14 Jul Good News and Challenges on the Religious Liberty Front
From the Desk of Kelli Houghton:
Good News and Challenges on the Religious Liberty Front
The recent Trinity Lutheran decision involved a Missouri religious preschool that had applied for a grant from the state to upgrade its playground safety equipment. Although the school’s application was rated very highly, the state determined the school was not eligible simply because it was religious. The problem was, the state believed, allowing a religious school to participate in the public program would run counter to a state constitutional amendment prohibiting aid to religion. Missouri’s amendment, along with 39 states who have similar amendments (often referred to as “Blaine Amendments”) were enacted during a time of concern with growing immigration, especially by Catholics, and reflected a bias against institutional churches.
- A new case is emerging in Michigan, where the city of East Lansing is excluding a family farm from participating in a farmer’s market because they declined to use their property, 22 miles away, for same-sex weddings.
- A bill that would drastically limit the ability of religious institutions to ask their employees to abide by their religious teachings has passed one house of the California Legislature.