Rights, Faith and Democracy Collaborative (RFDC)





Left-wing Social Issues Funding Group

Project of:

Proteus Fund

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Rights, Faith and Democracy Collaborative (RFDC) is a pro-abortion and gay marriage donor collaborative project created and managed by the Proteus Fund, a center-left funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit.


In March 2017, the Proteus Fund announced the Rights, Faith and Democracy Collaborative (RFDC). The RFDC supports state-level opposition to religious exemptions to laws requiring businesses to serve same-sex marriage ceremonies and protecting conscientious objectors from performing or recommending abortions. 1 Jason Franklin, Chairman of the Board of the Proteus Fund, stated that the RFDC exists “to push back against the use of religion as a means of words for discrimination,” targeting measures that grant conscience protections against participation in same-sex marriages and abortions. 2


RFDC has donated to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which recently sued Catholic hospital systems for not providing abortion or sterilization procedures. 3 RFDC has also funded Lambda Legal, a group involved in litigation to limit religious exemptions to laws requiring wedding vendors to serve same-sex ceremonies.

The group filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case requesting the court rule in favor of the Commission, defining Jack Phillip’s refusal to decorate a cake for a same sex wedding — because of his religious convictions — as discrimination against gay people. 4

The RFDC also seeks to influence faith groups from within by supporting members of dissident factions who hold the RFDC’s positions on abortion and LGBT issues. 5 One of its grantees, the pro-abortion group of self-proclaimed Roman Catholics called “Catholics for Choice,” seeks to change the Catholic Church by promoting opposition to Catholic teachings opposing abortion. 6

Rights, Faith and Democracy Collaborative Grant Recipients

According to the Proteus Fund’s online grant database, the Proteus Fund has distributed grants through the Rights, Faith and Democracy Collaborative to the following nonprofits: 7

Rights, Faith and Democracy: Grant RecipientsAmountYear
ACLU Foundation of Texas$9502017
Alternate Roots$125,0002017
American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico Foundation$101,2502017
Atlanta Jobs with Justice$125,0002017
Center for Civic Policy$101,2502017
Equality Florida Institute$,50002017
Equality Foundation of Georgia$125,0002017
Equality Texas Foundation$7502017
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding$2,5502017
New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice$101,2502017
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Texas$7502017
Sister Song$125,0002017
Young Women United$101,2502017
Alternate Roots$125,0002018
American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico Foundation$100,0002018
Atlanta Jobs with Justice$125,0002018
Center for Civic Policy$100,0002018
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights$5,0002018
Equality Foundation of Georgia$125,0002018
Gender Justice$5,0002018
Interfaith Alliance of Colorado$5,0002018
Jewish Community Action$5,0002018
New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice$100,0002018
One Colorado Education Fund$5,0002018
Outfront Minnesota Community Services$5,0002018
Sister Song$125,0002018
Soul 2 Soul$5,0002018
TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund$5,0002018
Young Women United$100,0002018
Grand Total:$1,860,000


  1. “Proteus Fund Announces a New Funder Collaborative to Oppose the Use of Religious Exemptions to Undermine Fundamental Rights.” Philanthropy New York. March 16, 2017. Accessed January 12, 2018.
  2. Williams, Wendy. “LGBTQ Philanthropy is Growing Yet Under Attack | PBA.” Pro Bono Australia. November 23, 2017. Accessed January 19, 2018.
  3. Slade, Stephanie. “Why is the A.C.L.U. targeting Catholic hospitals?” America Magazine-The Jesuit Review. June 01, 2017. Accessed February 01, 2018.
  4. Lambda Legal. “Lambda Legal to High Court: Religious License to Discriminate Harms LGBT People from Cradle to Grave.” Lambda Legal. October 30, 2017. Accessed February 01, 2018.
  5. Rights, Faith and Democracy Collaborative.” The Proteus Fund. 2018. Accessed January 19, 2018.
  6. “About Our Work.” Catholics For Choice. 2018. Accessed February 01, 2018.
  7. “Our Grants.” Proteus Fund (Grants Database). Accessed July 3, 2019. Original URL: Archived here:



  See an error? Let us know!