Freedom of Speech

Smithsonian Gives in to the Far Right, Censors the Artist Who “Spoiled Christmas”

Yesterday GOP leaders called for censoring a privately-funded exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Museum director Martin Sullivan has announced that the disputed work has been removed from the exhibit.

PFAW: Where We've Been and Where We're Going

The recent and unparalleled resurgence of right-wing extremism in todays politics concerns us deeply. But thanks to three decades of PFAW activists, we can meet any challenge.

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Supreme Court Rules Religious Monuments to be Government Speech

The Supreme Court today ruled that religious monuments on government property constitute government speech in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum. PFAW Foundation President Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "I'm pleased that the Court today made clear that religious monuments like the one the Summum sought to erect are government speech. I'm especially glad the decision acknowledged that the establishment clause provides a limit on what government can use that speech to say. Government shouldn't favor one religion over another or favor any religion over no religion at all." PFAW Foundation filed an amicus brief in the case.

Schools and Censorship: Banned Books

An overview of attempts- some successful- to ban books in public schools.

Wendy Gonaver's Fight for Free Speech and Religious Liberty

When Wendy Gonaver was fired for standing up for her religious beliefs, she took action.

Stories of Super-Activism: Vicki Ryder & the Women of Rochester, NY

A video of the the rally of 300 women superstar activist Vicki Ryder organized in Rochester, NY to say "Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak For Me."

Florida Supreme Court Removes Voucher Amendments from Ballot

Following oral argument this morning, the Florida Supreme Court this afternoon unanimously ordered that two proposed state constitutional amendments cannot appear on the November ballot. The amendments would have repealed the Florida Constitution's prohibition on public aid to religious institutions and allowed public funds to be used to subsidize religious and other private education. Placed on the ballot by the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, the proposed constitutional amendments were intended to overturn the Court's 2006 ruling that invalidated the state's voucher law. The Court today ruled that the Commission overstepped its authority by placing the items on the ballot.

People For Response to Revelations of Palin's Attempted Book Banning

Time Magazine today reports that Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin attempted to ban books from her local library as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and then threatened to fire the librarian who stood up to her for not giving "full support" to the mayor. People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert issued the following statement: "People can disagree about a lot of things, but censorship is completely beyond the pale."

PFAW Urges Full House to Support Contempt Citation for White House Officials

The House Judiciary Committee today voted along party lines to recommend that the full house hold White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former legal counselor Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress. Under direction from President Bush, Miers refused to appear before the committee last week, and both officials have refused to hand over documents relevant to the improper firing of nine U.S. Attorneys last year, despite subpoenas issued by the committee.

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