Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Houston Press: “This is an important step in the growth of an organization that, in the past five years, has grown supporters to more than 20,000 and tripled its annual revenue,” said Board President Paul Asofsky . . . Since 2000, the staff has grown from one fulltime employee to a team of 17, which includes attorneys, policy analysts, communications and philanthropy specialist . . . ”
Human Rights Campaign: “Senator Lisa Murkowski has the opportunity to prove once again that she represents all Alaskans. In 2009, she voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Now, she can again vote for that same bill which funds our military and will also repeal DADT. That’s why I’m here on the ground in Alaska. . . ”
El Paso Times: “The City Council today moved to preserve health benefits for gay and unmarried partners of city employees. The decision came a week after city voters decided to end the benefit program in a special referendum.”
LifeNews: “The Michigan Planned Parenthood abortion business was denied a chance to extend their lease at centers in Three Rivers, Sturgis and other cities.”
“ACLU challenges discriminatory military policy cutting in half separation pay for honorably discharged gay and lesbian service members”
ACLU Press Release: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico filed a class action lawsuit today challenging the Defense Department’s discriminatory policy of cutting in half the separation pay of service members who have been honorably discharged for being gay. The separation pay policy is not part of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ statute, and can be changed without congressional approval.” Complaint.
Joel Oster on WJRW 1340 AM to discuss the complaint against a Michigan woman seeking Christian roommate
KLUR 8: “The state of Montana has responded to a motion filed by the ACLU demanding the same legal protections for gay couples that are given to married couples . . . Now, Montana’s Attorney General has denied their request.”
The Post Zambia: “Polygamy is just a selfish matter for men, newly-appointed World Bank alternative executive director Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya has observed. Dr Kalyalya discourages men from marrying more than one wife as such old-age traditional norms amount to injustice to children who grow up in polygamous homes.”
ADF Attorney Kevin Theriot writing at Speak Up Movement / Church: “On October 28, 2010, Colorado District Judge Mullins rejected an atheist group’s attempt to relegate religious groups to second class status . . . First he held the plaintiffs’ claim that the prayer proclamation made them ‘feel like outsiders’ was not a denial of any right or privilege. The Colorado Constitution does not give citizens the right to ‘feel any particular way.’ Then the judge properly determined that allowing the NDPTF to have the same ability to request a proclamation as other groups does not give any preference to religion.”
Although state law and the Arizona Department of Revenue both say that a small, rural church in La Paz County should not owe any property taxes, county officials have levied a $50,000 tax bill against the church anyway simply because a property assessor sat on paperwork for three years.
Historian and government adviser Simon Schama writing in the Guardian: “Who is it that needs history the most? Our children, of course: the generations who will either pass on the memory of our disputatious liberty or be not much bovvered about the doings of obscure ancestors, and go back to Facebook for an hour or four. Unless they can be won to history, their imagination will be held hostage in the cage of eternal Now: the flickering instant that’s gone as soon as it has arrived. They will thus remain, as Cicero warned, permanent children, for ever innocent of whence they have come and correspondingly unconcerned or, worse, fatalistic about where they might end up. The seeding of amnesia is the undoing of citizenship.”
Daniel Hannan adds his own list of six key themes.
Catholic News Service: “Reflecting on his recent trip to Spain, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the need to support marriage and family and for dialogue between religious, political and economic spheres to encourage a just society in Europe.”
DNA: “Taking a serious note of the mushrooming illegal roadside religious places, the Rajasthan high court has directed the state government to come out with a plan within a month for the removal of 58,000 such structures in the state.”
Word & Way: “Since 1998, Missouri law has required venues — including churches — to collect withholding tax on amounts over $300 paid to entertainers who come from out-of-state . . . Missouri apparently holds to the federal Internal Revenue Service’s definition of a love offering or love gift. According to Haley Homan, an accountant with the Bobby Medlin, CPA firm in California, the IRS views most gifts to pastors and other Christian workers as payment for services.”
Washington Times: “The report made no mention that Maj. Hassan, who is paralyzed and awaiting a military trial, had become a radical Muslim. However, it called for ‘promptly’ establishing standards and reporting procedures that would clarify ‘guidelines for religious accommodation.’”
The Christian Century (RNS): “Some 12,000 American Muslims are expected to join an estimated 2.5 million pilgrims in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca for the hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage that this year runs between Nov. 14 and 18.”
The Douglas County News-Review: “A federal jury is scheduled to decide in the spring whether a Douglas County clerk was wrongly fired after she objected on religious grounds to registering same-sex couples as domestic partners. Kathy Slater, who worked for the county for more than a decade before she was dismissed in February 2008, is seeking unspecified damages and attorney fees.”
