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KYTX.com: “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Texas in a letter today urged the Nacogdoches Independent School District (NISD) to remain neutral on matters of religion and avoid situations like the one at Mike Moses Middle School, where Gideons International reportedly distributed Bibles to students in the cafeteria.” | ACLU press release and letter
Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Whether Barnes is dying is in dispute, with his wife, Lana, and doctors from Methodist Hospital due to resume arguments over his medical care Wednesday in Hennepin County Probate Court. No matter who prevails, the dispute has re-opened unsettling and widely debated questions about end-of-life care . . . ”
LifeNews: The Senate rejected, on a 44-56 vote, the House-approved long-term budget bill that contains the Pence Amendment de-funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Lawmakers needed 60 votes to pass the bill under the rules of the Senate and did not come close to the number needed to do so.
CNSNews (includes video): Former Bush Administration Solicitor General Ted Olson, who represented the plaintiffs who sued California to overturn that state’s ballot-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, told CNSNews.com on Tuesday that children do not need mothers–or fathers–and do just as well being raised by two parents of the same sex.
Europe News: A priest and three deacons are missing following an attack last night by about 4,000 Muslims in the town of Soul (30 kilometres south of Cairo) against the local Coptic community.
Providence Journal: “Tuesday, Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, said lawyers are to meet “over the next few days,” and a lawsuit is forthcoming.”
National Catholic Register: “Ireland’s new governing coalition adopted a legislative agenda that looks likely to put it on a collision course with Catholic leaders and other faith groups on gay marriage and plans to reduce Church influence in schools.”
EuroNews: “Britain is being urged to join European efforts to tackle human trafficking. London has so far been reluctant to opt into an EU directive that seeks to create common, Europe-wide legislation and send a united message to traffickers.”
Florida House moves forward with bill that would redirect ‘Choose Life’ funds from pregnant women to Choose Life, Inc.
Washington Independent: A bill that would drastically alter the allocation of funds made from Florida’s “Choose Life” plates cleared the Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday, in an 11-4 vote. Critics of the law fear changes to the “Choose Life” system would allow money spent on the plates to be used to fund crisis pregnancy centers, anti-abortion advertising and even “Choose Life” programs in other states. | HB 501
This, of course, is binding precedent on this Court, and this Court is not free to ignore it.” Dufresne wrote. She added that Marry Me Minnesota did not provide convincing evidence that she should ignore Baker vs. Nelson.”
“This decision by Judge Dufresne provides a clear lesson to President Obama that there are a number of reasonable legal arguments that the Department of Justice can make to defend a marriage law like DOMA.”
Gazette.net: “Including [Peter Murphy (D-Charles County)], there are eight openly gay lawmakers in Annapolis. The other House members are: Del. Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) of Baltimore City, Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery) of Burtonsville, Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City) of Baltimore City, Del. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery) of Aspen Hill, Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) of Silver Spring and Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) of Baltimore City. Sen. Richard S. Madeleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) of Kensington also is gay.”
CNN: Marriage and parenthood aren’t necessarily a package deal for for Americans under the age of 30, a new survey finds. Instead, young adults say they put a higher value on raising children than getting married.
The New American: Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which represented the Catholic group, called the High Court’s decision “a great victory for religious liberty,” explaining the ruling emphasized that the university must treat “religious groups the same as secular student groups when it’s distributing money for these groups to advocate their ideas on campus.” He said the ruling demonstrates the skewed thinking of schools that assumes “there’s somehow a constitutional prohibition on funding private religious groups on the same terms and conditions as everybody else.” [more quotes by Jordan]
Charlotte Observer: “A rewritten proposal for eliminating the charter school cap would limit how quickly the state could add new schools and would no longer require that traditional schools hand over their booster club money to charters.”
UK: Ruling was right on Christian couple banned from fostering because of beliefs on homosexuality, says PM
Daily Mail: David Cameron has stepped into the row over the Christian couple who have been barred from fostering children because of their belief that homosexuality is wrong. He appeared to back the courts by saying Owen and Eunice Johns had been dealt with in an ‘appropriate way’, and added that Christians must be ‘tolerant and welcoming’ towards homosexuality.
Politico: The efforts to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year represent just one “small battle” in a bigger fight that Republicans need to have, Rep. Mike Pence said Wednesday. “It’s time to pick a fight,” the former House Republican Conference chairman said Wednesday morning on Fox News
Washington Post: “At least as many same-sex couples as heterosexual couples – and possibly more – appear to have applied for marriage licenses since gay marriage was legalized in the city last March.”
ABC: A Navy petty officer facing discharge for falling asleep in bed with another male sailor last month says his ouster is motivated by homophobia, not a legitimate crime, a claim that has some gay rights advocates worried about life after “don’t ask don’t tell.”
Daily Trojan: Students often invoke free speech to justify on-campus demonstrations, but there are no clear-cut guidelines for protection of free speech at USC, Stephen Yamaguchi, university counsel, said at the “Campus Conversation: Free Speech” panel held Tuesday.
Christian Post: The mass online support through social media sites Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook for an Oregon man who says he plans to end his life on Tuesday because he has terminal cancer is “disturbing,” said a Christian bioethics professor.
MagicValley.com: The “conscience law” that passed the Legislature last year gave health care professionals the right to opt out of providing any care they object to based on religious, moral or ethical grounds. It created concerns that a comatose patient’s end-of-life wishes, outlined in advance in a living will, could be ignored by health care professionals who cite the new law and refuse to end life support. The legislation approved Monday directs physicians to follow the wishes of living wills before ending their care for that patient.
Courier-Journal: “With Indiana on track to pass some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, demonstrators on both sides clashed Tuesday outside the Statehouse.”
