Since 2011, state Republican legislatures passed hundreds of abortion restrictions; 42 states have filed more than 250 bills to restrict abortion this year. At least one-third of them successfully …
Hypocritical evangelist Franklin Graham brought his religion that supports sexual assault and serial lying to Oregon in an attack on Gov. Kate Brown in an address to 12,000 people in Canby (OR). Be…
Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee inserted a poison-pill amendment into the Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill.
If passed, this amendment would require states to allow taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption providers to discriminate on the basis of their religion and cut child welfare funding for states that refuse to comply.
It is difficult to even convey how terrible this is—and sadly, there is a substantial chance this bill could pass.
This amendment would require states to allow adoption and foster care placement agencies to discriminate against atheists and nonbelievers, religious minorities, single parents, LGBTQ people, or any other group of people they disfavor.
This kind of discrimination reduces the number of potential adoptive parents, making children in these systems less likely to find loving, permanent homes. Even worse, states that refuse to go along and allow religious discrimination will see their child welfare funding cut, which would only harm the vulnerable young people in the foster system.
This hateful provision could be used to allow foster parents to deny medical services or counseling to young people if it conflicts with their religious beliefs, agencies could refuse to reunite families if the parents are the “wrong” religion, or providers could kick LGBTQ children out of shelters. And they could do all this while receiving your tax dollars!
If this amendment is allowed to stand, this will be the first in a long line of federal attacks on religious equality at the state level.
This horrific agenda is being pushed by Christian nationalists, the Catholic Church, and organizations like the Heritage Foundation who want government funding for their so-called “charities” while they refuse to provide services for people they dislike. Only 10 states have passed laws adopting the twisted vision of “religious liberty” this bill espouses. But now they’re trying to use a must-pass appropriations bill to force it on the rest of us.
The majority of Americans oppose using religion as an excuse to discriminate. Together, we can stop this attack on religious equality.
Legal & Policy Director
After several mild—in fact, wishy-washy—decisions earlier this month, the Supreme Court came out today with two rulings that eradicate any hope for freedom of religion. Instead, the five conservati…
The Catholic country overwhelmingly rejected one of the world’s strictest abortion laws.
When I asked her exactly what the issue was, she simply replied, “We just didn’t do that in my day.”
The Trump Administration has announced the creation of a new “conscience and religious freedom” division within the Department of Health and Human Services
The new order is still a Muslim ban, it still does nothing to keep Americans safe, and it still puts tens of thousands of refugee families at risk. The United Nations says that the revised travel ban will increase danger to the world’s refugees, with families fleeing deadly violence who once had hope of being allowed to emigrate left in perilous refugee camps.
This is the image that Donald Trump is projecting to the world—the heavy hand of U.S. government officials extinguishing the promise of welcome that has always been the bedrock of our country’s values. NOW stands in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers, and we will work with our allies in opposing this unconstitutional and morally repugnant executive order.
M.E. Ficarra , email@example.com , 951-547-1241
Today President Trump signed a new Muslim ban. The new executive order is a major retreat by the administration, reflecting that, as courts around the country have recognized, the original order was deeply flawed and totally unjustified. But the fundamental truth of this new order, like the old one, remains unchanged: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and the ban is his attempt to make good on that unconstitutional and indefensible goal.President Trump’s intentions regarding the Muslim ban have been clear. In a statement “ON PREVENTING MUSLIM IMMIGRATION” posted to his campaign website — and still available on it as I write — then-candidate Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Again and again, he refused to disown this proposal, expressing his opinion that “Islam hates us” and that there are “problems with Muslims coming into the country.”Instead of abandoning this odious idea in response to widespread criticism and outrage, Mr. Trump candidly explained that he would change the wording of his proposal but not its substance. “I’m looking now at territories,” he said. “People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can’t use the word ‘Muslim.’ Remember this. And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking ‘territory’ instead of ‘Muslim.’” Asked about the Muslim ban, he said, “[C]all it whatever you want. We’ll call it territories, okay?” Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and advisor to the president, explained that Trump asked him to figure out “the right way” to establish the Muslim ban “legally” and that he and others settled on using the word “countries” to achieve Trump’s goal.Tell Your Senators to Oppose Muslim ban 2.0Sure enough, when the original Muslim ban was signed, it did not use the word “Muslim,” instead purporting to single people out for exclusion from the United States based on their nationality.But it was no coincidence that the seven countries singled out were all overwhelmingly Muslim, and account for over 80 percent of Muslim refugees entering the United States from 2014 to2016. It was no coincidence that the order carved out special treatment for certain religious minorities, which the president promptly explained was intended to help Christians. It was, in other words, no coincidence that the president who promised to ban Muslims from entering the United States signed an order that would ban a large number of Muslims from entering the United States.Courts refused to buy this transparent attempt to avoid the bedrock American commitment to freedom and equality among religions. As the ACLU’s legal director, David Cole, explained before the original order was signed, a government action motivated by intent to discriminate on the basis of religion is unconstitutional even if the text of the order does not name a particular religion to be harmed. Courts across the country agreed. And, starting with a temporary stay won by the ACLU and its partners at the National Immigration Law Center, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic the night after the Muslim ban was signed, courts have halted the ban — including a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.In response to these court losses, the president has now signed a new order. The order backtracks dramatically — exempting not only green card holders but all current visa holders, delaying the implementation of the order, and eliminating some of its glaringly illegal elements. These changes further undercut the administration’s weak national security case for the ban, already rebutted by the government’s own assessments and the administration’s repeated delays in issuing it — including putting off the new order to seek favorable media coverage.Despite the substantial ground the president has now conceded in the face of his legal defeats, however, the heart of the order remains. The order still singles out individuals from six of the same overwhelmingly Muslim countries, as promised in the same repeated pledges to institute a Muslim ban, and does so purportedly based on the same debunked national security arguments. Indeed, any suggestion that this new order represents a clean break from the prior one or from the president’s comments is undercut by various statements coming out of the White House, describing the new order as “a revised policy” that would advance “the same basic policy outcome for the country.”Ultimately, in other words, the most fundamental flaw of the Muslim ban remains the same: It is still a ban, signed by a president who promised to bar Muslims from entering the United States, motivated by an intent to discriminate against Muslims, and that overwhelmingly affects Muslims rather than those of other faiths. Neither the president’s original offer to “call it whatever you want,” nor this most recent attempt to “revise” the order while pursuing “the same basic policy,” alters