State Legislatures Are Considering More Bills Than Ever to Allow College Student Groups to Use Religion to Discriminate

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.

Federal Appeals Court Should Rule Religion Can’t Be Used As Excuse To Discriminate Against Gavin Grimm And Other Transgender Students

Gavin Grimm didn’t ask to be the face of the fight for transgender civil rights in America. But that’s just what he became when he asked his Virginia high school to recognize his humanity.

Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Virginia's Dangerous "Religious Freedom" Legislation

Today Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed SB 1324/HB 2025, a combination First Amendment Defense Act and Pastor Protection Act that would have allowed religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQ Virginians. In his veto statement, Governor McAuliffe called the bill “unconstitutional” and stated that any bill that privileges one religious belief “equates to discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.”

It's Now Up To Governor McAuliffe To Veto Virginia's Dangerous "Religious Freedom" Bill

For the second year in a row, the Virginia General Assembly has sent the Governor “religious freedom” bill that would allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate. Religious freedom is a fundamental value. It guarantees us the right to believe—or not—as we see fit. But it does not give anyone the right to discriminate against others.

Trump Administration Revokes Guidance On Civil Rights Protections For Transgender Students

Last night the Trump administration officially revoked an Obama-era guidance reminding public schools that a provision in a 1972 federal law known as Title IX prohibits discrimination against transgender students, including denying them access to the restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Majority Of Religious Americans Agree: Religious Beliefs Are Not An Excuse To Discriminate

According to new Public Religion Research Institute analysis, a clear majority of religious Americans oppose business owners using their religious beliefs to deny goods and services to LGBTQ individuals and couples. Indeed, religious freedom gives us the freedom to believe— or not— as we see fit. It does not, however, permit anyone to use religion as an excuse to discriminate.

Americans United And Allies Urge Virginia Senate Committee To Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

Americans United and allies sent a letter to Virginia's Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology to warn of the real harm that HB 2025, a state combo Pastor Protection Act and First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), could inflict on many Virginians. The bill, as written, could allow individuals, for-profit corporations, and even taxpayer-funded organizations use religious beliefs about marriage as an excuse to discriminate against their neighbors.

The State Legislatures Are Back In Session And We’re Ready!

Right now, state lawmakers are trying to use religion as an excuse to discriminate, but we're ready to fight back! Our 2017 State Legislation Tracker is your one-stop-shop for news, resources and most importantly, how you can make a difference.

Congress Should Learn From FADA Backlash In The States

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced that it will hold a hearing on HR 2802, the deceptively named First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), on July 12. The Committee’s decision to hold this hearing is surprising given the backlash that states have faced when trying to pass and enact their own FADA legislation

Legislative Blowback: One Year Later, States Are Trying To Undermine The Marriage Equality Ruling

Yesterday we celebrated the one-year anniversary of Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark Supreme Court decision that made marriage equality the law of the landToday we want to remind you that there’s still much work to do.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of The 2016 State Sessions, Part 1: The Good

Over the next two days, we will be reviewing the good, the bad, and the ugly of the 2016 state sessions. Today’s post will cover the good— harmful bills that were stopped. 

Religious Right Group Drafts Anti-LGBT Bathroom Policy For Virginia School District

In previous posts on this blog, we've discussed the Alliance Defending Freedom's (ADF) involvement in lawsuits against public school districts that allow transgender students to use the single-sex restroom and locker room facilities that match their gender identities. Now the ADF has taken it one step further: helping one Virginia school district establish an anti-transgender bathroom policy of its own.

Virginia Gov. Promises To Veto Discriminatory Bill

Virginia's SB 41 may have passed the General Assembly, but Governor Terry McAuliffe has promised that the discriminatory bill will go no further. 

Spotlight On: Virginia's Discriminatory Bills

Tuesday was “Crossover” in Virginia – the last day for legislation in the commonwealth to move out of one chamber and into the other. We are closely monitoring three bills in the state that would allow discrimination in the name of religion.  

Virginia's State FADA Bill Passes House

Virginia's HB 773, a State FADA bill, has passed the House of Delegates with a 53-46 vote.

Virginia's State FADA Bill Passes Out Of House Committee

HB 773, Virginia's State FADA bill and legislation that would allow the discrimination of the LGBT community, has passed a House of Delegates committee.

Two Bills Will Discriminate Against Virginians And Their Rights To Marriage Equality

This week, Virginia legislators will be hearing two bills that will have the potential to grievously harm all Virginians, especially LGBT Virginians, and their rights to marriage equality.



Virginia to Hear Bill that Would Allow Clerks to Refuse to Provide Marriage Licenses

Virginia’s SB 40 would allow clerks and deputy clerks in the state to refuse to issue marriage licenses “[i]f the clerk or deputy clerk has an objection to the issuance of such license on personal, ethical, moral, or religious grounds.” We all know that the couples most likely to be denied a license by clerks under this bill are same-sex couples.