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The Texas Republic News Blog: “Texas law currently requires that students be taught that ‘abstinence before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.’”
Tom McClusky writing at the FRC Cloakroom Blog: “Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) removed potentially controversial language that would have extended to same-sex partners overseas the same benefits given to spouses and dependents, such as access to U.S. health care and moving expenses, saying Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told him she would implement these benefits without legislation.”
Sexual Orientation and the Law Blog: “The bill, sponsored by Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in the House and Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate, would provide benefits for same-sex domestic partners of federal civilian employees on the same basis as spousal benefits.”
Nightlight Christian Adoptions has announced that Ms. Anne Swanda of the U. of Nebraska College of Law is the winner of the 2009 Embryo Law Essay Competition. Ms. Swanda is a Blackstone Fellow.
Learn more about the Blackstone Fellowship.
CNSNews (AP): “A gay rights advocacy group complained to the IRS that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine is violating tax rules by helping a referendum campaign that would repeal the state’s new same-sex marriage law.”
Robert A. J. Gagnon writes at the Christian Post: “The problem is that the analogy to race and gender doesn’t work well. Race and gender are 100% heritable, absolutely immutable, and primarily non-behavioral conditions of life, and therefore, intrinsically benign. Homosexuality and transsexuality are none of these things. While there probably are some biological risk factors for some homosexual development and even transgenderism, science has failed to establish that homosexuality and transsexuality develop deterministically like race and gender. Even the Kinsey Institute has acknowledged that at least one shift in the Kinsey spectrum of 0 to 6 is the norm over the course of life for those who identity as homosexual (75%). Most importantly, unlike race and gender, homosexuality and transsexuality are in the first instance impulses to engage in behavior that is structurally discordant with embodied existence (as male and female). They are therefore not intrinsically benign conditions.”
ABA Journal: After laughter erupted, Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin Goldgar of Chicago offered that the matter needs to be addressed because it is “a huge problem.” He said sometimes he wishes he could tell the female lawyer before him, “I’d really like to pay attention to your argument.”
ADF Senior Legal Counsel Doug Napier appeared on the Michael Medved Show to discuss freedom of conscience.
The mp3 runs just under 10 minutes.
The Union Leader: “House and Senate Republicans this morning called for Gov. John Lynch to veto the same-sex marriage bills so lawmakers may move on to the critical issues facing the state.”
Michelle Goldberg writing at American Prospect: “Meanwhile, just as the gay-rights movement has been globalized, so has the religious opposition. ‘There are currently two major sources of homophobic thought globally,’ says Hossein Alizadeh, the Iranian-born communications coordinator of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. ‘One is primarily Christian conservative movements that are mainly based in the United States. We see a lot of that fitting into the hatred and violence in Africa, the missionaries that go into different African countries and bring with them the message of hate. The second is Islamic fundamentalism.’”
David P. Goldman writes at Spengler, a First Things blog: “Unlike the Catholic position, which proceeds from natural theology, the Jewish position emerges from the legal consideration of the human person, which requires the community to establish a distinction—and that distinction is the event of birth, the physical separation of the baby from its mother’s body. Rabbi Sacks emphasized that the Jewish and Catholic positions converge on nearly the same result, with the only distinction being abortion to save the mother’s life.”
Sarah Sleyster reports in the Des Moines Register: “Gay-Straight Alliance student members Molly Richardson and Melissa Sheber said a change to require parent permission slips for clubs unfairly targeted their group. Some parents might keep students from participating in the GSA by not signing the form, Sheber said.”
John Stucke reports in The Statesman Review: “Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest has undergone a management shuffle during the past year and is attempting to settle a state audit that uncovered Medicaid overbilling and other problems.”
Charles S. Johnson reports in the Billings Gazette: “The Montana ProLife Coalition is proposing a 2010 constitutional initiative that ultimately could ban abortion by declaring that human life begins when an egg is fertilized.”
John Ingold reports in The Denver Post: “Gov. Bill Ritter this week quietly signed into law a bill that will allow gay and lesbian state employees to share benefits with their partners in the way married couples already can.”
One News Now: “A new study shows that despite a much lower salary, private school teachers are happier than their public school counterparts. The study was conducted by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice . . . ”
Brendan Lewis reports at Wicked Local: “Middleton Town Meeting voters narrowly defeated an article last week that would have designated an area off Sharpners Pond Road as an adult zoning district.”
Corrie MacLaggan reports in The Statesman: “The Texas House today gave tentative approval to a bill that seeks to strengthen school health advisory councils. But an attempt to tack on a requirement for sex education failed.”
Susan Simpson writing in The Oklahoman: “The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust board voted Monday to contribute $5.5 million to adult stem cell research . . . The adult cells are not taken from embryos.”
