From AU's Wall of Separation blog:
As we approach the start of a new U.S. Supreme Court term that will include two cases with major church-state separation implications, you can show your support for religious freedom and AU’s work by pledging that “Religious Freedom Is About Fairness.”
The pledge, which you can take here, affirms:
- We don’t treat people differently because their beliefs are different from ours.
- We don’t tell people how to pray.
- We don’t ban people based on their religion.
- We don’t use religion as a license to discriminate.
The pledge addresses the constitutional problems relating to religious freedom in two imminent Supreme Court cases.
On Oct. 10, the high court will hear arguments in two cases challenging President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. AU and our allies yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the court explaining that Trump’s Muslim ban is un-American and unconstitutional because it singles out a group of people for disfavor based solely on their religion.
“Religious freedom is about fairness. We don’t treat people differently because their beliefs are different from ours,” said AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee. “President Trump’s Muslim ban is anathema to the Constitution. When the Supreme Court hears this case next month, we urge the justices to come down on the right side of history by holding that the ban violates America’s fundamental promise of religious freedom.”
Katskee and Legal Fellow Andrew Nellis yesterday explained the cases – Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. State of Hawaiʻi—and AU’s involvement in them during a Facebook Live video that you can watch here.
The second case pending before the Supreme Court is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This case involves a Colorado bakery that is using religion as an excuse to discriminate against same-sex couples by refusing to bake them wedding cakes. The bakery is arguing that complying with Colorado’s nondiscrimination law, which bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, would violate its religious freedom. But religious freedom is about fairness, not discriminating against others based on belief.
“The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop can’t treat some people like second-class citizens because of his religion,” said AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn. “With the eyes of the nation and history watching, the Supreme Court now has the opportunity to join lower courts in affirming that religious freedom does not grant a business owner license to harm others.”
Arguments in the Masterpiece case are expected to be scheduled for later this fall, and AU plans to file a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court as we did with a Colorado court.
AU will continue to be involved in both the Muslim ban and Masterpiece cases to protect religious freedom for all, and I hope you’ll join us. One way to show your support is by taking our pledge that “Religious Freedom Is About Fairness,” and encouraging others to do the same.
There also will be other opportunities in the coming weeks to show your support for religious freedom. Sign up for our emails and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so we can keep you updated on these important cases and our work.