Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Today, the House Ways and Means Committee, in a vote of 22 to 14, gave approval today to H.R. 1232, the companion bill to the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” Rep. Dave Camp’s bill makes technical changes to the tax provision in H.R. 3, the main bill from Rep. Chris Smith that bans abortion funding.
The National: The French government is resisting mounting pressure to abandon a planned debate on Islam that has split the ruling party, dismayed Muslims and united leaders of all the country’s main religions in firm opposition.
Huffington Post: “As Republicans continue to push for sweeping cuts amidst federal budget talks, women’s rights advocates worry the threat to international abortion access is being overlooked.”
SCOTUS Blog: The challengers on March 10 had requested initial en banc review of the case of Florida, et al., v. U.S. Health and Human Services Department, et al., (docket 11-11021) and for a hearing June 6. It would have taken the votes of at least six members of the ten regular judges to grant that request.
Reuters on Yahoo: A printing error helped a 12th century English village church realize it owned a rare 400-year-old King James Bible, the book that changed the world. The edition that had been sitting on a ledge in the pretty Anglican church in Wiltshire, central England for the past 150 years, barely touched and much less read, is one of only a handful that still exists . . .
Baptist Press: A two-child policy to start in 2015 was proposed at the annual meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress the week of March 6-12, according to The Lancet, a British medical journal. If enacted, the change would discard the current one-child policy in cities
Boston Globe: A federal judge says she needs more information to make a decision in a lawsuit brought by parents of Pawtucket school students against the city’s top parks and recreation official over claims he gave preferential treatment to a Catholic school.
The Christian Legal Fellowship will present its closing statement in the Constitutional Reference on Polygamy tomorrow before the Supreme Court of British Columbia at or around 10am pst in courtroom 55; interested individuals may view the closing statements via live webcast . . .
SMH.com.au: “THE federal government will review a proposal to adopt a controversial school model in which privately run schools operate wholly on public funds.”
Telegraph: A group advising the Kremlin on human rights has urged President Dmitry Medvedev to decide whether Vladimir Lenin’s body should be removed from its Red Square mausoleum.
Miami Herald: House Substitute for Senate Bill 36 would require abortion clinics to be licensed and comply with a long list of medical standards and practices. Abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy would have to be done at a hospital or surgical center. The bill passed on an overwhelming voice vote and, assuming approval on the formal roll call, it will go to the Senate for consideration.
Reuters: Thousands of protesters rallied outside the New Hampshire Capitol in Concord on Thursday to oppose budget bills they say curb collective bargaining rights for state workers.
LifeNews: Just as Congress is trying to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood across the nation comes revelations that the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Central Washington has apparently been hiring unlicensed nurses.
Reuters: Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, told the panel that his department’s study identified nearly 12,000 people who were not citizens but were still registered to vote in Colorado.
Reuters: Eighteen percent of teenage women ages 13 to 18 filled prescriptions for oral contraceptives in 2009, a proportion that has steadily risen since 2002, the study found.
FRC: The House Ways and Means Committee in a vote of 22 to 14 gave approval today to H.R. 1232, the companion bill to the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3). Rep. Dave Camp’s bill makes technical changes to the tax provision in H.R. 3.
AP: “She was targeted for mistreatment based on her religious beliefs,” said Campbell, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative religious rights organization that took the case. “It’s not her burden to come up with an excuse. She was offered one dishonest option – to say she didn’t have the expertise to handle the case – and she refused it.”
Journal-Sentinel: Members of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, warning that they will face a boycott if they don’t support collective bargaining for public employee unions.
NewsOK.com: “Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said Thursday that the Republican governor’s administration still believes the law took effect when a state office posted online last week. But he says Walker will abide by Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi’s ruling earlier Thursday that the law hadn’t taken effect.”
Catholic League: Here’s an example, taken from his monologue of February 4, 2011: “A Palm Beach priest has admitted to a violation of chastity with an adult woman. When the Vatican heard about this, they said, ‘A woman? Thank God.’” The implication, of course, is that most priestly predators have been homosexuals. Which, of course, is true.
CBC.ca: . . . 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of six, compared to 927 for every 1,000 in the last census. “This is a matter of grave concern,” Chandramauli said.
Fox News: “He may have one, but there is something on that birth certificate. Maybe religion. Maybe it says he’s a Muslim. I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want that. Or he may not have one. I will tell you this: if he wasn’t born in this country, it’s one of the great scams of all time.”
AP: “This is a scientific report, not an advocacy report,” said Dr. Robert Graham, professor of family medicine at the University of Cincinnati. “Whatever your politics, as long as you accept the premise that every American ought to have the opportunity for the same health status and the same degree of health, then you really have to understand what the different influences are that may keep certain populations away from having that opportunity.”
Inquirer.net: Not all religious organizations are against the reproductive health (RH) bill in Congress. This was the message of the leaders of the Protestant and evangelical Christian Churches on Thursday, as they expressed support for the bill, which is being strongly opposed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
LifeNews: The theme of this year’s commission is “Fertility, Reproductive Health and Development.” The initial draft of this year’s outcome document was released last week and as expected, the text is rife with references to sexual and reproductive health, family planning and contraceptives. Sadly, despite mounting evidence of the problems of demographic decline, there is only one scant reference to countries experiencing below-replacement fertility.
LifeNews: A state House committee in Arkansas has killed legislation that would subject abortion facilities in the state to stricter standards to ensure the health and safety of women is protected.
LA Times: The maternity business has experienced a recession, too, it appears. Births fell 4% from 2007 to 2009, the biggest drop for any two-year period since the mid-1970s, according to federal government data released Thursday.
StraitsTimes.com: Vietnam has stepped up its repression of an indigenous Christian minority, forcing hundreds to renounce their religion, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.
