Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
ADF attorney Heather Gebelin Hacker at the Speak Up University Blog: Students often lose their faith in college. This is concerning, both for Christian parents of college-aged children and for Christians in general. As an attorney with the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, I am often asked by parents what they should do about this.
ADF attorney Jordan Lorence at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: Currently, 30 states have state constitutional amendments defining marriage. Only five states have redefined marriage to include same-sex couples (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont). Three of those states had it imposed upon them by a court decree and without a vote by the people or the state legislature (Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa).
Clanton Advertiser: Maplesville High School has been asked to remove the phrase “God Bless America” from its website and a plaque in the school’s front office by a group claiming the endorsements of religion are unconstitutional. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) . . .
ParkerLiveOnline.com: Erik Stanley, the ADF attorney bringing the suit, says Assessor George Nault “sat on the paperwork for three years”. The following video was produced by the Alliance Defense Fund . . .
LifeSiteNews: A bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the workplace is due to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, although its primary supporter doubts the latest attempt will succeed.
Business Wire: On Wednesday, March 30, six of Wall Street’s major banks—Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley—will join together at Out on the Street, a summit convened to discuss issues vital to the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Deutsche Bank is hosting the inaugural summit, which will focus on issues of culture change, recruitment, client development and driving business impact during four panel discussions.
Washington Post: “The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama was “strongly opposed” to a bill reviving and expanding the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, one day before the measure championed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is scheduled for a vote on the House floor. But the White House did not threaten to veto the bill, suggesting that it could still pass as part of a larger compromise on education policy.”
Milwaukee Sentinel Journal: “Apparently that language was either misunderstood or ignored, but what I said was the further implementation of Act 10 was enjoined. That is what I now want to make crystal clear,” she said.
AP: “Unlike other systems that are limited to lower-income households, children with special needs or those in failing schools, this one would be open to a much larger pool of students, including those whose parents earn up to $60,000 a year.”
NY Times: A day after an unusual air attack on what officials here said was a militant base in Russia’s North Caucasus region, President Dmitri A. Medvedev warned separatist fighters in the mostly Muslim region to surrender or “be destroyed.”
Catholic Culture: “About 90% of Ireland’s primary schools are currently administered by the Church. The education minister, Ruairi Quinn, plans to cut that figure to below 50%. Quinn said that the recommendations of the new advisory panel could be put into practice by January 2012.”
Europe News: “Muslim protesters, some of them women clad in black burqas, marched in London last week to demand Sharia law for the United Kingdom. The march did not receive much publicity in the British press, although it made the rounds on the Internet via YouTube.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said today that religious discrimination against Muslims has similarities to past rampant discrimination against Catholics and other groups, and he vowed that the U.S. Justice Department would try to stop it.”
First Things First Thoughts Blog: “From Rick Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame: Today, the Supreme Court agreed to hear (what I think is) the most important religious-freedom case in 20 years. The Supreme Court this morning granted cert in Hosanna Tabor Church v. EEOC. (More here, at the Religion Clause blog.)”
One News Now: Senate Bill 48, proposed by openly homosexual senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, passed the committee in a 6-3-1 vote. The bill would require that teachers and textbooks present alternate lifestyles in a positive light, with instruction in subjects such as history, psychology, political science, and communication in public school classrooms.
Boston Globe (AP): A support group for gay military service members launched an online magazine to provide information about pending repeal of the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and printed copies could be on large bases by May, the group’s co-director said Monday.
Bradenton.com: A proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit using public money for health insurance policies that include coverage of abortion gathered steam in a Florida Senate Judiciary committee Monday.
Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog: Will an adverse ruling in McComish doom future viable public financing plans? I have now reviewed the transcript of yesterday’s oral argument. News reports from oral argument are unanimous in predicting that the Court will strike down the matching fund provision of Arizona’s public financing law, which provides extra funding (up to a point) for candidates who participate in the voluntary public financing system and face a high spending opponent or a high independent spending against the candidate. This is no surprise; indeed I predicted this in June, when the Court granted an extraordinary stay in the case.
NY Times: “While the image of the high school principal patrolling the halls with paddle in hand is largely of the past, corporal punishment is still alive in 20 states, according to the Center for Effective Discipline, a group that tracks its use in schools around the country and advocates for its end. Most of those states are in the South, where paddling remains engrained in the social and family fabric of some communities.”
