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Picking Pence: Trump Veep Choice Has Cozy Relationship With The Religious Right

Donald Trump has announced that he plans to put Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on his ticket. This selection signals that Trump, a controversial real estate mogul and reality TV star, is continuing his aggressive courting of the Religious Right, in the hopes of achieving victory this fall.

Whether it will work remains to be seen. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind about Pence:

Unmighty Rohrer: Fundamentalist Can’t Understand Why Some Churches Don’t Want To Fight The ‘Culture War’

Every few days I can count on getting a press release from something called the American Pastors Network quoting a guy named Sam Rohrer. Rohrer is one of these far-right, fundamentalist characters who is always displeased about something.

Most often, Rohrer is unhappy because people aren’t doing what he thinks they ought to do. Take America’s pastors, for example. They aren’t beating on the gays enough.

Scathing Scalia: Judge, Law Scholar Criticize Supreme Court Justice’s Marriage Equality Rants

In an editorial for The New York Times, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner slammed a U.S. Supreme Court justice for his views on gay rights. Posner, who co-wrote the piece with Georgia State University law professor Eric Segall, argued that Antonin Scalia’s vehement opposition to gay rights is incompatible with the Constitution.

Pluck Of The Irish: Same-Sex Marriage Vote Shows Yearning For An End To Clerical Domination

A provocative headline from Reuters news service last week caught my eye. “Irish plunge stake through Catholic Church’s heart,” it read.

The headline is perhaps a bit hyperbolic. The column, by John Lloyd, co-founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, is a thoughtful analysis of how quickly the Catholic Church’s influence has fallen in Ireland – and why that has happened.

Beware Of Mormons Bearing Gifts: Why The LDS Gay Rights ‘Compromise’ Isn’t Useful

The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) made quite a splash last week when they announced they would support a law banning discrimination against LGBTQ people – with one condition.

Some analysts hailed the move. A few headlines writers even got a little carried away and asserted that the church had endorsed gay rights or forged a compromise that other conservative religious groups could use.

Taking Liberties: A New Book Explains Why The Religious Right’s View Of ‘Religious Freedom’ Is All Wrong

Pardon me for engaging in some blatant self-promotion, but I wanted to let members and friends of Americans United know that my new book, Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do, is being released today.

Two issues inspired me to write this book: the controversy over the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act and the spread of legal same-sex marriage in the states. 

Equal Education: N.C. Christian School Rejects Vouchers After Discrimination Fight

A North Carolina private school will refuse voucher money after a public outcry over its anti-gay policies. Myrtle Grove Christian School had been approved to receive funds through the state’s new “Opportunity Scholarship” program, but under its ‘Biblical morality policy,’ it refuses admission to LGBT students and even the straight children of LGBT parents.

Critics called it state-funded discrimination.

Equal Rights For Bullies: Religious Right Comes To The Defense Of ‘Faith-Based’ Harassment

If you’re the parent of young or teenaged kids, you’re probably concerned about bullying. It’s one of those unpleasant facts of life that just about everyone who has children must eventually confront.

Since children spend much of their time in school, those institutions are the focal point for anti-bullying efforts. Thankfully, the national conversation over this issue has become a lot more serious in recent years, and many schools have adopted anti-bullying policies.

Ward v. Polite

A graduate counseling student at Eastern Michigan University refused, as part of her required practicum, to counsel any University client who might require advice about a homosexual relationship or a relationship involving sexual activity outside of marriage. Although the student stated that her religious beliefs prohibited her from counseling patients on these topics, she was expelled by the University for refusing to fulfill program requirements.

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