LGBTQ Rights

Trans Rights Are a Church-State Separation Issue

The fundamental right to be treated equally under the law depends on the separation of church and state. This foundational American principle is essential to ensuring that transgender people can live and identify as who they are. They should be free to be themselves without discrimination at their jobs, in their schools, when accessing health care, and in public places.

But religious extremists and their lawmaker allies are attempting to misuse religious freedom to deny the rights – and sometimes the very existence – of trangender, nonbinary, and gender-fluid people. Religious exemptions are being used to undermine their access to health care, social services, businesses, workplace protections, public education, and more. We cannot allow religion to be used to create more obstacles for a community that is already marginalized.

What you need to know

Legislative Attack on Transgender People

In 2021, almost 350 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in states around the country. Many of these bills were targeted at transgender people, their health care access, and their ability to participate in school sports.

Supreme Court Backs Trans Rights – For Now

In recent cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ people are protected by civil rights laws that bar sex discrimination in the workplace. The court also let stand a ruling that public schools cannot refuse a student access to the bathroom that matches their gender identity or presentation.

Trump Rule Targeted Trans Health Care

In AU lawsuits against the Trump-era Denial of Care Rule, health experts said inviting health care providers to deny care because of their religious beliefs would be especially harmful to transgender people, who already face significant barriers in accessing the health care they need.


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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