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Priests For Life Vows Defiance After Losing Birth Control Case

A far-right Catholic anti-abortion group that lost its challenge of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate has vowed to defy the law.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, said he objects to the Obama administration’s compromise, which would require his religiously affiliated non-profit to simply fill out a form and then allow a third-party insurance company to provide birth control access for any of the organization’s employees who may want it. (Most of the group’s employees are not clergy.) Read more

Obama Administration Announces Birth Control Fix

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a new set of regulations designed to address religious objections to the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act. 

Under the new rules, closely held corporations and religious non-profit organizations may inform the government of their objection to the mandate via letter. Previously, objectors had been expected to sign and mail a form. Read more

A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let’s Move On.

Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision at a meeting of the American Political Science Association here in Washington, D.C. Read more

License To Discriminate?: Some Obama Allies Demand Religious-Based Exemption From Pending LGBT Order

As we continue to observe fallout in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, which curtails workers’ access to birth control, it seems an unexpected problem has emerged: Some allies of President Barack Obama want exemptions from laws, too. Read more

Birth Control Battle: The Right Wing’s Long-Running Attack On Contraceptives

American writer Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 novel An American Tragedy deals with the story of a socially ambitious young man who, dismayed because he has impregnated his working-class girlfriend, engineers her death.

The book was banned in some cities – but not because of its depiction of murder. Rather, conservative religious leaders feared that a plot hinging on an unwanted pregnancy would spur young people to get curious about birth control. Read more

Americans United Urges Court To Rule Against Non-Profits Seeking Exemptions From Contraception Mandate

Religious Charities Are Already Granted Generous Accommodations, Church-State Watchdog Says

Two religiously affiliated non-profits should not receive further exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s so-called contraception mandate, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed yesterday in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Americans United says that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville, N.Y., are not unfairly burdened by a requirement to certify their objection to the contraception mandate. Read more

Clarity in Kansas: Lawmaker Says State Senate Won’t Back Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples

In a rare moment of clarity, some Kansas lawmakers are reportedly hesitant to vote for a measure that would define “religious liberty” as a license to discriminate against same-sex couples.

The Kansas House of Representatives voted 72-49 last week in favor of a bill that would permit any individual, group or private business to turn away same-sex couples if providing a service would violate their religious beliefs. Read more

Thickening Pill Plot: Non-Profit Challenges To Birth Control Mandate See Mixed Results In Courts

The waning days of 2013 were a mixed bag for supporters of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, as courts took conflicting stances on whether or not religious non-profits must comply with the new requirement, which went into effect yesterday.   

Many observers are focused on the fate of secular, for-profit corporations, which claim that the mandate violates their religious liberty rights, a matter the U.S. Supreme Court will decide this year. Read more

A Little List: The Top Ten Church-State Stories Of 2013

It’s that time of year when people are compiling lists. So let’s look at the Top Ten Church-State Stories of 2013.

1. Greece, N.Y., prayer case argued before U.S. Supreme Court: An Americans United-sponsored lawsuit challenging legislative prayer in the city of Greece, N.Y., reached the Supreme Court. Read more

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