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Stick A Fork In It?: Polls Demonstrate Growing Support For Marriage Equality And Against Discrimination

Public support for same-sex marriage continues to climb, and bills that would grant business owners the right to discriminate against LGBT clients are very unpopular,  according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
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The Demographics Of Discrimination: ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills Continue To Lose Popular Support

The Religious Right continues to push for a religion-based freedom to discriminate in state after state, but there are signs they’re losing the battle.

Arizona’s infamous ‘religious freedom’ bill, which would grant religious business owners the right to refuse service to LGBT people (or others they deem unsuitable), is quickly losing what little public support it enjoyed. Members of the business community say the bill, which is currently awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature, would actually hurt business.
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Raising Cain In Arizona: Grand Canyon State Considers Legalizing Discrimination Under The Guise Of ‘Religious Liberty’

You might have read over the weekend about a law passed by the Arizona legislature that would allow the owners of stores and secular businesses to refuse to serve certain customers if they deem that doing so would offend their religious beliefs.

The measure, SB 1062, is getting quite a lot of attention. All eyes are on Gov. Jan Brewer, who hasn’t yet said if she’ll sign the bill into law. Brewer has indicated that she’ll act this week. Read more

Prayer Push: Clergy Demand Sectarian Invocations Before Government Meetings Despite Legal Risks

Pastor Tom Douglass of Galloway Township, N.J., is no fan of generic prayers before public meetings. That’s why he’s asking city officials to “muscle up” for future invocations.

Back in February, the council unanimously approved a resolution to allow council members to open meetings with an approved, generic prayer. But some local clergy protested this less sectarian approach, and asked that the council return to its old policy of letting clergy deliver prayers to open meetings, according to the Press of Atlantic City. Read more

Teaching About Religion In Public Schools: Let’s Do It Right

The claim that public schools are “religion-free” zones is a Religious Right myth that has no basis in reality.

Public schools can (and do) teach about religion. Teachers discuss its role in world and U.S. history. They talk about biblical allusions found in great works of literature. They lecture on how religion has influenced art and music.

The approach must be objective and tied to legitimate educational objectives. Proselytism or elevating one faith over others has no place in the classroom. Read more

Access Denied: Supreme Court Slams The Courthouse Door In The Face Of Church-State Litigants

Thanks to yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, it will now be a lot easier for the government to fund religion.

The high court, in a 5-4 decision in Arizona Christian Tuition Organization v. Winn, ruled that taxpayers have no right to challenge tax credits, exemptions or deductions that support religious organizations. Read more

Tax Credit Tangle: Supreme Court Considers Legality Of Ariz. Religious School Aid

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning in an important case dealing with government aid to religion.

Two issues are at stake in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. The high court will decide whether an Arizona program that gives taxpayers a 100 percent credit for money they donate to private organizations that provide private school vouchers is constitutional.

The justices will also determine whether taxpayers have the right to challenge the program – a legal doctrine known as “standing.” Read more

Cross Purposes: Battle Over Religious Symbol Ends Happily In Arizona Town

On Monday, "The Wall of Separation" explored a flap over a cross being displayed at a government building in Camp Verde, Ariz., a small city of about 10,000 in the central part of the state.

As Sandhya Bathija noted, the town council was due to deliberate the matter; she expressed hope that its members would make the right decision.

Today I'm happy to report that they did. Read more

Camp Controversy: Arizona Town Debates Display Of Cross

Here at Americans United, we always know that the fight to preserve church-state separation is never easy.

That's why we aren't surprised by what's going on in Camp Verde, Ariz., where many citizens are making quite a stir because a cross was removed from a government building. Read more