Americans United in ACTION! Staff Members and Chapter Activists Spread the Word about AU's Work

Church & State, July-August 2019 | Go to article overview

Americans United in ACTION! Staff Members and Chapter Activists Spread the Word about AU's Work


June was another busy month for members of Americans United's staff and local activists. Here are some highlights:

Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser traveled to Houston June 17, where she addressed the AU Houston Chapter and met with local clergy. Laser's speech was titled "Church-State Separation In Trump's America: Where We Are And Where We're Going." Prior to the trip, Laser did a question-and-answer profile with the Houston Chronicle and once there appeared on a local NPR affiliate.

The Chronicle asked Laser to outline the most pressing church-state issues. She replied: "We are witnessing unprecedented attacks on the wall of separation between religion and government. From the recent denial of care rule that allows anyone associated with the health care industry--from janitors, to schedulers to doctors--to deny patients even life-saving care based on their religious beliefs, to the South Carolina waiver allowing all taxpayer-funded South Carolina foster care agencies to turn away prospective parents who are the 'wrong' religion, the Trump administration is giving a license to discriminate to those who subscribe to one narrow set of religious beliefs."

Maggie Garrett, AU's vice president for public policy, spoke at the Anti-Defamation League's National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., June 2. Garrett took part in a panel discussion on religious freedom issues.

AU Legal Director Richard B. Katskee was in Hammond, Ind., June 10 with Alison Tanner, an AU legal fellow, and Carmen Green, AU litigation counsel, for an oral argument before a federal court in an AU-sponsored lawsuit. The case, Irish 4 Reproductive Health v. HHS, challenges a backdoor arrangement the Trump-Pence administration made with officials at the University of Notre Dame that resulted in students and faculty losing access to birth control. Tanner presented the argument before the U.S. District Court in Northern Indiana.

Katskee traveled to Provo, Utah, June 19 to take part in a conference titled "Religious Freedom for a New Generation. …

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