Georgetown Asked to Disinvite Secretary Sebelius


The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is asking Georgetown University to rescind an invitation to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak at one of the commencement ceremonies for the university's Public Policy Institute.

To quell fears, President Obama and Secretary Sebelius have offered a work-around in which employees at religious affiliated organizations can get contraception coverage directly from their insurance providers, thus bypassing their employers. However, critics of the rule say that's not good enough.

The Becket Fund is a public interest law firm that filed the first lawsuit against the Obama administration for its controversial decision to require religiously affiliated organizations, like certain colleges and universities, to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives (birth control, sterilization and the morning after pill), even if it goes against their organization's religious teachings. Georgetown University is America's oldest Catholic and Jesuit university.

The Becket Fund and other organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, argue that the new rule promulgated by Sebelius' secretariat, violates religious liberty, calling it "the height of religious intolerance." The same religious liberty that allowed for the founding of Georgetown University in 1789.

The Becket Fund has created a petition to disinvite Sebelius that it's sending to the university. It reads, in part, "Secretary Sebelius has declared that she is 'in a war' with those whose religious beliefs about abortion and contraception are different from her own. Georgetown should not associate itself with this attack on religious liberty."

The administration is still working on a "fix" for organizations that self insure.

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