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 >>

Protect Access to Birth Control

Wait, Did An Oklahoma Hospital Try to Ban Birth Control Prescriptions For An Entire Town?

By Kelsey Townsend, Reproductive Freedom Project, ACLU at 2:06pm
Last week, women in Bartlesville, Oklahoma faced a terrifying possibility. According to a new religiously based directive from the town's main health care system, only one OB-GYN in the entire town would have been allowed to prescribe birth control. So access to contraceptives in the city would have gone something like this: Is Dr. Oliver your OB-GYN? If so...congratulations! You can continue receiving prescription contraception for birth control. If not…too bad! Unless you require contraceptives for reasons other than birth control, you can no longer receive a prescription from your physician.
Pregnant Woman Suffers. You Won't Believe Who's to Blame.

Pregnant Woman Suffers. You Won't Believe Who's to Blame.

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 12:34pm

When you show up at a hospital, in need of medical aid, you expect that you're going to get the care that you need—that the doctors and nurses will figure out what's wrong, explain to you the options for treating it, and give you the best medical…

Before You Go to a Catholic Hospital, Read This

Before You Go to a Catholic Hospital, Read This

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 2:13pm

"Whatever you do, if anything happens, don't take me to St. Vincent's." Those were the words my friend uttered to her husband regularly throughout her pregnancy years ago, when St. Vincent's, a Catholic hospital serving lower Manhattan, was still open.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

A Unanimous Decision for Equality

A Unanimous Decision for Equality

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 4:41pm

When a business opens its doors to the public it must comply with anti-discrimination laws, even if doing so offends a business owner's religious beliefs. That's the bottom line in today's unanimous decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court holding…

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm

A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).…

Statistics image