Randy Barnett writing at Forbes: “I decided to draft a Bill of Federalism consisting of 10 amendments devised to restore the balance between state and federal power as well as the original meaning of the Constitution. By identifying 10 separate amendments, a coalition can be formed from people who support different constitutional reform measures that could not be combined into a single amendment. At the same time, opposition to any one provision cannot be used to sink the whole proposal.”
Todd A. Heywood, writing at PrideSource: “Members of the radical anarchist group Bash Back! Lansing have been served with court orders in a federal lawsuit brought against them for their participation in a Nov. 9 protest in the evangelical Lansing Church Mount Hope Church . . . The suit was brought by the Alliance Defense Fund of Arizona.”
OneNewsNow: “‘I’m pleased to see that Attorney General [Andrew] Cuomo of New York is continuing to target Craigslist, because Craigslist is still a problem when it comes to prostitution — and where there’s prostitution, we know there’s sex trafficking and child prostitution,’ says Trueman, a former prosecutor with the Justice Department.”
Kevin Landrigan writing in the Nashua Telegraph: “Austin Nimocks with the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund said Lynch’s changes fail to protect conscientious objectors based on religion and predicted the law would lead to lawsuits.”
Philip Shishkin writing in the Wall Street Journal: “Some conservatives fear that this lawsuit is part of a Trojan-horse campaign to make gay marriage a reality nationwide over the will of voters. They see the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court here in March, as an important one. ‘It’s very significant because the ramifications are extraordinary,’ says Brian Raum, an attorney at the conservative Alliance Defense Fund.”
“Ford said one of the lawyers that called her represented the Alliance Defense Fund, a self-described alliance of Christians and like-minded organizations defending ‘religious liberty, sanctity of life, marriage and the family’ through strategy, funding, training and litigation.”
ACLU threatens to sue Cal. school over parental consent requirement for student’s Harvey Milk report
“The American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego is threatening to sue Ramona school officials after they told a sixth-grader she couldn’t present a report on slain gay rights advocate Harvey Milk to fellow students unless their parents signed permission slips.”
Citizen Link: “U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., has introduced legislation that would pull federal funding from any school that hands out the morning-after pill. The Schoolchildren’s Protection Act (HR 2458) has 40 co-sponsors.”
There are 32 Democrats in the state senate. However, several, including pentecostal pastor Diaz, have stated they will vote against the same-sex marriage bill. Diaz says there are another six Democrats in the state senate who will not support the bill . . .
AP: “Attorneys for a Wisconsin woman accused of praying for her dying daughter instead of getting her help have rested their case without calling any witnesses.”
Jeff Jacoby writes Jewish World Review: “Hate-crime laws serve a symbolic function, not a practical one: They proclaim that crimes fueled by certain types of bias are especially repugnant. But that is the same as proclaiming that crimes fueled by other types of bias, or by motives having nothing to do with bias, are not quite as awful. Is that really a message any decent society should wish to promote?”
The Times-Picayune: “Kenner officials are moving to step up their regulation of sexually oriented businesses with a 29-page ordinance governing such items as hours of operation, floor plans and employee licensing.”
The Lighthouse Blog has posted a press release from the office of Maricopa County (AZ) Attorney Andrew Thomas: “In response to recent events at local Planned Parenthood clinics, County Attorney Andrew Thomas is publicly calling on Planned Parenthood to report sexual abuse of minors to law enforcement and to train and instruct all staff members to do so. Thomas has taken this action after an adult, posing as a 15-year-old impregnated by a much-older adult, visited two Planned Parenthood clinics and was offered an abortion for a fee at both facilities. The encounters with Planned Parenthood were videotaped at two Phoenix Planned Parenthood Offices.”
Separationism to the Extreme: The Mt. Soledad Cross and the Ninth Circuit’s Crusade to Burden the Free Exercise Clause
William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal: “Though it may appear the court’s disposition in the cross controversy was a clear matter of reinforcing the wall separating church and state, the ancillary issue implicating federal free exercise rights was mistreated by the court. Although the Ninth Circuit rested its separationist-favoring decisions on the California Constitution, the California Supreme Court has interpreted the state’s highest law in a far less stringent manner, affording more objective treatment to religious practice. Furthermore, in relying solely on state law and refusing to treat the federal issue, the court failed to properly consider the ramification of its decision on the federally protected right to the free exercise of religion.”
Kentucky Law Journal: “Part I of this Note begins with a discussion of the recent controversy pertaining to the delicate balance of a woman’s right to privacy with a pharmacist’s right to free exercise of religion. Next, Part II focuses on the rights of privacy and autonomy afforded these women as citizens of the United States. Part III considers the rights of pharmacists and the impact of mandatory dispensation laws on these rights. Finally, Part IV proposes a workable solution to balance the protected interests of women and pharmacists alike.”