AU Lauds Senate Vote Confirming David Hamilton To Federal Appeals Court

Church-State Watchdog Group Pleased At Failure Of Religious Right Efforts To Block Nominee

The U.S. Senate did the right thing today by confirming David Hamilton to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The action came despite Religious Right-led demands that the Senate not even hold a vote on Hamilton. The effort failed, and Hamilton was confirmed by a 59-39 vote.

“The Religious Right tried to keep a qualified judge off the appeals court, and two words describe the result: epic fail,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United.

Proposed ‘Christian’ Prison In Oklahoma Raises Serious Legal Issues, AU Warns

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Government Cannot Fund Religious Indoctrination

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today warned Oklahoma corrections officials that a proposed “Christian” prison cannot be supported with public funds.

In a letter to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Americans United attorneys said the U.S. Constitution prohibits public aid for worship and religious instruction. Thus, public funds for Corrections Concepts’ Christian-themed prison would violate the First Amendment.

D.C. Council Should Not Cave In To Catholic Church’s Demands On Marriage Exemption, Says AU

Public Funds Should Not Subsidize Religious Discrimination By ‘Faith-Based’ Charities, Church-State Watchdog Group Asserts

The religion exemption in a proposed same-sex marriage bill adequately protects religious freedom, and the District of Columbia Council should not give in to demands from the Catholic Archdiocese that it be broadened, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In a Nov. 10 statement, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington threatened to drop contracts with the District government to provide social services, unless church programs are broadly exempted from civil rights provisions that will protect same-sex couples.

South Carolina's 'Christian' License Plate Violates Constitution, Court Rules

Americans United Says Decision Reminds Officials Of Their Duty To Uphold Separation Of Church And State

A federal district court ruled today that a special Christian license plate mandated by the South Carolina legislature violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie held that the plate, which was to feature a large yellow cross, a stained-glass window and the words “I Believe,” clearly gives favored government treatment to one faith. In a summary judgment ruling, she ordered state officials not to issue the plate.

AU Urges Senate Not To Broaden Religion Exemption In Anti-Bias Bill

Yielding To Religious Broadcasters’ Demands Would Undercut Anti-Discrimination Protections Of Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has urged the U.S. Senate not to broaden the religion exemption in a pending bill designed to end job bias against gays and lesbians.

The proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would allow churches and other non-profit religious institutions to refuse to hire gay applicants if the groups are currently allowed to discriminate on religious grounds under the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Election Results Suggest Religious Right Remains Force To Contend With, Says AU

Movement’s Allies Win Public Offices In Virginia And New Jersey, Roll Back Marriage Rights For Gays In Maine

Election results in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Maine serve as a reminder that the Religious Right remains an influential force in political life, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“I wish I could say the Religious Right is dead, but this election shows that reports of its demise are inaccurate,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “The pundits who announced the Religious Right’s demise in 2008 were simply wrong.

IRS Should Investigate Harrisburg Church For Intervening In Mayoral Election, Says AU

Bethel AME Church Hosted Speech By Democratic Candidate; Pastor Hailed Her As ‘The Next Mayor Of The City Of Harrisburg’

A church’s intervention in the Harrisburg, Pa., mayoral election should be investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

WITF, a radio station in Harrisburg, on Oct. 30 aired an audio clip of a service that took place at Bethel Village AME Church.

AU Urges IRS To Take Necessary Steps To Limit Partisan Activity By Churches

Church-State Watchdog Group Offers Comments On Tax Agency’s Proposed Regulations To Enforce ‘No Politicking’ Rule

Partisan electioneering by tax-exempt churches is a significant national problem so the Internal Revenue Service must have clear and effective policies in place to respond, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told the federal tax agency.

The IRS is soliciting comments for new rules governing the enforcement of provisions in federal tax law that bar churches and other tax-exempt religious organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.