Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Zenit: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided today to postpone voting on a document regarding so-called discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The assembly will take up the document, called ‘Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,’ in its next session in April.”
David French, Director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, writing at Phi Beta Cons: “Given the decisive move of young people toward life, it is hardly surprising that a pro-life advocate emerges from college. And it should be less surprising that it’s Tim Tebow. After all, if you look up ‘unashamed of the Gospel’ in the dictionary, you’ll find Tim Tebow’s picture.”
BBC News: “New lessons have started in Cornish schools aimed at cutting the number of suicides among gay people. Figures from the NHS in Cornwall reveal the county’s suicide rate is higher than average and lesbian and gay people are at more than twice the risk. The lessons are led by Kate Sicolo from gay charity the Intercom Trust. She travels to schools raising awareness and challenging homophobia.”
North Carolina Family Policy Council: “The City of Greensboro filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit against the club on January 21, after a long-term undercover police investigation revealed that the club played host to various criminal offenses involving prostitution, and violated a 2003 state law prohibiting the sale of alcohol at certain sexually-oriented businesses.”
National Post: “[T]he Canadian Centre for Child Protection has launched a website and pilot program, to be used in 100 schools, to warn young people off sexting . . . I suppose if sexting is wreaking havoc with teens’ lives, one can say that TextEd.ca is necessary, and that I shouldn’t be making fun of it . . . Sexting is just the silent canary in the coal mine . . . ”
NewsBusters: “‘They,’ she said, referring to gays, ‘don’t take monogamy and infidelity the same way that the straight community does.’ Such things as fidelity, she added, don’t have the ‘same weight’ with gays as with straights, and – you might want to sit down for this – Behar was actually right for once.”
Christian Post: “Islamic extremists shot the leader of an underground church to death outside the capital city of Somalia this month and have threatened to kill his wife, his tearful widow told Compass.”
Calgary Herald: “A free-speech group allied with Holocaust deniers, women’s advocates and fundamentalist Mormons are among those looking to have their say at a B.C. trial that will determine the constitutionality of Canada’s anti-polygamy law.”
Townhall (Baptist Press): “Following is commentary on day 11 of the trial from Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which supports Prop 8: ‘Day 11, Tuesday, can be aptly described as an exercise in the pot calling the kettle black (or what’s good for the goose is somehow not good for the gander). The plaintiffs’ case, in some part, has hinged upon the premise that reasonable people reflect upon their viewpoints and sometimes change their opinions.’”
LifeSiteNews: “Lawyers defending the California constitution’s definition of marriage in federal court are wrapping up testimony today after weeks of wrangling over theories surrounding marriage, sexuality, procreation, and the law’s involvement in all three . . . the defense of Perry v. Schwarzenegger depended solely on the legal teams of Cooper & Kirk, the Alliance Defense Fund, and ProtectMarriage.com, as Schwarzenegger’s and Brown’s lawyers literally sat on the sidelines . . . ‘This entire trial has been little more than an attempt by activists advancing the homosexual legal agenda to use emotion and sympathy in order to convince the court that marriage is unconstitutional,’ stated ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks.”
Dakota Voice: “On January 21, SB 74 was introduced in the South Dakota Senate. Of course, it makes no mention of embryonic stem cell research or a different, non-destructive type of stem cell research called adult stem cell research; it lumps “stem cell research” into one disingenuous lump.”
ACLU: “For the first time, the U.S. is participating in a process that allows the United Nations to review the human rights records of all member states . . . The ACLU and its affiliates will also play roles in upcoming consultations in New York, Alabama, New Mexico, California, Michigan, Texas and Washington, D.C., addressing a range of human rights issues affecting millions of people in the United States . . . Today is the first step in a process that hopefully will bring U.S. policies in line with international human rights standards.”
Meghan Duke writing at First Things, On the Square: “I decided to visit the [National Gallery of Art] after attending the March for Life the day before . . . After searching my bag, the two guards at the Gallery told me, ‘You’re good to go in, but first you need to remove that pro-life pin.’ . . . The pin, they informed me, was a ‘religious symbol’ and a symbol of a particular political cause and it could not be worn inside a federal building . . . it was a violation of the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution: The combination of me, wearing a pro-life pin, in a federal building was a violation of the separation of church and state.”
National Abortion Federation and ACLU Ask Court to Preclude Voluntary Manslaughter Charge in Trial of Dr. Tiller’s Murderer
National Abortion Federation: “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the National Abortion Federation, the ACLU, and the ACLU of Kansas in the trial of Scott Roeder, the alleged murderer of Dr. George Tiller, asking the court to preclude Roeder from arguing his anti-abortion beliefs in support of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter rather than first degree murder . . . The ACLU brief is available at http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/state-kansas-v-roeder-aclu-amicus-brief.”
