The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh again yesterday, but we learned even more about his views on church-state separation from the “committee confidential” documents that Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) forced the committee to release yesterday morning.
Senate confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh start today—even though thousands of requested documents from Kavanaugh’s time working in the George W. Bush White House have not yet been released or reviewed by the Senate or the public.
One of the issues that the Supreme Court will decide in next few years is whether religion can be used to undermine civil rights protections, especially those that protect LGBTQ people and women. What do we know about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s record on this issue? When he worked for President George W. Bush, he volunteered to be the point person on the “faith-based initiative”—a key component of which was allowing taxpayer-funded organizations that provide social services to use religion to justify employment discrimination.
One of the biggest concerns about President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is how he could shift the balance of power on the court on matters involving reproductive rights. Given his hostile record on church-state separation and of allowing religious freedom to be misused as justification for discrimination, it’s a valid concern—and many women are stepping forward to explain why they oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
If you care about LGBTQ rights, then you should be concerned about Brett Kavanaugh as the U.S. Supreme Court pick. His record shows that he believes religious beliefs can be used to justify discrimination.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formation of a “Religious Liberty Task Force” to enforce the Department of Justice (DOJ) guidance he issued last fall that would allow religion to be used to discriminate.
House Republicans amended a spending bill to include language that would allow adoption and foster care agencies that receive federal funding to discriminate against qualified prospective parents and children in need based on the agency’s religious beliefs. The result: Kids could be denied stable, loving homes with prospective parents who are LGBTQ, single, previously divorced or even the “wrong religion.”
President Donald Trump announced last night that Brett Kavanaugh is his nominee to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. The president has shown that he has little respect for the separation of church and state, so it is no surprise that he has chosen a nominee who rejects this fundamental value as well
Today’s Washington Post includes a profile of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), referring to the organization as a “powerhouse.” You may know the ADF as the group that takes on cases of businesses who want the legal right to use religion to discriminate.
Americans United filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging multiple actions by the Trump-Pence administration—including back-room deals with the University of Notre Dame—that would deny countless women access to contraception.
The US Supreme Court today sent back for more review Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, one of several cases circling the court system involving a business that wants to use religious beliefs to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people.
The US Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop opinion is having an immediate and wide-ranging impact. The Arizona Court of Appeals cited the Masterpiece opinion when it ruled against Brush & Nib Studio, one of several businesses around the country that, like Masterpiece, is trying to use religious beliefs to justify discrimination.
June marks Pride Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the strides made toward LGBTQ equality and the many LGBTQ activists who fought to achieve them. This Pride Month and every month, Americans United is proud to stand with our LGBTQ neighbors and oppose discrimination in the name of religion.
Every legislative session, AU tracks hundreds of state bills that, if passed, would undermine religious freedom in nearly every state. We often see trends arise across states. Lawmakers in different states introduce similar bills, and sometimes even the same exact bills with the same exact language. And we can usually figure out why that happens: conservative lobbying groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and state Focus on the Family affiliates often shop model bills around to state legislators, who then introduce these model bills in their states. The lobbying groups also share strategies with legislators to help pass their bills. The result: Similar harmful bills appear and pass in many different states in a nationwide onslaught.
This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The decision is a bit of an odd duck. The court repeatedly reaffirmed our nation’s commitment to combating discrimination against LGBTQ people in businesses open to the public. Yet the court holds in favor of a bakery that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief yesterday in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California v. Azar—a challenge to the Trump-Pence administration’s new rules that would allow employers and universities to use religion to deny their employees and students health insurance coverage for birth control.
Gavin Grimm, the transgender teenager challenging his Virginia high school’s discriminatory bathroom policy, received a bittersweet victory on Tuesday when a federal court said the school’s policy violated his constitutional rights.
Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) today introduced the Do No Harm Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill honors two core American values: religious freedom and equal protection of the law. And it couldn’t be more important right now.
Oregon’s Department of Education (ODE) is investigating disturbing reports of potential violations of religious freedom and LGBTQ rights at a public high school. For us at Americans United, the implication that North Bend High School staff may have been using their personal religious beliefs to determine how they treat LGBTQ students is particularly alarming.
On Friday evening, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed two bills that undermine religious freedom: SB 1140, which allows state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to use religion to justify denying children homes and discriminating against prospective parents, and HB 2177, which authorizes every government building and public school to display the Ten Commandments.
Oklahoma’s state legislature recently passed a bill, SB 1140, that would allow state-funded child-placing agencies to use religion to justify denying children homes and discriminating against prospective parents. This bill allows foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to perform, assist or participate in any child placement in the name of religion. So that means religious child placement agencies could turn away prospective parents who want to provide kids with a loving, stable home because they’re a same-sex couple, interfaith, previously divorced, or the “wrong religion.”
According to a new Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey, the majority of Americans oppose allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ people in the name of religion, and more Americans are welcoming of marriage equality and nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.