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Liz Hayes
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Colorado Parolee Tells Federal Appeals Court That He Shouldn’t Have Been Jailed For Refusing To Attend Worship Services

“Mark Janny’s parole officer teamed up with shelter administrators to coerce Mark into practicing a faith that is not his own. And when Mark refused to submit to this proselytization, his parole officer retaliated by throwing Mark back in jail. Not only did these actions violate Mark’s religious freedom, but they also represent an alarming example of authority figures taking advantage of a vulnerable man," said Alex Luchenitser, AU's associate legal director.

Supreme Court Protects Religious Freedom, Public Health By Allowing California Order To Stand

“The Supreme Court’s order allows Governor Newsom to protect the health and religious freedom of the people of California. Governor Newsom’s public health order, which applies to both religious and secular gatherings, does not violate religious freedom; it advances it by ensuring that the government is not favoring some people’s religious practices in a way that endangers other people’s lives," said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United.

Americans United Welcomes Dr. Sabrina Dent as Senior Faith Adviser

“For nearly 75 years, Americans United has consistently shown up in the public square ready to protect America’s constitutional guarantee of church-state separation that ensures religious freedom for all of us,” said Dr. Dent. “For me, this is especially important when we recall the dark and complicated history of a nation that has often overlooked the human rights of racial and religious minorities. I am excited to build relationships with AU’s longtime friends and to develop new interfaith partnerships in support of advocating for social justice, human dignity and freedom for all.”

Americans United Hails Federal Court Decision on California Public Health Order That Limits Both Religious & Secular Gatherings

“Gov. Newsom’s public health order does not violate religious freedom; it ensures that the government is not favoring some people’s religious practices in a way that endangers other people’s lives," said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United. “As we’ve already seen in California and across the country, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate between religious and secular gatherings – it spreads easily at both, putting the health of entire communities at risk."

Religious Services Shouldn’t Be Excluded From Bans On Large Gatherings To Protect Public Health From Coronavirus

'When health experts and public officials determine that large gatherings must be cancelled for the public good, we must follow their lead and apply these guidelines to secular and religious gatherings equally. The Constitution not only permits it, but demands it," said AU President and CEO Rachel Laser. "Such restrictions do not violate religious freedom; they ensure religious freedom is not misused in ways that risk people’s lives."

California’s Public Health Order Temporarily Banning Large Gatherings Does Not Require Religious Exemption

“As we’ve already seen in California and across the country, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate between religious and secular gatherings – it spreads easily at both, putting the health of entire communities at risk,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United. "We sympathize with people of faith who find solace in religious services during such challenging times and applaud the faith communities that are finding creative new ways to worship together remotely. We will get through this crisis together, even if not in person.” 

Kentucky’s Public Health Order Temporarily Banning Large Gatherings Does Not Require Religious Exemption

“As we’ve already seen in Kentucky and across the country, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate between religious and secular gatherings – it spreads easily at both, putting the health of entire communities at risk,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United. “Gov. Beshear’s public health order does not violate religious freedom; it ensures religious freedom is not misused to risk people’s lives."


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