Freedom of Religion

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.– The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia, explains the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cake case. Watch the video to hear his entire speech at the press conference that Georgia Equality held at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta on June 4, 2018.

As enshrined in the First Amendment, religious freedom includes two complementary protections: the right to religious belief and expression and a guarantee that the government neither prefers religion over non-religion nor favors particular faiths over others. These dual protections work hand in hand, allowing religious liberty to thrive and safeguarding both religion and government from the undue influences of the other.

From our foundational work on behalf of conscientious objectors to our historic defense of John T. Scopes during the infamous “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925, the ACLU has been the national leader in the struggle for religious freedom. Building on that near-century of work, the ACLU employs an integrated strategy of litigation, public education, and advocacy to protect religious liberty.

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