Editor’s Note: The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014-15 term is coming to a close, and a landmark ruling on marriage equality is pending. In light of that, “The Wall of Separation” asked AU’s Legal Department to examine the three possible outcomes in this case. In this blog post, Gregory Lipper, senior litigation counsel, and Matthew Russo, an AU legal intern, discuss what will likely happen if the high court extends marriage equality nationwide. Read more
The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule on marriage equality. But in anticipation of the verdict, state legislators have rammed a number of anti-LGBT bills through legislatures and onto the books.
“Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” has become a cliché, but opposition to marriage equality remains rooted in certain religious beliefs. The same-sex marriage bans of four states will be considered next week by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. Proponents of these marriage bans framed their arguments in religious terms; legislators even quoted scripture and proclaimed that the ban was necessary “for the stability of society and for the greater glory of God.” Read more
For the past six years, visitors to the city hall of Warren, Mich., have encountered something few municipal buildings have: a large booth marked “Prayer Station.”
Staffed four days a week, the prayer booth offers spiritual counseling and religious literature to those visiting the building. City officials justified it by saying that residents of the economically challenged municipality need a pick-me-up. Read more
A Michigan city will stop displaying a large cross on a publicly owned hill in response to a complaint lodged by Americans United.
The decision was made during a Jan. 5 meeting of the Grand Haven City Council. The news website MLive.com reported that the council voted 3-2 to end its policy of sporadically displaying the cross, which was often attached to a hydraulic lift. Read more
An attempt to pass a “religious freedom” bill in Michigan died after Senate Majority Leader Randy Rachardville did not let it come to a vote.
The bill had drawn the ire of LGBT rights groups, who argued that it would effectively legalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Of particular concern was a provision that would have allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against families headed by same-sex couples. Read more
For years, anti-public school interest groups that favor privatization schemes have smacked their lips and salivated as they’ve contemplated the demise of public education.
But a funny thing happened: The people who actually rely on public education – America’s parents – aren’t buying it. Read more
Many public schools are finally taking an overdue look at the problem of bullying. A number of state legislatures have even weighed in to address the issue.
That’s good news. After all, it’s impossible for a young person to do well in school if he or she is being bullied or is worried about being bullied. Read more