Religious freedom laws should be a shield to protect religious freedom, not a sword used to harm others. But this year, as in past sessions, legislators continue to introduce so-called religious freedom bills that would allow taxpayer-funded social service providers, individuals and businesses to use religion to discriminate and deny people their rights.
Earlier this week, we promised to highlight a few issues where we expect to see the biggest fights in state legislatures this year. Just as in years past, we know we will fight bills dealing with religion in public schools.
Yesterday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it is changing longstanding policy in order to allow the government to use taxpayer money to rebuild houses of worship damaged in disasters. This is a change that should concern us all.
Americans United on Nov. 22 was joined by 13 religious and civil-rights organizations in urging a federal appeals court to affirm that a towering cross in a Florida public park is unconstitutional.
An anti-science bill filed in the Florida legislature concerns critics, who say it is designed to open the door to creationism in public schools.
The bill, House Bill 825, if implemented as is, would require “[c]ontroversial theories and concepts ... [to] be taught in a factual, objective, and balanced manner,” in public schools.
The religious liberty provisions of the First Amendment protect everybody’s religious freedom. That means that private individuals and organizations can promote religion, but they can’t force government to do so. That’s what Americans United and our allied organizations explained in a friend-of-the-court brief we that filed yesterday in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today is #GivingTuesday, an international day of philanthropy that kicks off the charitable season. Thanks to generous gifts from our supporters on #GivingTuesday and throughout the year, Americans United has been able to continue to fight against attacks on religious freedom.