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The official Americans United blog on legislation and activities of lawmakers.

Discriminatory “Religious Freedom” Bills: Marriage Refusal Edition

We’ve been blogging a lot about state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills that could potentially allow discrimination against the LGBT community in the name of religion. We have also been closely following a surge of “religious freedom” bills that would specifically permit individuals—and oftentimes government officials—to refuse to recognize, perform, or issue licenses for marriages. Read more

AU and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: This Year’s Fight Had a Few Surprises

In our last update on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), we asked all of our members and supporters to reach out to their legislators and tell them to reject any amendment that would create private school vouchers. Thanks in large part to that effort, we won the private school voucher fight! However, we ended up with a very different church-state fight on the floor.

Private School Vouchers - A Win Read more

State RFRA Updates: Good News and Bad News

The recent flood of state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills continues. We oppose these bills because they could allow not just individuals, but also private corporations, to violate important laws—like non-discrimination, public safety, and public health protections—in the name of religion. This week there was both good news and bad news in the world of state RFRAs.

The good news Read more

Civil Rights and Religious Freedom in Michigan

This morning, Michigan’s House Judiciary Committee discussed and voted out Speaker Jase Bolger’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill, HB 5958. Some members of the committee offered amendments, including one that would have prohibited the bill from being used to violate anti-discrimination or civil rights laws in Michigan, but no amendments were adopted. Read more