Family Policy Network: AOur government’s push for legitimizing homosexuality is foolish and reckless, since it has been well-established by medical science and research that homosexual activity is one of the most deadly practices known to humanity. (The numerous crippling mental and health problems associated with homosexuality are too numerous to list here, but can be seen at this link: http://www.corporateresourcecouncil.org/white_papers/Health_Risks.pdf)
LifeNews: “The political action committee associated with the Family Research Council’s lobbying group is launching a radio ad campaign to support Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in his re-election bid.”
Washington Post: “Abortion foes in Ohio invite Roe v. Wade challenge, push committee vote on ‘heartbeat bill’”
Washington Post: Backers of an Ohio bill that could impose a restrictive abortion limit are telling reticent state lawmakers to embrace potential legal challenges.
Christian Science Monitor: Claims of ‘McCarthyism’ in the wake of the Peter King hearings threaten to suffocate a vital discourse on Islamism just when we need it most. Even as cries of ‘Islamophobia’ seek to smother debate, Muslim Americans must speak up, and out loud.
Daily Mail: Britain’s abortion laws would be tightened for the first time in more than 20 years under cross-party proposals to be unveiled today.
IndyStar.com: Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, expressed doubt the amendment would survive in the Senate. But he said the bill would be considered should it pass the House.
Chicago Tribune: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says his office and the Michigan Department of Community Health are suing a Detroit-area abortion clinic that he says has operating without a required state surgical facility license since last summer.
San Francisco Chronicle: While marriage shouldn’t be seen as the quick way to riches, financial stability can be had with proper planning and long term commitment to your significant other. Here are the best perks to joining lives and wallets, though marriage . . .
GLAD: The Department of Justice followed Wednesday’s withdrawal from two DOMA cases in the Second Circuit, including GLAD’s Pedersen v. OPM by notifying the clerk of the First Circuit that they will also “cease to defend” the two consolidated DOMA cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. HHS. The DOJ has not sent a letter to the Congress declining to defend DOMA in toto in the Gill case, so its determination may only apply to the extent the court determines that heightened scrutiny is the proper standard of review for DOMA’s constitutionality.
Freedom from Religion Foundation: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether it is constitutional for public schools to require students to recite or listen to the religious Pledge of Allegiance. FFRF filed a Petition For Writ of Certiorarito the Court on March 25, appealing a November 2010 decision by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Hanover School District. The Foundation, the plaintiff in the case along with a New Hampshire FFRF family with children in the schools, is represented by attorney Michael Newdow . . .
LifeNews: The Kansas state legislature has sent two pro-life bills to Governor Sam Brownback — including one that will ban late abortions based on the scientific evidence showing unborn children can feel pain beginning at 20 weeks of pregnan
LifeNews: “A pro-life group that monitors the use of cells from babies victimized by abortions is today highlighting a biotech company, Senomyx, which it says produces artificial flavor enhancers using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products.”
HoumaToday: “Terrebonne Parish school officials said Monday they are backing off enforcement of a school-based rule — also contained in policies at the district’s other three high schools — that mandates tuxes for boys and gowns for girls.”
Sacramento Bee: In a brief filed Monday in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco by lawyers for the group called Log Cabin Republicans, the group termed keeping the policy in place as “absurd.”
WIBC.com: “For the second time in six days, senators have rejected civil unions as a potential middle ground in the gay-marriage debate. On a 36-11 party-line vote . . . ”
After the House of Delegates this weekend voted overwhelmingly to prohibit employer and housing discrimination for the transgendered, the bill crossed over to the Senate Monday where it landed in an unusual committee: Senate rules.
LifeNews: “Rick Santorum the former Pennsylvania senator who is eying a bid for the Republican nomination for president, blamed part of the insolvency problems related to social security on abortion.”
Montgomery Advertiser (AP): Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, known as the “Ten Commandments judge,” said he’s considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
Religion Clause Blog: A group of 25 religious and civil rights groups last week sent a letter (full text) to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaining about federal court decisions that have permitted companies to segregate “visibly religious employees,” such as Sikhs wearing turbans or Muslim women wearing hijabs, in positions where they are not seen by company customers . . .
