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Listed below are the primary issues Americans United concerns itself with. Click on each topic heading to read more at the national AU site.
Public schools are a unifying force in our society. They are open to all students regardless of race, ability or religion.
No students should feel excluded in their own school because of their beliefs, and no parent should have to worry that their children are being given religious instruction in a public school. It is also wrong for anyone’s tax dollars to be used to support religious education through private school vouchers.
Americans United fights to ensure that all public schools are inclusive and that taxpayer dollars are not diverted to private schools. We do this by opposing vouchers, school-sponsored prayer and religious instruction.
Religious freedom is about fairness. No one’s religion should be used to harm others.
Religion is often used as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, non-believers and others. Some want to use their religious beliefs as an excuse to deny health care, refuse to provide goods and services, and disobey laws protecting Americans from discrimination.
Americans United is fighting for equality, fairness and religious freedom and we are standing up to those who would harm others in the name of religion.
Even with the tremendous progress made toward equality for LGBTQ Americans in recent years, there are still many who try to use religion to justify discrimination.
Employment and health care are two critical areas in which LGBTQ people regularly face discrimination in the name of religion – but it doesn’t stop there. Clerks harass same-sex couples trying to get marriage licenses, LGBTQ parents are still blocked when they go to adopt children and some businesses refuse to serve same-sex couples.
Americans United is fighting back through our Protect Thy Neighbor campaign because we believe that religion should not be used as an excuse to deny equality to our LGBTQ neighbors.
Reproductive health care is critical to women and their families. Women should decide for themselves if, when and how to start a family. Yet some employers, universities, insurance companies, hospitals, medical professionals and pharmacies use religion as an excuse to deny women information about and access to this essential care.
Across the country religion is being used as an excuse to block access to comprehensive insurance coverage, birth control, emergency contraception, fertility treatments, abortion care and transition-related care.
Americans United fights efforts to use religion to undermine reproductive rights and to discriminate against women and LGBTQ people.
One of the most important freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution is religious freedom.
Religious freedom is the right to decide which religion to follow – if any – without government coercion or interference. Indeed, religion and belief are stronger without government support.
Religious freedom ensures that you can decide whether or how to pray, that you cannot be banned from entering this country because or your religion and that no one else can use his or her religious beliefs to harm you or deny your civil rights and civil liberties.
Americans United fights each and every day to protect the rights of all Americans to believe – or not – by ensuring there is a healthy distance between religion and government.
Government should treat all of its citizens equally. No American should be made to feel like a second-class citizen because of what he or she believes (or does not believe) about God or religion.
When government sponsors prayer, displays religious symbols or includes worship in official activities, it sends a message that some faiths are preferred over other faiths or non-faith. Government should be neutral on theological questions and should never send a message like this.
Politicians shouldn’t use houses of worship as political tools. For more than six decades, a provision of the tax code known as the Johnson Amendment has protected the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates.
The Johnson Amendment protects the freedom of speech of both houses of worship and other community nonprofits. At the same time, it shields them from the pressure to endorse or oppose specific candidates in elections. No one wants our charities and houses of worship to be torn apart by partisan campaign politics.
Americans United has been working for two decades to protect the Johnson Amendment and to keep partisan politics out of houses of worship.