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Americans United Tells Phoenix Officials To End Use Of Anti-Prostitution Program Anchored In Religion

Phoenix Endorses Religion And Coerces Suspects To Participate In Sectarian Ministry, Church-State Watchdog Says

Government officials in Phoenix are violating the law by compelling individuals suspected of prostitution-related offenses to participate in a program administered by religious groups, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
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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

With Charity For Some?: Illinois Court Rejects Catholic Agency’s ‘Right’ To Discriminate With Public Funds

We’ve had a welcome slew of court victories for church-state separation as of late.

Most recently, a state court in Illinois has rejected a lawsuit brought by Catholic Charities. The Catholic agency wanted to continue receiving government contracts for adoption services but still discriminate by refusing to place children with couples in civil unions. Read more

Adoption Option: Ill. Agency Steps In To Help Kids After Bishop’s Departure

On June 1, a new law went into effect in Illinois that grants certain legal rights to same-sex couples. The state hasn’t adopted full marriage equality (yet), but civil unions are now recognized, meaning that same-sex couples enjoy many of the same rights are opposite-sex couples who are legally married. Read more

Licensed To Ill.?: Catholic Charities Wants To Get Public Funds And Still Discriminate

For the past couple of days, Illinois Catholic Charities has been causing quite a stir.

The publicly funded religious agency, which provides foster-care and adoption services, wants to be exempt from placing children with same-sex couples. As of June 1, Illinois grants same-sex couples the right to form civil unions and, therefore, the right to jointly adopt. Read more

Battling Bias: Interpreter Can’t Get Tax-Funded Job Because He’s The ‘Wrong’ Religion

For several years now, Americans United and other groups have spoken out against religious hiring bias in taxpayer-funded “faith-based” programs.

The issue to many people might seem like a legal abstraction. That’s why it’s helpful to occasionally have a human face put on the controversy.

Consider the case of Saad Mohammad Ali, a Washington state resident who volunteered for the evangelical Christian agency World Relief for six months. Read more

Funding Fuss: Church Drops Out Of D.C. Program Rather Than Abide By New Marriage Law

Today’s Washington Post reports that the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has stopped running its foster-care program to avoid having to license same-sex couples.

Back in November, the Archdiocese threatened to drop contracts with the D.C. government to provide social services if the D.C. Council approved a same-sex marriage bill. Thankfully, their threats did not faze the council, which approved the measure in December. Read more

Bishops' Bluff: D.C. Officials Should Reject Church Threat Over Tax Funding

When I picked up my Washington Post at the breakfast table this morning, the first thing I saw was a blaring headline reading, "Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum." All I could think was, "This ought to be good." Read more