Yesterday Americans United launched Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN), our new project designed to respond to claims that “religious freedom” gives people a right to discriminate against others and take away their rights.
It is well known that the Religious Right has a habit of distorting reality. But a former member of Congress took that to a new level recently when he incorrectly assumed that his local Walmart (of all places) was overrun by Sharia law.
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.
American Muslims visiting the office of Texas state Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) were asked to confirm their loyalty to the United States by staffers, according to The Texas Tribune.
White, who was not present in her office for Texas Muslim Capitol Day, an annual citizen lobbying event, left an Israeli flag on her desk along with instructions for Muslim visitors to publicly renounce terrorism and announce their respect for American law.
House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) condemned White’s actions in a statement.
The state of Texas cannot broadly censor the messages on specialty license plates, Americans United for Separation of Church and State argued in a brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
As federal courts tell more and more states that they must allow same-sex marriage, it seems one of the few remaining holdouts is bracing for the inevitable. Texas, which hates to be messed with and loves to hate “non-traditional” marriage, has come up with a bill that would punish state clerks who issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
An Americans United chapter leader recently gave the first-ever secular invocation before a meeting of the El Paso, Texas, City Council.
David Marcus, president of AU’s El Paso Chapter, offered a message of inclusion before the board’s Dec. 2 meeting.
“We come together today in a spirit of cooperation and compromise,” he said, noting that the border city of more than 670,000 people is made up of residents with different beliefs and that each individual’s feelings are deeply important.
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things about God and religion before they can be elected.
These provisions can’t be enforced. They were declared invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1961 ruling in the case of Torcaso v. Watkins. Yet they linger on, a testament to the bigotry of bygone days.
A watchdog group said recently that the Texas State Board of Education has rejected some of the most problematic proposed changes to the state’s public school social studies textbooks, but attempts to force religious ideas into the curriculum remain a serious threat.