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

Taking the Plunge: What Happens if the Supreme Court Grants Marriage Equality to LGBT Couples

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014-15 term is coming to a close, and a landmark ruling on marriage equality is pending. In light of that, “The Wall of Separation” asked AU’s Legal Department to examine the three possible outcomes in this case. In this blog post, Gregory Lipper, senior litigation counsel, and Matthew Russo, an AU legal intern, discuss what will likely happen if the high court extends marriage equality nationwide. Read more

‘Choice’ Charade: N.Y. Governor Slams ‘Manhattan Liberals’ For Supporting Church-State Separation In Neo-Voucher Battle

What does rent control in New York City have to do with tax credits that would be used to support religious schools? Quite a bit, at least as far as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is concerned.

In a move that can best be described as desperate, Cuomo initially tied together a piece of legislation that would renew expiring rent control laws with the creation of a new tuition tax credit program. Read more

Long Live The Culture Wars: Could Social Issues Dominate In 2016?

Conventional wisdom holds that social issues won’t have much impact on the 2016 presidential election. Americans are more concerned about jobs and the economy, and besides, some recent polls show that Americans are less religious and moving to the left on social issues.

That’s the conventional wisdom. But there’s a problem – conventional wisdom can be, and often is, wrong. Read more

The People’s Fallacy: New Movement Promises To Resurrect Utah’s Theocratic Past

A new political movement promises voters a religious revival in the state of Utah. The Modern People’s Party will, according to organizer Karen Lovell, promote a slate of candidates that will appeal to conservative members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). 

In a letter published in The Pahvant Post, Lovell asked, “Would you like to have a candidate to support for each office who stands with the Lord on every issue?”
Read more

Blame The Victim Much?: Ind. High School Student Who Complained About Coercive Prayer Told To Be More Cooperative

When the parents of an Indiana high school sophomore complained that their son was subjected to coercive prayers at multiple school events, officials were less than sympathetic to the family’s First Amendment concerns.

To say the family’s protest fell on deaf ears would be far too generous. In fact, one school administrator went so far as to blame the student for not accepting the sectarian messages in silence.   Read more

Pluck Of The Irish: Same-Sex Marriage Vote Shows Yearning For An End To Clerical Domination

A provocative headline from Reuters news service last week caught my eye. “Irish plunge stake through Catholic Church’s heart,” it read.

The headline is perhaps a bit hyperbolic. The column, by John Lloyd, co-founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, is a thoughtful analysis of how quickly the Catholic Church’s influence has fallen in Ireland – and why that has happened. Read more

Happy Birth (Control) Day!: A Golden Anniversary That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

American women today enjoy a right that for thousands of years of human civilization was virtually unheard of: The power to decide if they will have children and if so, how many they will have.

For that, you can thank lots of people, chief among them the scientists and researchers who invented and later perfected safe and effective forms of contraception.

But you can also thank a woman many people have never heard of. Her name is Estelle Griswold. Read more