The Center for Inquiry advocates for science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values through the following specialized policy and political programs:
The Office of Public Policy (OPP) works on three levels:
- At the grassroots level, the OPP works with CFI Centers and Communities on policy within the state and at the state level on federal issues. The OPP trains Friends of the Center to influence state and local level legislation, take part in political campaigns, and run for office.
- At the federal level, the OPP lobbies the U.S. Congress and the Administration in three areas: science and reason; secularism, and humanist ethics. The OPP also cooperates with powerful coalitions to influence legislators through individual and group communications.
- At the international level, the OPP supports the work of CFI at the United Nations by lobbying Congress and the State Department on UN-related issues.
The Center for Inquiry is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It maintains official representation at UN headquarters in New York and UN offices in Geneva and Vienna, where it works to defend the secular, scientific outlook in the international community.
The Legal Department files amicus briefs in cases involving First Amendment rights, reproductive freedom, assistance in dying and other issues of importance CFI and its supporters. Where appropriate, the Center or one of its affiliates, such as the Council for Secular Humanism, may file its own lawsuit. In addition, the Legal Department will also consider offering free legal assistance to individuals who believe that their constitutional rights are in jeopardy or that they have experienced discrimination because they are not religious.