I recently heard some interesting news from my hometown in suburban Pittsburgh: A Ten Commandments monument that was the subject of a federal court battle has been removed from the grounds of a public high school.
Despite North Carolina’s suffering major economic consequences for enacting an anti-transgender “bathroom bill,” officials in Texas want to go down a similar route. In a newly-filed bill, state officials seek to ban transgender people from using public bathrooms that align with their gender identity.
State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R) filed the bill, officially named the Texas Privacy Act, on Jan. 5. It would require people to use public bathrooms that align with their sex at birth, which would target the transgender community. The law would not be applicable to private businesses.
Most state legislative sessions are just starting up, yet we have already seen legislators introduce 13 bills in nine states that would prohibit the “application of foreign laws” in state courts. Now, on the surface, that might not sound like a church-state issue, but that’s by design. The troubling fact is that these bills are driven by anti-Muslim animus and the spurious fear that Sharia law is infiltrating our legal system.
Officials in Kerr County, Texas, permitted the display of a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn to acknowledge Christmas during the holiday season, but were unwilling to extend the same right to a local group of non-believers.
The Kerr County Commissioners voted 4-1 in November to deny a request from Kerrville Freethought to erect a banner celebrating Winter Solstice and the Bill of Rights.
Yesterday, AU’s Communications Director Rob Boston wrote a blog post about the Religious Right-empowered issues the United States may face if the Trump administration implements some of its campaign’s talking points, and Legislative Director Maggie Garrett discussed the results of some ballot referenda.
A Texas state education committee wants to remove several requirements that force public high school biology teachers to teach concepts that challenge evolution, a move that is likely to spark a new battle over science education.
Texas’ State Board of Education created a 10-member committee composed of school district officials and scholars to examine the state’s biology curriculum standards. The standards, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), govern what is taught in public schools.
A Texas church is upset that it had to pay more than $400,000 as part of a lawsuit challenging some partisan political activity it undertook several years ago.
In a recent letter to the El Paso Times, Bishop Tom Brown disclosed that his organization, Word of Life Church, paid former El Paso Mayor John Cook $418,750 after Brown led an allegedly unlawful effort to remove then-Mayor Cook and two other then-city officials from office because they helped pass an LGBTQ rights law.
A Religious Right candidate with extreme views lost a Republican primary race for Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) in May.
Mary Lou Bruner became the focus of attention after several of her social media posts became public. She believes that climate change is a myth devised by Karl Marx, and that President Barack Obama had previously worked as a gay prostitute.