$9.2 million grant enables ADF to ramp up defense of free speech at universities

ADF attorneys even better positioned to fight unconstitutional policies restricting religious expression at public universities, colleges
Tuesday, September 08, 2009

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — The Alliance Defense Fund has received a $9.2 million grant in support of the nation’s largest-ever campaign to eradicate unconstitutional public university and college policies designed to silence religious speech and expression. ADF is matching the gift, designating just under $20 million, toward a concerted fight for freedom of speech in higher education for students and faculty alike.

“Christians on public university campuses shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “Many colleges and universities across the nation have enacted unconstitutional policies and practices censoring Christian speech, banning Christian groups from campus, and punishing professors and students. Thanks to this extremely generous gift, we are better prepared than ever to work toward restoring the ‘marketplaces of ideas’ that these academic institutions were intended to be.”

“More than 70 percent of these institutions have restrictive speech policies, or ‘speech codes,’ that are in direct violation of the First Amendment, and we are now in full throttle to drive this form of censorship off publicly funded campuses for good,” said French.

Earlier this year, a generous family made a commitment of more than $9 million in support of the University Project.

The project is designed to radically change the landscape of public, tax-funded American college and university campuses across the nation--transforming them into places where religious expression is welcomed, not silenced. Through information that equips students and faculty on campus to stand for their constitutional rights, and litigation when necessary, ADF plans to relentlessly work toward extinguishing unconstitutional speech codes, speech zones, “non-discrimination” policies, discriminatory access policies, compelled participation in acts contrary to conscience, and academic and employment retaliation at public universities over the next three years.

To bolster this effort, ADF has set up a $2.2 million matching grant this summer, geared to double funds toward the restoration of religious liberties on campuses nationwide.

In more than 40 cases brought against public universities, ADF has never failed to achieve policy changes or other positive outcomes for students and professors.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.