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AU Executive Director Barry Lynn: Ask Me Anything!

Tomorrow at 1 p.m., Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn will participate in an “Ask Me Anything” session on the social news site Reddit. This is your chance to pick Barry’s brain about the state of religious freedom and church-state separation in America. Barry will be retiring at the end of the year after 25 years with Americans United – so this is a great opportunity to ask him about the battles he’s fought and those he sees on AU’s horizon.

Trump's Executive Order Continues The Assault On Religious Freedom

Yesterday, during his National Day of Prayer ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump continued his assault on religious freedom by signing an executive order. In a speech that reads more like a fake viral email than a presidential address, Donald Trump substituted showmanship for sincerity: While claiming to protect religious liberty, he trampled it.

The National Day Of Prayer Task Force Promotes Bad History And Divisiveness

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer (NDP), an annual event that is, to speak frankly, annoying to many of us who support the separation of church and state.

The Religious Right Remains Fascinated With Russian Totalitarianism

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a Religious Right group founded to oppose marriage equality. The Supreme Court upheld that concept in 2015, so NOM has closed up shop, right?

Well, no. Since that defeat, NOM has kept busy doing other things – like trying to make the United States more like Russia.

Equality Act: Equality The Right Way

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) today introduced the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. It builds on our nation’s tradition of expanding civil-rights protections to ensure that more of our neighbors are protected from discrimination based on who they are.

N.C. Approves Changes To Controversial ‘Bathroom Bill’

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has signed what’s being considered a compromise bill to roll back the anti-transgender HB2 “bathroom bill” that sparked controversy nationwide.

The new bill passed the state Senate 32-16 and the House 70-48, and was signed by Cooper on March 30. The compromise, which Cooper said was “the best deal that we could get,” disappointed many pro-LGBTQ rights groups because it does not completely repeal HB2.

ADF Files Lawsuit On Behalf Of Pennsylvania Student Objecting To Transgender Policy

The Religious Right-affiliated legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a Pennsylvania teenager who objects to sharing a boys’ locker room with a transgender student.

The 11th-grade boy at Boyertown Area School District near Philadelphia said his privacy was violated and he was embarrassed after learning that a transgender boy was in the same locker room as he was while the plaintiff was in his underwear.

Kentucky Governor Signs Law Permitting Religion, Potential Discrimination In Schools

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R)  in March signed into law a so-called religious freedom bill purportedly intended to broaden student expression of religion in schools.

But LGBTQ advocates were quick to point out one provision of Senate Bill 17 could lead to student groups discriminating against LGBTQ students and others.

The bill states that no “religious or political organization (can be) hindered or discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs (or) selection of leaders and members.”

100 Days In, Trump’s Chipping Away At Religious Freedom

Tomorrow is President Donald J. Trump’s 100th day in office. Although he campaigned on his 100-day “Contract with the American Voter,” he no longer seems enthusiastic about the milestone. Perhaps that’s because he is facing criticism for failing to achieve any major legislative victories. One thing he has accomplished: He has caused real harm to religious freedom and has made promises to do even more.

AU And Allies: Michigan Funeral Home Can’t Use Religion To Justify Discrimination Against Transgender Employee

Aimee Stephens worked for six years at a Detroit funeral home. Then, she came out as transgender and announced that she would begin to live publicly as a woman, which would include dressing consistent with her gender identity.

Two weeks later, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes fired her. Why? The funeral-home owner said Aimee’s behavior contradicted his religious beliefs.

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