VA backs down: no more religious discrimination

Houston National Cemetery agrees to allow prayer and religious speech at funerals for our veterans

October 18, 2011

Several veterans groups who had sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over claims of religious discrimination by Houston VA officials have agreed to settle their lawsuit, according to attorneys at Liberty Institute representing the groups. See earlier AFA Action Alert. 

According to Associated Press, the settlement agreement lists 50 provisions that VA officials agree to adhere to. The VA said in the decree that certain of these provisions "are already the policy or practice of the department."

Some of these actions include no banning or interfering with prayers or recitations at committal services; agreeing to not edit or control the content of private religious speech and expression by speakers at special ceremonies or events at the cemetery; and agreeing not to ban religious speech or words such as "God" or "Jesus" in condolence cards or similar documents given by some of the groups that filed the suit.

The VA also agreed to pay the veterans groups' legal fees, which total $215,000. It is not known if Director Ocasio has been or will be removed from her position.

Because of your support of the AFA Action Alert, we were able to deliver over 375,000 emails to the Veteran's Administration, clearly contributing to the VA's decision to stop its religious discrimination. Because of your action, and God's help, we are making a difference.



Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
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