Lower Court Refusal to Protect Humanists Threatens Rights of all Religious Minorities
WASHINGTON, DC — Muslim Advocates, working with, Aegis Law Group LLP and Thompson HD, submitted a brief today asking the Supreme Court to take up a religious freedom case.
JonMichel Guy, who identifies as a Humanist, sued the Wyoming state prison where he is incarcerated because the facility prevented him from forming a Humanist study group— though it permitted study groups for other religions. Disturbingly, the Wyoming Supreme Court threw out his lawsuit because no previous case had clearly established that Humanism qualified for protection under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. Mr. Guy, represented by the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, filed a petition last month asking the Supreme Court to take up the case. Today, Muslim Advocates submitted a brief in support of the petition.
“The Wyoming Supreme Court’s ruling gives government officials a license to discriminate against practitioners of non-mainstream religions and dismiss their sincerely held religious beliefs,” said Muslim Advocates Staff Attorney Matthew Callahan. “It is perverse and illegal for a court to adopt a rule that creates barriers solely for the people most in need of the law’s protection. It’s time for the U.S. Supreme Court to grant the petition and correct this erroneous decision.”
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Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.