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Question for the candidates

Does religious freedom mean the right to discriminate against other people, to harm them and take away their rights?

That’s Americans United’s simple and direct question for the candidates during the October 9thpresidential debate. We’d like to hear what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have to say about it.

Religious freedom is a fundamental value that Americans United has been fighting to protect for seven decades.  It has always guaranteed us the right to believe – or not – as we see fit, and the right to act on our beliefs so long as we don’t harm others.

But now people are trying to hijack religious freedom and claim that it means the right to discriminate,including the right to refuse services to LGBTQ Americans….the right of bosses to interfere (based on religion) with their employees’ access to medical services…the right to use religion to make moral decisions for others.

We don’t believe religious freedom means any of those things – and we’d like to hear what the candidates have to say.

The moderators of the next debate have agreed to consider questions that get the top votes on the Open Debate Coalition website. AU has listed this one:

Will you ensure religion isn’t used as an excuse to discriminate and harm others?

It’s a compelling question, an important one, but it won’t get asked without your help. Vote for our questionhere. And spread the word by sharing this message on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for your help!

Coffee (on us!) and discussion

Join us for coffee, and your first drink is on us!  Meet and greet the AU board for an open discussion Separation of Church and State issues and how the results of the election in November might affect them.

We will be meeting 6:30 PM, Oct 6th at the Dunn Brothers Coffee upstairs meeting room at 201 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401.

Please take this opportunity to renew your membership if you have not done so already.   Remember to choose the MN chapter when renewing.  Americans United makes renewal an easy process online at this link.


Religious freedom vs. Religious discrimination

At a post up on (where we regularly turn to find the latest rulings and discussion about legal matters before the Supreme Court), Americans United’s legal Director Richard Katskee discusses the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley case.  A ruling for the Church in that case could be very damaging to the separation of church and state, and Katskee lays out the case why.

KY: Kim Davis in trouble again

What happens when respect for the rule of law is thrown out the window for religious reasons.

But Davis and Liberty Counsel don’t want to cooperate.

“There’s nothing to reveal here,” said Mat Staver, the group’s founder and lead attorney. Staver, who says he represents Davis for free, told the state that the requested documents are legally exempt from review.

The attorney general’s office asked to examine the documents in a private review to determine if they are indeed exempt from the open-records laws. Liberty Counsel refused even this request. That, the attorney general’s office says, goes too far.

“An agency cannot benefit from intentionally frustrating the attorney general’s review of an open records request. Such result would subvert the General Assembly’s intent behind providing review by the attorney general,” said Assistant Attorney General Matt Jones. The attorney general’s opinion carries the force of law, and Staver is considering his options.



Permanent Injunction On Ala. Marriage-Equality Ban

Excellent news, and a win for same-sex couples everywhere in the US!

Strawser v. Strange is being litigated jointly by Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Birmingham attorney Heather Fann on behalf of same-sex couples in Alabama who have married or wish to marry.

More details here

Reminder: Board Meeting, Elections and Discussion

A reminder!  Our open board meeting and annual elections will take place on Saturday April 16th at 1:30-3:00 pm at the East Lake library meeting room, 2727 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406. We will also have as a discussion topic: “2016 Elections and Legislation to look out for”. We hope to see you there!

If you want to be on our mailing list to receive notifications about MN AU Chapter activities (which now include monthly discussion groups on Separation topics), please let us know through the “Contact” links on this page.

Please also remember to renew your membership this year. Americans United makes renewal an easy process online at this link:

Excited about caucusing? So are we!

March 1st is caucus day in Minnesota, and we’re excited about going out to help influence the direction of our country by performing our civic duty.  Especially when that means presenting and supporting resolutions to keep Church and State separate!

If you’re also as excited about voting as we are, then we have some news on the MN Chapter of Americans United as well: our board elections are coming up.  They will be held on April 16th, 2016, 1:30-3:00 pm at the East Lake library meeting room, 2727 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN.  We will also have as a discussion topic: “2016 Elections and Legislation to look out for”.   We hope to see you there.

If you would like to submit someone as a candidate for a position on the board (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer or Member at Large), send us an email at