Tue Feb 26, 2013, 12:15 AM
Adsos Letter (16,773 posts)
AU Legislation State News Roundup!
Feb 25, 2013
by Vanessa Wolbrink in Legislative
Church-state related legislation is popping up all around the country, and AU is on the case. Here are some things that happened in the states last week:
Florida: AU submitted testimony on behalf of Harry Parrott, Clay County Chapter President, opposing HB 351, a bill that claims to prevent the enforcement of foreign laws in Florida Courts. The Courts are already empowered to refuse to enforce foreign law judgments when they violate Florida and U.S. laws, however, making this bill needless. This, like similar bills being pushed in other states, is really motivated by anti-Muslim animus and a manufactured fear that Sharia Law is being implemented in the U.S. The bills before the legislatures no longer make mention of Sharia Law, but the rhetoric surrounding them remains the same. Sharia Law is not a threat in the U.S., making this bill unnecessary and unacceptable.
Kansas: HB 2203 would adopt a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to strengthen the protection of religious exercise in Kansas. Unfortunately, the bill language goes too far. It would allow people to trump civil rights and anti-discrimination laws in the name of religion, turning religion into an excuse to discriminate. AU submitted testimony against this bill on behalf of Vickie Stangl, President of the Wichita Chapter, arguing that, as written, the bill would limit freedoms of the people of Kansas, not protect them.
Oklahoma: Another so-called “academic freedom” bill, SB 758, is threatening to undermine science education and religious freedom in Oklahoma public schools. The clear purpose of the bill is to introduce creationism to Oklahoma students by encouraging teachers to emphasize the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution. Teaching this false scientific controversy is used to invite religious discussion into the science classrooms of public schools, violating the Constitution. If you are from Oklahoma, voice your opinion – tell your legislators to reject this bill.
A bit more on Voucher Bills at the link, plus a link to get involved.
It's whack-a-mole out there...
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