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AU Monitoring State ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills That Threaten Rights

 Americans United is monitoring a host of state-level legislation that, if passed, would permit individuals and private corporations to discriminate in the name of religion.

These bills are greatly expanded state versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 federal law that is intended to protect religious minorities. Americans Uni­ted opposes these new RFRA bills because they could offer exemptions from all sorts of laws intended to protect things like civil rights, public safety and healthcare.

Arkansas Gov. Should Not Sign ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Legislation Is Worse Than Indiana’s Law And Could Be Used To Discriminate Against LGBT Persons

An Arkansas bill that claims to protect “religious freedom” is little more than an attempt to shield religious fundamentalists who want to discriminate against LGBT persons, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
The Arkansas House of Representatives today passed HB 1228, which is a state version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a 1993 law intended to protect religious minorities.

A New Era of Inequality?

Hobby Lobby and Religious Exemptions from Anti-Discrimination Laws

In this article from the Harvard Law and Policy Review, Americans United Associate Legal Director Alex J. Luchenitser discusses the potential impact of "religious freedom" bills designed to exempt private and public entities from anti-discrimination measures. 


So-Called ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Fails In Mich.

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.

Building Backlash

When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its disastrous decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores June 30, millions of Americans expressed their anger. Religious Right leader Tim Wildmon was not among them.

AU Urges An End To Religious Employment Discrimination

In a June 10 letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Americans United and 89 allied organizations requested an immediate end to discrimination loopholes for faith-based organizations that receive federal funds.

These groups currently enjoy a blanket exemption to federal non-discrimination laws due to the Department of Justice’s interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). That includes an exemption from certain provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).