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Equality On The March: Same-Sex Marriage Moves Forward But Still Faces Legal Challenges

A federal judge struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban last night, calling it an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. US District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen began her decision with a lengthy quote from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the state’s Jim Crow-era anti-miscegenation laws.  
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Jesus On The Job: Kan. Officials Were Right To Curb Employee's Proselytizing

Last month, an employee of the Kansas Corporation Commission, a state agency, decided to add a reference to the employee newsletter about how much Christmas meant to him because it is the birthday of “the king” – Jesus Christ.

Jared Bowes’ bosses didn’t think this was such a good idea and removed the material. Bowes’ reaction was unusual: He sent an angry e-mail to all of the commission’s employees explaining his religious motivations. Read more

Extremism Expunged: In Kansas, A Religious Right Hero Gets His Comeuppance

At the Religious Right’s recent Values Voter Summit, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange talked about how far-right attorneys general can undermine progressive policies in the states and promote extreme conservatism.

Strange might want to consult with a guy name Phill Kline before going too far with that.

Kline was Kansas’ attorney general from 2003-2007 and later district attorney in Johnson County. An extreme fundamentalist, he decided to spend much of his time harassing abortion providers. Read more

Liberal-ly Confused: Kansas School Board Votes For School Prayer Despite Supreme Court Rulings

Members of the school board in Liberal, Kan., missed official prayer at high school football games, so they recently voted unanimously to allow student-led prayers using the school’s loudspeakers.

But there’s a slight hitch in the school board’s plan: The Supreme Court actually banned the practice in 2000.
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A Week Off?: New Religious Right-Inspired Event Promotes Bad History

Kansas schoolchildren will take part in “Celebrate Freedom Week” next month thanks to a recently-passed bill intended, its authors say, to celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Sounds innocuous enough—who could possibly object to a celebration of the Constitution?  
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A Step Forward In Kansas: County Commission Drops Sectarian Invocations

Last month, the Americans United Legal Department sent a letter to the Reno County Commission in Kansas. A resident of that area had been attending Commission meetings and noticed that just about all of them opened with Christian prayer. That didn’t seem right, so this person contacted us.

Sure enough, our attorneys did some research and found that Christian prayers were used nearly 90 percent of the time to open these government meetings. They promptly wrote a letter to the Commission, letting its members know that this was very problematic from a constitutional standpoint. Read more

Faith-Based Frenzy: Kansas Governor Preaches Religion As Solution To Social Problems

Since Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s first day in office, he has made it clear that he no problems blurring the church-state line.

In January, he all but turned his swearing-in ceremony into a religious revival, and he noted his intention to use religion as a way to help the state face its economic and social problems. It now seems those plans are well on their way. Read more

A Tale Of Two States: Kansas Opts For Government-Sponsored Religion, While Hawaii Respects Diversity

This month, new officials across the country are taking office and getting ready for their chance to govern.

How they start off their term often sends a strong message about their respect for church-state separation and religious diversity. Unfortunately, some officials don’t bother to follow the constitutional principle at all. Read more