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.

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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.

Learn about Matthew LaClair, a New Jersey public high school student who did not want to be proselytized at school

On Sunday, February 19, at 3 pm, at the Augusta-Richmond County Headquarters Library, Meeting Room A, we are screening the hour-long documentary “In God We Teach.” 

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “A clean and honest bit of documentary work. Rare in these times. Congratulations.” 

“In God We Teach” tells the story of a high school student who secretly recorded his history teacher in class, and accused him of proselytizing for Jesus. The teacher, in danger of losing his job strenuously denied it. The specifics of the controversy lead directly to the church & state arguments that are in the news. With Stephen Colbert, Alan Dershowitz, Neil deGrasse Tyson and others.

General body meeting of CSRA Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State follows.

The film and meeting are free, open to the public and wheelchair-accessible.

Support the Women’s March on Washington and Local Event in Augusta, Jan 21

Americans United for Separation of Church and State asks its members nationwide on January 21, 2017 to support the Women’s March on Washington and the various local solidarity events.

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The local solidarity event in Augusta begins on January 21, 1 pm, at Springfield Village Park, at the corner of Reynolds and 12th St.

If you attend either event, take photos and post them on social media mentioning @AmericansUnited & using the hashtag #AUinAction.