The Obama administration's decision to force employers and individuals to violate their most deeply held beliefs and moral convictions has set off a stirring national debate about religious freedom and the harmful consequences of government overreach. President Obama's contraception mandate tramples on the conscience rights of employers, violates religious freedom from government intervention, and jeopardizes access to health care coverage, health care services, and charitable functions. Reports are surfacing that the administration plans to offer a "compromise," but as the events of recent days have shown, the First Amendment -- the fundamental right to religious freedom -- is not something that can be compromised. In recent days, faith leaders, opinion leaders, and members on both sides of the aisle have spoken out against this unprecedented federal mandate.
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Bipartisan Opposition: "Misguided" and "Disappointed"
"I think they made a bad decision in not allowing a broad enough religious-employer exemption." Former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine
"Having worked to pass the Affordable Care Act and being firmly supportive of its implementation, I believe that further flexibility needs to be granted to religiously affiliated organizations in this instance." Democratic Rep. John Larson
"I just don't think this is a fight that should have been picked and I think it needs to be fixed." Democratic Rep. Jerry Connolly
"I'm disappointed that the administration would put forth such a rule." Former Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak
"I would have never voted for the final version of the bill if I expected the Obama Administration to force Catholic hospitals and Catholic Colleges and Universities to pay for contraception." Former Democratic Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper
"Government should not compel religious organization's to provide services contrary to their beliefs." Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman
"My position is that church affiliated organizations should be exempt, not just churches." Democratic Senator Bill Nelson
"This is America. Under our Constitution, religious organizations have the freedom to follow their beliefs, and government should honor that. The Obama administration's position on this mandate is wrong and just doesn't make any sense to me. I'm talking to my Democratic and Republican colleagues about any ways we can fight this misguided decision." Democratic Senator Joe Manchin III
"Religiously affiliated organizations like hospitals and universities should not be compelled by our federal government to purchase insurance policies that violate their religious and moral convictions." Democratic Senator Bob Casey
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