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Stick A Fork In It?: Polls Demonstrate Growing Support For Marriage Equality And Against Discrimination

Public support for same-sex marriage continues to climb, and bills that would grant business owners the right to discriminate against LGBT clients are very unpopular,  according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
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Taking Liberties: A New Book Explains Why The Religious Right’s View Of ‘Religious Freedom’ Is All Wrong

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

Equal Access For All: Atheist Student Clubs Shouldn’t Be Subject To A Heckler’s Veto

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

‘Ark Park’ Back Afloat?: Creationist Groups Says Ground Will Be Broken On Biblical Theme Park In May

It seems reports of the demise of Kentucky’s infamous “Ark Park” have been greatly exaggerated – or at least that’s what the project’s head would like us to believe. Read more

‘What’s In It For Me?’: Public Schools, Public Taxes And The Public Good

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 Demographics Of Discrimination: ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills Continue To Lose Popular Support

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.
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Vouchers Vanquished?: Judge Puts North Carolina ‘School Choice’ Scheme On Hold

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

Raising Cain In Arizona: Grand Canyon State Considers Legalizing Discrimination Under The Guise Of ‘Religious Liberty’

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

Religion in Alabama Public Schools

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

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