NRB Speaks Up for AFA in Connecticut Speech Targeting Case

Last week, Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembo publicly singled out the American Family Association (AFA) for an investigation related to their participation in the charitable giving Connecticut State Employees' Campaign (CSEC).

In his demand letter to AFA, Comptroller Lembo said, “The AFA’s public statements and mission not only appear to discriminate against the LGBTQ communities, as well as Muslims who choose to serve and protect our country by enlisting in the U.S. military, but it remains unclear what actual charitable services the AFA provides that qualifies it to participate in the CSEC.” He noted that AFA’s public engagements “are extremely troubling to me - not only as an openly gay father and spouse - but as administrator of the CSEC."

In support of AFA, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson this week said, “AFA is a respected faith-based and federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization in good standing with NRB. Other CSEC-participating organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Greenpeace, and the Clinton Foundation, also engage publicly and passionately in very real and significant cultural debates. Why is Comptroller Lembo singling out AFA while leaving such liberal groups alone?”

Johnson added, “Clearly, this is a case of targeting based on beliefs and speech with which Mr. Lembo personally disagrees. Such intolerance and discrimination against a faith-based group from an elected state official is astonishing and must quickly be abandoned.”

Similarly, AFA President Tim Wildmon called Comptroller Lembo’s investigation “an unconstitutional attack on the First Amendment rights of all religious organizations.” In a release this week, he further declared, “The government is not allowed to dictate to religious charities what they can believe in order to participate in the public square.”

The letter sent to AFA by Comptroller Lembo is here. His office has reportedly been flooded with calls and emails from concerned citizens.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: December 9, 2016

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