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A Little List: The Top Ten Church-State Stories Of 2013

It’s that time of year when people are compiling lists. So let’s look at the Top Ten Church-State Stories of 2013.

1. Greece, N.Y., prayer case argued before U.S. Supreme Court: An Americans United-sponsored lawsuit challenging legislative prayer in the city of Greece, N.Y., reached the Supreme Court. Read more

Marriage Malarkey: R.I. Man Loses ‘Faith-Based’ Lawsuit Against Same-Sex Unions

Starting tomorrow, same-sex couples in Rhode Island will be able to legally marry – despite the best efforts of a local Religious Right activist to stop them.

The Rhode Island legislature approved marriage equality earlier this year, and Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the measure into law. At the time, Chafee invoked the spirit of the state’s founder, iconic religious liberty pioneer Roger Williams. Read more

Mad Over Marriage: Religious Right Responds To Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

You could say that the American Family Association (AFA) isn’t pleased about today’s Supreme Court rulings on marriage equality.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), meaning that same-sex couples who are lawfully wed in states with marriage equality will have access to a range of federal benefits. This is a pretty big deal. Read more

High Noon At The High Court: Supreme Court Takes Up Marriage Equality

I was fortunate enough to snag a seat in the press gallery for the oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court this morning in the Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Prop. 8 was narrowly approved by California voters in 2008. It added a ban on same-sex marriage to the state constitution. Opponents are challenging it in court, asserting that it violates the rights of gays and lesbians who wish to marry. Read more

Marriage Mischief: Religious Right Lawyers Give States Bad Advice

Travel back in time with me for a moment. It’s 1956, and we’re in the Deep South. An interracial couple approaches the county clerk to apply for a marriage license. The clerk says, “Oh, no! Don’t you know that the Bible mandates separation of the races? I refuse to give you a license because it violates my religious beliefs.” Read more

The Marriage Equality Debate: We Need More Constitution And Less Leviticus

It’s almost Halloween, so I guess it’s not surprising that some of the rhetoric by opponents of marriage equality is getting very scary.

Consider this gem by Pastor Robert J. Anderson of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md. Speaking of gay people, Anderson said: “Those who practice such things are deserving of death.” Read more

Wedding Announcement: Obama Shift On Marriage Equality Reignites ‘Culture Wars’

By now, everyone knows that President Barack Obama said yesterday that he personally favors marriage equality. Obama said his views on the issue have evolved and told ABC News, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” 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

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