ACLU: “A bill was introduced today in the House by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) that would, as Title IX did for girls and women, offer remedies for discrimination “based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity” in public elementary and secondary schools . . . ”
Wall Street Journal: “A July 2008 report on Proposition 8 by California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that ‘over the long run, this measure would likely have little fiscal impact on state and local governments.’ Similarly, a 2004 Congressional Budget Office report estimated that allowing gay marriages would boost federal tax revenues by less than $700 million per year over 10 years, or less than 0.1%.”
Colorado Springs Gazette: “Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 Academy graduate and the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said his Feb. 19 talk will be his first ‘non-adversarial’ forum at the academy in years.”
NY Times: “. . . The legal team for the defense includes Brian Raum, Charles J. Cooper, David Thompson, Andrew Pugno, James Campbell, Jordan Lorence, Nicole Moss, Howard C. Nielson Jr. and Peter A. Patterson . . . Early Wednesday, the final defense witness, David Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, again locked horns with David Boies, a leading lawyer for the plaintiffs seeking to overturn the ban . . . ”
Hartford Courant: “The school board decided Tuesday night not to hold high school graduations at First Cathedral in Bloomfield anymore, sidestepping a potential lawsuit from two activist groups.” According to the report, the vote was taken in response to threats from the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Dr. Grattan Brown, assistant professor of theology at Belmont Abbey College, writing at First Things, On the Square: “When the members of a society carry on a serious debate, the activity of conscientious dialogue, the sharpening of individual consciences, and a relatively stable peaceful consensus all characterize that society’s common good . . . The contribution of conscience to the common good explains why conscientious objection is so intolerable to abortion advocates: It makes a public argument for the abolition of abortion and the discovery of alternatives, wherever possible. Objection generates public debate in which every side expects short-term compromises while complex questions are answered. It aims, however, at the formation of a social conscience sufficient to reject certain medical practices as inherently immoral and unfit for the common good.”
Wisconsin Family Voice reports on Assembly Bill 458/Senate Bill 324, the so-called “Healthy Youth Act.” This bill would gut abstinence education among other things. Wisconsin Family Action provides more information about the bill can be found here.
Ohio SC: Law protecting children from porn regulates only “personally directed” electronic communications
Supreme Court of Ohio Press Release: “The Supreme Court of Ohio today agreed with the state attorney general’s interpretation that a state law banning electronic transmission to minors of pornography or other material ‘harmful to juveniles’ applies only to personally directed communications such as instant messaging, person-to-person emails and private chat rooms, and exempts from liability material that is posted on generally accessible websites and in public chatrooms.”
Rocky Mountain Family Council: 2010 Colo. Legislative Update Includes Public Schools Religious Bill of Rights
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia has posted this short video featuring an interview with an Seth DiStefano of the ACLU versus Jeremiah Dys of the Family Policy Council of WV.
Immigration judge: German anti-homeschooling policy ‘repellant to everything we believe as Americans’
LifeSiteNews: “Baby Isaiah May has been granted at least another three weeks of life, after an Alberta provincial court ruled that he should remain on life support until February 19th while lawyers have him assessed by medical experts.”
Telegraph: “‘We do need good sex and relationship education. That education should teach people about equality, that we treat people the same whether they are gay or straight,’ he said. ‘I think that is really important that we embed that in the ethos of our education.’”
International Law Observer: “The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has just published conclusions on the future of the Strasbourg Court and enforcement of ECHR standards . . . One subject of particular significance, discussed at the hearing, was the need to enhance the authority and direct application of the Strasbourg Court’s findings in domestic law.”
SCOTUS Blog: “Clearly operating on the premise that the Supreme Court last week changed the entire legal landscape for money in politics, the D.C. Circuit Court appeared on Wednesday to be leaning strongly toward giving even more freedom to campaign groups that are set up to operate independently of candidates and parties . . . ”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “The American Civil Liberties Union is looking into the case of a Fayette County high school teacher who was suspended from her job after someone posted photos of her with a male stripper to an online social networking site. ‘We’re investigating the situation and are deeply troubled by the school district’s disciplinary action against an employee for purely private, off-duty conduct,’ Witold “Vic” Walczak, the ACLU’s legal director in Pennsylvania, said Tuesday . . . ”
David Daleiden and Jon A. Shields writing in the Weekly Standard: “In fact, with the exception of communism, we can think of few other movements from which so many activists have defected to the opposition . . . Ultrasound and D&E bring workers closer to the beings they destroy. Hern and Corrigan concluded their study by noting that D&E leaves ‘no possibility of denying an act of destruction.’ As they wrote, ‘It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment run through the forceps like an electric current.’”
