9/3/2013 - September 2013 SLI Newsletter
Dear Friends and Supporters,
We hope everyone has had a very good summer. We are now all back in school, at work, and in our normal modes of life.
SLI has had an exciting summer. This month’s Educational Update gives a brief outline of the significant efforts in which we have been involved to protect religious freedom in Alabama. The Alabama State Department of Education has made its first attempt in 33 years to regulate church schools. We have responded appropriately and while they have been disingenuous in their attempts, we hope they will now be cooperative. This is certainly a matter of first importance. We solicit your prayer for our efforts. If you want any additional information about this, please let us know.
Another related area of concern has been with the new Alabama Accountability Act. We have been working with nonpublic school groups and legislators with the goal of seeing this new law properly implemented. Its goal is to permit children in failing public schools to be able to transfer to non-failing public schools or nonpublic schools. The parental choice of education rights are strongly protected constitutional rights. These are related to the church school regulation issue. We have been doing all we can to facilitate operation of this law for the coming school year. However, two recently filed lawsuits to enjoin the law may interfere with that goal. The Alabama Attorney General’s Office will defend the law. There is also the probability of some parents intervening to protect their children’s rights.
In July, we reported the U.S. Supreme Court held unconstitutional the federal Defense of Marriage Act. This requires the federal government to recognize same sex marriage. The IRS has now ruled that if a same sex couple is married in a state recognizing same sex marriage, regardless of whether they live there or in another state, they will be entitled to all tax benefits as married persons. It does not apply to civil unions. If you have questions, let us know.
Please continue in prayer for the Attorney General’s efforts defending the important law passed last session, “The Women’s Health and Safety Act.” It sets proper and necessary healthcare standards for abortion clinics. The lawsuit is pending in the federal court in Montgomery. Important hearings are scheduled in the weeks ahead.
Summer has been, as usual, a dry time for contributions. Please make whatever financial gifts you are able. Remember, your contributions are not taxable to us and tax deductible to you. We cannot carry on this work without your partnership with us. Thank you very much for your continuing support.
Yours very truly,
A. Eric Johnston
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