Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
ADF President and General Counsel Alan Sears writes at the Chuck Colson Center: “We wanted to update you on the litigation involving the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA – which essentially is the law that defines marriage to include one man and one woman for federal government purposes, and allows each state to define marriage without imposing any re-definition on another), and especially the impact of Eric Holder’s unprecedented announcement yesterday that the Department of Justice will no longer defend the law (and in fact actively oppose it) . . . ”
Lambda Legal: “A federal judge has requested the U.S. Department of Justice to explain how it plans to defend denying spousal health benefits to a lesbian federal employee, following an announcement yesterday by the Obama administration that it believes the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White has given government attorneys until Monday, February 28, to respond.”
MyWabashValley.com: “A same-sex couple has filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois Department of Human Rights over the apparent refusal by two bed and breakfasts to allow them to hold a civil union ceremony.”
NY Times: “It would give tenured teachers who are rated unsatisfactory by their principals a maximum of one school year to improve. If they did not, they could be fired within 100 days.”
Jeffrey Lord writes in the American Spectator: “Barely twenty-four hours after her inauguration as America’s first woman chief executive, President Sarah Palin announced today that Attorney General Mark Levin has been instructed to stop defending Roe v. Wade and abortion in a wave of fresh lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country.”
ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the ACLU filed a lawsuit today on behalf of Sukhjinder Basra, a Sikh inmate who is being penalized for refusing to trim his beard on religious grounds.”
Wall Street Journal: “Hungary won’t ban abortion in its new constitution, contrary to initial plans. Still, the country’s government wants to see more children and will use other means than a constitutional ban on abortion to achieve it.”
Christian Post: “Barnabas Fund is appealing to the United Nations to intervene after India refused to grant refuge to six Afghan converts. The converts were named only as Rahimullah and Rita, who have three children, another couple Mohammad and Aisha, who have two children, and two sisters Shazia and Sunita.”
ADF attorney Jim Campbell appeared on the radio to discuss the Obama administration’s refusal to defend the Federal DOMA. | The Hugh Hewitt Show; MP3 audio 8:32 mins | Janet Mefferd Show; MP3 audio 19:17 mins
IONA Institute: The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) has confirmed to The Irish Catholic that under their Code of Conduct, pharmacists must stock the MAP or “take reasonable action to ensure that these medicines or services are provided”.
Charisma: “Gay Presbyterian pastors aren’t a done deal yet, though. The controversial amendment is now making its way to 173 regional presbyteries across the United States for a vote. These regional presbyteries have the power in their hands to open the door to LGBT ministers or slam it shut. If half of the presbyteries vote to open the door, the amendment stands.”
Bloomberg: “The Idaho Senate passed legislation Thursday to eliminate tenure for new teachers and restrict collective bargaining, while also voting on a separate bill to introduce merit pay.”
Christian Post: “The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee decided earlier this week that a church’s membership in a pro-gay Baptist group does not automatically disqualify it from being part of the conservative Baptist denomination.”
ADF attorney Greg Baylor has this post at the Speak Up Movement University Blog which links to this video of his recent appearance at LeTourneau University.
Washington Times: “Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, the top enlisted man in Afghanistan where 100,000 U.S. troops are deployed, said that the sessions on respecting gays’ rights will go right down to the forward operating bases, where troops fight Taliban militants.”
Charisma: “A Christian widow in north Sudan is agonizing over the kidnapping of her daughter eight months ago by suspected Islamic extremists in Khartoum.”
One News Now: “Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), says the declaration contradicts Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ pledge to Congress and the military service chiefs last year, when he said DOMA’s existence would prevent the military from providing housing and benefits for same-sex couples who live together as “married” or “committed partners” on military bases.”
World Net Daily: Only one allegation shook Kline out of his studied cool. When Hazlett asked him to confirm whether he had launched his investigation without a definitive complaint, Kline answered in the sarcastic affirmative, “Yes, a child has not come forward and reported that my rape had not been reported by Dr. Tiller.” Although Tiller was murdered after being cleared in a sham trial staged half-heartedly by Kline’s Democratic successor as attorney general, Planned Parenthood still faces the 23 felony counts brought by Kline.The motivation behind this legal grotesquerie seems to be that, if Kline is found culpable, no one will have the will to pursue the charges against Planned Parenthood.
