Today we are pleased to announce that we are backing a federal lawsuit brought by Milford Christian Church and three individual plaintiffs – including the pastor of the church – against the Commissioners of the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE), Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC), and Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), respectively. Among other things, the lawsuit details how these state officials violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of speech.

The 19-page complaint recounts how on or about Wednesday, March 1, 2023, an Inspector from the OEC conducted an annual inspection of Little Eagles – Milford Christian Church’s daycare and preschool ministry – and cited the church for honoring certain students’ religious objections to vaccines, before ordering Milford Christian Church to submit a corrective action plan by March 15, 2023 to bring its students up to date on their vaccinations. The lawsuit further alleges that “when pressed about the Church’s options and doctrinal teachings and the parents’ religious beliefs, [the Inspector] delivered a three-headed ultimatum to Milford Christian Church: (1) Submit a corrective action plan outlining a catch-up schedule for the children’s vaccinations; (2) expel the non-vaccinated children; or (3) the OEC would close Little Eagles.”

This is wrong on so many levels. The message from the State is clear: Violate your religious beliefs, and kick out the children who refuse to violate theirs – or else. As many of you know, we are already engaged in ongoing litigation against the State of Connecticut for its April 2021 repeal of the religious exemption to mandatory school vaccinations. Attorney Brian Festa, Vice-President & Co-Founder of We The Patriots USA, released the following statement late Monday:

“We are proud to stand with the families and clergy of Milford Christian Church in their fight for religious autonomy. It is our position that the law clearly protects religious institutions from government interference with their free exercise of religion, freedom to assemble, and freedom of speech, all of which we believe have been violated in this case. We intend to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary to protect religious freedom in Connecticut and beyond.”

Cases like these are very expensive, and we cannot continue this important work without your support. We ask that you please prayerfully consider a donation to our organization today.