Religion Clause Blog: “In Britain today the House of Lords will debate a series of amendments proposed by Baroness Turner of Camden to limit the extent to which voluntary-aided faith schools can hire teachers on the basis of religion.”
ADF Attorney Jordan Lorence writing in the NY Daily News: “All these groups are asking from the city is the ability to use vacant space on weekends just as virtually any other group – from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to unions to local choruses – can. The churches apply the same way every other group does. They pay the same rental rates the schools require other groups to pay. And Bronx Household is even halfway through constructing its own building across the street. But the city keeps saying no. The city should welcome congregations to use its vacant space on weekends. Churches can be some of the strongest glue that holds often fragile communities together. But the city wants them out.”
CBN: “On October 24, 2009, baby Isaiah James May was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. As a result, the baby suffered severe brain damage. Doctors diagnosed that the child had no hope for recovery. Now, the doctors want to remove the baby’s ventilator . . . ”
ADF attorney Austin R. Nimocks appeared on the Jody Hice Show last week (Jan. 18th) to discuss the Proposition 8 trial.
The MP3 runs just under 19 minutes.
AFA of Indiana: “Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters held a hearing on a bill authored by Senator Jim Merritt regarding the dissemination of indecent material. The bill has been called the “sexting” bill because it mostly focuses on the problem of youth and teens sending and receiving sexually explicit mater in text, cell phone or electronic messaging.”
NCPA: “Most shocking of all, the government now admits that 200,000 children live in homes where there is a known high risk case of domestic abuse and violence. The figures also show that a child living with a non-biological father is eight times more likely to be on the ‘at risk” register and 50 times more likely to die from injuries inflicted by an adult living in the home,” says Smith.”
ADF attorney Doug Napier appeared on AFR Focal Point with Bryan Fischer to discuss the Proposition 8 trial.
The MP3 runs approximately 13 minutes.
“Liberty Counsel releases a 72-page report today detailing information on each of the nominations and appointments of President Barack Obama. This report documents the beliefs, words, and actions of the radical group Obama has hand-picked to “change” our nation. The document provides information on more than 100 of Obama’s appointments and nominations. It includes more than 850 citations to articles, websites, and cases regarding these individuals and took weeks to compile . . . ”
The Hill: ” . . . Democrats such as Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Max Baucus (Mont.) have approached Snowe within the past week to discuss her potential support for various healthcare proposals . . . ”
KCBS: “David Blankenhorn, the founder and president of the Institute for American Values, took the witness stand Tuesday afternoon in the federal same-sex marriage trial . . . Defense Attorney Austin Nimocks said Miller’s central point about gay political power withstood the five-hour legal assault. ‘I think Professor Miller did very well, given what he was called to testify about,’ Nimocks said.”
Anchorage Daily News (Sacramento Bee): “David Boies, an attorney for the plaintiffs, questioned Blankenhorn’s credentials and conclusions and noted that Blankenhorn had written in a book that ‘we would be more American’ if gays were permitted to wed and their children would be better off . . . Austin Nimocks, an attorney for Proposition 8 defenders, told reporters during a break in the proceedings that Blankenhorn’s remark was based on a hypothetical presumption that same-sex marriage and heterosexual marriage were equal. ‘He made it clear it was not,’ Nimocks said.”
LifeNews: “More details are emerging on a botched legal abortion that killed a New York Hispanic woman that took place on Monday at an abortion center in Queens.”
NewsMax: “Chief Justice John Roberts last week made it clear that the Supreme Court over which he presides will not hesitate to sweep away its own major constitutional rulings when doing so is necessary to defend America’s bedrock governing document. The announcement of that guiding core principle means two very big things . . . ”
Update from ADF Attorney Austin R. Nimocks: “The plaintiffs’ case, in some part, has hinged upon the premise that reasonable people reflect upon their viewpoints and sometimes change their opinions . . . We saw this theme today in the cross-examination of Professor Kenneth Miller, a Harvard lawyer and political science professor at Claremont McKenna College . . . In the end, Dr. Miller held his own quite well, and the plaintiffs were unable to undercut Dr. Miller’s powerful testimony that the advocates for marriage redefinition in the United States do not lack political power, but rather have many powerful political allies. And because Dr. Miller wouldn’t abandon his current convictions about the initiative process in America, the plaintiffs eventually ended their questioning of him.”
Via the Georgia Family Council, the proclamation begins: “WHEREAS: God ordained the sanctity of marriage as a holy and sacred union between two people who promise to love, honor and respect each other and to give themselves faithfully to each other for as long as they both shall live; . . .”
