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The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Human Rights Victory: New Mexico Court Says ‘Religious Liberty’ Doesn't Justify Photographer’s Refusal To Shoot Same-Sex Ceremony

There’s a lot of talk these days about the meaning of “religious liberty” and whether or not an individual or corporation may be exempted from various laws if those statutes conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs. Yesterday, however, the New Mexico Supreme Court took a step toward ending that debate when it said a photographer didn’t have the right to refuse to shoot a same-sex commitment ceremony. Read more

Prayer Push: Clergy Demand Sectarian Invocations Before Government Meetings Despite Legal Risks

Pastor Tom Douglass of Galloway Township, N.J., is no fan of generic prayers before public meetings. That’s why he’s asking city officials to “muscle up” for future invocations.

Back in February, the council unanimously approved a resolution to allow council members to open meetings with an approved, generic prayer. But some local clergy protested this less sectarian approach, and asked that the council return to its old policy of letting clergy deliver prayers to open meetings, according to the Press of Atlantic City. Read more

Conniption In Kansas: Religious Right Throws Fit Over Muslim Display In Public School

We often condemn the Religious Right for its hatred of church-state separation, but it turns out theocrats absolutely love this constitutional concept – when it’s not their faith that’s being favored. Read more

Sanctifying The Sabbath?: North Carolina Law Prohibiting Early Voting On Sundays Harms Minorities

Mark Creech, director of the American Family Association’s North Carolina affiliate, normally views government with a wary eye. But the state’s unprecedented roll back of voting rights banned polling on Sundays, and suddenly Creech is singing a new tune.
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Back To Prayer?: California Officials Sponsor Religious Event To Kick Off School Year

As public school students head back to class this week in a number of districts nationwide, the Religious Right and its allies wasted no time stirring up trouble with a back-to-school prayer stunt in California.  

Yesterday in Bakersfield, around 100 people showed up for an event sponsored by state and local politicians to offer prayers for the coming school year, which started today. It was held at the Liberty Bell (a replica of the original), which sits outside the Kern County Building. Read more

A Week Off?: New Religious Right-Inspired Event Promotes Bad History

Kansas schoolchildren will take part in “Celebrate Freedom Week” next month thanks to a recently-passed bill intended, its authors say, to celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Sounds innocuous enough—who could possibly object to a celebration of the Constitution?  
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Conference Conundrum: Family Research Council VP Abandons Speaking Engagement After Host’s Neo-Confederate Ties Are Revealed

For the average Religious Right leader, getting into bed with Glenn Beck is usually a pretty good career move. After all, Beck’s empire still brings in boatloads of cash despite his expulsion from Fox News. The problem is Beck himself isn’t exactly picky about his partners, and that can lead to serious embarrassment – as Family Research Council Executive Vice President William G. “Jerry” Boykin recently discovered. Read more

Firing Offense: Calif. Catholic School Instructor Axed For Same-Sex Wedding

For the past week or so, I’ve been receiving press releases from a public relations firm representing students and former students at St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora, Calif. They are not happy.

It seems that Ken Bencomo, who taught English at the school for 17 years, was recently fired from the Catholic institution. These folks want him to get his job back. Read more