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Congressional Panel Wanted to Ignore Real Threats To Religious Freedom

Yesterday a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in America.” It was supposed to be yet another installment in a long-running series: opponents of LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights seek to promote discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

The Veep Candidates Should Have Been Asked About Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

Last night’s vice presidential debate covered several issues pertaining to the economy, foreign policy, immigration and even faith – for a brief moment. 

When debate moderator Elaine Quijano asked, “Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position?” both U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) talked about reproductive rights.  

U.S. Supreme Court Should Protect Student and Staff Access To Contraceptives, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Religiously Affiliated Institutions Are Not Harmed By Birth-Control Mandate

Religiously affiliated institutions may not prevent third parties from providing contraceptive coverage for students and staff who want it, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
 
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed today on behalf of almost 250 college and university students and staff who could lose access to vital medical care, Americans United told the U.S.

(Un)Fantastic Five: AU’s Protect Thy Neighbor Project Announces New Tool To Track Faux ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills

As state legislatures gather across the country to start their 2016 legislative sessions, Americans United’s Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN) project is gearing up to monitor and fight legislation that would allow individuals, businesses and government employees to harm others in the name of religion.

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.

T-shirt Tangle: Ky. Court Rules ‘Christian’ Business Has ‘Religious Freedom’ Right To Discriminate Against Gays

The Fayette Circuit Court ruled this week that a Lexington, Ky.-based T-shirt printing company did not break the law when it refused to make shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO). 

GLSO had intended to use the shirts in the city’s 2012 Pride Festival, and filed a complaint against the company with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Human Rights Commission. The Commission ruled in GLSO’s favor, but Monday’s decision overturns that ruling.

False Freedoms: Legislators Propose ‘Fixes’ To Discriminatory Bills

Legislators in Indiana have proposed a fix to their controversial “religious freedom” bill (RFRA), and it’s certainly a step forward for LGBT rights. The amendment, which still awaits approval from Governor Mike Pence, would prevent small businesses from using the RFRA to discriminate in many ways.

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