Latest News

Latest News

Written by Don Byrd, these updates bring together the latest news impacting the conversation around religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

BJC issues public comment opposing proposed hiring discrimination rule

BJC issues public comment opposing proposed hiring discrimination rule

A proposed Labor Department rule that would allow federal contractors to discriminate in hiring for government-funded positions “is a harmful and unnecessary expansion of the existing religious exemption,” according to BJC in a public comment submitted in opposition earlier this week.
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Arizona Supreme Court sides with business owner in marriage services dispute

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that under state free speech and religious freedom law, Phoenix is prohibited from enforcing a nondiscrimination ordinance against businesses refusing to create custom same-sex wedding invitations.
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Maryland county commission ends long-running suit over prayer policy with settlement

A judge approved a settlement reached between Maryland’s Carroll County Commission and plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the commission’s prayer policy.
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Federal court orders Texas school district to accommodate students’ religious braids

A federal court in Texas ruled that a public school must make a religious accommodation for two male students with long braids that violate the dress code and allow them to participate in extracurricular activities.
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New York court declines to halt removal of religious exemptions from vaccination requirements

A New York court has upheld the state’s recent decision to end all religious exemptions from vaccination requirements to attend school.
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Appeals court upholds exclusion of nontheists in Pennsylvania House prayer policy

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the Pennsylvania House’s policy of barring non-theists from delivering opening invocations is lawful, overturning a trial court, which found it unconstitutional.
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Texas law barring non-clergy from officiating weddings upheld as constitutional

A federal court says a state can refuse to allow secular individuals (other than government officials) to conduct marriage ceremonies, dismissing a constitutional challenge to a Texas law that only authorizes officers of a religious organization or secular governmental officials for that function.
August 22 designated as day to honor victims of religious violence around the world

August 22 designated as day to honor victims of religious violence around the world

In response to the growing threat of religious violence around the world, the U.N. General Assembly declared August 22 the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.