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Members of Congress propose constitutional amendment to protect parental rights

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2022

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Advocacy Strategy Emilie Kao regarding Rep. Debbie Lesko’s introduction Tuesday of a resolution that would add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect parental rights:

“Parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. Sadly, as parents have stood before local school boards and state legislatures across the country to claim that right, they’ve been met by government officials who declare themselves the ultimate determiners of what’s best for children. This includes growing instances of schools actively hiding controversial curricula and critical information about children’s mental and physical health from parents. Thankfully, a growing coalition of parents, leaders, and organizations is standing up for the protection of our children and the fundamental rights of parents. We are grateful to Rep. Lesko for joining this movement by introducing this important proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution. Parents have a right to raise and educate their children consistent with their beliefs and values. Such a vital and fundamental right warrants explicit protection in our Constitution.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Kao (GOW’)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Emilie Kao

Emilie Kao serves as senior counsel and vice president of advocacy strategy for Alliance Defending Freedom. Before joining ADF, Kao served as director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. She also served as senior legal counsel at an international human rights law firm, East Asia team leader in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Human Rights, and director of international advocacy at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She was an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University and is co-editor of the “First Principles on International Human Rights” essay series. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and spoken at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. Kao earned her A.B. cum laude from Harvard University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the state bars of California and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.