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Liz Hayes
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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."

Americans United Denounces Federal Court Decision on Kansas Public Health Order That Limited Both Religious & Secular Gatherings

“Gov. Kelly’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 Kansas 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."

Virginia’s Ban Against Large Gatherings Protects Public Health, Does Not Require Religious Exemption

“We appreciate that these public health orders are difficult for everyone, including people of faith who find comfort in religious services during such challenging times,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United. “But COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate between religious and secular gatherings – it can sicken people just as easily at both, putting entire communities in danger. Gov. Northam’s public health order does not violate religious freedom; it ensures religious freedom is not misused to risk people’s lives."

Texas County’s Mass-Gathering Ban Protects Public Health, Does Not Require Religious Exemption

“We appreciate the difficulty that these public health orders pose for all of us, including those who find solace in religious services during such challenging times,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United. “But this virus doesn’t discriminate – it endangers people whether they gather for religious or secular purposes, and it puts entire communities at risk."


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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