In the News: Breaking Religious Freedom Stories Across the Country

March 17, 2023
In the News Courtney | First Liberty Institute

Catch up on the latest and most important religious freedom headlines around the web.

Mayor Eric Adams’ Church and State Remarks ‘Surprising’ But ‘Encouraging,’ Says Religious Liberty Group 

Fox News reports: New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams’ recent remarks on the separation of Church and State and praise of religious liberty caught the attention of leading First Amendment organizations and drew the ire of the ACLU and other groups.

First Liberty sent the mayor a letter praising him for setting an example for protecting religious liberty.

First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys told Fox News: “Too many for too long have claimed that the so-called ‘separation of Church and State’ requires public officials to check their religion at the door of city hall.” Dys added, “If our nation’s commitment to religious liberty means anything, it must at least mean that no American should be required to hide their religious beliefs while serving in office. We commend Mayor Adams for setting that much-needed example.”

Restoring Faith in America: Religious Freedom in Public Schools Sails to Approval in Kentucky Legislature 

The Times-Tribune reports: Legislation that would allow more expression of religion in Kentucky’s public schools won easy approval in the House of Representatives with little discussion on the floor. Rep. Chris Fugate, the sponsor of House Bill 547, told his colleagues, “This is a bill that protects teachers, coaches, faculty, and staff members’ religious freedom in the public schools.”

He referenced First Liberty client Coach Kennedy in a statement, saying: “In June 2022, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling sided with the coach’s First Amendment right to religious freedom. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, ‘Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse republic, whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary, or on the field.’”

Stanford Apologizes After Conservative Federal Appeals Judge Is Heckled During Federalist Society Talk

The ABA Journal reports: U.S. Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan has received an apology after protesters who interrupted his March 9 speech with the Federalist Society at Stanford Law School. His speech was titled, “The Fifth Circuit in Conversation with the Supreme Court: COVID, Guns, and Twitter.”

“We are very clear with our students that, given our commitment to free expression, if there are speakers they disagree with, they are welcome to exercise their right to protest but not to disrupt the proceedings,” the letter said. Judge Duncan previously worked as an attorney at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Christian Ministry Sues Rhode Island School District for Blocking After School Meetings

The Christian Post reports: Good News Club, a longtime elementary school ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship, has filed a lawsuit against a Rhode Island school district for prohibiting the student group from meeting on equal terms as secular clubs.Its attorneys filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Providence Public School District. In 2001, the Good News Club won at the U.S. Supreme Court on this very issue.

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