Pardon me for engaging in some blatant self-promotion, but I wanted to let members and friends of Americans United know that my new book, Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do, is being released today.
Two issues inspired me to write this book: the controversy over the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act and the spread of legal same-sex marriage in the states. Read more
If you have any contact with a public high school, you probably know that students can form an array of clubs that meet during non-instructional time.
My son, who is in 10th grade, reports a dizzying list of student-run clubs at his school, covering every possible interest. Along with some friends, my son joined the anime club and was for a time involved in a “duct tape club.” (Don’t ask.)
There are also many religious clubs at the school. Jewish students have a club, as do Muslim students. There are several Christian clubs.
How can this be? It’s a public school. Read more
A story from the Wilmington, Del., News Journal caught my eye this morning: Some private school parents in the state are angry because legislators are considering axing a small subsidy they get to offset the cost of transporting their children to private schools.
The sums involved are not large, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this type of private school bus aid way back in 1947. It’s not so much a constitutional issue these days. Read more
The Religious Right continues to push for a religion-based freedom to discriminate in state after state, but there are signs they’re losing the battle.
Arizona’s infamous ‘religious freedom’ bill, which would grant religious business owners the right to refuse service to LGBT people (or others they deem unsuitable), is quickly losing what little public support it enjoyed. Members of the business community say the bill, which is currently awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature, would actually hurt business.
The state of North Carolina has flung itself off of a metaphorical constitutional cliff in recent years, most notably with a legislative proposal in 2013 that declared the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the state, meaning any local government there is free to establish religion. Read more
You might have read over the weekend about a law passed by the Arizona legislature that would allow the owners of stores and secular businesses to refuse to serve certain customers if they deem that doing so would offend their religious beliefs.
The measure, SB 1062, is getting quite a lot of attention. All eyes are on Gov. Jan Brewer, who hasn’t yet said if she’ll sign the bill into law. Brewer has indicated that she’ll act this week. Read more