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is the Communications Associate for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and appears courtesy of AU.

Display Defeated: Okla. Supreme Court Strikes Down Statehouse Ten Commandments Monument

Simon Brown

The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently said a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the capitol building in Oklahoma City is unconstitutional. This is not only a big win for those who value church-state separation, it’s also a serious blow to the idea that government-sponsored religious symbols are merely ceremonial. Read more

Simon Brown

A state court in California has put a stop to a vicious and vindictive ballot initiative that would have allowed gays in California to be executed. (You read that right – executed.) Read more

Sodomite Suppression Act, Matt McLaughlin, Judge Raymond Cadei, Kamala Harris, Toni Atkins, California, Decision Day Countdown
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Simon Brown

How far does the Religious Right intend to go with its argument that “religious freedom” shields Christians who refuse to serve entire groups of people? The recent case of a Maryland disc jockey who declined to provide his services for a gay man’s birthday party may offer some insight. Read more

Ultrasound Deejays, Michael Lampiris, Maryland, Tom Tsakounis, Montgomery County Human Rights Commission
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Simon BrownWall of SeparationWhat does rent control in New York City have to do with tax credits that would be used to support religious schools? Quite a bit, at least as far as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is concerned.In a move that can best be describ…

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Simon BrownWall of SeparationA Louisiana school district that lets teachers use the Bible to teach creationism is doubling down on its sectarian instruction, claiming such lesson plans are permissible as long as the school does not provide that materia…

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Simon Brown

When the parents of an Indiana high school sophomore complained that their son was subjected to coercive prayers at multiple school events, officials were less than sympathetic to the family’s First Amendment concerns.

To say the family’s protest fell on deaf ears would be far too generous. In fact, one school administrator went so far as to blame the student for not accepting the sectarian messages in silence.   Read more

River Forest Junior/Senior High School, American Civil liberties Union of Indiana, Jim and Nichole Bellar
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Simon Brown

When the parents of an Indiana high school sophomore complained that their son was subjected to coercive prayers at multiple school events, officials were less than sympathetic to the family’s First Amendment concerns.

To say the family’s protest fell on deaf ears would be far too generous. In fact, one school administrator went so far as to blame the student for not accepting the sectarian messages in silence.   Read more

River Forest Junior/Senior High School, American Civil liberties Union of Indiana, Jim and Nichole Bellar
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Simon Brown

It’s graduation season, which usually means an uptick in church-state separation issues. One such incident that is making the media rounds involved a North Carolina pastor’s recent anti-gay rant at a high school baccalaureate service. Read more

Baccalaureate, Cleveland County Public Schools, the Rev. Scott Carpenter, Kings Mountain High School, north carolina
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Simon Brown

South Carolina’s second-highest paid employee was in a bit of a predicament last week. He has been accused in the past of using taxpayer money to proselytize, and now he finds himself under fire thanks to an award from an organization with a history of attacking LGBT rights. Read more

Clemson University, Dabo Swinney, South Carolina, Palmetto Family Council, GLAAD, Freedom From Religion Foundation, football
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Simon Brown

The Tea Party and other far-right groups speak often of their love for the Constitution. But for all their talk about America’s foundational document, many of these zealots understand our laws about as well as an average kindergartner. That is why it’s always a pleasure when a political leader rejects these stilted views. Read more

marriage equality, Pat McCrory, SB 2, Bobby Jindal, north carolina, Indiana, Arkansas
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