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AU Opposes Voucher-Like Scheme In Montana

Americans United and its allies are urging the Montana Supreme Court to rule that the state was right to stop taxpayer money from funding religious education through a tax-credit voucher scheme.

Joined by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Montana and the Anti-Defamation League, AU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue asking the state’s high court to reverse a trial court’s ruling that allows public money to fund a voucher-like tuition tax credit program that could end up subsidizing private religious education.

Anti-Sharia Bills: Another Harmful Consequence of Anti-Muslim Sentiment

During his campaign for office, President Donald J. Trump laced many of his speeches with anti-Muslim rhetoric and vowed to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants. And just a few days into office, he signed an order imposing a Muslim ban.

But there are more harmful consequences that have come from the anti-Muslim sentiment he stoked. We’ve seen an uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And now state legislatures across the country are pushing harmful bills.

Here Are Some Interesting State Races You Might Have Missed

Yesterday, AU’s Communications Director Rob Boston wrote a blog post about the Religious Right-empowered issues the United States may face if the Trump administration implements some of its campaign’s talking points, and Legislative Director Maggie Garrett discussed the results of some ballot referenda.

Court Upholds Jesus Statue On Public Land In Montana

A large statue of Jesus Christ will remain on Whitefish, Mont., public property due to a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court found that the statue, known as “Big Mountain Jesus,” does not constitute a government endorsement of religion, even though it is located on land owned by the federal government.

Ski With Jesus!: Federal Appeals Court Declines To Remove Montana Religious Statue From Public Land

A federal court has decided that a statue of Jesus siting on federal land in Montana is not an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Although this would seem to be a win for the Religious Right, in reality it is a loss for anyone who values faith.

Montana School Cancels Field Trip To Creationist Ministry After AU Complaint

Officials at a Montana public elementary school recently cancelled a scheduled field trip to a creationist museum run by a fundamentalist Christian ministry thanks to action by Americans United.

Lincoln Elementary School in Glendive had, until recently, taken all of its third-grade students to a facility known as the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum. Although the name would suggest the museum teaches sound science, in reality the attraction is run by a fundamentalist ministry called the Foundation Advancing Creation Truth, which seeks to undermine evolution.

Please Think Of The Children: Mont. Public School Had No Business Sending Kids To Creationist Attraction

You might have read yesterday about Americans United’s latest victory. It’s one I’m especially pleased to see: Officials at a public school in Glendive, Mont., were going to send third-graders on a field trip to a local spot run by creationists. AU’s attorneys put a stop to that.

Mont. Officials Insist Clerks Don’t Have To Serve Same-Sex Couples

Officials in a Montana county are insisting that government clerks don’t have to serve same-sex couples if it offends their religious beliefs, setting the stage for a possible legal showdown.

In a Dec. 5 letter, the Yellowstone County Commission informed Yellowstone County Clerk of Court Kristie Boelter that she is legally required to exempt clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples if they object on religious grounds; if she does not, she may be forced to pay for her own defense in the event of a lawsuit, the commission said.