Press Release

Sebelius’ Prized Speaking Slot at Georgetown Commencement Weekend Draws Fire Becket Fund Launches Online Petition Against Leading Protagonist in Admin.’s Assault on Religion

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Washington, D.C.– Today, Becket Law launched a petition urging Georgetown University to rescind the invitation to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to address one of the commencement ceremonies of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. The petition blasts the university for giving a platform to Sebelius who was instrumental in imposing the HHS mandate, an affront to religious freedom that represents “the height of religious intolerance.”

Becket filed the first lawsuits challenging the mandate and has played a leading role in publicly denouncing it as an unconstitutional intrusion on Americans’ faith. The petition, which will be sent to Georgetown University President DeGioia, points to the school’s history as the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States. The religious freedom established in 18th century America permitted the founding of Georgetown University. “With that freedom,” it states, “Georgetown University has thrived.”

The mandate requires that all employers provide insurance coverage for free sterilizations, contraception, and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of their religious beliefs. Additionally, Sebelius recently admitted to drafting the mandate without consulting Supreme Court precedent in religious liberty cases—including the landmark Hosanna-Tabor case won by Becket—and without receiving a legal memo about whether the mandate is even constitutional.

“Secretary Sebelius has declared that she is ‘in a war’ with those whose religious beliefs about abortion and contraception are different from her own,” the petition states, “Georgetown should not associate itself with this attack on religious liberty.”

Becket’s petition can be signed here.

For further information, please contact Melinda Skea at or (202) 349-7224.


Becket Law is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. Becket has a 17-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law, and they recently won a 9-0 victory against the federal government at the U.S. Supreme Court in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC. Becket Law is the first and leading law firm to legally challenge the Obama Administration’s mandate.