John Garvey , University President, and Robert Destro , professor, law, were quoted in a National Catholic Register story about new D.C. laws that compromise conscience rights. See below.

Catholic and Pro-Life Groups Mull Legal Action Against Two New D.C. Laws

From: National Catholic Register Date: May 18, 2015 Author: Peter Jesserer Smith


"We will certainly defend our rights, insofar as they are affected by these two bills," said John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America (CUA), which is located in the northeast corner of D.C. "I'm disappointed in both of these cases: that the District has not shown more concern for religious liberty - it's a civil liberty as old as the country is."

Both the Catholic Church and other pro-life groups in D.C. have objected that the language is so broad that it requires them to hire and maintain employees who openly do not share their views of human life and sexuality and either face lawsuits or leave the federal district if they do not comply.

"It's hard to imagine that we would seek employment action against one of our employees who, like Dorothy Day, may have had an abortion in their lifetime - if anything, the Catholic Church understands mercy and forgiveness better than the government does and most organizations," Garvey said. "On the other hand, if somebody who had an abortion and honestly believed that that was the appropriate course of action to take, and wanted to advise our students ... to take a similar course, then that would be contrary to the message that we're trying to extend to people."


According to Robert Destro, a law professor and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion at CUA's Columbus School of Law, the district is now locked in a collision course toward legal action that will be costly for all sides.

"We're not going to be able to live with it," he said, adding that the legal course boils down to "only two options."

"You can either wait for them to sue you, or you can sue them."


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Read more about Garvey's and Destro's expertise.

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