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

Religious Right In The Rose Garden : Bush To Push Marriage Amendment?

President George W. Bush may soon give a high-profile endorsement to the proposed federal marriage amendment.

Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, reports that on June 5 Bush will take to the Rose Garden with a gaggle of Religious Right lobbyists to trumpet the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment." The Senate is expected to vote June 6 on S.J. Res.1, which says marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Pat Loves Bobby: Robertson, McDonnell Push Marriage Amendment

Who does Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell represent – all the people of the Commonwealth or TV preacher Pat Robertson?

On May 25, McDonnell appeared on Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network to tout his work on behalf of an anti-gay constitutional amendment and to fawn over the controversial televangelist. The Virginia official, who is a graduate of Robertson's Regent Law School, is doing everything in his power to add a draconian change to the state constitution that would write the religious majority's views on marriage into the state's governing document.

When Lies Have Legs: TV Preacher Spreads Misinformation

It's been a rough month for TV preacher Pat Robertson.

First, he repeated the old canard on the "700 Club" May 11 that Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn believes that municipal fire departments should not be permitted to extinguish blazes at houses of worship. That outrageous tale was promptly debunked in an AU press release and by the Associated Baptist Press. View this release.

Storming The Hill: 'Clergy for Fairness' Urges Senate To Reject Marriage Amendment

Clergy from an array of religious denominations converged on Capitol Hill today to denounce the federal marriage amendment.

With a Senate vote on S.J. Res. 1 expected in early June, religious leaders operating under the banner of Clergy for Fairness gathered to speak to reporters, to lobby senators and promote a petition drive.

"We are united in our opposition to the federal marriage amendment," said the Rev. Dr. Paul Simmons, an ordained Baptist minister and president of Americans United's Board of Trustees.

Marriage Crisis: Ripping Up The Constitution Behind Closed Doors

In a closed-door session today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a federal marriage amendment to the Senate floor for consideration.

By a 10-8 margin this morning, the committee, headed by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), approved S.J.Res.1, which mandates that marriage in America "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) voted against the proposed constitutional amendment and lambasted his colleagues for deliberating in a private session.

San Diego Showdown: Battle Over Cross In California Park Continues

A 17-year battle to keep a towering Christian cross atop a hillside overlooking San Diego, Calif., has become yet another front in our nation's so-called culture wars.

Philip Paulson, a Vietnam veteran and San Diego resident, sued the city seeking removal of the 43-foot religious symbol from Mount Soledad Natural Park. His lawsuit argued that the icon violates the separation of church and state. Religious symbols, the case contended, are properly displayed on private property, such as a church lawn, but not in a public, tax-supported park.

Bah, Humbug: Mo. School District Renames Winter Break

It's now much closer to the Fourth of July than it is to Dec. 25, but culture-war skirmishes over Christmas continue.

In suburban St. Louis, the board of education at Francis Howell School District has voted 4-3 to rechristen "Winter Break" as "Christmas Break." According to a report in the O'Fallon (Mo.) Journal, school board members said they have received more emails on this topic than any other they can recall.

Covert Operation: Congress Pushes Sectarian Prayer In Military

Some members of Congress have once again demonstrated that they have a poor understanding of religious freedom and diversity in the military.

During deliberations over a massive defense authorization bill May 3, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) slipped a rider into the bill that gives military chaplains a broad-based right to offer sectarian prayers.