Court Blocks Voucher Plan That Would Fund Religious Schools In Colo.

Americans United, ACLU Challenged Scheme That Used Taxpayer Funds To Pay Religious School Tuition

A district court ruled today that a voucher plan adopted by the Douglas County School District violates the Colorado Constitution by diverting taxpayer money to pay students’ tuition at religious and other private schools.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU of Colorado and the national ACLU challenged the program on behalf of a group of parents, clergy and other taxpayers. Read more

AU Urges Supreme Court To Deny Religious Groups An Overly Broad Right To Discriminate

Church-State Watchdog Calls For A Narrow Interpretation Of ‘Ministerial Exemption’

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Supreme Court not to grant religious groups a sweeping right to ignore anti-discrimination laws.

AU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a case pending before the justices called Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The case deals with a Michigan religious school that fired a teacher because of a medical condition.
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AU Criticizes Perry Prayer Rally For Exclusionary Theology And Ties To Extreme Groups

Governor’s Sponsorship Of Evangelistic Event Transgresses Church-State Boundary, Says AU’s Lynn

A coalition of religious and community leaders has criticized Gov. Rick Perry’s sponsorship of a fundamentalist Christian prayer rally.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, joined the outcry against the Aug. 6 Perry event in Houston. Lynn reprimanded Perry for meddling in religion and failing to recognize America’s wide spiritual diversity.
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AU Hails Federal Appellate Court Ruling Against Sectarian Prayers At NC County Board Meetings

Governmental Favoritism In Religious Matters Violates Church-State Separation, Citizens’ Rights, Court Holds

A federal appellate court has struck down a North Carolina county’s policy of opening board meetings with sectarian prayers.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled 2-1 that the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ preference for Christian prayers violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Americans United hailed the court’s ruling. Read more

AU And Texas ACLU Sponsor Alternative Event To Gov. Perry’s Christians-Only Rally

‘Family, Faith And Freedom’ Celebration Will Unite Community Around Diversity And Religious Liberty For All

In a celebration of diversity, inclusion and unity, the ACLU of Texas and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are sponsoring an evening call to action for the public good and a reaffirmation of the vital importance of the separation of religion and government. On Friday, Aug. 5 – the day before Gov. Rick Perry’s “Christians-only” prayer rally – the two civil liberties groups and their allies will host a “Family, Faith and Freedom” event.

AU Urges Texas State School Board To Adopt Sound Science Materials

State Board of Education Should Not Include Creationist Concepts, Watchdog Group Says

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) to approve sound science materials and keep religious concepts out of public school biology classes.

The 15-member elected board convenes today and Friday for a public hearing and to debate and vote on instructional materials for science courses.
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Americans United, Allied Groups Oppose Taxpayer Funding of Religious Schools In Washington, D.C.

At A Time Of Budget Cuts, Congress Should Not Divert Millions To Ineffective Private School Voucher Program, Coalition Says

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has joined 52 educational, religious and public policy groups in calling on Congress not to divert taxpayer dollars to religious and other private schools in the District of Columbia.

Americans United and other organizations in the National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE) wrote to each member of the House of Representatives to express their opposition to an appropriations bill provision that funds a school voucher program in Washington, D.C. Read more

Indiana City’s $1.2 Million Gift to Religious School Violates Constitution

Americans United Urges South Bend Common Council To Reconsider Plan To Donate Property To St. Joseph’s High School

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today warned the South Bend (Ind.) Common Council that its plan to use public funds to support a religious school is unconstitutional.

The council has approved the purchase of property valued at $1.2 million that it will donate to St. Joseph’s High School. The Catholic high school will use the new building for religious education and sectarian activities. Read more

AU Urges IRS To Investigate El Paso Ministry For Mayoral Recall Campaign

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Federal Tax Law Prohibits Political Activities By Religious Organizations

A ministry based in El Paso, Texas, should be investigated for organizing a recall campaign against the city’s mayor and two council members, Americans United for Separation of Church and State told the Internal Revenue Service today.

In a letter to the IRS, Americans United asserts that Tom Brown Ministries appears to have run afoul of federal tax law, which prohibits houses of worship, ministries and other 501(c)(3) non-profit groups from endorsing or opposing candidates. Read more