The ACLU is in federal court trying to strike down federal funding for an abstinence-based sex education program, calling it an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

The program, by a group called the Silver Ring Thing, allows teens to sign a voluntary pledge to abstain from sexual activity until marriage and wear a ring as a reminder of the vow.

The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund has filed a motion to intervene on behalf of Silver Ring Thing.

“Apparently, the ACLU would have us believe that abstinence is unconstitutional,” said ADF senior legal counsel Joel Oster.

Oster called the case “yet another example of the ACLU’s ongoing crusade to treat people of faith as second-class citizens.”

He argues SRT has complied with all federal requirements and that none of the funding is used for religious indoctrination or teaching.

The suit was filed last month in Massachusetts federal court by the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Silver Ring Thing is not a party to the suit, but the ADF has filed a motion on SRT’s behalf to intervene. ADF argues that SRT has a direct interest in the outcome of the case since the ACLU is challenging the group’s constitutional right to participate in government funding programs “free from religious discrimination.”

“Abstinence-only education is an important message for all, and studies show it is effective,” Oster explained. “The government provides funding for that very reason. The fact that the ACLU would oppose SRT despite the success of such programs exposes the ACLU’s agenda and horribly misplaced priorities.”

A study released last week by the Heritage Foundation showed that individuals taking an abstinence pledge were 25 percent less likely to have a sexually-transmitted disease as a young adult and were less likely to have children out of wedlock.

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