Welcome

Thomas Jefferson

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” -- Thomas Jefferson, as President, in a letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802

While the First Amendment to the Constitution offers us a wonderful guarantee of freedom to believe as we wish, it is, as with all guarantees, only as good a protection for our liberty as the strength of our demand that it be honored. If we are not vigilant, these protections can be eroded over time, and eventually, will no longer exist.

Join The Atlanta Georgia Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in our struggle to preserve one of the most important principles established by our founding fathers, the "wall of separation" between church and state.

Jeff Selman, our current chapter president, was a lead plaintiff in the "evolution sticker" suit against the Cobb County Board of Education, and he continues to be an advocate for all who are victims of religious discrimination or policies that violate the doctrine of church-state separation.

SPECIAL NOTE 4/3/2015:  And it's all over - the RFRA was not passed this session.

SPECIAL NOTE 3/27/2015 on SB 129 GEORGIA RFRA:  Another Ga. House judiciary committee meeting has been scheduled for Monday 3/30 to discuss SB 129 (RFRA).  The Georgia Voice reports:  http://thegavoice.com/mostly-dead-means-still-alive-religious-freedom-bill-gets-another-hearing/.  There is also some indication that the bill sponsor may attempt to amend HB 59 to add the original RFRA language, if unable to remove the anti-discrimination amendment from SB 129. 

SPECIAL NOTE 3/26/2015 on SB 129 GEORGIA RFRA:  After an amendment adding protections against discrimination passed by the full Ga. House judiciary committee, the bill was tabled in committee.  While this does not guarantee that the bill is dead, it is a positive indicator.  The Georgia Voice provides more details:  http://thegavoice.com/georgia-religious-freedom-bill-stalls-after-discrimination-amendment-passed/

There are a number of bills that are unlikely to surface before the end of this legislative session, but deserve noting:

SR 388:  Constitutional Amendment Stripping the No-Aid Clause (Vouchers and the Faith-Based Initiative Resolution) What this Bill Would Do: This Resolution would amend the Georgia Constitutional provision that prohibits state funds from going to houses of worship and private religious schools. The goal is twofold. First, this change would allow the state to create a school voucher program. Second, it would allow the state to funnel funds to houses of worship and similar entities to perform social services.

Bill Status: This Senate Committee on Oversight favorably reported the resolution. The Rules Committee did not place the resolution on the Senate floor for debate. The resolution is dead for the year.
HB 92/HB 243:  Education Savings Accounts Bills (Private School Vouchers) What this Bill Would Do: It would transfer public funds from the GA public treasury directly to parents for them to pay for expenses—including tuition—at private schools. It is called an “education saving account,” but it is effectively a private school voucher.

Bill Status: HB 92 did not move. HB 243 had been assigned to the House Education Committee, which did not move that bill either. The week before crossover day, however, House leadership removed the bill from the Education Committee and reassigned it to the House Ways and Means Committee, which passed the bill almost immediately. The Rule Committee never placed the bill on the floor and the bill is dead for the year.
HB 171:  Anti-Foreign Law Bill (Anti-Sharia Bill) What this Bill Would Do: Anti-foreign law bills claim to prohibit the application of foreign law in Georgia Courts. These bills, however, are spurred by anti-Muslim animus. They are based on a belief that Sharia law somehow threatens American courts. There is no threat that Sharia law is being applied in our states. These bills, therefore, are unnecessary and simply stoke anti-Islamic rhetoric.

Bill Status: A House Judiciary subcommittee heard this bill on March 9. The subcommittee seemed quite skeptical of the bill and it did not even receive a vote. The bill is dead for the year.
HB 142:  Non-Discrimination Provision for Tuition Tax Credits What this Bill Would Do: This Resolution would amend the Georgia Constitutional provision that prohibits state funds from going to houses of worship and private religious schools. The goal is twofold. First, this change would allow the state to create a school voucher program. Second, it would allow the state to funnel funds to houses of worship and similar entities to perform social services.

Bill Status: This Senate Committee on Oversight favorably reported the resolution. The Rules Committee did not place the resolution on the Senate floor for debate. The resolution is dead for the year.