Francis and Phillip Gilardi took a bold stand for their faith and have been rewarded with a victory. This is a victory for all who believe that our first freedom, the freedom of religion, is worth fighting for.
On November 1, 2013, the Court of Appeals made a correct ruling in the case of Gilardi v. Department of Health and Human Services in favor of two brothers, Francis and Phillip Gilardi, who were faced with a difficult choice: compromise their deeply held moral beliefs, pay a “penalty” or close their two businesses. Citing John Locke, the Court said “penalties are impertinent if they are used to compel men ‘to quit the light of their own reason, and oppose the dictates of their own conscience.’” The court held that their options “trammels the right of free exercise – a right that lies at the core of our constitutional liberties.” As a result, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed the lower court’s denial of temporary relief to the Gilardi brothers.
Congressman Forbes , Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, issued the following statement:
“Today, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recognized the heavy burden that the HHS mandate places on the First Amendment freedoms of America’s business owners. The First Amendment guarantees that we have freedom to live our lives according to our religious beliefs and moral convictions, free from government coercion. This freedom is not abandoned simply because an individual enters the stream of commerce. I am encouraged by the Court’s strong affirmation of our fundamental constitutional rights. As a nation, our laws should encourage and support—not penalize—citizens who seek to consistently adhere to their moral convictions.”
The battle to put an end to laws that violate our religious freedom is far from over. Many American business owners, Christian universities and non-profit organizations, like the CPCFoundation, are committed to staying the course.