Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement today of plans to rescind the Trump-DeVos Department of Education rule that forces universities to sponsor and financially support religious student groups that discriminate:
“We applaud the Biden administration for affirming that discrimination has no place in our public colleges and universities. Rescinding the harmful Trump rule means students won’t be forced to subsidize clubs that discriminate against them. It also means colleges won’t be forced to choose between protecting students and losing federal funding, or allowing discrimination against students in order to keep federal financial assistance.
“Americans United has worked tirelessly to end this and other Trump-administration policies that sought to undermine church-state separation and transform religious freedom from a shield that protects people into a sword to harm others. We’re pleased that the Biden administration has proposed to roll back many harmful Trump regulations that deal with birth control access, denial of medical care, and religious freedom protections for people who rely on government-funded services. While there is more work to be done, these are important steps on the path toward a country that promises the freedom and equality that come with church-state separation.”
Americans United-American Atheists Lawsuit Challenging Trump Rule
Secular Student Alliance v. U.S. Department of Education, a lawsuit filed by Americans United and American Atheists to challenge the Trump-era rule on behalf of the Secular Student Alliance and a California university student, has been on hold while the Biden administration reconsiders the rule. More information about the lawsuit is available here.
Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.
Associate Vice President of Communications