WASHINGTON, D.C, March 2, 2016The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention announced its 2016 Legislative Agenda today, outlining various legislative and policy initiatives the organization plans to engage in the coming year.
At the top of the list, the ERLC plans to address religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, human rights and marriage and family. Other issues are also mentioned in the agenda.
"Our legislative priorities for 2016 reflect our mission as gospel Christians and as Southern Baptists, said ERLC President Russell Moore. We have many urgent tasks in front of us, all of which are grounded in the truth of the gospel and the dignity of every person made in God's image. I'm excited and hopeful to engage these issues in the public square with our team, here in the United States and across the world," said Moore.
Legislative efforts Moore and the ERLC staff plan to cover in 2016 include:
- Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015, which would provide safeguards to religious freedom around the world. The bill would direct the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom to seek to coordinate religious freedom policies and religious engagement strategies across all U.S. programs, projects and activities. To date, Congress has not voted on the bill.
- First Amendment Defense Act, which would help protect individuals and institutions who believe marriage is the union of a man and woman from government intrusion and coercion.
Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, that would prohibit sex selection abortion and the coercion of a woman to obtain an abortion based on the sex of the unborn child.
- No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, which codifies funding-restrictive policies by prohibiting federal funds from being expended for abortion or health coverage that includes coverage of elective abortion and requires that consumers be made aware of the extent to which abortion is covered in health insurance plans and the cost of this coverage in the plans they are considering.
- Protecting Adoption Act, known as the Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act in the Senate. This bill would create a mechanism for identifying possible fathers of children who are being considered for adoption and assists with the adoption process.
The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.
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