Resources to Learn about #SCOTUS Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision

Continue reading “Resources to Learn about #SCOTUS Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision”

Advertisements

Jul 10, 6 pm – Does the Recent Supreme Court Decision in Masterpiece Allow Businesses to Deny Service Based on Religion?

 Protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court on the day the court is to hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in December 2017. Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/Sipa via AP Images
Protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court on the day the court is to hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in December 2017. Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/Sipa via AP Images

Charlie Craig and David Mullins were planning their wedding reception and went to Masterpiece Cakeshop to order their wedding cake. The bakery turned them away, using religion as as the justification to refuse to serve the couple. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the Colorado Court of Appeals determined the bakery violated a state civil-rights law when it turned the couple away. In the June 2018 decision, the Supreme Court held that the commission’s decision-making process was biased. 

On Tuesday, July 10, at 6 pm, in the basement of the Evans Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd, Evans, GA, we’re going to listen to an expert discussion of the case & then discuss its implications and strategies for mitigation.

If you have experienced a denial of service based on religious belief and you are willing to share your experience in a public event, contact Ayman Fadel at (706) 284-3002 to participate in the program.

For information on the Masterpiece case & decision, visit the page Americans United for Separation of Church and State has created.

Apr 23, 6 pm – God & Governing: How Texas legislators’ religious beliefs guide their lawmaking

The God & Governing project emerged during the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature, as it became evident that discussions of God and faith were underscoring a greater share of political discourse — and disagreement — than in the recent past. The Texas Tribune invited lawmakers to discuss how faith influenced their public policy decisions.

Join us to watch and then discuss.

Free and open to the public

Monday, April 23, 6 pm, basement, Evans Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd, Evans, GA

Facebook Event

 Image from Richard Ash on Flickr
Image from Richard Ash on Flickr

The Ten Commandments: An American Historical Document?, Mon, Mar 26, 6 pm

Both the Columbia and Richmond County Courthouses have “Historical Document Displays” which include The Ten Commandments. We’ll listen to a Pew Forum recording of nationally-known lawyers Douglas Laycock and Jay Sekulow make the case for both the legality and illegality of such displays and then have a moderated discussion. Douglas Laycock is the Associate Dean for Research and Alice McKean Young Regents Chair at the University of Texas School of Law. Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice.

Free and open to the public

Monday, March 26, 6 pm, basement, Evans Library, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd, Evans, GA

Facebook Event

Background information:

“Historical” Documents Display in Ruffin Courthouse, Richmond County, Georgia, December 2017

Talking Points Against Legislation Which Permits Public University-Funded Student Groups to Discriminate

Georgia (HB 471 and SB 339) and South Carolina (H 4440 and SB 221) are both considering legislation which would permit public university-funded student groups to discriminate.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has produced a document of talking points to help you advocate against the passage of such legislation.

Oppose SB 375, which permits state-funded adoption & foster-care agencies to discriminate based on religion

SB 375, introduced by Georgia Senator William Ligon, would allow taxpayer-funded adoption or foster care providers to cite religion to justify discriminating against the kids in their care and the parents who want to provide them homes. — learn more —-

Use this online action tool to send a message to your Georgia senator!

Consider attending the next Georgia Equality lobby day, Thu, March 1, 8:30 AM, in Atlanta.

Here’s an example of a letter you might send to your state senator:

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to oppose SB 375. Religious freedom gives us the right to believe or not as we see fit, but it does not give us the right to harm or discriminate against others. This bill would allow taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to use their religious beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against the children and families they serve.

SB 375 would allow these agencies to refuse to serve any child or family if doing so is contrary to the agency’s sincerely held religious belief. Under this bill, agencies could cite their religious beliefs to refuse to place a child with a qualified same-sex couple, refuse to place a child with her grandparents because of their religion, or refuse to serve a teen and his family because one of his parents had been divorced.

This bill allows agencies to put their religious beliefs over the best interest of children in need. And that’s just wrong. All children in Georgia deserve a safe and loving home. Please vote NO on SB 375.

What Can You Do to Protect the Johnson Amendment?

The American tax code grants houses of worship and other nonprofits special tax-free status specifically because they work for the common good. The Johnson Amendment, which has been in the tax code for more than 60 years, protects the integrity of these tax-exempt organizations by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates.

 

1. Learn more about the Johnson Amendment and the ongoing attempt to weaken it by making it nearly impossible for the Internal Revenue Service to enforce it.

2. Contact your members of Congress and discourage them from weakening it.

3. Join a delegation in visiting the local office(s) of your representative(s). The Central Savannah River Area Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State is attempting to meet with staffers at the local offices of the representatives of GA-12 (Rick Allen, Augusta), GA-10 (Jody Hice, Thomson), SC-2 (Joe Wilson, Aiken) and GA-2 (Sanford Bishop, Macon). If you would consider being part of a delegation, call or text Ayman Fadel at (706) 284-3002.