Salt Lake Tribune: “Utah is steps away from banning insurance coverage of elective abortion and joining five other states with similarly restrictive laws. HB354 . . . ”
NY Times: “Rachel Nyirahabiyambere, a legal immigrant from Rwanda, has been in a persistent vegetative state since having a major stroke in April . . . But they were helpless to block it when Georgetown University Hospital, frustrated in its efforts to discharge Ms. Nyirahabiyambere after she had spent eight costly months there without insurance, sought a guardian to make decisions that the family would not make.”
ADF attorney Matt Bowman writes at LifeNews: “Would it surprise anyone to find out that left-wing extremists believe that religious hospitals must perform abortions? This is what the ACLU has been trying to convince people to believe in its recent press releases. The latest attempt was the organization’s recent opposition to the Protect Life Act, H.R. 358, which protects conscience rights of pro-life health care providers.”
The Republic (AP): “The Utah Supreme Court says a federal court ruling on the state’s handling of a communal land trust belonging to Warren Jeffs’ polygamous church could affect two pending appeals.”
Tulsa World: “The Senate passed a measure Tuesday that would require Senate confirmation of the appointments of judges across the state. Senate Bill 621 by Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Midwest City, passed by a vote of 30-14 and heads to the House.”
National Review: “Mike Pence’s battle is not just another social-issue skirmish. It’s a test of economic and budgetary seriousness. March 18 and a second continuing resolution are looming. Planned Parenthood must be privatized. Economic and social conservatives agree — this one is non-negotiable.”
NYMag: “A confidential strategy meeting will be held today between Governor Andrew Cuomo and top gay activists in the state over the topic of marriage equality, the Times reports.”
Jill Filopovic writes at the Guardian: “A US report shows more liberated times have brought a new marriage model that is better for men, women and children.”
Noticias Diarias (Google translation from Spanish): Roger Kiska, who has been defending the case brought before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg by the Alliance Defense Fund Foundation, which specializes in protecting freedom of conscience, argues that “the parents, not governments ultimately responsible for the education of their children. ” “Jailing parents for exercising a right universally accepted is simply unthinkable. The Wiens family is host to the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right of parents to pass on to their children’s view of sexuality that is in accord with their beliefs.
LifeSiteNews: “Following the decision of London’s High Court last week that a Christian couple could be banned from foster care due to their unwillingness to support the homosexual lifestyle, some commentators are pointing out that the decision amounts to a ruling on what is and is not authentic Christian doctrine.”
VOANews.com: “Several US-based Christian websites say Muslim extremists burned dozens of churches near Jimma in western Oromia region over past several days.”
USA Today: The Alliance Defense Fund praised the decision of the Supreme Court not to intervene in the Wisconsin case. “The constitutional rights of Christian student organizations should be recognized by university officials just as they recognize those rights for other student groups,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel.
The Morning Call: “The girl, identified in court papers only by the initials K.A., filed the suit through her father, Michael Ayers. She is represented by lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund in suburban Atlanta, a group providing legal defense of religious freedom and values.”
One News Now: Ryan Messmore of The Heritage Foundation tells OneNewsNow, “What we found is that a lot of young evangelicals have a good passion about caring for people in need and we want to say ‘Amen’ to that passion. The problem is that that passion is often directed in bad policy initiatives and approaches.”
Rassmusen: “. . . a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 71% of American Adults think men and women should not be allowed to live in the same dorm room while in college.”
One News Now: Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) legal counsel Roger Kiska tells OneNewsNow that the German school system has made it mandatory for nine- and ten-year-olds to participate in the programs, including an interactive play. “The purpose of the play, they say, is to prevent abuse,” says Kiska, “but what they’re teaching is that if it feels good, do it.” [more quotes by Roger]
ABA Journal: “Other students can hand out fliers for birthday parties, pizza parties, and Halloween parties,” ADF attorney David Cortman said, Fox News reports. According to Cortman, district policies forbid any student speech advertising Christianity.
Robert K. Vischer writes at Public Discourse: “Conscience” is not a code word for abortion restrictions, and the liberty of conscience is too important to let it become the exclusive property of conservatives. Conscience is not the only value that matters in our health care debates, but there is a disturbing trend among progressives of acting as though it does not matter at all.
Pioneer Press: Under the proposed “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” introduced this week in both the House and Senate, abortions would be banned on fetuses older than 20 weeks, the age some — but not all — scientists believe the unborn can experience pain
AP: “In the period from 2000 to 2010, the number of Latinos grew by 28 percent to 14 million in the nation’s most populous state, while Asians increased by about 31 percent to 4.8 million.”
SCOTUS Blog: “The Obama Administration formally starts an appeal to challenge a Florida federal judge’s ruling striking down all of the new health care law. Enforcement of the law can continue.”
The Hill: Republicans on a second House panel with oversight power are investigating waivers the Obama administration has awarded to more than a thousand organizations for a provision of the healthcare reform law, The Hill has learned.
The Hill: “Today America is literally on its knees to China and other countries for the credit we need to run our economy,” DeMint said in a floor speech Tuesday afternoon. “We are also on our knees to the Middle East, which is very unstable right now, for the oil we need to run our economy, to even take our food to market, the essentials here at home.”
The Hill: “Sensing they have the political advantage, some GOP officials on Capitol Hill say they are content with cutting government spending two weeks at a time if necessary. Democrats are strongly pushing back against that idea.”
AP: “Clashes that broke out when a Muslim mob attacked thousands of Christians protesting against the burning of a Cairo church killed at least 13 people and wounded about 140, security and hospital officials said Wednesday.”
CNBC: “The federal government Tuesday granted Maine a waiver of a key provision in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, citing the likelihood that enforcement could destabilize the state’s market for individual health insurance.”