Subscribe to RSS - Legislative

The official Americans United blog on legislation and activities of lawmakers.

To EACH Their Own (Religious Exemption)

We have lately become all too familiar with demands for religious exemptions from the contraception coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, H.R. 2061, would carve out from the ACA a religious exemption of a different nature. The EACH Act would provide an exemption from the ACA’s individual insurance mandate for individuals with a religious objection to using certain medical care services.

State-Funded Discrimination: Adoption Edition

This year’s saga of state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills is nearing the end, but has not come to a complete stop, yet.  We continue to monitor RFRA bills in North Carolina and Michigan. Meanwhile, many other bills are moving through state legislatures and have been introduced in Congress that would allow religious beliefs to justify discrimination in adoption placements by state-funded, private adoption agencies.

Discriminatory “Religious Freedom” Bills: Marriage Refusal Edition

We’ve been blogging a lot about state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills that could potentially allow discrimination against the LGBT community in the name of religion. We have also been closely following a surge of “religious freedom” bills that would specifically permit individuals—and oftentimes government officials—to refuse to recognize, perform, or issue licenses for marriages.

AU and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: This Year’s Fight Had a Few Surprises

In our last update on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), we asked all of our members and supporters to reach out to their legislators and tell them to reject any amendment that would create private school vouchers. Thanks in large part to that effort, we won the private school voucher fight! However, we ended up with a very different church-state fight on the floor.

Private School Vouchers - A Win

State RFRA Updates: Good News and Bad News

The recent flood of state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills continues. We oppose these bills because they could allow not just individuals, but also private corporations, to violate important laws—like non-discrimination, public safety, and public health protections—in the name of religion. This week there was both good news and bad news in the world of state RFRAs.

The good news

South Carolina Catastrophe

Although the South Carolina legislature doesn’t officially convene until January 13th, it has already pre-filed an onslaught of bills that could violate the separation of church and state.