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The Supreme Court Took Three Important Actions Today. Here’s What They Mean For Church-State Separation.

The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.

Here’s a rundown on what happened:

Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.

Supreme Court Should Use Masterpiece Cakeshop To Assert That Religious Freedom Is Not The Right To Discriminate

Americans United: Colo. Baker Has No Constitutional Right To Deny Services To LGBTQ People

The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it will hear an appeal in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case of a Colorado baker who claimed his religious beliefs justified his refusal to serve same-sex couples.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the high court should use the case to make it clear that religious-freedom claims don’t override antidiscrimination laws.

A Broad Ruling In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer Could Pave The Way For Private School Voucher Programs

Nearly 20 years ago, Betsy DeVos and her husband were the primary funders of an effort to strip the Michigan Constitution’s no-aid clause – the provision that ensures the government doesn’t funnel taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, including private religious schools. Their goal: remove the constitutional barrier to implementation of a private school voucher program.

The Women’s March On Washington Made History, And Americans United Was There!

Editor’s Note: Several Americans United staff members attended the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday. AU was an official partner of the D.C. event, and AU chapters also took part in the sister marches that took place all over the country. Today we’re pleased to present some reflections on this important event.

Most Small Business Owners In Colo. Oppose Laws That Use Religion To Trump LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections, New Poll Shows

In this tense political climate, bad news sometimes overshadows the good news, and today’s news is good. 
 
A new opinion poll released yesterday by the Small Business Majority reveals that “65% of Colorado small business owners believe business owners should not be allowed to deny services to LGBT individuals based on the owner’s religious beliefs.”
 

Polygamous Mormons Lose Round In Food Stamp Fraud Case

In all of the reaction over the election, it’s easy to overlook other stories of interest, some of which are actually good news.

Consider this one: A federal judge has ruled that there’s likely no “religious freedom” right to defraud a federal program designed to help low-income families avoid hunger.

Colo. Graphic Artist Sues Over Marriage Equality

A Colorado graphic designer filed a federal lawsuit Sept. 20 challenging Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws that would prevent her from refusing to serve same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs – even though no same-sex couples have tried to hire her.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing Lorie Smith and her studio, 303 Creative, against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Aubrey Elenis, director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

If At First You Don’t Succeed?: Pro-Voucher Group Attempts To Circumvent Colorado Supreme Court

Yesterday Americans United asked a federal court in Colorado to dismiss an attempt by a pro-voucher group to circumvent the Colorado Supreme Court by filing a case in federal court. The plaintiffs are a group of Douglas County parents who argue that the district’s voucher plan, which applies only to secular schools, as mandated by the Colorado Supreme Court, violates the U.S. Constitution. But if you are thinking that this isn’t our first time addressing this issue in Colorado, you are right.    

The Great Pokémon Freak-Out: Gotta Catch ‘Em All – And End Up In Hell!

Last night after dinner my 18-year-old son grabbed his smartphone and announced that he was going outside to capture Jigglypuff.

I rolled my eyes. “Pokémon Go, right?”

“Yep.”

As Paul went out the door I had to laugh internally because even though I really don’t understand how this new “augmented reality” app works (and don’t really care to), I remember something he does not: The great Religious Right Pokémon freak-out!

AU And Allied Groups Challenge New Voucher Scheme In Colorado

Americans United and allied groups have blocked an attempt to reinstitute a voucher plan in Douglas County, Colo.

In June 2015, Americans United and other groups successfully challenged the Douglas County School District’s so-called “Choice Scholarship Pilot Program” when the Colorado Sup­reme Court ruled that the ploy violated the Colorado Constitution because it improperly diverted public funds to private, religious schools.

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