In law as in Shakespeare, what’s past is often prologue.
Arkansas “patriot” Jan Morgan announced to the world two years ago that her gun range would no longer serve Muslim customers. At the time, I noted that her actions violated public accommodation law and that she would lose an inevitable lawsuit; that did not deter Morgan, and it did not deter a number of other gun-range owners from implementing the same policy. Read more
Bans on same-sex marriage are now relics of the past. But for LGBT activists, the broader fight for civil rights isn’t over yet. In municipalities across the country groups and campaigners affiliated with the Religious Right have re-focused their energies on a new target: anti-discrimination measures.
“They’re grasping at straws to make people afraid that adding LGBT protections will hurt them,” Rose Saxe, a senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and HIV Project, told Church & State. Read more
A proposed change to the Los Angeles County, Calif., seal that would incorporate a religious symbol has led to a war of words between a county official and a newspaper’s editorial board.
The Los Angeles County seal has long contained a variety of symbols, including a representation of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, a Catholic mission founded in the 18th century. Read more
On Oct. 22, Texas health investigators raided Planned Parenthood clinics across the state. Representatives of the Texas Office of the Inspector General demanded patient and billing records from clinics in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio and gave them 24 hours to comply.
Advocates for women’s health swiftly condemned the raids. Read more
A Kentucky county courthouse may become the scene of a new First Amendment battle.
The Breathitt County Courthouse has displayed a charcoal sketch of Jesus since 1981, and Judge-Executive John Lester Smith says it’s not coming down – despite a recent letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
A six-foot-tall granite monument of the Ten Commandments no longer stands at the Oklahoma State Capitol after workers removed it Oct. 5.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in June that the monument’s presence on Capitol grounds violates the state constitution, which prohibits the government from endorsing religion. The tablets were moved to private property owned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative group. Read more
Three civil liberties organizations, including Americans United, recently filed suit in a Nevada court to challenge a school voucher program signed into law in June by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United sued Aug. 27 on behalf of a group of parents, clergy and others who oppose the program’s effort to divert taxpayer money to private, religious schools. Read more
Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Calif., agreed to perform a tubal ligation after the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California threatened a lawsuit. Rachel Miller sought to have the procedure performed after undergoing a cesarean section at the facility. Read more