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Should Religiously Affiliated Hospitals Be Allowed To Ignore A Federal Law That Protects Employee Pensions?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Thanks To Trump, A Major Transgender Rights Case Has Been Derailed At The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court this morning announced that it is remanding and vacating the lower-court decision in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., the first transgender-rights case that the high court had ever agreed to hear.

So what does this mean, in laypeople’s terms? The Supreme Court had scheduled oral arguments for March 28. Now those arguments won’t happen this month. Instead, the case is going back to a lower federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, for more deliberation.

States Of Emergency

While much of the country has been understandably distracted by the antics of President Donald J. Trump’s fledgling administration, state legislators have been busy introducing a host of bills that could negatively impact religious liberty.

Legislation has been proposed in nearly two dozen states that could allow businesses, individuals, organizations, schools or even government entities to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, women and others.

AU Joins Suit Challenging Miss. ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

Americans United has joined a legal effort to stop a Mississippi law that critics say allows discrimination against LGBTQ people in the name of religion.

The law, which Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed in April 2016, allows religiously affiliated individuals, employers, healthcare providers and others to refuse to serve or help LGBTQ people, even if they receive taxpayer funds. In June, a federal district court declared the law unconstitutional, and the Barber v. Bryant case is on appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

I Attended Creating Change 2017 And Came Back, Well, Changed

I recently had the privilege of attending the 2017 “Creating Change Conference” hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force, which took place in Philadelphia last weekend. What an awesome sight in the City of LOVE! 

There were more than 4,000 attendees from across the country, and all were energized and ready to stand up and fight for LGBTQ rights, which will no doubt be under attack this year.

Feeling Frustrated? Here Are Some Ways To Channel Your Energy Into Positive Action

This is it. Today Donald J. Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV host with no political experience and a bevy of alarming views, is being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

This seemed unthinkable just a few short months ago, but it’s reality, and we have to deal with it.

Advocates and activists I know were certainly disappointed and even angry after the election. But none of them has turned away from activism. If anything, they’re more fired up than ever.

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

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. 

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