FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2012
Contact: Patricia M. Chivers
Media Alert “Stand Up For Religious Freedom”
HHS Mandate Sparks National Rallies on March 23
Atlanta -The controversy over the Health and Human Services Mandate is now pouring out into the streets. On March 23, concerned citizens in over 100 cities—including Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta and Athens—will gather for rallies with the theme "Stand Up for Religious Freedom—Stop the HHS Mandate!" Atlanta’s event will be at the State Capitol on the Washington Street side and the Athens’ event will be at the R. G. Stephens Jr. Federal Building, 355 Hancock Avenue, at 12 Noon on Friday, March 23.
Thousands of Americans of all faiths are expected to participate in these rallies organized by grassroots groups to oppose the new mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that requires all employers provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans. Religious leaders and other public figures will speak out against the mandate.
Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta commented on the HHS mandate by saying, “In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so).” Archbishop Gregory asked Catholics to “pray that wisdom and justice may prevail, and work together to restore our religious liberty.”
Speakers for the Atlanta rally include Atlanta Auxiliary Bishop Luis R. Zarama, State Senator Josh McKoon, Attorney Mia Reini, Activist Catherine Davis, and Amanda Figeredo, a Georgia Tech student who was asked how she feels about the HHS mandate. She stated, “There's no doubt that this mandate is unfair and unconstitutional - but really, it's only as powerful as the citizens of this country allow it to be. On my campus, I have met a lot of passionate, creative individuals my age - and we inspire one another! We need to find the courage to carry that passion into defending our religious beliefs. Are we proud of our faith? Are we willing to stand up, link hands and say 'This I Believe'?” Asked why people should come out and participate in this event, Amanda said, “To show this country that you care about freedom. Young people in particular - we have been silent too long - and our passiveness has been taken advantage of. This is our chance to speak to the leaders of our nation and be heard.”
Congressman Paul Broun will speak at the Athens rally along with Deacon Scott Medine. Deacon Medine stated that, “Every American should care about this issue. This is not just about a particular faith’s religious belief. This is about a constitutionally guaranteed freedom being taken away from us. If this freedom can be stripped away, then which freedom will be next? If we compromise this freedom then trust me, the next one will be much easier to compromise.” Asked why people should come out and participate in this event, he stated, “Because it is a chance to let the powers that be hear the voice of dissent directly from the mouths of the people and not from the mind of some political action committee or politician with an agenda.”
The media is welcome at the Atlanta and Athens rallies.
Information about the Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom, including rally sites coast to coast, can be found at www.StandUpForReligiousFreedom.com.
For information on the Atlanta rally or to schedule an interview, contact Pat Chivers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-480-6865.
For information on the Athens rally or to schedule an interview, contact Heather Gardner at email@example.com or 706-612-3669.
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