged Racially Hostile Work Environment

A former Albemarle County elementary school assistant principal is suing the school board, claiming that a racially hostile work environment forced her to quit her job in 2021. Emily Mais’ lawsuit describes an escalating series of conflicts related to anti-racism trainings, including the book Courageous Conversations About Race, which Governor Glenn Youngkin’s education administration has identified as an example of Critical Race Theory.

“The curriculum sets up a classic Catch-22, in which a white person’s objections to the content of the curriculum are simply evidence that he or she is a racist who needs further training on the curriculum,” the complaint states. “Unfortunately for her, Ms. Mais was caught in that Catch-22. When Ms. Mais complained about the curriculum and protested reverse racism, she was branded a racist, severely and pervasively harassed, relentlessly humiliated, and ultimately compelled to resign from a job that she loved to preserve her mental health.”

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Catholic Charity Can Remain Open After Court Found Michigan Violated First Amendment

Catholic Charities West Michigan will remain open after state officials agreed under court order to pay the nonprofit’s attorney’s fees and acknowledged that taking actions against the charity for its beliefs would violate the First Amendment.

Catholic Charities prioritizes placing children up for adoption or in foster care with a married mother and father. The group filed a lawsuit with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) after Michigan officials gave the nonprofit the ultimatum to either close its adoption and foster care ministry or change its policy prioritizing a married mother and father to receive a child.

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Virginia Supreme Court Grants Appeal in Lawsuit By Teacher Fired for Not Using Preferred Pronouns

The Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lawsuit from former West Point High School French teacher Peter Vlaming, who was fired from the district in 2018 for not using a student’s preferred pronouns. The Court granted the appeal Thursday, according to announcement from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

“Peter wasn’t fired for something he said; he was fired for something he couldn’t say,” ADF Senior Counsel Chris Schandevel said in the release. “As a teacher, Peter was passionate about the subject he taught, he was well-liked by his students, and he did his best to accommodate their needs and requests. But Peter could not in good conscience speak messages that he does not believe to be true.”

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Supreme Court to Hear Case of Woman Forced to Create Websites for LGBT Causes Against Religious Beliefs

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a web designer fighting a Colorado law that forces her to promote messages against her religious beliefs, the court announced Tuesday.

Lorie Smith of 303 Creative asked the court to review the 10th Circuits’ ruling that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act requires Smith to engage in speech that violates her conscience, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing her.

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Virginia Parents Sue Albemarle County School Board over Alleged Discriminatory Policies

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

A group of parents with children who attend schools within the Albemarle County District are suing the school board for “enacting discriminatory policies and indoctrinating students in radical ideology.”

According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, attorneys who are representing the nine parents, the school board’s policies allow members of the staff to treat students differently based on race.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Petitions Virginia Supreme Court to Hear Lawsuit over Termination of a Teacher Who Refused to Use Preferred Prounons

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is petitioning the Virginia Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a lawsuit from former West Point High School french teacher Peter Vlaming, who was fired from the district in 2018 for not using a student’s preferred pronouns.

“Virginia’s Constitution protects every Virginian’s ‘free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience,’ and provides that they ‘shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities,'” states the petition for appeal, filed November 12.

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Loudoun School Board Settles Part of Lawsuit with Tanner Cross

The Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) Board agreed to a settlement of the original claims teacher Tanner Cross made in his lawsuit against the board. The agreement includes a permanent injunction barring the board from retaliating against Cross for speaking against the school’s transgender policy. The school will also pay $20,000 for Cross’ legal fees, and remove any reference to Cross’ suspension from his personnel file. The rest of the lawsuit to block enforcement of the transgender policy is still going forward.

The initial lawsuit was triggered after the school placed Cross on leave following comments at a May 27 school board meeting. He opposed a proposal that would require staff to use students’ preferred pronouns. In a preliminary injunction, Cross was allowed to return to work. On November 15, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing Cross, announced the settlement of claims in that initial lawsuit.

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Web Designer Forced to Publish Messages Countering Her Religious Faith Asks Supreme Court to Hear Case

Person coding a website

A Colorado web designer asked the Supreme Court to take up her case challenging a state law forcing her to publish websites with messages counter to her religious beliefs.

Lorie Smith filed the petition with the Supreme Court on Friday, arguing a lower court ruling that upheld the Colorado law was wrongly decided, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the firm representing her, announced. The law compelled Smith’s speech in violation of her First Amendment rights by forcing her business 303 Creative to produce content against her beliefs, she said.

“The government shouldn’t weaponize the law to force a web designer to speak messages that violate her belief,” ADF General Counsel Kristen Waggoner said during a press call before filing the petition. “This case involves quintessential free speech and artistic freedom, which the 10th circuit astonishingly and dangerously cast aside here.”

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Loudoun County School Board Passes Policy That Protects First Amendment Rights in Response to Teachers’ Lawsuit

The Loudoun County school board voted on a revised professional conduct policy to specifically mention “Protected Speech” and the First Amendment rights of employees.

The new policy is a response to Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) teacher Tanner Cross who went viral for his comments at a school board meeting in May, where he spoke out against the district’s gender policy and was put on administrative leave shortly afterward. On Aug. 30 the Virginia Supreme Court ruled to reinstate him, calling his removal “likely unconstitutional.”

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Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Lower Court Decision to Reinstate Loudoun Teacher Tanner Cross

The Virginia Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s injunction to force Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) to reinstate teacher Tanner Cross. LCPS officials had asked for a review of the decision by the Loudoun County Circuit Court, saying the court was incorrect to find a likelihood of success on the merits of the case, that Cross wasn’t likely to suffer irreparable harm without the injunction, and that the court hadn’t considered the totality of the circumstances.