Catholic Culture: “Measures were defeated that sought to allow religiously affiliated adoption agencies to refuse services to same-sex couples, to allow clerks of courts to refuse to conduct marriages based on religious objections and to exempt public school teachers from teaching materials that ‘promote’ gay unions,” the Washington Post reported.
LifeSiteNews: “The family of dying one-year-old Joseph Maraachli, whose hospital is seeking to remove his life support against his parents’ wishes, announced this afternoon that their lawyer is working to broker a deal with the hospital.
LifeNews: Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life legal group, served as co-counsel with lawyers from the Louisiana Department of Health to defend the law in court. “A patient’s health is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “The court was right to reject this attempt to escape common-sense health and safety regulations. If abortionists truly cared about the people who enter their doors, they wouldn’t be attempting to tear down these types of laws.”
LifeNews: “Last spring, reports indicated that anywhere from 50 percent to 80 percent of privately held insurance plans cover abortion services. Even worse, a recently released study by Students for Life of America (SFLA) indicates that abortion is covered by many student insurance plans offered by leading colleges and universities.”
Philly.com: “For the first time, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has acknowledged it is reviewing the case of a pregnant teenager who was denied permission for an abortion by a county judge. Pennsylvania’s 17-year-old abortion law requires girls under 18 to get consent for an abortion from a parent or, if she wants to bypass her parents, from a judge. The high court’s ruling could clarify how much discretion county judges have to refuse to grant a “judicial bypass” – but only if the justices bend the requirement that such cases be kept confidential . . . ”
ABA Journal: “The justices are scheduled to hear arguments March 28 in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, combined with the related case of McComish v. Bennett.”
Religion Clause Blog: “In Neustadter v. Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring, Inc., (MD Ct. App., Feb. 24, 2011), Maryland’s Court of Appeals– the state’s highest court– held that a trial court abused its discretion when it refused to suspend a civil medical malpractice trial for two days when plaintiff and his attorney could not attend because of religious obligations imposed by the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.”
Religion Clause Blog: “In a surprising decision yesterday, a Utah federal district court held unconstitutional the five years of state court proceedings aimed at reforming the polygamous FLDS Church’s United Effort Plan Trust . . .In Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. Wisan, (D UT, Feb. 24, 2011), the Utah federal district court held . . . ”
AP: “The deputy to Osama bin Laden issued al-Qaida’s second message since the Egyptian uprising, accusing the nation’s Christian leadership of inciting interfaith tensions and denying that the terror network was behind last month’s bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria that killed 21 and sparked protests.”
AP: An outdoor advertising company has taken down an anti-abortion billboard that pictured a black girl along with the tagline, “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.”
AP: “An Afghan man who was jailed for nine months for converting to Christianity has been released after an intense campaign by international diplomatic missions and Christian activists, an official said Friday.”
Abdullah Saeed writes at Public Discourse: “For many in the West this case again highlights how “Islam” appears to be in conflict with “our” values today—including freedom of religion. The common perception is that because of this law of apostasy and the death penalty associated with it, Islam restricts religious freedom and punishes converts from Islam with death. Many Muslims and non-Muslims mistakenly believe that the death penalty is “divine law,” based on the teachings of the Quran and the practice of Prophet Muhammad, the two most important sources of Islamic law and ethics. However, this interpretation is questionable at best.”
“There is one silver lining in the President’s decision to call the vast majority of Americans who believe in traditional marriage bigots: Congress now has the opportunity to offer a real defense of marriage in court.”
California’s Imperial County is renewing its effort to defend the state’s gay marriage ban in a federal lawsuit . . . Now the county has elected a new clerk, and Chuck Storey filed papers Friday seeking to join the defendants.”
Rasmussen Reports: “Thirty-seven percent (37%) say, in terms of its impact on the nation, it’s a good thing that most teachers belong to public employee unions. Forty-six percent (46%) disagree and say it’s a bad thing that most teachers are unionized. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.”
IPSNews.net: “Formally known as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, U.N. Women combines four pre-existing U.N. agencies into one task force that embodies the highest ambitions and aspirations of the drivers of gender equality. ”
AP on MyWay: “Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.”
CNBC: “China should overtake the US to become the largest economy in the world by 2020, then be overtaken by India by 2050,” he predicted.
A federal court Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by abortionists against a Louisiana law requiring them to meet certain patient health and safety regulations. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund are co-counsel together with Louisiana Department of Health lawyers in defense of the law.
