religious issues centering around church/state conflict and secular humanism.

New “Religious Freedom” HHS Division Puts Women’s & LGBTQ Health at Risk

The Trump administration announced the creation of a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) division devoted to "conscience and religious freedom" (CRFD for short).

The Trump administration announced the creation of a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) division devoted to “conscience and religious freedom” (CRFD for short). Building on a steady pattern over the past year in placing the concept of religious liberty over other aspects of rule of law, the new division will be “responsible for OCR’s national conscience […]

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Vistaprint Sued For Sending Gay Couple Religious Literature

Vistaprint sued by Borg and Heasley over anti-gay religious materials sent instead of wedding programs

On the eve of their wedding, Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg received a package from Vistaprint with what was supposed to be wedding programs. Instead, they received anti-LGBTQ religious material warning them about temptation entitled, ““Understanding Temptation: Fight the good fight of the faith.” After receiving the wrong materials, the couple had to place another order – at their own […]

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Trump’s Religious Freedom Day Proclamation is Problematic

Trump Religious Freedom Day proclamation

In his Religious Freedom Day proclamation, Donald Trump made a consequential and problematic statement placing religious liberty above rule of law. Were this a ceremonial gesture meant as a statement of goodwill and not one in a line of related actions and statements, it wouldn’t be cause for concern. Given this administration’s statements, actions and directives, however, today’s proclamation offers yet […]

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Supreme Court Refuses Mississippi Anti-LGBTQ Religious Liberty Case

Mississippi HB1523

Marking another setback for LGBTQ civil rights following oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the U.S. Supreme Court just declined to hear arguments in the cases challenging Mississippi’s controversial HB 1523 – also known as the anti-LGBTQ ‘license to discriminate’ law. Back Story As we reported last year, “[Mississippi HB 1523] enables legal discrimination against same-sex couples, transgender men and […]

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Compelling Honesty: The Supreme Court Crisis Pregnancy Centers Case

crisis pregnancy centers

It’s interesting how many people indignantly wrap themselves in the Free Speech provisions of the First Amendment in order to justify behaviors that–properly understood–aren’t really speech at all. In all fairness, it can be difficult to distinguish between actions that are intended to communicate a message (protected) from actions that are committed through speech (not protected). If you describe that […]

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Oregon Bakery Sweet Cakes Loses $135,000 Fine Appeal

Sweet Cakes Appeal

After closing their business last year, the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa appealed a decision requiring them to pay a $135,000 fine for releasing the personal information of a lesbian couple who filed a discrimination complaint against them with the state of Oregon. Owners Melissa and Aaron Klein just lost their latest appeal before the Oregon Court of Appeals. Background […]

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Confirmation: It Isn’t About Religion

Persecution and Privilege

The Indianapolis Star, in one of its increasingly rare forays into what used to be called “news,”reported on a very interesting study investigating popular opinion about the pending Supreme Court case brought by a baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. As most of you are aware, the baker–routinely described as very pious–has argued that forcing him […]

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Jake Tapper Stuns Roy Moore Spokesman With Constitutional Fact

In a discussion with Roy Moore spokesman Ted Crockett today, CNN’s Jake Tapper left his guest literally speechless after informing him public servants aren’t required to use a Christian Bible to be sworn into office. The stunning moment happened as the two discussed Moore’s longstanding position that Muslims shouldn’t be able to serve in Congress. Backstory When Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) took office […]

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Roy Moore Would Eliminate Virtually Everyone’s Rights

Alabama Senate Candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore

During an appearance on a far-right, conspiracy theory driven radio show in 2011, Alabama Senate candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore made the case for eliminating all of the Constitution’s amendments not included in the original Bill of Rights. He argued the elimination of every amendment following the Tenth Amendment would ‘eliminate many problems’ the nation has with governance. The […]

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The Trump DOJ’s Disingenuous KKK Supreme Court Argument

KKK

During oral arguments earlier this week, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips being compelled to serve LGBTQ couples against his religious beliefs is identical to an African-American sculptor being compelled to sculpt a cross for a Ku Klux Klan meeting. Francisco made this argument repeatedly throughout his statements without a hint of irony or regard for the […]

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