On September 29, Catholic League president William Donohue sent a letter to Congressman Newt Gingrich, House Republican Whip, registering his concerns over a proposed bill, the Lobbying Disclosure Act. If the bill were to pass, it would create major difficulties for grass-roots organizations, tying them to a web of new government-mandated forms and regulations. But the implications for a Catholic civil rights organization were even more ominous.
“The First Amendment rights to petition for grievances,” wrote Dr. Donohue, “is too important a right to be sacrificed on the altar of politics. It would be tragic if religious institutions had to labor under the chilling effect that this bill provides.”