Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
LifeSiteNews: “Lech Walesa, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former president of Poland, has warned that the world has ‘lost that hope’ with which it once turned to America as a moral leader.”
LifeSiteNews: “In discussing a new study confirming that polygamy is a staple within gay ‘marriages,’ a New York Times article has suggested that doing away with the concept of spousal fidelity in marriage represents an ‘evolution’ that ‘might point the way for the survival of the institution.”
LifeNews: “‘Nominating Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel is an insult to pro-life Americans,’ Congressman Steve King of Iowa said in a statement LifeNews.com received.”
Christian Post: “At least 18 different organizations and 13 state attorney generals are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the constitutional rights of religious groups to set membership and leadership criteria according to the dictates of their religious beliefs . . . Since the federal civil rights suit was filed against school officials, attorneys with CLS and the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom have argued on behalf of the CLS chapter, insisting that the group should be able to decide its own membership and not be required by the college to admit homosexuals and non-Christians as members and officers in order to receive school recognition.”
Andrew Harmon writes at Advocate.com: “It’s problematic when you talk solely about legal protections, because many straight people don’t see it that way. They see marriage as an ideal about commitment and responsibility. … We need to show them that we want to take on the responsibility that marriage entails for the same reasons.”
NYT: “Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret”
Kansas City Star (AP): “A Senate panel has endorsed a bill that would prohibit discrimination in Kansas based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill was advanced today by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, with three voting against it.”
Related ADF Media Information
Gary Palmer writes at The Alabama Policy Institute: “The survey consisted of sixty questions covering the basics of American history, government, foreign affairs, and economics. In the 2006 report, the average scores for the freshmen were 51.7 percent and the seniors were 53.2 percent . . . Given these dismal findings, it is little wonder that so many Americans do not understand how much of the current national crisis is the result of our government functioning outside the limits prescribed by the Constitution . . . Among its major findings, the new study reports that among those age 18 to 24, only 51 percent believe America’s founding documents remain relevant.”
Web Site: ISI
Jordan Lorence: 14 State Attorneys General agree that Christian students should not be forced to deny their faith
ADF Attorney Jordan Lorence writing at the Academic Freedom File: “The broad array of briefs supporting religious liberty and the Christian Legal Society is amazing. For example, 14 states, through their attorneys general joined togehter in a brief authored by the State of Michigan supporting CLS. The states include a geographic diversity from sea to shining sea of Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.”
LifeNews: “Officials at the pro-life group announced today that they are unveiling a second ad that will air before the Super Bowl begins. The second commercial plans to go further than the first . . . ”
Ruth Gledhill writing at Times Online: “Tory leader David Cameron has launched an astonishing attack on the Church of England over its attitudes to homosexuality. In an interview with the gay magazine Attitude, Cameron tells award-winning journalist Johann Hari that ‘our Lord Jesus’ would back equality and gay rights if he were around today.”
The Maine Campus: “Shenna Bellows, executive director for the Maine Civil Liberties Union, sees three options on the table for moving the same-sex marriage debate back through the legislature after the 2010 elections. ‘We could bring the same bill back again with the new legislature,’ Bellows said in an interview Wednesday. ‘Alternatively, we could bring a civil unions bill or we could bring a bill that provided additional protections but fell short of civil unions or marriage.’”
Breitbart (AFP): “A US Senator has taken the extraordinary step of blocking more than 70 of US President Barack Obama’s nominees amid a dispute over a lucrative US Air Force tanker deal, senate aides said Friday.”
The Straits Times: “Albania’s new anti-discrimination law defends gays and minorities and meets European standards, its sponsors said on Friday, but warned that homophobia is rife and winning over the public will be slow.”
DCist: “In an 18-page memorandum (download it here), the board concluded that an effort to suspend the implementation of the Civil Marriage Equality Act until it appears on the ballot is not a proper subject for a referendum. The legislation, which grants full marriage rights to same-sex couples, was passed by the D.C. Council and signed by Mayor Adrian Fenty last year.”
Iowa Independent: “After numerous meetings at the Capitol Thursday, Brad Clark, campaign director for One Iowa, told The Iowa Independent that he expects Republican lawmakers in the Iowa House to attempt to bring about a vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage by invoking Rule 60, which allows a majority vote on the floor of the House to pull a bill out of a committee even if the committee has not approved it.”
The Guardian: “Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an ‘honour’ killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys.
Talking Points Memo carries the video and reports: “The Virginia Republican Party is out with a whopper Web video today mocking the incoming massive snowstorm as ‘global warming.’”
“. . . I want to zero in on the fatal flaw in most gay-rights causes, and the one the Admiral repeated. It is the failure to distinguish between desires and behavior . . . Claiming you ‘are’ your sexual desires is a case of don’t ask, don’t think . . . ”
AugustaFreePress.com: “ACLU pushes GA to authorize pro-choice specialty plate: The ACLU of Virginia is urging members of the Virginia General Assembly to support Senate and House bills that authorize a pro-choice specialty license plate. The plate, containing the phrase Trust Women, Respect Choice, counters a law passed in 2009 authorizing a Choose Life license plate.”
Shannon P. Duffy writes at Law.com (The Legal Intelligencer):
Lawyers were scratching their heads on Thursday over a federal appellate court’s seemingly conflicting rulings in a pair of closely watched student-speech cases that both involve high school students who were suspended for creating fake MySpace pages on their home computers to ridicule their principals.
Although the cases appeared at first glance to raise nearly identical legal questions about the limits on a school’s power to discipline students for off-campus speech, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the student in Layshock v. Hermitage School District and with the school in J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District . . .