YLE: “A committee of Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church says pastors could pray on behalf of same-sex couples–but not offer them blessings comparable to traditional weddings. The committee presented its proposal at the church’s General Synod in Turku on Wednesday.”
NECN (AP): “The city councils in Murray and Moab voted unanimously Tuesday to ban housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Washington Post: “Mexico’s House of Representatives has voted to amend social security rules to include medical and social benefits for same-sex couples.”
Forum 18: “Belarusian Pastor Nikolai Borichevsky, who leads the Grace of Jesus Pentecostal Church in the small town of Krupki in Minsk Region, has paid a fine of 700,000 Belarusian Roubles (1,340 Norwegian Kroner, 165 Euros, or 230 US Dollars) imposed on him in August, Forum 18 News Service has learned. The fine was imposed for alleged unsanitary conditions for food served to children at a summer Bible school.”
Christian Science Monitor: “As G20 leaders gather in Seoul Thursday – their first meeting in Asia – to seek to rebalance the world economy, some economists here are warning the United States that it should not worry about China’s and other regional currencies being too weak; rather, it should worry if they get stronger.”
Georgia Family Council: “Education in Georgia, A Citizen’s Guide is a first-of-its kind directory of information covering virtually all aspects of education in Georgia.”
Daily Illini: “Aspiring students and school of law professors filled the auditorium at the Law Building Tuesday to listen to [Gregory Baylor], senior counsel member of the Alliance Defense Fund, a servant organization that fights for First Amendment rights . . . The group defended Professor Kenneth Howell last summer, who was in attendance . . . ‘It should have never happened in the first place. Students are going to complain about teachers, and they have a right to complain about teachers. But I submit that it was wrong for (it) to get as far as it did, for the University to take … action against Dr. Howell,’ Baylor said.”
Goshen News: “Conservative state lawmakers say they expect to re-introduce legislation in the next session that would clear the way for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”
ChristianNewsWire: “The new application gives users access to information from the Coalition’s website as well as allows them to participate in online campaigns and petitions.”
Excerpt from a New York Times story on President Obama’s childhood in Indonesia: “His nanny was an openly gay man who, in keeping with Indonesia’s relaxed attitudes toward homosexuality, carried on an affair with a local butcher, longtime residents said. The nanny later joined a group of transvestites called Fantastic Dolls, who, like the many transvestites who remain fixtures of Jakarta’s streetscape, entertained people by dancing and playing volleyball.” Via the Daily Telegraph’s Toby Harnden.
Beverly Willett writing at The Huffington Post: “Two months ago, outgoing New York Governor Paterson . . . signed legislation making New York the 50th and final state to sign on to no-fault divorce . . . I was heartsick and wrote about my own divorce experience for The Daily Beast . . . Hate mail had already begun rolling in to the website . . . What was controversial about a woman who loved her husband and children more than anything and wanted to save her family from the heartaches of divorce? Was she really an ‘idiot,’ a ‘psycho’ bent on ‘revenge,’ out to hog-tie the man who freely said “I do” into “forced slavery” because of her hard-headed sense of right and wrong?”
Peoria Journal-Star: “[W]hen Helstrom’s and Tadlock’s wedding announcement was published in The State Journal-Register, it was the beginning of the end for Tadlock’s tenure as director of the education program at Benedictine.”
Louis Marven, director of Education and Youth Services at the LGBT Center Coalition in Harrisburg, writing in the Patriot-News: “The General Assembly had three initiatives before it in the 2009-10 session that would advance equality for the LGBT community, including gay youth, but failed to pass any of them.”
Christian Today: “The only authorised Bible-printing company in China marked the printing of its eighty-millionth Bible on Monday, the government’s official press agency announced.’
Reuters: “President Barack Obama’s pledge on Wednesday to strive for better relations with the Muslim world drew skepticism in Cairo, where last year he called for a new beginning in the Middle East after years of mistrust.”
Des Moines Register: “Two races were too close to call on election night, but election results certified Tuesday gave Democrat Tod Bowman of Maquoketa a 71-vote win and Republican Mark Chelgren of Ottumwa a 12-vote win.”
Chicago Sun-Times Editors: “A civil union bill for same-sex couples will likely face a vote during the state Legislature’s brief veto session that begins on Tuesday. It’s time, finally, to pass a bill that opens the door to equal treatment for our gay neighbors and friends.”
Jan Crawford writing at CBS: “In his new book ‘Decision Points,’ former President George W. Bush offers some fascinating tidbits about what could be his most lasting legacy: the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.”
Washington Post: “The U.N. Security Council said Wednesday that it’s appalled by the latest terrorist attacks on Iraqi Christians, calling them a blow against religious diversity and democracy.”
