Using Religion to Discriminate

With increasing frequency, individuals and institutions are attempting to claim a right to refuse to provide services or care based on religious objections. For instance, religiously affiliated hospitals could refuse to perform medically necessary abortions for pregnant women in life-threatening situations, or a landlord could refuse to rent to a family simply because they are Muslim. Through litigation, advocacy and public education, the ACLU works to defend religious liberty and protect people of all faiths from religious discrimination. Learn more >>

As Legal Fight Over Contraception Reaches Critical Moment, Where Will The Courts Stand?

As Legal Fight Over Contraception Reaches Critical Moment, Where Will The Courts Stand?

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 11:50am

Nearly 60 lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging the federal rule that employers include contraception...

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:08am

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times published a powerful editorial arguing that a blank check for religiously affiliated organizations – far beyond houses of worship – to discriminate in employment against LGBT people should not be the price paid…

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

By Edward L. Smith, Former Chief of Police at 4:47pm

As a former police chief of numerous Oklahoma towns, including Seminole, Clinton, Blackwell, Owasso, Bethany, and Chickasha, I have seen officers disciplined for a variety of insubordinate acts. During my 35 years in law enforcement, however, I have…

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:17pm

Should local officials be able to start their meetings with prayers that endorse a particular faith? North Carolina State Rep. Michele Presnell thinks so, with one tiny caveat: the faith endorsed must be her own. When asked by one of her constituents…

Defending the Contraceptive Rule

Defending the Contraceptive Rule

By Richard Muniz, Reproductive Rights Fellow, ACLU of Illinois at 1:59pm

Today, the ACLU and the ACLU of Illinois filed a friend-of-the-court brief in two additional appeals challenging the Affordable Care Act's ("ACA") contraceptive coverage rule. Our brief urges the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reject requests…

Radically Wrong: Misstated Threats - Terrorism isn’t an American-Muslim Problem

Radically Wrong: Misstated Threats - Terrorism isn’t an American-Muslim Problem

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:50pm

Despite evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, "preventive" policies are being pursued, resulting in discrimination,…

Protecting Constitutional Principles — Even After Disasters

Protecting Constitutional Principles — Even After Disasters

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:47pm

This was cross-posted to the American Constitution Society blog. 

The impact Superstorm Sandy had on homes, businesses, nonprofits, and houses of worship across the Northeast was devastating. And still, in the wake of the storm, these…

The First Contraceptive Rule Case to Reach an Appeals Court on the Merits

The First Contraceptive Rule Case to Reach an Appeals Court on the Merits

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 4:31pm

Yesterday the ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the first challenge to the federal contraceptive rule to reach an appeals court on the merits.  The federal contraceptive rule requires health plans to cover contraception without a co-pay, and despite the plethora of lawsuits, the rule is clearly constitutional.     

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:58pm

With Congress having recently approved this year’s NDAA, we think it is important to draw attention to a provision (Section 533(a)(1)), which, though hidden away, is unprecedented, sweeping, and could invite dangerous claims of a right to discriminate against not just lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, but also women, religious minorities, and in the provision of health care.

It Doesn’t Matter How Many Lawsuits Are Filed, the Contraception Rule Is Constitutional

It Doesn’t Matter How Many Lawsuits Are Filed, the Contraception Rule Is Constitutional

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 4:20pm

Sheer repetition of an incorrect argument does not make that argument correct.  This holds true for the lawsuits challenging the federal contraception rule, which ensures that millions of women will have access to contraception without a co-pay.  Those who are trying to eliminate the rule in the courts have now filed almost 45 lawsuits.  They can file 100 lawsuits, but it won’t change the legal analysis.  As we’ve said before, the contraception rule is constitutional.  For the last five decades, courts have held that rules designed to eradicate discrimination – like the contraception rule – cannot be trumped by a business owner’s religious beliefs.

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