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Archive for the ‘Separation of church and state’ Category.

 

Ninth Circuit Denies Prayer at School Board Meetings

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a California school board is prohibited from including prayers or Christian references at its meetings.

August 10th, 2018

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a California school board is prohibited from including prayers or making reference to Christian scripture at its meetings. This decision comes after the court upheld a 2016 injunction forbidding these practices. This decision sheds some important light on the role of prayer in school meetings. Origins Read More


Democrats Introduce Bill to Counter Religious Freedom Law

Democrats introduced a bill to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which they say has been used to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

July 19th, 2018

  In May of 2018, Democratic senators introduced a bill to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which according to the original sponsors of the law has been misappropriated and used to discriminate against numerous individual including those who identify as LGBTQ. This bill is significant because it has the potential to change a twenty-five-year-old Read More


New Jersey Bill Would Limit Vaccination Exemptions

New Jersey advanced a bill that would require children to receive a vaccination unless their parents explained how it violated their religious beliefs.

June 28th, 2018

  New Jersey law requires school children to receive numerous vaccinations when they reach a certain age, but there are exceptions for parents who want to avoid a vaccination for religious reasons. Some physicians have commented that this loophole in current law is too expansive and can seriously harm children. In response to these concerns, Read More


Webster Parish Passes New Religious Policy Exception

An LGBTQ teacher in Texas initiated a wrongful termination lawsuit on the basis that the school discriminated against her based on her sexual orientation.

June 14th, 2018

  The Webster Parish School Board in Louisiana announced in April of 2018 that it plans to adopt a new policy concerning religious expression in public schools after a lawsuit was filed claiming the school’s officials promoted religious expression that violated the First Amendment. The policy is focused on preserving and explicating the religious rights Read More


Tennessee Passes “In God We Trust” Bill

A Tennessee bill that requires schools to prominently display the motto of “In God We Trust” is currently headed to the governor for his signature.

May 4th, 2018

  A Tennessee bill that requires schools in Tennessee to prominently display the motto of “In God We Trust” is currently headed to the governor for his signature. This legislation, which is referred to as the National Motto in the Classroom Act, was passed by 81 of 99 members of the house. Prior to the Read More


Sixth Circuit Decides Influential Transgender Case

Recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that religious beliefs do not permit employers to discriminate against transgender employees, finding that a violation of Title VII.

April 27th, 2018

At the beginning of March, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in the case of EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. that discrimination based on transgender status violates Title VII prohibitions against sex-based discrimination.   How the Case Arose This case was initiated when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Read More


Recent Case Involves Bullying and Religion

A private religious school in Texas is arguing that it is exempt from anti-discrimination laws after a student was subjected to racist bullying.

April 13th, 2018

  A teenager recently initiated a legal action against a religious private school in Texas after the teenager experienced bullying of a racist nature. The student claimed that the school did not make any efforts to stop the bullying, but the school claimed that its religious doctrine makes it immune from legal actions in these Read More


Supreme Court Declines to Hear Mississippi Anti-LGBTQ Law

A Michigan civil rights commission recently decided that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation are included in sex discrimination.

March 28th, 2018

The United States Supreme Court recently refused to become part of a legal battle against the state of Mississippi regarding an anti-LGBTQ law. The law in question allows both private businesses and state employees to deny services to members of the LGBTQ community based solely on religious grounds. The law took effect on October 10, 2017 Read More


Legal Action Taken Against Group That Tried to Stop School Prayer

A high school in Ohio discontinued its practice of school prayer before sporting events after receiving a cease and desist letter, but now another group is suing to have the practice re-instated.

March 23rd, 2018

  Members of an Ohio community have initiated an action against a group that tried to pressure a high school to ban its tradition of school prayer before sporting events. The Freedom from Religion Foundation reports that the organization received a complaint from two concerned citizens who alleged serious violations of the constitution by the Read More


Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act

A bill just passed by the Georgia Senate allows adoption organizations to discriminate against LGBT parents if they invoke sincerely-held religious beliefs.

March 16th, 2018

  Georgia’s Senate recently passed a bill, referred to as SB 375 or the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act,” that has the potential to enable child welfare organizations to prevent same-sex parents from adopting a child based on the organization’s beliefs. If the bill passes through the Georgia House, adoption organizations would Read More