LifeSiteNews: “Police have raided an abortion mill in Melbourne Australia linked to an anaesthetist alleged to have infected patients with hepatitis C. Anaesthetist Dr. James Latham Peters was suspended in February after numerous woman were found to have been infected with hepatitis C after being treated by Peters in a suburban Melbourne abortion facility.”
LifeSiteNews: “Even after authorities unveiled a New Jersey abortionist’s illegal interstate abortion scheme, several of his locations continue to operate with the help of abortionists sporting considerable criminal and malpractice records, including one who is a convicted sex offender, according to a new report by Operation Rescue.”
Violent Muslim occupation of church did not violate law against offending religious sentiments: Spanish judge
LifeSiteNews: “According to Europa Press, the judge occupying the seat of the Fourth Court of Instruction of Cordoba ruled that the incursion into the cathedral, which culminated in an assault on several guards and a policeman, was merely a ‘public disorder’ and was not intended to offend anyone’s religious sentiments.”
ABC: “When George W. Bush revealed on national television that he had witnessed a ‘little brother or sister’ when his mother miscarried and carried a fetus in a jar to the hospital, online media and their followers were shocked . . .”
LifeNews: “[O]ne of the most exciting victories was New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte. She will fill a major void is the U.S. Senate as it no longer lacks a woman’s pro-life voice. The likes of Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein cannot tell her she doesn’t speak for women. ”
LifeNews: “Late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart has opened up about his moving his abortion business to three new states in a new interview following a LifeNews.com report revealing he’s expanding his business.”
National Catholic Register: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a bill that included funding for Planned Parenthood has withstood a challenge from Democrats in the state senate. The veto deprived the state’s leading abortion provider of money that is essential to its continued operation.”
Spiegel: “In a SPIEGEL interview, German Family Minister Kristina Schröder, 33, of the conservative Christian Democrats, discusses the shortcomings of feminism, how she plans to help disadvantaged schoolboys and why women don’t want wimps as partners . . . ”
Follow up from Spiegel: German Family Minister Slammed for Comments on Feminism
Washington Examiner: “Senator-elect Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is one of three senators elected Nov. 2 to fill seats vacated by individuals who joined the Obama administration. Illinois law requires that Kirk assume his office immediately following the election, but unnamed state officials say Kirk can’t be sworn in until Nov. 29 due to ‘paperwork’ delays.”
Congress.org: “Anti-abortion activists are hoping to show aborted fetuses during the Super Bowl. The small group behind the effort may be far from raising the millions required to buy an ad spot, but activist Missy Smith made a significant step towards that goal this election cycle. By running for D.C. delegate during the midterms, she took advantage of federal rules that prevent broadcasters from censoring election ads unless they defame others or violate copyright.”
[T]he primary difference between an open society and a totalitarian one is that the former respects the parent’s right to morally form their children, while the latter believes the state’s moral viewpoint should be imposed even in the home . . .
Medical News Today: “The Washington state Board of Pharmacy voted 3-2 on Thursday to move forward with changes to a rule that prohibits pharmacies from refusing to dispense legal medications, including emergency contraception.”
Terry Jeffrey writing at Townhall: “It is both ironic and instructive that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not only made the same stops on a trip to Indonesia four years ago, but was greeted, according to press reports, as a ‘rock star.’”
ADF Attorney David French writing at Patheos: “Let’s flip the script for a moment. Let’s imagine that in the United States our Christian population was producing thousands of suicide bombers, recruiting tens of thousands of Jihadists, financing hundreds of millions of dollars of arms and ammunition, and distributing literature proclaiming Jews and others as worthy of death. Would Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walk of the set at criticism of Christians? Would Time magazine decry ‘Christophobia’? Of course not. They would argue that Christianity was in crisis, and they would be right.”
Politico: “In a nine-page order released Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange said she was persuaded that a constitutional amendment known as State Question 755 seemed to have a legally improper religious purpose and posed a threat to violate the rights of Muslims . . . ”
Ed Whelan comments at Bench Memos.
Eugene Volokh writing at The Volokh Conspiracy: “I’m no fan of the amendment, which would also apparently ban the use of foreign law in Oklahoma courts, even in situations — such as disputes about whether two people were validly married in a foreign country, enforcement of contracts that provide for the use of (say) British law, and tort litigation over conduct that happened in a foreign country — where foreign law has long been used under standard choice-of-law principles. And it’s also possible that the specific ban on the use of Sharia law might be unconstitutional, though that depends on exactly how the amendment is interpreted. But my tentative sense is that the plaintiff doesn’t have standing to challenge the ban on the use of Sharia.” | More from Volokh on standing.
