Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn recently had the honor of moderating a congressional educational briefing on religious freedom and religious discrimination in the United States.
The Religious Right has hijacked the concept of religious freedom, changing it from a noble principle intended to protect minorities into a weapon by which the majority oppresses others, a Baptist minister said recently.
In an April opinion piece for Baptist News Global, the Rev. Corey Fields, associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., wrote that “religious freedom” was once used to help individuals and groups get legal protections. Now, however, it has become an excuse to ignore laws.
Protecting the so-called “religious freedom” rights of anti-gay fundamentalists is not a justification for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s executive order authorizing discrimination against LGBT persons, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
Last night, Jindal signed Executive Order BJ 15-8, which purports to permit government employees, business owners and others to refuse service to LGBT persons if they do so on the basis of their religious beliefs.
The Religious Right celebrated a victory in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, but fundamentalists may soon change their tune if a humanistic group successfully uses its religious beliefs to undo a restrictive new abortion law.
A group of Texas lawmakers gathered in late February to celebrate what they considered to be an important milestone in their state’s history: 10 years since the passage of a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately talking with reporters and viewers who called in to a show on CSPAN about a piece of legislation known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
This federal statute has been around since 1993, but it suddenly appeared on the radar screens of journalists in late March thanks to efforts to pass statewide versions of it in Indiana and Arkansas.
The state of Indiana was the site of some recent unpleasantness after its legislature passed and Gov. Mike Pence signed a “religious freedom” law.
Americans United Associate Legal Director Alex J. Luchenitser recently wrote an analysis for the prestigious Harvard Law & Policy Review of whether a recent Supreme Court ruling will lead to religious exemptions from anti-discrimination measures.
This year’s saga of state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills is nearing the end, but has not come to a complete stop, yet. We continue to monitor RFRA bills in North Carolina and Michigan. Meanwhile, many other bills are moving through state legislatures and have been introduced in Congress that would allow religious beliefs to justify discrimination in adoption placements by state-funded, private adoption agencies.