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 >>

Businesses Do Not Have a License to Discriminate

Businesses Do Not Have a License to Discriminate

By Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 4:24pm
Yesterday, the ACLU and the ACLU of New Mexico filed an amicus brief in Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock, an important antidiscrimination case pending before the New Mexico Supreme Court. Elane Photography is a wedding photography studio that advertises its services to the general public but refuses to take pictures for wedding or commitment ceremonies involving same-sex couples. New Mexico is one of 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) that prohibit businesses who hold themselves out to the general public from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation. But Elane Photography argues that the law cannot be applied to its services because – unlike the services provided by a restaurant or retail store – photography is a form of expression and forcing Elane Photography to provide services on an equal basis would therefore unconstitutionally “compel speech.”
Half-Baked Complaint Alleges Discrimination Where There is None

Half-Baked Complaint Alleges Discrimination Where There is None

By Amanda Goad, LGBT Project at 10:17am

When Christian educator Bill Jack ordered a cake last year from Azucar, a Denver bakery, he had a special decoration request for owner Marjorie Silva. He wanted the cake to say "God Hates Gays" with a drawing to match. Silva refused, and now she's…

VICTORY! Federal Jury Holds Catholic School Accountable for Sex Discrimination

VICTORY! Federal Jury Holds Catholic School Accountable for Sex Discrimination

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 3:28pm

Emily Herx never imagined that she could lose her job for trying to get pregnant. But after working for more than seven years as a literature and language arts teacher at a Catholic school in Indiana, she was shocked to learn that her teaching contract…

A Wedding Cake For Fido & Fluffy But Not For Dave & Charlie?

A Wedding Cake For Fido & Fluffy But Not For Dave & Charlie?

By Kiela Parks, Advocacy Associate, ACLU of Colorado & John Krieger, Communications and Outreach Director, ACLU of Colorado at 12:03pm

Imagine being told that the love between you and your partner is less legitimate than a dog wedding. Or having your commitment to one another compared to pedophilia.

Stephanie Schmalz and her partner, Jeanine, wanted to order some cupcakes…

Religion Isn’t a Free Pass to Discriminate Against Employees

Religion Isn’t a Free Pass to Discriminate Against Employees

By Christina Brandt-Young, Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Jenny Lee, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union at 5:49pm

Across the country teachers at religiously affiliated schools are being fired for their reproductive choices.  What’s worse, the schools are unapologetic, claiming they have the right to discriminate because of their religious beliefs.

Emily…

Taking a Stand Against a 21st Century Scarlet Letter

Taking a Stand Against a 21st Century Scarlet Letter

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 10:49am

Today, we filed suit in federal court on behalf of Jennifer Maudlin, a single mother who was fired when her employer learned that she was pregnant. Jennifer's employer – a religiously-affiliated community organization called Inside Out – says that…

Pregnant? Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, and Catholic Hospitals

Pregnant? Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, and Catholic Hospitals

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 9:27am

Regardless of whether you have been pregnant or not, chances are you can recite the long list of things to avoid in pregnancy: alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, deli meats, unpasteurized cheese, and the list go on.

But one thing that isn't in…

It Was Never About the Cake

It Was Never About the Cake

By Deborah Munn at 4:00pm

Today I celebrate the decision from Colorado administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer who found that my son and his now-husband could not be discriminated against by a bakery.

I have an incredible son named Charlie Craig, the oldest of my…

Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize

Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize

By Aleksandr Sverdlik, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 2:09pm

Imagine a police officer refusing to guard a Sikh temple, give a presentation on safety and crime prevention at a Catholic elementary school, conduct foot patrols in a neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish population, or come to the aid of an injured…

A Minister and a Rabbi Walk Into a Vegas Wedding Chapel...

A Minister and a Rabbi Walk Into a Vegas Wedding Chapel...

By James Esseks, Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project at 2:40pm

There are currently 32 states and counting that have marriage equality. This is up from 12 states before we helped Edie Windsor strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in the Supreme Court last June.

In the states where gay couples have just…

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