The official Americans United blog on legislation and activities of lawmakers.
Several bills moved in state legislatures last week that encourage government-sanctioned prayer under the guise of “protecting” religious freedoms. In reality, these bills merely make it easier to evangelize to captive audiences in a government setting.
Virginia Senate Bill 555 Read more
The Alabama legislature discussed two harmful bills yesterday, both of which would result in government promotion of religion in Alabama public schools
Of course, students already have to the right to engage in voluntary, student initiated prayer and religious expression in public schools, making these bills unnecessary. The bills are also harmful because they push for government sponsored and promoted prayer in the public school classrooms, which is not only unconstitutional, but would lead to many students feeling uncomfortable and excluded because of their beliefs. Read more
January was a busy month in state legislatures. From coast to coast, AU has already responded to a wide array of bills that hit on topics such as religious discrimination, marriage inequality, school vouchers, and religion in public schools.
Anti-Sharia Bill in the Northwest Read more
Private school vouchers are being pushed by short-sighted leaders all around the country. About 20 states currently have some sort of private school voucher program and many state leaders intend to try to expand and create even more next year, despite the even further diminishing public support of vouchers. Read more
This week, the 45th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was released. Although it hit on several hot education topics, such as the Common Core State Standards and Teacher Evaluation, one of the poll’s most notable results was the public’s growing disapproval of private school vouchers. Read more
On Tuesday, U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) hosted an event called “Success for Our Children: A Roundtable Forum on School Choice.”
The forum included three one-sided panels in favor of so-called “school choice.” Although the discussion did include a lot of talk about charter schools, the senators and panelists also strongly pushed private school vouchers. Read more
Reproductive justice is a hot button issue, and while important in its own right, sometimes it overshadows other important religious liberty concerns that also exist in a state bill. This happened recently in both North Carolina and Ohio. Read more