California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Sunday that could have forced churches, Christian schools and pro-life organizations to employ abortion supporters.
California Assembly Bill 569 would have prohibited employers from requiring their employees to follow a moral code of conduct, such as no sex outside of marriage and no abortions. It also would have prohibited employers from disciplining or firing employees for actions that violate the mission or beliefs of the group.
The bill did not provide any exceptions for employers, meaning pro-life organizations, churches, religious schools and faith-based groups could have been forced to keep on employees whose actions are contrary to their faith or mission.
Pro-life and religious groups, including the California Catholic Conference and the California Family Council, strongly opposed the measure, saying it would violate their First Amendment rights.
“An organization specifically chartered to support or oppose a specific set of beliefs or actions cannot fulfill its mission without requiring adherence to a code of conduct,” said Jonathan Keller, president of the conservative California Family Council, earlier this year.
SUPPORT LIFENEWS! If you like this pro-life article, please help LifeNews.com with a donation!
Sandra Palacios of the California Catholic Conference, previously criticized the bill as a violation of religious freedom.
“The bill would specifically deny religious employers our 1st Amendment protections to infuse our codes of conduct with the tenets of our faith,” she said, the LA Times reports.
The bill had the support of the radical pro-abortion group NARAL, which attacks the work of pregnancy resource centers and supports abortion on demand up to birth. It claimed the legislation was needed because of women like Teri James, an employee of the San Diego Christian College who allegedly was fired in 2012 because she became pregnant out of wedlock.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, the author of the bill, said women should not be disciplined or fired for “her reproductive choices.”
Gonzalez Fletcher claims to be Catholic and personally pro-life, but she has a 100-percent pro-abortion voting record, according to the California Family Council.
Responding to the veto, Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Elissa Graves said the bill that would have prohibited churches, religious colleges, religious non-profit organizations, and pro-life pregnancy care centers from having faith-based codes of conduct with regard to abortion and sexual behavior.
Graves said, “The government should not and cannot tell churches, Christian colleges, pro-life pregnancy care centers, and other religious groups that they can’t live out their beliefs within their own organizations. Gov. Brown was right to veto this immensely unconstitutional bill, which would have been an unprecedented overreach on the part of the state of California. The First Amendment doesn’t allow the state to order churches and other faith-based groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. They have the freedom to live according to their faith and to require those who work for them to do the same.”