Matt Bowman on the Zeb Bell Show: Challenging NYC’s attempted takeover of crisis pregnancy center messaging
ADF attorney Matt Bowman on the Zeb Bell Show to discuss the suit challenging NYC’s advertising restrictions on Crisis Pregnancy Care Centers. | MP3 audio 12:49 mins
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday’s Las Vegas Sun reports that the ACLU of Nevada has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state of Nevada and Clark County (NV) challenging the constitutionality of the state law that limits the issuance of state certificates to perform marriages to clergy, judges and commissioners and deputy commissioners of civil marriage.
Religion Clause Blog: “KHOU News yesterday reported that Judge John Clinton offered defendants in his court an option to community service. They could read the book “The Heart of a Problem” and return to discuss it with him in a few months. The book is a Bible study workbook that promotes victorious Christian living.”
ADF attorney Erik Stanley appeared on the “Complete Story” with Dick Bott to discuss this: ADF files suit to protect Ariz. church from foreclosure based on $50K illegal tax bill. | MP3 audio 29:12 mins
Worthy News: The ADF said Eduard Wiens is one of several Christian parents being prosecuted by German authorities over the controversial sex-classes, adding that it asked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to quickly review appeals filed last year on their behalf. Eduard and Rita Wiens, along wih Arthur and Anna Wiens, chose to keep their four children–a 9- and 10-year-old from each family–from attending obligatory “sexual education” in the town of Salzkotten that they believed taught students “an unbiblical view of sexuality,” ADF said in a statement.
One News Now: At the recent oral arguments before the Arkansas Supreme Court, Byron Babione — senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) — explained the law is about protecting kids. “The statute just tried to put children in the safest homes,” says the attorney, “and the other side argues that this violates the right of adults to engage in private sexual acts. It does no such thing — because the state is not trying to go into your home and punish you for what you’re doing. It’s just saying we’re not going to put our children into your home if you are in relationships that are characterized by instability.”
Christian Post: “You can be confident that your participation in and acknowledgement of the National Day of Prayer are constitutionally protected activities,” Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Kevin H. Theriot assures governors in a letter expected to be received Monday.
Chuck Colson writes at the Florida Baptist Witness: When the story hit the press, Vanderbilt’s medical center spokesman John Howser claimed the Alliance Defense Fund misunderstood the policy. For years, Howser said, a policy excusing students from participating in abortions has been in place. But Matt Bowman of the ADF said Vanderbilt was “being duplicitous by talking about the wrong policy.” The application for the women’s health track in the school’s residency program “specifically require[d] applicants to promise to assist in abortions,” he noted.
One News Now: Five sets of parents in a German town have been punished for refusing to allow their elementary school-aged children to participate in school sex-education programs (see earlier article). “[The children are] being put through an interactive sex-education play which teaches them that if something feels good, then you should do it,” explains Roger Kiska with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
Judicial Watch Announces a Special Presentation: “Politics and the Holder Justice Department: Rule of Law at Risk?”
American Banking and Marketing News: Panelists include Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation; Debra Burlingame, Co-Founder of Keep America Safe; and Austin Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. The panel will address concerns about politicization and ideology at the Holder Justice Department as it relates to civil rights enforcement, national security and terrorism, and the refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
AP: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has signed a law that guarantees grandparents the right to visit their grandchildren when the parents are divorced.
AP: Members of an ultraconservative Muslim sect clashed with villagers south of Cairo over demands that a liquor store and coffee shops be closed, officials said Tuesday, a sign of the increasing assertiveness of the fundamentalist Salafi movement
AP: “The legislation now would prevent nonunion employees affected by contracts from paying fees to union organizations and would ban automatic deductions from employee paychecks that would go the unions’ political arm.”
FRC Event: However, Rodriguez Zapatero is not exactly an anomaly in the twenty-first century. Quite the contrary, in fact. He shares a common project with thinkers and politicians who are working in other countries to introduce an archetype of society similar to that proposed by Zapatero. They are the secularists, relativists, radical feminists, abortionists, representatives of the homosexual lobby and totalitarians of all stripes and colors. They have gained considerable ground in recent decades.
The Hill: “Yet in a sign of the pressure faced by Cantor and other GOP leaders, Tea Party Patriots founder Mark Meckler said his organization would oppose any step down from the $61 billion in cuts House Republicans are now proposing.”
The Hill: At about 6 p.m., the Senate unanimously approved President Obama’s nomination of Mae D’Agostino to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of New York. The vote was 88-0. D’Agostino was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee on March 3.