LGBTQ Equality

Proud to be at Pride: Festival attendees understand that church-state separation is the glue that binds so many of our rights together

  Rob Boston

Americans United staff members and volunteers spent time yesterday tabling at the Capital Pride Festival in Washington, D.C. I was happy to be among them.

The weather was beautiful, and it was fabulous to see thousands of people being their authentic selves in an atmosphere of support and love.

Attendees flocked to AU’s booth. We signed up hundreds of new supporters and distributed a ton of Americans United material and swag. This crowd gets why Americans United is so vital.

‘The most important booth here’

During the three hours I was there, I had many interesting conversations with attendees, and I enjoyed getting a photo with drag queen Tara Hoot. One excited visitor even told me, “I think this is the most important booth here!” Another conversation really stood out for me, though. A young man surveyed our materials and said to me, “This issue is what really ties it all together, isn’t it?”

I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear him say that. AU has been spreading that message for years now: Church-state separation is the common thread that runs through so many issues Americans care about.

Consider issues like LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive freedom, the right to read and learn, effective public education that serves everyone, the right to worship (or not) as you see fit and the right to live free from discrimination.

All these issues share a foe in common: Christian Nationalism. And they have a champion in common: church-state separation.

How to stop extremists

Call them what you will – the Religious Right, Christian Nationalists, religious extremists, theocrats, etc. – there’s no denying that a powerful movement of zealots who don’t support true religious freedom seeks to use the raw power of the government to force us to live under narrow theological rules that they have been unable to persuade us to voluntarily adopt.

We know what can stop them: separation of church and state. Yes, that principle has taken a bit of a battering from the Supreme Court lately, but it’s too ingrained in the American experience – we invented it, after all! – and too vital to our success as a nation to lie dormant for long. We can’t be American without it.

That’s why our nation needs a national recommitment to this great principle of separation of church and state – and why Americans United will proudly lead the way.

Happy Pride!

 

Congress needs to hear from you!

Urge your legislators to co-sponsor the Do No Harm Act today.

The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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