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Remembering Senator Orrin Hatch Canterbury Medal Laureate, father of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and dedicated to the defense of religious freedom for all at home and abroad

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Religious freedom was sewn into the very fabric of this country from the beginning, and protecting the right of conscience for every American is essential to the future of our republic.

We are honored to remember the life and legacy of a great man, United States Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a model of civil discourse, principled leadership and advancement of religious freedom for all at home and abroad, in and outside of his roles in government.   

Over the course of his Senate tenure, Senator Hatch earned his reputation as the most effective and bipartisan lawmaker of all time, shepherding more than 750 bills into law.  


Remembering Senator Orrin Hatch
April 26, 2022

America has lost a giant of religious liberty. Through principled bipartisanship and a commitment to protecting people of all faiths, Senator Hatch brought the country some of its greatest advancements in religious liberty since the First Amendment. His partnership with the late Senator Kennedy to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—which received nearly unanimous approval in Congress and was signed into law by President Clinton—has provided civil rights protections to faithful Sikhs serving in the military, Native Americans engaging in centuries-old worship traditions, prisoners who turn to their faith while incarcerated, and nuns who care for the elderly sick and dying. Senator Hatch understood that religion is a natural part of human life, and that as Americans we should respect the right of others to peacefully live out their faith—even when we disagree. He was a hero of religious liberty. May he rest in peace.

Mark Rienzi, President of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty