The ACLU of Iowa supports the First Amendment right to freely exercise religious beliefs without government restraint and to make sure the government does not endorse religion.

Fighting so-called "religious freedom" bills

We’ve lobbied against misnamed “religious freedom” bills that would essentially allow public businesses and facilities to discriminate against anyone—people of color, gay people, unmarried couples—because their religion supports it.

Speaking out against Gov. Branstad formally endorsing Christian prayer

Former Gov. Branstad issued a formal proclamation instructing Iowans to pray and read their Bibles as the one true word. That was a clear violation of the separation of church and state, with our state's top official endorsing a particular religion. We spoke out against his action.

Educating Iowa public schools on student assemblies with religious messages

After another report of a school district that held a student assembly with overtly religious messages, including homophobic content, we sent out an advisory to school officials on how to avoid such assemblies and to keep government-run schools free of religious proselytizing.

Stopping public school students from being forced to sing The Lord's Prayer 

In 2002, we successfully represented two Dunlap, Iowa, high school students who did not believe in God but were required to sing The Lord's Prayer. It was part of a long history of our representing Iowa students who opposed prayers at graduation and other official school events. Find out more.

Defending the right of students to wear anti-abortion t-shirts

We defended the First Amendment Rights of two Des Moines High school students who were wearing anti-abortion T-shirts at their school. Find out more.