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La. Governor’s Anti-LGBT Order Has Nothing To Do With ‘Religious Freedom,’ Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Asserts That Jindal’s Action Is A Misguided Political Ploy

Protecting the so-called “religious freedom” rights of anti-gay fundamentalists is not a justification for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order authorizing discrimination against LGBT persons, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.

Last night, Jindal signed Executive Order BJ 15-8, which purports to permit government employees, business owners and others to refuse service to LGBT persons if they do so on the basis of their religious beliefs.
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Unlucky Irish?: American Anti-Gay Groups Campaign Against Equality Referendum

On Friday, Irish voters will decide whether or not to amend their constitution to legalize same-sex marriage. If passed, the measure would add a single sentence to the Irish Constitution that reads, “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” Read more

Marriage Madness

A group of Texas lawmakers gathered in late February to celebrate what they considered to be an important milestone in their state’s history: 10 years since the passage of a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. Read more

'Restoring' Religious Freedom: The Story Of A Reasonable Law Put To Unreasonable Use

I’ve spent a lot of time lately talking with reporters and viewers who called in to a show on CSPAN about a piece of legislation known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). 

This federal statute has been around since 1993, but it suddenly appeared on the radar screens of journalists in late March thanks to efforts to pass statewide versions of it in Indiana and Arkansas. Read more

T-shirt Tangle: Ky. Court Rules ‘Christian’ Business Has ‘Religious Freedom’ Right To Discriminate Against Gays

The Fayette Circuit Court ruled this week that a Lexington, Ky.-based T-shirt printing company did not break the law when it refused to make shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO). 

GLSO had intended to use the shirts in the city’s 2012 Pride Festival, and filed a complaint against the company with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Human Rights Commission. The Commission ruled in GLSO’s favor, but Monday’s decision overturns that ruling. Read more

False Freedoms: Legislators Propose ‘Fixes’ To Discriminatory Bills

Legislators in Indiana have proposed a fix to their controversial “religious freedom” bill (RFRA), and it’s certainly a step forward for LGBT rights. The amendment, which still awaits approval from Governor Mike Pence, would prevent small businesses from using the RFRA to discriminate in many ways. Read more

Wash. Florist Refuses Settlement In Anti-Gay Bias Lawsuit

A Washington state florist who was found guilty of discrimination over her refusal to provide flowers for the wedding of a same-sex couple has rejected a settlement offer because it included a requirement that she not engage in similar discrimination in the future. Read more

AU Files Brief In Colo. Discrimination Case

Americans United has filed a legal brief urging the Colorado Court of Appeals to uphold a Lakewood, Colo., ordinance that prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination.

Jack Phillips, a fundamentalist Christian who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop, is challenging the ordinance. In 2013, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission found that Phillips had violated Lakewood’s law by refusing to make a cake for the wedding of a same-sex couple. He appealed that ruling, arguing that it violated both his religious liberty and his freedom of expression.         Read more

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