“We conclude that the Defendants have not established the circuit court abused its discretion in granting Cross a temporary injunction,” the Virginia Supreme Court’s Monday order states.

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Pediatricians Sue Biden Administration for Requiring Doctors to Perform Trans Surgeries Against Beliefs

Medical professionals are suing President Joe Biden’s administration over a mandate requiring doctors to perform transgender surgeries in violation of their religious beliefs or medical judgement.

Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American College of Pediatricians, the Catholic Medical Association and an OB-GYN doctor specializing in adolescent care filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga Thursday against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Asks Court to Reconsider Challenge to Virginia Values Act

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wants the Loudoun County Circuit Court to reconsider its decision to dismiss a legal challenge to the Virginia Values Act. On Friday, the ADF filed a Motion to Reconsider Calvary Road Baptist Church v. Herring, a lawsuit that claims the VVA and an associated insurance law violate constitutionally-protected freedoms through hiring non-discrimination laws.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Wants to Change Focus of Tanner Cross Lawsuit to Stop Requirement to Use Preferred Pronouns in Loudoun Public Schools

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is shifting focus in its Cross v. Loudoun County School Board lawsuit after the board approved a transgender policy last week. On Monday, the ADF filed a request to amend their complaint with the court. The new complaint adds two more Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) teachers and focuses on a provision that requires all faculty and students to use a students preferred pronouns.

ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said in a press release, “Loudoun County Public Schools is now requiring all teachers and students to deny truths about what it means to be male and female and is compelling them to call students by their chosen pronouns or face punishment. Public employees cannot be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job. Freedom — of speech and religious exercise—includes the freedom not to speak messages against our core beliefs.”

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Circuit Court Dismisses Alliance Defending Freedom Lawsuit over Virginia Values Act

Shot of a brick church with blue sky

Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge James Plowman dismissed a challenge to the Virginia Values Act (VVA) Friday. A group including churches and schools sued the State Corporation Commission (SCC), Attorney General Mark Herring, and Virginia Division of Human Rights and Fair Housing Director Thomas Payne, II in October 2020. They argue that the VVA and a related insurance law violate the organizations’ freedom of religion and speech.

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Court Approves Emergency Injunction Reinstating Tanner Cross in Loudoun School Board Lawsuit

The Loudoun County Circuit Court ordered Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) to reinstate teacher Tanner Cross in a decision Tuesday. Cross is suing the Loudoun County School Board after he spoke at a school board meeting saying he would not use students’ preferred pronouns.

On Friday, the case had a lengthy hearing in the court where the defendants asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit; Cross’ team asked the court to issue a temporary injunction to allow him to return to work while the case proceeds.

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Lawsuits Pile Up in Loudoun County Battle Between School and Activists

The Loudoun County School Board is being sued over its Equity Ambassador program. Scott Mineo, founder of activist organization Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT), has said the program is discriminatory since last fall. Now, Mineo, Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club President Patti Menders, and several anonymous plaintiffs are suing the school board.

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Glenn Youngkin Calls for Reinstatement of Loudoun Teacher Placed on Leave for Opposing Use of Preferred Pronouns in School

GOP gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin has called for Loudoun County Public Schools to reinstate a teacher who was placed on leave after opposing a potential policy requiring staff to use students’ preferred pronouns.

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Updegrove Appeals to Fourth Circuit Court in Lawsuit Fight Against Virginia Values Act

Bob Updegrove

Wedding photographer Bob Updegrove is appealing his case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Virginia after the Eastern District Court of Virginia dismissed his lawsuit. Updegrove is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The lawyers argue that the pro-LGBTQ Virginia Values Act threatens Updegrove’s freedom of religion by requiring him to participate in homosexual weddings or potentially face an initial fine of $50,000.

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Female Athletes Appeal Ruling Dismissing Complaints Against Biological Males In Women’s Sports

Four female athletes are appealing a ruling that dismissed their challenge to a policy that allows biological males to compete in female sports.

Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti will continue to challenge the Connecticut policy, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm announced Monday.

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Court Hears Virginia Lawsuit by Christian Wedding Photographer

Attorneys representing Christian wedding photographer Bob Updegrove spoke before the Eastern District Court of Virginia on Friday, where they argued that the pro-LGBTQ Virginia Values Act threatened Updegrove’s freedom of religion.

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Christian Wedding Photographer and Ministries Sue Virginia Over Law Banning LGBTQ Discrimination

A Christian wedding photographer and two churches, three Christian schools, and a pro-life ministry sued Virginia for its LGBTQ discrimination law. The plaintiffs argue that the law is a violation of religious freedom in the First Amendment.

The Christian plaintiffs say the state law forces their hand. If they don’t forsake God’s commandments, they could endure hundreds of thousands or more in fines and litigation fees. And, they could face a court order to adhere to the law. These individuals are also prohibited from expressing any religious beliefs that may be perceived as discriminatory.

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Commentary: High School Runner Who Lost to Transgender Athletes Will Compete in College

By now, millions know the story of Selina Soule, the high school track star from Connecticut who missed qualifying for the New England track and field regionals by two spots in her top event. Those two spots were taken by biological boys who identify as girls.

Soule, who is wise beyond her years, was well aware that she could face consequences for speaking out about being forced to compete against biological males. But she recognized a greater need.

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DFL Launches Smear Site Against GOP Nominee Doug Wardlow in Close AG Race

Doug Wardlow

In a competitive race for Minnesota’s attorney general, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party has launched an entire website devoted to smearing Republican candidate Doug Wardlow. A new poll set to release Friday allegedly shows that Keith Ellison and Wardlow are in a dead heat for Minnesota’s top law enforcement position, according…

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