On Tuesday, February 21, 20 Republican Georgia state senators dropped SB 233, a bill many are calling this year’s “religious freedom” bill. By Thursday, however, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal had already vowed to veto it. This is no real surprise considering Governor Deal vetoed a similar bill last year after it evoked large-scale opposition across the state and the country as well as threats of boycotts.
Last night the Trump administration officially revoked an Obama-era guidance reminding public schools that a provision in a 1972 federal law known as Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students, including denying them access to the restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
Oklahoma's SB 197, a "religious freedom" bill, passed out of the Oklahoma Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, along with two other extreme bills. This post from AU'sWall of Separation blog explains why this SB 197 and another bill that seeks to violate church-state separation are so dangerous.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice issued guidance reminding schools that Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students, including denying them access to the restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos are expected to rescind this guidance.
Earlier this week, the South Dakota House Health and Human Services Committee voted 5-2 to allow child placement agencies to substitute their religious beliefs for the child’s best interest, leaving us wondering why?
Today, the Supreme Court of the state of Washington issued an important ruling, unanimously holding that a business can’t ignore the state anti-discrimination law and refuse to provide flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
According to new Public Religion Research Institute analysis, a clear majority of religious Americans oppose business owners using their religious beliefs to deny goods and services to LGBTQ individuals and couples. Indeed, religious freedom gives us the freedom to believe— or not— as we see fit. It does not, however, permit anyone to use religion as an excuse to discriminate.
Americans United and allies sent a letter to Virginia's Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology to warn of the real harm that HB 2025, a state combo Pastor Protection Act and First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), could inflict on many Virginians. The bill, as written, could allow individuals, for-profit corporations, and even taxpayer-funded organizations use religious beliefs about marriage as an excuse to discriminate against their neighbors.
We will continue to fight for our neighbors— LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, non-theists and anyone who faces discrimination based on someone else’s religious beliefs. But we need your help too. You need to contact the White House and tell the President to reject any executive order that sanctions discrimination in the name of religion.
Yesterday night, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch's past judicial opinions are cause for grave concern, particularly his decisions regarding Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell.
State legislatures have not had much luck in passing sweeping bills like RFRAs or FADAs, but the record is mixed on more targeted “religious freedom” bills that could undermine LGBTQ rights in healthcare, student life, and families.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions wrapped up its hearing on Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education at 8:45 last night, and will be back at 10 this morning to hold another confirmation hearing. Up today: Trump’s pick for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).
As state legislators return to work this month, we’re monitoring newly introduced “religious freedom” bills around the country that could harm our neighbors. As a refresher, we thought we would review the different types of “religious freedom” legislation we expect to see. First up, First Amendment Defense Acts.
Right now, state lawmakers are trying to use religion as an excuse to discriminate, but we're ready to fight back! Our 2017 State Legislation Tracker is your one-stop-shop for news, resources and most importantly, how you can make a difference.
We applaud companies like Sanderson Farms for recognizing that HB 1523 poses a threat to their employees and Mississippians as a whole. We hope that others join them in standing up to those who would harm our neighbors.
On New Year’s Eve, a federal judge sided with states and stopped the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from implementing the protections barring sex discrimination in the provision of healthcare services. As a result, individuals who are transgender and who’ve had abortions are at risk.
On Friday, we joined an amicus briefopposing HB 1523 because it uses religion as an excuse to sanction discrimination. Religious freedom is a fundamental American value— it guarantees us the freedom to believe or not as we see fit. What it does not do, though, is grant anyone a right to harm others.
Thought you had heard the last of Alabama's suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore? Think again. When we last left the embattled judge, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary found him guilty of ethics violations after he issued an order to probate judges implying that they could ignore the Supreme Court's 2015 marriage equality decision. Now Roy Moore could be in a position of power again— this time in the U.S. Senate.
This week, U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) announced that next year he plans to reintroduce the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a bill that would allow individuals and corporations to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against, well, almost everyone.
This week, Telescope Media Group, a Minnesota media-production company, filed a lawsuit claiming that the state’s nondiscrimination law violates their religious freedom. They are seeking a court order that would exempt them from the nondiscrimination provisions that otherwise apply to all businesses open to the public. Why? They want to turn away same-sex couples who might purchase the company’s wedding-video-production services.
Today, the Senate voted to adopt a final negotiated version of the National Defense Authorization Act. This is a clear win for fairness, equality, and the freedom of religion and belief, but there are still fights ahead
Last week, Americans United's Samantha Sokol wrote that discrimination doesn't win in North Carolina. Now, after Governor Pat McCrory's defeat in the state's gubernatorial race and the release of a report by Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina regarding voters' views on HB 2, this verdict is proven by the numbers.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber promised to fight any harmful "religious freedom" bills introduced in the Georgia legislature, saying: “We are not supportive of any bill that in any way would discriminate against any person.”