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TN governor signs key legislation to protect parental rights

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp, director of the ADF Center for Public Policy, regarding Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s signing Tuesday of SB 2749, a bill that protects parents’ fundamental right to guide the upbringing, education, and health care of their children:

“Parents love and know their child best, and they have the right and duty to direct the upbringing and care of their children. Yet parental rights have been eroded by government actions that exclude parents from critical educational and health care decisions. This legislation restrains government overreach by reaffirming the role of parents to guide the upbringing, education, and health care of their children. It ensures that parental rights are given the same level of legal protection afforded other fundamental rights, like free speech and religion. The government should never intrude on parenting choices just because it disagrees with the parents. ADF commends Gov. Lee, Sen. Ferrell Haile, Rep. Jeremy Faison, and others in the Tennessee Legislature for their leadership and for joining 17 other states in enacting bills like this to protect the parent-child relationship that forms the bedrock of our society. We also thank the Tennessee Faith & Freedom Coalition and the Capitol Resource Institute for their monumental work in this effort to safeguard parental rights.”

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 Matt Sharp

Matt Sharp serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is the director of the Center for Public Policy. In this role, he leads ADF's team of policy experts as they craft legislation and advise government officials on policies that promote free speech, religious freedom, parental rights, and the sanctity of human life. Since joining ADF in 2010, Sharp has authored federal and state legislation, regularly provides testimony and legal analysis on how proposed legislation will impact constitutional freedoms, and advises governors, legislators, and state and national policy organizations on the importance of laws and policies that protect First Amendment rights. He has twice testified before the U.S. Congress on the importance of protecting free speech and religious liberty in federal law. Sharp also authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of nearly 9,000 students, parents, and community members asking the court to uphold students’ right to privacy against government intrusion. Sharp earned his J.D. in 2006 from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. A member of the bar in Georgia and Tennessee, he is also admitted to practice in several federal courts.