Yesterday was the one-month anniversary of the shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people. This has been a difficult month for the LGBT community, yet on the anniversary, House Republicans held a hearing on a bill aimed at allowing discrimination against same-sex couples and their families in the name of “religious freedom.”
I spent several hours yesterday morning hanging around outside the Supreme Court. It was a very lively scene.
Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it’s not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn’t be overlooked. Our country is in the middle of a campaign, spearheaded by far-right religious groups and their political allies, to redefine religious freedom. We cannot allow this to happen.
The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1978 rightfully declared this provision unconstitutional.
In the United States, pretty much all adults, with very few exceptions, have the right to run for public office. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If democracy means anything, it means the right to choose our own leaders. Disqualifying people from the ballot because of their race, gender or religious beliefs is un-American.
There is a thing called Godwin’s Law on the internet. It holds that if an online argument goes on long enough, someone will drag in a reference to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. At that point, that person has lost.
Today I’d like to propose a corollary to Godwin’s Law: Anyone who compares a non-racist organization to the Ku Klux Klan has lost as well.
This week, Americans United launched a new initiative, Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN), which is intended to stop religious zealots from using “religious freedom” as an excuse to discriminate against others. Unsurprisingly, those who are intent on discriminating against LGBT persons and others were none too happy about AU’s announcement.
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins took to one of FRC’s many publications to denounce AU’s work as evidence of Christian “persecution.”
For the past few years, Americans United has been sparring on and off with a former Navy chaplain named Gordon James Klingenschmitt.
Klingenschmitt first came to our attention when he insisted that he had a right to pray in Jesus’ name at official events, even though his superiors had urged him to use more inclusive invocations.
I spent a frantic morning at the U.S. Supreme Court, where Americans United’s challenge to government-sponsored sectarian prayer, Town of Greece v. Galloway, was argued.
I wasn’t inside the court for the argument, but AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan and several other AU staff members were. They reported a spirited session, with both sides being peppered with questions from the justices.