This week marks the 50th anniversary of Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, a landmark case in which the US Supreme Court held that a restaurant owner did not have a religious right to turn away black customers.
A federal appeals court today issued a welcome decision in EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes. The case involves a funeral home in Michigan whose owner fired an employee, Aimee Stephens, when she came out as transgender and announced that she would begin to wear women’s clothing. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued the business for unlawful employment discrimination.
Opposition is growing since the Georgia Senate passed SB 375, a harmful bill that would allow government-funded adoption and foster care agencies to use religion to discriminate against kids in their care and prospective parents.
Rachel Laser, Americans United’s new executive director, introduces herself and her vision for building a coalition of advocates who understand that church-state separation is the foundation of religious freedom for all.
In Georgia, there are more than 14,000 children in foster care. Tomorrow morning at 8:00am, legislators there will debate a bill that would make it even harder for these children to find safe, stable, and loving homes.
It’s February, and that means students across the country are back on college and university campuses for a new semester. One of the highlights of campus life is joining student groups. But in some states, students at public universities could be denied the opportunity to participate in a student club because of who they are.
The University of Notre Dame has flip-flopped again: Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins announced this month that university-sponsored health insurance plans for students and staff will stop covering some forms of birth control. The decision will affect more than 17,000 people who rely on the school for health insurance.
Today, Americans United dismissed our lawsuit challenging harmful rules issued by the Trump administration in October 2017 that allow employers and universities to cite religious or moral objections in order to deny employees and students health insurance coverage of contraception. Although the rules still remain in effect, our plaintiffs will have access to birth control due to some fortuitous events.
Tonight, President Donald Trump will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress and the American public. As he’s done in speech after speech during the first year of his presidency, he’ll likely claim he’s protecting religious freedom when in reality he’s doing the exact opposite by advancing policies that promote discrimination in the name of religion, politicize houses of worship, and compel taxpayers to fund religious schools.
Americans United and our allies this week urged a federal appeals court to affirm that an eastern Pennsylvania school district has the right to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identity.
Religious Freedom laws should be a shield to protect religious freedom, not a sword used to harm others. But this year, as in past sessions, legislators continue to introduce so-called religious freedom bills that would allow taxpayer-funded social service providers, individuals, and businesses to use religion to discriminate and deny people their rights.
Today we celebrate Religious Freedom Day. After nearly a year of the Trump-Pence administration’s unwavering attacks on the freedom of religion and belief, some might wonder what there is to celebrate. But today, we can be thankful for the fact that Americans United has been successful in fighting many of the administration’s reckless assaults on this core freedom.
There’s no denying that 2017 was a tough year for advocates of religious freedom and church-state separation. Yet despite the barrage of assaults from the Donald Trump-Mike Pence administration, Americans United saw important victories in and out of court.
It looks like the overwhelming response saying that it’s a bad idea to give federal contractors and grantees religious exemptions that allow them to discriminate has gotten the attention of the HHS. But HHS’s reaction has been to hide our criticism.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Friday blocked rules that the Trump administration issued last October that would allow any employer or university to use religion as an excuse to deny their employees and students health insurance coverage for birth control.
The people of Alabama did America a favor last night by voting against Roy Moore for a seat in the US Senate. Moore is just what we don’t need right now. His disdain for fundamental American values—from religious freedom to civil rights and equality to the rule of law—makes him a danger to our democracy.
This morning, another bill that allows religion to be used to discriminate started making its way through Congress. Hidden in the bill dubbed the PROSPER Act are several provisions that would allow religious student groups and religious colleges and universities that get taxpayer funds to use religion to get around nondiscrimination policies that protect students and employees at these schools.
Americans United lawyer Kelly Percival attended “Unfinished Business”—the LGBTQ summit hosted by The Atlantic in Washington, DC. The annual event is free to the public and seeks to showcase the current state of LGBTQ rights in the United States.
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Americans United staff members were outside with allies urging the higher court to say businesses should be #OpenToAll and that they should not be allowed to use religion to discriminate.