'federal Marriage Amendment' Threatens Religious Freedom, Americans United Tells Senate

Proposed Constitutional Change Would Write Religious Right View Of Marriage Into Constitutional Law, Says Watchdog Group

The proposed "Federal Marriage Amendment" would threaten religious freedom by elevating the view of marriage favored by some faith groups into constitutional law, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told the Senate.

Bush Campaign Targets Churches For Election Outreach

Politicizing Houses Of Worship Is Shameless Abuse Of Sacred Space, May Violate Federal Law, Says AU's Lynn

A Bush-Cheney re-election scheme that targets churches to win votes is an abuse of religion and raises serious questions concerning federal tax law, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

According to an account in today's Washington Post, the Bush campaign has sent a detailed memo to religious volunteers, urging them to turn over church directories to the campaign, distribute issue guides to fellow church members and enlist pastors in voter registration drives.

Americans United Hails Colorado Supreme Court Ruling Against School Vouchers

Decision Says Local School Boards Cannot Be Forced To Fund Religious And Other Private Schools

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today lauded the Colorado Supreme Court's decision against a school voucher program that would have funneled large sums of public funds into religious and other private schools.

In a 4-3 ruling today, the state's high court said the school voucher law violates a section of the state constitution that requires local school boards to maintain significant control over funding of district schools.

Federal Marriage Amendment Draws Support From Political Fringes, Says Americans United

Testimony By Dannemeyer And Schlafly Proves Amendment Drive Is Out Of Touch With Mainstream Opinion, AU Asserts

Former U.S. congressman William Dannemeyer and Religious Right icon Phyllis Schlafly are scheduled to testify in Congress June 24 in favor of a proposed Federal Marriage Amendment - a sure sign that the pro-amendment drive is a product of the political fringes, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Dannemeyer and Schlafly hold extreme right-wing views on gay rights and a host of other issues, says Americans United. AU charged that their views are out of touch with mainstream Americans.

Phila. Church That Endorsed Bush Gets $1 Million 'faith-based' Grant

'Faith-Based' Initiative Seems To Have Political Slant, Says AU's Lynn

A Philadelphia church appears to be reaping a windfall of government funds following its pastor's endorsement of presidential candidate George W. Bush, said Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

During the Republican Party's 2000 national convention, the Rev. Herbert H. Lusk II, heartily endorsed Bush for president in a satellite television uplink from his church. Since that time, Lusk has repeatedly advocated for Bush's "faith-based" initiative that seeks to fund church-run social service programs.

Americans United Opposes Employee Religious Freedom Bill In Congress

Measure Would Open Door To Discrimination, Says AU's Lynn

A congressional measure intended to protect employees' religious freedom is written too broadly and could interfere with the rights of others, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
 
Earlier this month, Americans United sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate urging them to oppose the "Workplace Religious Freedom Act" (WRFA). The Act, S.893, would change Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require employers to comply with the religious needs of their workers unless the accommodation would cause "significant difficulty or expense."

Americans United And Triangle Foundation Ask Irs To Investigate Michigan Church That Endorsed School Board Candidates

Pastor's Endorsement Letter Is A Clear Violation Of Federal Tax Law, Groups Say

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a national church-state watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., and the Michigan-based Triangle Foundation today asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a Michigan church whose pastor endorsed two school board candidates in a recent race.

The groups say Pastor Jim Combs of Faith Baptist Church in Waterford Township violated the IRS Code when he issued a missive on church letterhead to parishioners asking them to support two school board candidates, one of whom is his own son.

Americans United Opposes Federal Security Subsidies For Houses Of Worship

Federal Security Subsidies Would Violate Church-State Separation, Says Watchdog Group

A congressional measure that would allocate $100 million for security renovations at houses of worship and other charities violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

House Committee Scuttles Plan To Allow Church Electioneering

Americans United Hails Removal Of 'Safe Harbor' Provisions

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has hailed yesterday's vote by a House committee to remove provisions from a tax bill that would have allowed houses of worship to intervene in partisan politics.
 
The so-called "Safe Harbor for Churches" section of the "American Jobs Creation Act of 2004" (H.R. 4520) would have revised current law, which forbids churches from endorsing candidates for public office, and replaced it with watered-down language giving churches the right to intervene in electoral politics.

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