Vicksburg Post: “Municipal Judge Nancy Thomas said she will rule in about two weeks on whether Vicksburg police were correct in charging street preacher Micah Bishop and a videographer with disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer. Both are misdemeanors . . . Defense attorney James L. Kelly of Brandon, who is representing Bishop and Clemts on behalf of the Alliance Defense Fund, said ADF is a nonprofit Christian legal alliance that stands up for religious liberty and the preservation of family values.”
WorldNetDaily: “The friend-of-the-court brief has been filed by Alliance Defense Fund in a case in which Planned Parenthood originally challenged a newly adopted South Dakota law requiring disclosure of accurate information to mothers-to-be seeking abortions . . . ‘A child’s life is worth more than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line,’ said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden.”
“‘In their eyes, the problem is religion,’ Nimocks said, ‘and if people of faith would just quit being involved in the political process and not go to the ballot box, the universe would be OK as far as they’re concerned.’”
Baptist Press: “Each day during the trial Baptist Press will post a blog entry from someone in the courtroom. Following is commentary on day 10 of the trial from Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which supports Prop 8: ‘As we moved into the third week of the trial, there was a sense that the winds were about to shift and, shortly before noon on the 10th day, the winds did change. After two weeks of emotional appeals, persecution of religious beliefs, and experts who were unraveled by the cross-examinations of the ProtectMarriage.com legal team, the plaintiffs moved to what I would call a “document dump.”‘”
PR Newswire: “Super Bowl ads remain a big draw for viewers, with over 57 percent of U.S. adults who expect to watch Super Bowl XLIV planning to tune in as much or more for the commercials as for the game . . . Hanon McKendry is a national brand consulting and advertising firm that excels at helping clients shift perceptions beyond what their brands offer to what their brands mean . . . The firm has also earned national recognition for its cause and issue-based campaigns and brand development for clients such as the Alliance Defense Fund, Salvation Army, National Arbor Day Foundation, World Vision, Young Life, Focus on the Family and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. Hanon McKendry is a Gravity Six Alliance partner.”
Washington Post: “An estimated 66,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people are serving in the U.S. military, roughly 2 percent of all military personnel, according to a report released Tuesday by a gay rights policy center. The figures suggest a slight increase in the number of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the military, and they provide opponents of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy with fresh data as they lobby the Obama administration for its repeal.”
Catholic League: “As the Catholic Church has long noted, there is a huge difference between condemning sinful behavior and condemning those who engage in it. It is even more preposterous to sanction incivility against sinners by the self-righteous. Plato condemned sodomy. Jefferson thought it should be a felony. Neither was Catholic. And neither they, nor the Catholic Church, ever thought it was okay for gay bashers to act out their hatred . . . ”
Wall Street Journal: “. . . Measure 66 increases Oregon’s personal-income-tax rate by two percentage points for households earning over $250,000 a year. Measure 67 calls for an increase in the state’s minimum corporate income tax, currently $10 a year, and imposes a tax on gross revenues for corporations that do not report a profit . . . ”
“David Boies, a lawyer representing gay couples, began questioning Mr. Blankenhorn in a cross-examination that had the two men raising their voices at each other. Their bickering prompted the judge to end the trial for the day . . . ”
Jeannie Suk, The Trajectory of Trauma: Bodies and Minds of Abortion Discourse (January 19, 2010). Columbia Law Review, Vol. 110, No. 5, June 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1539256
“What is the legal import of emotional pain following a traumatic event? The idea of women traumatized by abortion has recently acquired a constitutional foothold. The present Article is about this new frontier of trauma. I argue that the legal discourse of abortion trauma grows out of ideas about psychological trauma that have become pervasively familiar in the law through the rise of feminism. The Supreme Court’s statement in Gonzales v. Carhart, that some women who have abortions feel ‘regret’ resulting in ‘severe depression and loss of esteem,’ has provoked searing criticism because talk of protecting women from psychological harm caused by their own decisions seems to recapitulate paternalistic stereotypes inconsistent with modern egalitarian ideals. I argue that a significant context for the newly prominent discourse of abortion regret is the legal reception of psychological trauma that has continually gained momentum through feminist legal thought and reform since the 1970s. Rather than representing a stark and unmotivated departure, the notion of abortion trauma continues a legal discourse that grew up in precisely that period: a feminist discourse of trauma around women’s bodies and sexuality. This intellectual context gives meaning to the present discourse of women’s psychological pain in our legal system. The ideas informing abortion regret are utterly familiar once contextualized in modern legal understandings of women that have developed in the period since Roe.”