20+ left wing groups sign letter to the White House to prevent “government-funded religious discrimination” and “unwelcome proselytizing”
More than 20 left wing organizations have signed this letter posted on the Anti-Defamation League website. It begins: “On the one year anniversary of your Executive Order establishing the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the undersigned religious, education, civil rights, labor, and health organizations write to urge that you take additional actions to prevent government-funded religious discrimination and protect social service beneficiaries from unwelcome proselytizing . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “Indonesia’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday held its first hearings in a challenge to the constitutionality of Indonesia’s Law on Prevention of Blasphemy and Abuse of Religion . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “Radio Slovakia International today reports that the Plenary Session of Slovakia’s Constitutional Court has rejected a constitutional attack on the provision in Slovakia’s religion law that requires 20,000 signatures of members for a church to obtain registration . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “According to Voice of America, North Korea today said it will release Robert Park, the U.S. Christian activist who crossed into North Korea from China on Christmas day carrying a Bible and a letter urging North Korean leader Kim Jong II to embrace God and close political prison camps . . . ”
[T]hree Islam experts proposed by [Dutch MP Geert] Wilders [in his defence against charges of discrimination and inciting hatred] will be heard behind closed doors, the judges said on Wednesday afternoon . . .
Christian Post: “President Obama’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships will mark its first anniversary Friday, but it’s hard to determine whether the office has been successful or not.”
Spero News (AsiaNews): “The debate over the Reproductive Health Bill is over after four years. Had it been adopted, the draft legislation would have encouraged the use of contraceptives among the population and limited families to two children. Congress ended its session without a consensus. Some 20 congressmen had announced their intention to interpolate on the bill, which would make it impossible to vote on. Any further discussion is postponed until after May elections when a new Congress will sit.”
Robert Rector, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, writing at NRO: “Obviously, abstinent teens are not going to get pregnant or contract an STD. But the research shows that, in general, they also will be happier and less depressed than their permissive peers. Abstinent teens also do dramatically better in school. They are half as likely to drop out as their sexually active peers. And teens who abstain until at least age 18 are twice as likely to attend and graduate from college as those who become sexually active while in high school. The extra schooling achieved by abstaining teens will add, on average, an additional $400,000 to their lifetime earnings.”
The Hill: “While President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agree the Clinton-era law should be repealed, it remains unclear whether that will happen this year or next . . . And if it doesn’t happen this year, changing the law will be far more difficult in 2011, when there are likely to be fewer Democrats in Congress.”
Chicago Tribune: “Court says limiting damages violates separation-of-powers clause by allowing lawmakers to interfere with a jury’s right to determine damages.”
Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, No. 105741 (Ill. Feb. 4, 2010).
LA Times, Top of the Ticket: “President Obama has named Tim Purdon as the chief federal prosecutor for North Dakota. As of early Friday morning, the White House transparent appointments website was not displaying the name of the 41-year-old Bismarck trial lawyer as being an Obama appointee . . . Purdon is a prominent Democratic donor and fundraiser, a national committeeman and was state chairman for the aborted presidential campaign of John Edwards, another trial lawyer.”
Family Research Institute: “Christianity – as the wellspring of ‘animus’ against homosexual activity – is being attacked as full of bigotry, but empty of factual content. This mode of attack worked with Colorado’s Amendment 2 in 1994, and was an integral part of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision. Yet 99% of the empirical evidence regarding homosexual activity supports the Christian appraisal of it . . . On the January 25th Hugh Hewitt radio show, an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) spokesman repeatedly asserted that all they had to do to win – given the well-worn rules of ‘how the law is supposed to be’ – was to prove that conventional marriage was better than ‘gay marriage.’ But what if the court regards this potential violation of ‘human rights’ as exceptional (as Brown v. Board of Education in 1954), and not subject to the ‘usual rules?’ The court might regard this contest as a debate about public policy.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Five street evangelists have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Richmond, claiming their civil rights were violated by police officers enforcing the city’s noise and trespassing ordinances . . . ‘These are important, fundamental First Amendment rights,’ said attorney Steve C. Taylor, who filed the suit with support from the Christian Rights Ministries of Chesapeake and the Alliance Defense Fund of Arizona. ‘Christian speech is not second-class speech.’”
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday against the New Smyrna Beach Public Library on behalf of a man who was prohibited from reserving a public meeting room for a “Religion in America” seminar.
AP: “Attorney Edwin Coq said Laura Silsby knew the group couldn’t remove the youngsters without proper paperwork, while he characterized the other nine missionaries as unknowingly being caught up in actions they didn’t understand.”
Politico: “Between 2003 and 2009, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter obtained nearly $10 million in earmarks for abstinence education. Then he became a Democrat. Since switching parties last spring, Specter hasn’t sought a dime in earmarks for abstinence education — a dramatic reversal that critics describe as a case study in the cynical politics of pork-barrel spending.”
AP: “Pope Benedict XVI says he is worried about support in Scotland for euthanasia as he prepares for a visit there later this year.”
Carson Holloway writes at Public Discourse: “A political scientist explains why the concept of ‘strict scrutiny’ is alien to the Constitution and why it poses a threat to a constitutionally defensible judicial review.”
‘We have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.’ How that can be the case in a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ era seems to have eluded the good senators.
“This not only steers funds to government-approved daycare facilities, but also discriminates against families that have two working parents who might otherwise choose to have one parent stay home with the children.”
TheLocal.se: “The European Court of Justice has told Sweden that it must implement a 2006 measure requiring telecom operators to store information about their customers’ phone calls and emails.”