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The official Americans United blog on legislation and activities of lawmakers.

Religion in Alabama Public Schools

The Alabama legislature discussed two harmful bills yesterday, both of which would result in government promotion of religion in Alabama public schools

Of course, students already have to the right to engage in voluntary, student initiated prayer and religious expression in public schools, making these bills unnecessary. The bills are also harmful because they push for government sponsored and promoted prayer in the public school classrooms, which is not only unconstitutional, but would lead to many students feeling uncomfortable and excluded because of their beliefs.

Fabricated Fears: Sharia Law

Yesterday House Bill 522, which prohibits the application of “foreign laws” in North Carolina, became law. Although that may sound harmless on its face, the bill is actually motivated by anti-Muslim animus and a manufactured fear that Sharia law is being implemented in the U.S.

Choice Charade: Senators Host Pro-Voucher Event On Capitol Hill

On Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) hosted an event called “Success for Our Children: A Roundtable Forum on School Choice.”

The forum included three one-sided panels in favor of so-called “school choice.” Although the discussion did include a lot of talk about charter schools, the senators and panelists also strongly pushed private school vouchers.

Voucher Watch

Private school vouchers have been popping up on both the federal and state level. Voucher programs and tuition tax credit programs use taxpayer money to send students to private and religious schools, violating our country’s separation of church and state. These programs also lack accountability, regulation, and civil rights protections that would normally be present in public schools.

Federal Level

CARD Coalition Priorities for Faith-Based Office

On Wednesday, June 26th, Americans United, along with 31 other members of the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination (CARD) sent a letter to Melissa Rogers, the new Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The letter outlines CARD’s policy priorities and positions regarding partnerships between the government and faith-based organizations, including our opposition to federally funded hiring discrimination. CARD is looking forward to working with Ms.