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

‘What’s In It For Me?’: Public Schools, Public Taxes And The Public Good

A story from the Wilmington, Del., News Journal caught my eye this morning: Some private school parents in the state are angry because legislators are considering axing a small subsidy they get to offset the cost of transporting their children to private schools.

The sums involved are not large, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this type of private school bus aid way back in 1947. It’s not so much a constitutional issue these days. Read more

The Demographics Of Discrimination: ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills Continue To Lose Popular Support

The Religious Right continues to push for a religion-based freedom to discriminate in state after state, but there are signs they’re losing the battle.

Arizona’s infamous ‘religious freedom’ bill, which would grant religious business owners the right to refuse service to LGBT people (or others they deem unsuitable), is quickly losing what little public support it enjoyed. Members of the business community say the bill, which is currently awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature, would actually hurt business.
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Vouchers Vanquished?: Judge Puts North Carolina ‘School Choice’ Scheme On Hold

The state of North Carolina has flung itself off of a metaphorical constitutional cliff in recent years, most notably with a legislative proposal in 2013 that declared the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the state, meaning any local government there is free to establish religion. Read more

Raising Cain In Arizona: Grand Canyon State Considers Legalizing Discrimination Under The Guise Of ‘Religious Liberty’

You might have read over the weekend about a law passed by the Arizona legislature that would allow the owners of stores and secular businesses to refuse to serve certain customers if they deem that doing so would offend their religious beliefs.

The measure, SB 1062, is getting quite a lot of attention. All eyes are on Gov. Jan Brewer, who hasn’t yet said if she’ll sign the bill into law. Brewer has indicated that she’ll act this week. Read more

Proselyting Punted: UConn Coach Who Promised To Bring Jesus Into The Huddle Has Resigned

It seems Jesus won’t be joining the football team at the University of Connecticut after all.

This week, UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco announced that one of his newly hired assistants, Ernest T. Jones, will resign from the team before coaching a single game at the university. Read more

Liberty And Justice For Some?: Mosque Controversies Reveal Limited Definitions of Religious Freedom

Opponents of an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., are trying to take their fight to the Supreme Court – even though their losing battle has so far cost them $343, 276. It’s the latest twist in a costly legal saga that has trickled through the courts for nearly four years.
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Clarity in Kansas: Lawmaker Says State Senate Won’t Back Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples

In a rare moment of clarity, some Kansas lawmakers are reportedly hesitant to vote for a measure that would define “religious liberty” as a license to discriminate against same-sex couples.

The Kansas House of Representatives voted 72-49 last week in favor of a bill that would permit any individual, group or private business to turn away same-sex couples if providing a service would violate their religious beliefs. Read more

Grant’s Grand Vision: Public Schools That Welcome All

Today is Presidents’ Day. On this day, we often recommend that you spend some time reading some of the great statements on church-state separation uttered by chief executives like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, or John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech on religious liberty. Read more

Equality On The March: Same-Sex Marriage Moves Forward But Still Faces Legal Challenges

A federal judge struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban last night, calling it an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. US District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen began her decision with a lengthy quote from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the state’s Jim Crow-era anti-miscegenation laws.  
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