Brownback Order Infringes On Personal Freedom And Fosters Discrimination, Says Americans United

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback today issued executive order 15-05, which purports to prohibit the state from discriminating against religious organizations that hold “the belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” What the order really does is sanction government-funded discrimination, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
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Americans United Announces New Project To Counter Bogus ‘Religious Freedom’ Claims

‘Protect Thy Neighbor’ Will Focus On Lobbying, Litigating And Boosting Public Awareness

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today unveiled an aggressive, multi-pronged initiative to fight the growing idea that “religious freedom” gives people a right to thwart marriage equality for LGBT Americans, deny women access to reproductive care and use taxpayer dollars to discriminate.

AU’s new “Protect Thy Neighbor” project pushes back against efforts to transform religious freedom into a cudgel to harm others – an effort that’s quickly gaining steam in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent marriage-equality ruling.
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Federal Court Confirms That All Alabama Counties Must Permit Marriage Equality

U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade today issued an order confirming that her injunction directing all Alabama probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is now in effect and requires immediate compliance.

A violation of Judge Granade’s order could result in a county probate judge being held liable for contempt of court, attorneys’ fees, financial penalties and any other remedies the court deems proper. Read more

Alabama Probate Judges Must Immediately Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Alabama Supreme Court Order Does Not Allow Judges To Refuse Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples, Civil Liberties Groups Say

Alabama’s probate judges are under an immediate obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified same-sex couples, say the four civil-rights organizations that are representing same-sex couples in the state.

Pursuant to a May 21 order by Judge Callie V.S Granade in Strawser v. Strange, probate judges became obligated to obey the U.S. Constitution and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the date that “the Supreme Court issues its ruling”  in Obergefell v. Hodges. The ruling in Obergefell was issued on June 26, so Judge Granade’s injunction is now in effect. Read more

ACLU, Americans United Applaud Colorado Supreme Court Decision Striking Down Voucher Program Funding Religious Schools

Douglas County ‘Scholarship’ Scheme Is Unconstitutional, Civil Liberties Groups Say

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado applaud a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that struck down a Douglas County school voucher program that had allowed taxpayer dollars to flow directly to religious schools.
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Supreme Court Decision On Marriage Equality Will Spur New Round Of ‘Religious Freedom’ Battles, Americans United Says

Religious Right Groups Will Seek To Undermine Historic Ruling, Asserts Church-State Watchdog

Americans United for Separation of Church and State welcomes today’s Supreme Court ruling extending marriage equality nationwide but cautions that it will spark a sharp backlash from the Religious Right.

The high court ruled 5-4 that it is unconstitutional for states to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. States will also be required to recognize all legal marriage licenses issued by other states, including those given to gay couples. Read more

U.S. Air Force Must Not Use Sectarian Ceremony At Official Events, Americans United Says

Flag-Folding Ritual Contains Religious Symbolism, Church-State Watchdog Asserts In Letter

The U.S. Air Force must not permit a religious flag-folding ceremony to take place at official events, Americans United for Separation of Church and State told officials in a letter today.

The June 12 issue of Commander’s Call Topics, a publication emailed to high-ranking Air Force personnel, contains a section on flag-folding ceremonies. One such ceremony described in the publication has religious symbolism associated with many of the folds. Read more

Supreme Court Made The Wrong Call In Texas License Plate Case, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Decision Will Adversely Affect Religious Minorities And Non-Believers

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today that Texas is permitted to broadly control the messages on specialty license plates is disappointing, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Texas has a license plate program that allows private organizations to design specialty plates, subject to state approval. State officials refused to issue members of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans a plate depicting the Confederate flag on the ground that “many members of the general public find [it] offensive.” Read more

North Carolina Legislators Will Regret The Day They Voted For Religion-Based Discrimination, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Vote On Same-Sex Marriage Refusals Likely To Spark Costly Litigation

The North Carolina House of Representatives today voted to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto and approve a bill that gives state magistrates the right to refuse service to same-sex couples and others. It’s a move the state will end up paying for in court, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“By enshrining discrimination into law, North Carolina’s lawmakers just signed a full-employment act for civil liberties lawyers,” said the Rev. Barry W, Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Unfortunately, the state’s taxpayers will be stuck with the tab.” Read more