The Florida House of Representatives may soon deliberate a bill to make abortion a felony in the state. HB 865, or the “Florida for Life Act,” would make it a first-degree felony to perform an abortion or operate an abortion clinic in the state. Violations could be punished by up to 30 years in prison. Read more
As state legislatures gather across the country to start their 2016 legislative sessions, Americans United’s Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN) project is gearing up to monitor and fight legislation that would allow individuals, businesses and government employees to harm others in the name of religion. Read more
Mark your calendars! Rob Boston, AU’s director of communications, will be speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Naples, Florida! The topic will be “Are We a Christian Nation?”
DATE: Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
ADDRESS: 6340 Napa Woods Way, Naples, FL
A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. start of the main program. A Q&A will follow. Read more
Organizers of a Brownsville, Fla., gospel concert rejected a taxpayer-funded tourism grant after Americans United raised concerns about its legality.
The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners had originally voted to give $30,000 to the “It’s Personal” venue for hosting the Aug. 7 concert; the venue is affiliated with Friendship Baptist Church, and concert organizers said the event was to be held in collaboration with the house of worship. The brother of Friendship Baptist’s pastor, the Rev. LuTimothy May, also sits on the board of county commissioners. Read more
Legislators in Arkansas voted earlier this year to erect the Ten Commandments at the state capitol in Little Rock. This would seem to be a clear example of government showing favoritism to a religious code. But for now, other faiths shouldn’t assume they’ll get the same treatment. Read more
A Florida pastor thinks he has the solution to reducing theft in the United States, and it has nothing to do with law enforcement.
As far as the Rev. Garry Wiggins of Evangel Temple Assembly of God in Jacksonville is concerned, school-age children are being prevented from learning basic morals – including that theft is wrong – because of the pesky constitutional principle of church-state separation. Read more
The Brevard County, Fla., Board of County Commissioners’ policy of excluding nontheists from offering pre-meeting invocations is unconstitutional, several civil liberties groups say in a federal lawsuit.
Susan Hemeryck, the self-described “Catholic warrior” who vandalized a display by the Satanic Temple in the state capitol rotunda in Tallahassee, Fla., will not be prosecuted even though she confessed to the crime.
In March, Florida prosecutors announced that all charges against Hemeryck were being dropped, despite the fact that she admitted to police officers that she attacked the display because she considered it offensive, and she was captured on surveillance video attempting to carry it off. Read more
A coalition of religious leaders and public school administrators should be permitted to challenge a Florida program that violates the state constitution by offering tax credits to patrons of private, mostly sectarian schools, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says. Read more
Susan Hemeryck strolled into the rotunda of the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee Dec. 23 with a specific goal in mind: to destroy a religious display she didn’t like.
The target of Hemeryck’s wrath was a diorama erected by the Satanic Temple. The humanistic group, backed with legal firepower from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sought and won permission to display at the rotunda a depiction of an angel falling into a pit of fire. Read more