LifeNews: “A few dozen leaders of pro-life organizations sent House Speaker John Boehner a letter on Thursday asking him to fight for the Pence Amendment — the legislative language preventing the Planned Parenthood abortion business from receiving any taxpayer funds under the Continuing Resolution.”
LifeNews: “A patient’s health is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “This settlement means the county will not have to put the health and safety of patients at risk just because one man wanted to perform abortions without the same sensible safety precautions that apply to all out-of-town surgeons. The ordinance makes sure that patients receive appropriate treatment in the event that a medical emergency arises after itinerant physicians have gone back home and are no longer available to care for their patients.”
The Hill: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Thursday called boosting Alaskan oil production her top priority and claimed that Middle Eastern turmoil and rising prices put drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) “back on the table.”
World Magazine: When Congress enacts laws on behalf of the American people, the American people have the right to expect them to be defended when they’re challenged,” said Senior Legal Counsel Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund. “How the attorney general’s constitutional duty to protect and defend the laws of the United States becomes optional is a great mystery.”
World Mag: “On behalf of 25 students concerned that the school was calling Christians oppressors, the Alliance Defense Fund sent UC Davis a letter arguing that the wording was “blatantly unconstitutional” and protected some religions over others.”
Yakima Herald: “Inspired by the divine and initialed by a lawyer, the Yakima City Council’s new policy on prayer will debut at its March 1 meeting. And now we beseech all the involved parties to put this behind us and get on with the volumes of work before them. The council last week approved a new invocation policy after consulting with a national group called the Alliance Defense Fund, a group of lawyers who advocate freedom of religious expression.”
Tulsa World: “Erik Stanley is senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, an alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations who defend people’s right to freely live out their faith. He said he is seeing an increasing number of cases of cities using zoning codes to restrict or outright prevent churches from building on their own land. Stanley said Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act in 2000 to prevent just that, but municipalities are ignoring the law or finding ways around it.”
IOL News: Angered conservatives are vowing to make same-sex marriage a front-burner election issue following the Obama administration’s announcement that it will no longer defend the federal law denying recognition to gay married couples . . . Staff counsel Jim Campbell of Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group, said: “The ripple effect nationwide will be to galvanise supporters of marriage.” [This article is widely reprinted, see e.g., Washington Post]
One News Now: Steven H. Aden, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), tells OneNewsNow the settlement implements most of the law. “The ruling introduced last year requires that itinerant physicians, those with only part-time or temporary offices in the county, have to provide patients and area hospitals with 24-hour contact information and the name of a second physician designated for patient follow-up after the itinerant physician goes back to where they came from,” Aden explains.
New Study Shows That Offshore Drilling Could Make Alaska the Eighth Largest Oil Producer in the World – Ahead of Libya and Nigeria
Joe Oster writing at the Speak Up Movement Blog: “What does tidiness have to do with a church’s tax exemption? That is exactly the question that church leaders at the Liberty Assemblies of God church in Concord, New Hampshire are asking themselves after city tax officials rifled through their drawers during a recent inspection of the church property concerning its tax bill . . . We at ADF are representing this church in this case. We believe that a church does not cease being a church when it opens its doors to help out the less fortunate. Rather, by so doing, the church is being faithful to its biblical calling.”
Kevin Theriot writes at the Speak Up Movement Blog (2/21): “In recent months, ADF has been increasingly involved in cases defending the right of churches to even have a place to meet. Woodbridge Church near Minneapolis was the victim of a town zoning ordinance that specifically targeted them for restrictions prohibiting future growth. Port St. Lucie, Florida is prohibiting Palm Beach Gardens Baptist Church from locating in an area where other types of assemblies like private clubs are allowed. And the City of Mission, Kansas now taxes church attendance with property assessments disguised as “fees.” This is sad and alarming at the same time. The many social services churches provide through food, clothing, and counseling will be sorely missed by these communities. And, according to our first president, without the church and the morality it fosters, our government could very well collapse into anarchy.”
The American Spectator: “One would think that Alabama, a state in which teachers unions don’t have the power to force school districts into collective bargaining, would be a bastion of school reform. But within the past year or so, the National Education Association’s Cotton State affiliate has shown there’s more to wielding influence than sitting at negotiating tables.”