It’s January, which means state houses across the country are beginning to bustle. Legislators are coming back to the capitals to begin their sessions and governors are preparing their next moves. Georgia, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia are among the states that have already convened and in the next few weeks, dozens more join them.
As you know, state legislatures can move quickly. If last year is any guide, we are likely to see a flurry of state bills that could permit individuals— and probably for-profit corporations— to claim their religious beliefs compel them to discriminate against their neighbors. Last year, we confronted 130 so-called “religious freedom” bills that threatened the rights, healthcare, and dignity of LGBTQ people, women, and others. After just a few days, we are already following a dozen such bills and we expect a lot more soon. We are ready but need your help!
The trend is real. All across the country, we are seeing religion used as an excuse to discriminate and deny Americans their rights. Not surprising, state legislatures around the country have jumped on this bandwagon. Year after year we are battling with all of our resources— in the courts, in state houses, in governors’ mansions, in Congress, and in the White House— to stop this trend through our Protect Thy Neighbor campaign. And it’s your one-stop-shop for news, resources and most importantly, how you can make a difference.
With that in mind, welcome to our sparkling, brand new 2017 state legislative tracker where you can find up-to-date information— we update the tracker every Tuesday and Friday— about new bills, the status of legislation, analysis, letters to legislators, blog posts, action alerts, and more. We encourage you to use it and share it broadly. Information is power!
And for real-time info, check out our Twitter and Facebook pages. We also share what’s going on with our friends and followers. If you follow us, retweet us, and share our posts, together we’ll have a huge impact. We need your help!
Religious freedom is a fundamental principle we fight for. It means we’re all free to believe or not believe, but no one can act on their beliefs if it would harm their neighbors. Although some state lawmakers may seek to sanction using religion to discriminate, we won’t back down.