Pioneer Press: As they head to a summer trial, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and a metro-area charter school it accuses of promoting religion disagree whether a jury or judge should get the 2-year-old federal case. The ALCU wants a bench trial, in which a judge would decide whether the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy blended public education and religion in violation of the constitution.
“Gay rights” activists at Brown University attack traditional marriage group, Google censors Youtube video
LifeSiteNews: Days after the videotaped incident was posted on YouTube, the video sharing website pulled down the footage, leaving a message stating: “This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube’s Terms of Service.” TFP’s John Ritchie told LifeSiteNews.com that they were not aware of which Youtube rules the video supposedly broke. “It seems YouTube broke their own guidelines when removing it, because the policy states that the video poster will be notified of any problem, and be given 48 hours to either remove the video or correct the problem,” Ritchie said.
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: This happened in American Freedom Defense Initiative v. Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) (E.D. Mich., decided today). The ad said, “Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers!,” and included the Web site address “RefugeFromIslam.com.”
Blog of the Legal Times: “Senate Republicans sharply questioned Solicitor General nominee Donald Verrilli Jr. on Wednesday over the Obama administration’s decision in February to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.”
Religion Clause Blog: In Crider v. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, (ED TN, March 28, 2011), a Tennessee federal district court dismissed a case brought by a Seventh Day Adventist who claimed that the University of Tennessee failed to accommodate her religious beliefs that precluded her from performing any work from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Religion Clause Blog: Lebanon’s Daily Star reports on a lawsuit that has been filed in Beirut against Wiam Wahhab, leader of the Tawhid Party, by 70 Lebanese and Saudi women for remarks Wahhab made about Muslim women’s veils.
Religion Clause Blog: In Best Wood Judge Firewood and Tree Service v. U.S. Department of Transportation, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32405 (ED WI, March 25, 2011), a Wisconsin federal district court rejected a claim by the owner of a land clearing business that his free exercise rights were infringed when he was denied certification that would have made him eligible for a federally-funded Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.
Jeremy Algate at Butler Collegian: Some argue that marriage is only a social institution—not a right. The Alliance Defense Fund argues that marriage is fundamentally about children. Everything else that comes with marriage is second to protecting “the only union that can naturally produce children.” But currently, children are born to unmarried parents much more often. Foster homes are overflowing. The divorce rate is off the charts. “Til death do us part” doesn’t have the same weight it used to. We’re realizing that biological parents may not be quite the necessity we thought . . .
Delmarva Now: Majority Democrats on a state Senate committee agreed Wednesday to release a bill offering legal recognition to same-sex couples in Delaware . . . But Austin Nimocks, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative religious rights organization, said supporters are pursuing the legislation with the ultimate goal of legalizing same-sex marriage. “Nothing in Delaware prevents people living as they want or having intimate relationships with whom they want,” Nimocks said.
World Net Daily: Sloan, who was appointed guardian by the court at the request of the hospital, obtained a court order to remove Nyirahabiyambere’s feeding tube in favor of palliative care on Feb. 19. The woman’s six children – including two U.S. citizens – objected and mounted a challenge with the help of attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund. “Innocent life deserves to be protected. ADF is pleased that the court agreed to put the brakes on this rush to intentionally starve a defenseless woman to death. It’s a simple decision to respect the family’s wishes and protect the life of this Rwandan genocide survivor,” said ADF legal counsel Casey Mattox.
One News Now: A federal court has issued an order that halts an Arkansas school district policy used by school officials to deny a third-grader and her mother permission to hand out flyers for church-sponsored activities . . . Cortman says there is a lot of public misinformation about religious speech. “There’s a widespread need for schools to be educated on what the First Amendment means,” he states. “The so-called separation of church and state does not justify censorship about religious speech, even though that’s what’s popularly thought.”
AP: After Christian leaders voiced anger over the detention of the Bibles, the government agreed earlier this month to release them, but stamped many with serial numbers and government seals that stated they were meant “for Christians only.”
AP: Democrats haven’t found a solid challenger to GOP Sen. Scott Brown in liberal Massachusetts next year, stoking concerns the party could blow its best shot to take back the seat held for nearly a half-century by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
LifeNews: Now that an expose’ has revealed Planned Parenthood abortion centers do not do mammograms on site but merely refer women to legitimate medical centers that do, a key organization that funds it is facing questions.
The Hill: “Over fierce Democratic opposition, the House on Wednesday approved a bill to reestablish a school-choice voucher system for Washington, D.C., residents.”
AP: “Flynt has said in the past that audiences don’t want to watch porn in which actors use condoms . . . Late last year, a porn actor tested positive for HIV at a California clinic, causing panic among actors.”
Christian Newswire: A former leader of U.S. Department of Justice prosecutions against the porn industry today dispelled claims by a front group for that industry that they do not distribute illegal material . . . “Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Patrick Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division.
Ross Mackenzie at Townhall: The largest outside contributor in those November congressional races was not the dread Chamber of Commerce (to hear President Obama tell it), but a union — the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). It gave $87.5 million to candidates . . .
Education News: Niche charters in areas with well-performing public schools are taking heat from critics who say they’re unnecessary.
Heritage Foundation Morning Foundry: In the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, children suffer in a public education system rife with violence and ranked among the worst in the nation. Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives took action to give those students some hope when it voted to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (D.C. OSP), which provides scholarships to low-income children, allowing them to attend their school of choice. It was one of the most consequential education votes that Congress will make this year.
NCPA Policy Digest: The U.S. government is about to exceed its statutory debt limit of $14.3 trillion. But that actually underestimates the size of the fiscal time bomb that this country is facing. If one considers the unfunded liabilities of programs such as Medicare and Social Security, the true national debt could run as high as $119.5 trillion, says Michael D. Tanner, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute.