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Discrimination Denounced

The year was 2008. The place was Zanesville, Ohio, a town of just over 25,000 that calls itself “Pottery Capital of the World” and the “Clay City” for its ceramics production. Then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was giving a standard campaign speech, but then deviated to discuss some problems with the so-called “faith-based” initiative.

“If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion,” he said.

No Hero Here: Kim Davis And The True Meaning Of Religious Liberty

The situation involving Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis remained in flux as this issue of Church & State went to press, but one thing is clear: This woman is no hero.

Davis, an elected official, declined to issue marriage licenses to any couple – straight or gay – because of her religious beliefs in opposition to same-sex marriage. Put simply, she refused to do a major aspect of her job because of her theological views.

Kim Davis Should Go Back To Jail If She Interferes With Deputy Clerks’ Ability To Issue Marriage Licenses, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Recalcitrant Clerk Must Be Closely Monitored

Controversial Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis should be sent back to jail if she interferes with her office’s ability to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
 
“Reports have surfaced that Kim Davis intends to violate the court order by again denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples,” said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “If Davis does that, she deserves to go back behind bars.”
 
U.S. District Judge David L.

Federal Court Correct To Reject Bogus ‘Religious Freedom’ Claims In Wash. Birth Control Case, Says Americans United

Pharmacies Should Fill Prescriptions Regardless Of Owners’ Religious Views, Church-State Watchdog Asserts

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals acted correctly today by upholding Washington state regulations that require pharmacies to fill prescriptions that their owners may find objectionable, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.

Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the most recent version of the case, arguing that the regulations do not violate the religious freedom rights of pharmacy owners.

New Birth Control Regulations Won’t Stem Religious Right Groups’ Attacks On Reproductive Health Care, Says Americans United

Far-Right Groups Are Determined To Curtail Access To Contraceptives, Church-State Watchdog Says

The Obama Administration today issued the latest in a series of regulations designed to ensure that Americans have access to affordable birth control, but the move isn’t likely to end litigation over the matter, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Americans United Announces New Project To Counter Bogus ‘Religious Freedom’ Claims

‘Protect Thy Neighbor’ Will Focus On Lobbying, Litigating And Boosting Public Awareness

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today unveiled an aggressive, multi-pronged initiative to fight the growing idea that “religious freedom” gives people a right to thwart marriage equality for LGBT Americans, deny women access to reproductive care and use taxpayer dollars to discriminate.

AU’s new “Protect Thy Neighbor” project pushes back against efforts to transform religious freedom into a cudgel to harm others – an effort that’s quickly gaining steam in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent marriage-equality ruling.

N.C. Legislature Votes To Override Veto Of Anti-Gay Bill

Both chambers of the North Carolina legislature have voted to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of a discriminatory “religious freedom” bill. The bill will allow magistrates who object to same-sex marriage to opt out of solemnizing the ceremonies, even though they are public officials.

North Carolina Legislators Will Regret The Day They Voted For Religion-Based Discrimination, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Vote On Same-Sex Marriage Refusals Likely To Spark Costly Litigation

The North Carolina House of Representatives today voted to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto and approve a bill that gives state magistrates the right to refuse service to same-sex couples and others. It’s a move the state will end up paying for in court, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“By enshrining discrimination into law, North Carolina’s lawmakers just signed a full-employment act for civil liberties lawyers,” said the Rev. Barry W, Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Unfortunately, the state’s taxpayers will be stuck with the tab.”

Left Behind

I want to do the right thing,” said Jennifer Schoenrock of Waynes­ville, Mo.

Schoenrock, a court clerk in Pulaski County, recently informed the conservative World magazine that the “right thing” is to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even if the Supreme Court makes marriage equality the law of the land this month. Couples who come in seeking licenses, she explained, “are like my kids. I can’t do it.”

Okla. Legislature Sends Marriage Bills To Governor

Both chambers of the Oklahoma legislature have passed bills that would allow individuals to opt out of performing same-sex marriages. S.B. 788 would allow public officials, like court clerks, to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses; H.B. 1007 applies specifically to members of clergy.

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