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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Family Research Council praised the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Espinoza vs. Montana, which held that it is a violation of the First Amendment to discriminate against religious activity by disallowing neutral and generally-available student-aid programs simply because they afford students the choice of attending religious schools. Now, families who receive education vouchers may apply those vouchers at any school they wish to attend, regardless of its religious affiliation or lack of such an affiliation.
Katherine Beck Johnson, Research Fellow for Legal and Policy Studies at Family Research Council, stated:
"Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that affirmed one of America's first freedoms, established in the First Amendment--the right of religious freedom. America was founded, in part, to apply the principle that a government may not tell anyone what to believe or how to worship. For many Americans, our religion informs every aspect of our lives, from where and how we worship, to how we interact with civil society, to how to educate our children. Americans of faith even come together to form institutions united around their common goals.
"Too often government rules discriminate against people of faith because of a misunderstanding about religious freedom. The practice of shutting people off from generally available public benefits simply because of their faith is harmful and dangerous. Montana's Blaine Amendment, which denied school choice funds for families that wanted to send their children to religious schools, was religious discrimination, pure and simple.
"This decision underscores the reality that people of faith have always been integral to the fabric of America. They continue to provide valuable services to the community, in education as elsewhere. We are glad the Supreme Court today stepped up to protect people of faith from discrimination and affirmed parental choice," concluded Johnson.