Religious Liberty For All

Religious Liberty For All

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Sutherland Institute’s 2019 Congressional Series: Join Congressman John Curtis in discussing religious liberty.

John R. Curtis proudly represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, serving on the House Natural Resources and Foreign Affairs committees. After being elected to Congress on November 13, 2017, Curtis sponsored 12 bills in his first year in office. Four of these bills passed through the House and three were signed into law: The POPPY Study Act to combat the opioid crisis, the Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking Act, and the Small Business ACE Act.

The congressman cares deeply about hearing the diverse perspectives and feedback from his constituents – he held over 100 town halls in 2018. Utah’s 3rd District is the youngest in the country, with an average age of 26. Curtis is sensitive to the many constituents that live in rural Utah, so he has focused on legislation that can fit the needs of both demographics, such as student loans, rural broadband access, and more.

“We face a unique challenge of balancing needed protections for the LGBTQ community with the importance of protecting religious liberty – one of the fundamental rights enshrined at the founding of our nation.” – John Curtis

Curtis has been committed to helping Utah’s growing tech scene flourish, and he was recognized by Silicon Slopes as their first Community Hero Award recipient. Other personal awards include Civic Innovator of the Year by Utah Valley University, Thayne Robson Award for Leadership in Economic Development, and Outstanding Citizen Award from the Office of Civic Engagement Leadership by Brigham Young University.

Prior to coming to Washington, Curtis was the 45th mayor of Provo, serving two terms. Known for his personal approach to city government, Mayor Curtis prioritized his outreach to residents of Provo by utilizing various channels, including his popular blog. He was named the No. 1 Top Elected Official on Social Media 2015 by the Government Social Media group and has been recognized by Forbes for his commitment to citizen engagement. Curtis was re-elected for a second four-year term as mayor in 2013 with 86.49% of the vote. As mayor, he averaged an approval rating of 93%.

During Curtis’ terms in office, the city of Provo ranked No. 1 in the nation for Business and Careers by Forbes  as well as No. 1 for Well-Being by Gallup. Other recent awards include national recognition for the quality of life, family environment, a booming tech and entrepreneur culture, and a successful revitalization of downtown. With the help of the City Council, employees and residents, Curtis’ administration brought Google Fiber to Provo and regularly scheduled air service to the airport, expanded parks and trails, and completed Provo’s state-of-the-art recreation center.

Before becoming mayor, Curtis was a small-business owner in Provo, working with his partners to build their business, Action Target, where he led sales and operations strategy. Curtis and his wife, Sue, have six children and seven grandchildren. He maintains a fluency in Mandarin Chinese and a closet full of stately socks.

Following Congressman Curtis’s remarks, a panel will discuss the concepts of religious liberty and reaching America’s minorities.

*Attendees are required to register. Registrants will be emailed location & parking details prior to the event.*

Sutherland Institute’s Congressional Series is designed to facilitate civil dialogue and convene stakeholders, elected officials, and community leaders to discuss important issues. They are private events. As such, Sutherland reserves the right to deny access to or remove any individual who interrupts a speaker or panelist, is disruptive or combative in tone, and/or refuses to allow open and civil dialogue. By attending any event, you agree to these terms and conditions.

Panelists for this event include:

Mary Rice Hasson
Mary Rice Hasson is the Kate O’Beirne Fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. She also directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, a network of Catholic professional women and scholars. Hasson has been a keynote speaker for the Holy See during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women for the past three years. She speaks frequently at conferences, writes for websites, policy journals and scholarly publications, and is a frequent commentator for national and international media. She is the co-author of two books on education and the editor of a book on women and Catholicism.

Avais Ahmed
Avais Ahmed is an experienced e-commerce business owner. His primary experience is with footwear and fashion online; he has sold over 1 million pairs of shoes online and has served as a founder and board member of several other e-commerce companies. Ahmed loves to read and learn and is passionate about giving back. He has been involved in the Islamic Society of Salt Lake in various positions, including Sunday school teacher, treasurer and vice president. He is the co-founder and chairman of the Utah Muslim Civic League. The league helps engage the Muslim community in civic and philanthropic activities.

The Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen
The Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen has worked with youth and families throughout the country for more than 20 years, focusing on strengths-based interventions and supports to affirm beliefs and faith practices for LGBTQ persons. Edmonds-Allen is a Justice Ministry Education Supervisor for Auburn Seminary in Utah. She is the executive director of Parity, and is an expert in the intersection of faith and LGBTQ identities and practice, interfaith relationships, youth suicide and homelessness. She is the former executive director of the Utah Pride Center. Edmonds-Allen, who attended Western Theological Seminary and Eden Theological Seminary, is married and has four children.

William C. Duncan
William C. Duncan is Sutherland’s Religious Liberty Scholar and also serves as the director of the Marriage Law Foundation. He formerly served as acting director of the Marriage Law Project at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and as executive director of the Marriage and Family Law Research Grant at J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, where he also served as a visiting professor. Bill has submitted briefs on constitutional and family issues in the U.S. Supreme Court, 10 federal courts of appeals, eight state supreme courts, and other venues.


Aug 23 2019


10:00 am - 12:00 pm




Sutherland Institute
15 West South Temple, Suite 200, Salt Lake City
Sutherland Institute


Sutherland Institute
(801) 355-1272

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