Alabama is one of 30 states and three U.S. territories in which LGBTQ people lack explicit legal protections that leave them vulnerable to discrimination, which impacts their safety, job security and everyday lives.
Speakers made the case that RFRA, which was originally intended as a protective measure for religious minority groups, has been misinterpreted and distorted, first by the George W. Bush administration, then the U.S. Supreme Court and, most recently, the Trump Administration.
Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion leans heavily on history. The cross was erected in 1925 to honor veterans of World War I. In Alito's view, a cross can morph into a non-religious symbol, given enough time.
For Americans United intern Zachary Freiman, his Jewish upbringing and his great-grandparents' experience fleeing religious persecution and war in the Russian Empire for the promised religious freedom in America inform his support for the separation of religion and government.
Americans United believes that nontheistic invocations can perform the function of solemnizing a meeting just as well as theistic ones can. Experience bears this out. Many state and local legislative bodies have included nontheistic invocations without a hitch.
The issue of whether secular, for-profit businesses have a right under 'religious freedom' to deny services to people they decide are “sinful” is roiling the country now. Several cases are in the pipeline, and sooner or later the Supreme Court will have to face the issue head-on.
A Tennessee police detective who is also a Baptist pastor recently gave a sermon advocating for LGBTQ people to be arrested and “speedily” executed. He says that his extreme beliefs never affected his ability to do his job, but what member of the LGBTQ community in need of help would feel safe if he answered the call?
Craig Northcott referred to himself as a 'good Christian man as DA' and added, 'Y’all need to know who your DA is. You give us a lot of authority … We can choose to prosecute anything. We can choose not to prosecute anything.'