Seattle Times: “Bolstered by King County votes, Bainbridge Island attorney Charlie Wiggins took his first lead Tuesday in the state Supreme Court race and appeared headed for victory over state Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders.”
San Angelo Standard-Times: “‘Keith believed he was a part of a lawful wedding,’ FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop said of the union between Dutson when he was 20 and the victim when she was 15.”
CNN: “Indonesia and the United States share principles of unity and tolerance and both can benefit from strengthened ties that will bolster trade and combat terrorism, President Obama said in a highly anticipated speech Wednesday.” Partial video is included in article.
Full text of Obama’s prepared remarks can be found here.
Associated Press: “Suspected Islamist rebels fatally shot two Indian paramilitary soldiers guarding a busy marketplace in India’s portion of Kashmir on Wednesday, an official said.”
Associated Press: “President Barack Obama’s every utterance in a speech Wednesday morning at the University of Indonesia was met with laughter, applause and a swelling feeling that he belonged to this nation of islands.”
“A federal appellate court ruled Tuesday that requiring small groups who promote ballot initiatives to file campaign finance reports is so burdensome that it’s unconstitutional, dealing the latest blow to open-government advocates.”
Associated Press: “President Barack Obama has paid a visit to Indonesia’s largest mosque, one of the largest of its kind in southeast Asia.”
Associated Press: “Baghdad’s Christians came under attack again Wednesday when a coordinated series of roadside bombs blew up in predominantly Christian neighborhoods, killing five people.” | AFP: Bombs kill six Baghdad Christians, sow panic
Reuters: “Germany’s undiplomatic outbursts against U.S. policy, calling it ‘clueless’ before a G20 summit, show growing estrangement on economics as America’s focus shifts away from transatlantic ties to domestic challenges and Asia.”
HSLDA: “In a carefully worded letter to ‘Parent[s] and/or School Administrator[s],’ the Morongo USD notified homeschooling families that if the school district receives a complaint, the school district has an obligation to investigate the parent for violation of compulsory education laws, i.e, truancy.”
HSLDA: “In an exciting nationwide first, Missouri now allows parents to issue work certificates for their own children if they follow certain requirements . . . now a parent can be the ‘issuing officer’ for a work certificate if the various requirements are met.”
London Telegraph: “According to the Conference Board, a highly respected economic research association, China will overtake the US as the world’s biggest economy by 2012, or within two years.”
New York Times: “President Obama’s criticism of new Israeli housing plans for East Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s even sharper retort, have thrown the Middle East peace talks into jeopardy, with the dispute over Jewish settlements looming as a seemingly insuperable hurdle.”
Associated Press: “A U.S. federal appeals court judge says the United States should consider legalizing marijuana. Judge Juan Torruella tells a law school audience in Puerto Rico that experimenting with legalization of marijuana and perhaps other drugs is a better way to reduce drug abuse and crime.”
Boston.com (AP): “Abortion opponents have added to their ranks in the Massachusetts House, while abortion rights supporters say they still have a slim majority.”
Winston-Salem Journal: “Many of the foundation’s members are concerned that the city may allow religious flags such as the Muslim Crescent and Star flag, the satanic flag and Wiccan flag, all of which are recognized by the U.S. military, to be flown at the memorial, James said . . . City officials are working with their attorney and lawyers with the Alliance Defense Fund to hammer out the policy’s details, including which flags and symbols can be displayed at the memorial.”
Ken Klukowski writing at Townhall: “The second issue was argued by a lawyer from the office of Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard (an outgoing Democrat). That was a shame, in that this case was defended by, and the briefs written throughout the case—including at the Supreme Court level—were written by, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). Arizona’s lawyer was hesitant in many of her answers . . . while ADF’s lead attorney in this case, [David Cortman], is a well-spoken appellate lawyer who was better equipped to argue the case, and wrote the brief for the STO. (I can’t remember the last time the lawyer who wrote the brief for the Supreme Court was not allowed to argue the case.)”
Christian Post: “The American Civil Liberties Union and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders both filed lawsuits Tuesday on behalf of same-sex couples trying to receive federal benefits from their partners. In GLAD’s case, the advocate group filed a lawsuit on behalf of five same-sex couples and widowed partner across three states – Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire . . . ADF Legal Council [Dale Schowengerdt] explained that GLAD put multiple plaintiffs on the lawsuit because ‘their legal arguments are a little bit thin and they focus a lot on the stories of these couples and basically make an emotional appeal.’”
Tampa Bay Online (AP): “Fresh off the tea party’s show of election might, GOP Sen. Jim DeMint said Tuesday he’ll force a showdown next week with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other old guard Republicans over “earmarked” pet projects that DeMint and other victors last week made a symbol of out-of-control deficit spending.”