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.
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 week, a trial court in Arizona denied a request by a anti-LGBT calligraphy and wedding invitation shop to bar Phoenix from enforcing its nondiscrimination law. Here's the kicker: the City of Phoenix wasn’t threatening them with anything because no same-sex couple had sought invitations from the business.
A new MergerWatch report reveals only 10 states require any governmental review before hospital systems can merge and eliminate much-needed health services. Because of this lack of oversight, religious hospitals can swallow up secular institutions and impose religiously motivated restrictions without warning.
On May 12, the evangelical Christian co-owners of a calligraphy shop filed suit to demand a right to discriminate against LGBT couples. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, who are being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), seek exemption from Phoeniz, Ariz., non-discrimination law, claiming that the law could potentially land them jail time if they turned away LGBT couples seeking hand-lettered wedding invitations. The key words here: "could" and "if". No same-sex couples have actually requested invitations from the studio yet.
Nicole Knight Shine wrote a fascinating investigative piece for Rewire about MomDoc, a Mormon-owned women's health network in Arizona that uses religion to deny women the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare.
As we remember the civil rights pioneer Julian Bond a few days after his passing at age 75, we find that it is incredibly difficult to sum up his legacy in a single blog post. As co-founder and communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he led young people in the fight for true equality in America. As co-founder, president and board member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of our many allies, he fought hate and bigotry and sought justice for those most vulnerable in our community. As chairman of the NAACP, he worked to educate Americans on the civil right movement and the battles fought by African-Americans across the country. He was a legislator, a teacher, and hero to many.