AU Backs Women’s March On Washington In Support Of Women And Threatened Communities

A day after Donald Trump is inaugurated president of the United States, at least 100,000 people are expected to rally together to remind his administration to respect the rights of women and other communities that felt threatened by hateful rhetoric during the past election cycle.

The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots event organized for Jan. 21 to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” according to the group’s mission statement. “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

Americans United agrees and that’s why we’ve signed on as a partner for this event.

AU has worked for a long time to prevent aggressive religious groups from controlling women’s lives, and we have long championed the right of women to engage in self-determination free from sectarian control.

In the 1950s and ‘60s, AU advocated for the right of women to access birth control and information about human sexuality without clerical interference. AU continues that fight today by representing women in court who don’t want their religious employers to have the power to restrict their contraceptive access.

Americans United participates in demonstrations relating to Donald Trump's incoming administration.

The Women’s March on Washington aims to bring together and advocate for a diverse group of people who could be affected by policies that have been promoted by Trump or potential members of his administration – from bans or registries of Muslims entering the country to legislation that could legalize discrimination against LGBTQ citizens.

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared,” organizers stated on the Women’s March’s website. “We join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore.”

Americans United believes all Americans should have the right to make their own decisions about religion. This includes the right to join a faith or reject them all, the right to wear religious garb and the right to practice your faith in ways that don’t harm others or take away their rights.

Members of AU plan to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, and we encourage those who can’t make it to the nation’s capital to attend one of the sister marches taking place around the country. If you’re coming to Washington and would like to march with AU, contact Bill Mefford, our faith outreach specialist, at field@au.org. Also, if you take photos, be sure to tag @AmericansUnited on social media.

The Women’s March will be just one of the Trump-related demonstrations AU members participate in this month. On Monday, AU Field Director Erin Taylor, Mefford and I joined the Moral Monday March. The coalition of interfaith and civil rights leaders marched to the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who will oversee the confirmation hearings that begin today for U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s nomination for attorney general.

We’ll continue to advocate for the importance of church-state separation and religious freedom as Trump’s administration and the new Congress move forward, and we hope you’ll do the same.