Yesterday a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in America.” It was supposed to be yet another installment in a long-running series: opponents of LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights seek to promote discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.
Last night’s vice presidential debate covered several issues pertaining to the economy, foreign policy, immigration and even faith – for a brief moment.
When debate moderator Elaine Quijano asked, “Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position?” both U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) talked about reproductive rights.
As state legislatures gather across the country to start their 2016 legislative sessions, Americans United’s Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN) project is gearing up to monitor and fight legislation that would allow individuals, businesses and government employees to harm others in the name of religion.
The year was 2008. The place was Zanesville, Ohio, a town of just over 25,000 that calls itself “Pottery Capital of the World” and the “Clay City” for its ceramics production. Then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was giving a standard campaign speech, but then deviated to discuss some problems with the so-called “faith-based” initiative.
“If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion,” he said.
The situation involving Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis remained in flux as this issue of Church & State went to press, but one thing is clear: This woman is no hero.
Davis, an elected official, declined to issue marriage licenses to any couple – straight or gay – because of her religious beliefs in opposition to same-sex marriage. Put simply, she refused to do a major aspect of her job because of her theological views.
The Fayette Circuit Court ruled this week that a Lexington, Ky.-based T-shirt printing company did not break the law when it refused to make shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO).
GLSO had intended to use the shirts in the city’s 2012 Pride Festival, and filed a complaint against the company with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Human Rights Commission. The Commission ruled in GLSO’s favor, but Monday’s decision overturns that ruling.
Charges against a Chicago teenager accused of plotting to join ISIS should be dismissed, his lawyer argued, because the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) allows him to act upon his religious beliefs – even if they’re a potential threat to the United States.
Legislators in Indiana have proposed a fix to their controversial “religious freedom” bill (RFRA), and it’s certainly a step forward for LGBT rights. The amendment, which still awaits approval from Governor Mike Pence, would prevent small businesses from using the RFRA to discriminate in many ways.