Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
C-FAM: It is no surprise that a major player in the push to force IVF in Costa Rica is the Center for Reproductive Rights.
CNN (includes video): A new video on CNN describes the rise of “flexisexuality” in Hollywood. What is a “flexisexual” you ask? According to various sources on the internet, the term describes a person “of flexible sexual orientation” but who refuses to identify as “bisexual.”
AP: “A legislative hearing on New York’s readiness for another terrorist attack degenerated into name-calling and bruised feelings Friday after a state senator solicited testimony from two activists known for their hard line on Islam and opposition to the construction of new mosques in the United States.”
LifeSiteNews: “Natural marriage and the family are facing yet another attack through the European Court of Human Rights, which has agreed to hear a case next week on homosexual adoption in France.”
LifeSiteNews: Among the worst changes, the text as it now stands permits destructive embryo research. Since the 2001 revision of the law such research was prohibited in principle, with exemptions for “therapeutic” reasons authorized by the French Biomedical Agency. In the new regime it would be authorized in principle, albeit with some safeguards. This marks a major symbolic shift: human embryos would be considered as laboratory material as such.
Bloomberg: French law banning facial veils in public places goes into effect April 11, with women clad in burqas with their faces covered risking a 150-euro ($214) fine and mandatory lessons on being French. “No one is allowed to wear a garment that hides the face in public places,” the law, passed in October, proclaims.
USCourts.gov: “If Congress is unable to agree on the continued funding of government before April 8th, the Judiciary is prepared to use non-appropriated fees to keep the courts running for up to two weeks.”
Minnesota Independent: According to the complaint (below), the ADF takes issue with the fact that certain clubs are granted access while others are not. “Apparently the Diversity club, the Environmental club, and the Anime club (among others), however, are deemed to ‘support the student body as a whole’ as they were all permitted to become officially recognized clubs,” the complaint states. “The ALIV Club has been relegated to second-class status and is only permitted to meet unofficially before or after school and receives none of the other club benefits.”
TimesColonist.com: The office would be housed at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and its role would be: – To monitor religious freedom around the world; – To promote religious freedom as a key objective of Canadian foreign policy; – And to advance policies and programs that support religious freedom.
Washington Post: “A federal judge in Utah has handed control of a $114 million communal land trust back to the leaders of Warren Jeffs’ polygamous church.”
LifeNews: “The House of Representatives today [4/7] approved a short-term continuing resolution that would fund the federal government for a week and that contains a pro-life rider stopping taxpayer funding of abortions in D.C.”
CWA: “The transcendent wonder of femininity, marriage and sexuality is difficult to describe when crafting policy documents. However, we can point out the benefits of marriage and the rightful place of sexuality.”
lanned Parenthood also recorded $905,796 in independent expenditures during the 2010 cycle — money spent in support of, or in opposition to, federal political candidates, largely through advertisements.
The Hill: With less than 24 hours to go until a shutdown, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) suggested that a rider to defund Planned Parenthood, a key sticking point in reaching an agreement, was expendable.I’d like to defund Planned Parenthood, but I understand that Republicans don’t have complete control of the elected government,” Toomey said on MSNBC.
Michael Foust at Baptist Press: “This can impact other states, and I am sure courts will take notice,” Byron Babione, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, told Baptist Press. ADF represented the Arkansas Family Council Action Committee, Act 1′s sponsor. “There is no doubt a political movement afoot to undermine and destroy marriage as we know it, and to eradicate protections that are in place for children when those protections conflict with adult sexual desires…. This lawsuit was part of a campaign to place adult wants and desires over the best interests of children.”
MansfieldNewsJournal: The Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association is suing Mansfield City Schools in federal court, claiming the district violated its civil rights when it withdrew permission for a controversial tea party event to be held on school grounds.
Expatica.com: France warned that it would not tolerate a “wave of Tunisian immigration” after Italy on Thursday granted humanitarian permits to thousands of Tunisians allowing them to travel around Europe.
US Catholic Bishoips Urge Protection of Conscience Rights: Warn Against Potential Misuse of Health Care Law
Zenit: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas, and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, made this appeal in a letter sent today to members of the house of representatives. He urged support of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011, introduced March 17 by Jeff Fortenberry and Dan Boren. The prelate affirmed that this bill “will help ensure that the new health care reform act is not misused to violate the religious freedom and rights of conscience of those who offer and purchase health insurance coverage in our nation.” . . .
NH Journal: “Republican State Rep. and Tea Party leader Andrew Manuse (R-Derry) told the Catholic League he will be filing legislation in the New Hampshire House to strip the Roman Catholic Church of its tax exempt status because Bishop John McCormack spoke against proposed budget cuts at a recent State House rally, according to Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League.”
AZ Republic: Arizona may become the first state in the nation to explicitly protect professionals from having their license or certification revoked because of their religious practices. The Legislature passed Senate Bill 1288, and Gov. Jan Brewer has until Saturday to sign it, veto it or do nothing and allow it to become law.
CNSNews reports (includes video): Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed yesterday that the provision to defund Planned Parenthood that passed the House earlier this year is “never, never, never going to pass the Senate.”
The Engage Family Blog: So, why would the abortion industry be so demanding? Why entrench themselves here? Maybe the better question is, have they met their Waterloo? The reason is pretty simple: money.
Honolulu Star: The appeals court said Justice sought the review under the state open-records law requiring the disclosure of documents based on a showing of “compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of any individual.” | How Appealing links to the ruling.
Persecution.org: Human Rights organizations in Egypt protested March 30 in front of the Attorney General’s office in Cairo demanding the arrest of Muslim police informer Ali Hussein for terrorizing the Coptic community in Minya by participating in acts of rape and by kidnapping Coptic children, Assyrian International News Agency reports.
Washington Blade: “The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced to the floor following no discussion the nomination of J. Paul Oetken, whom President Obama tapped in January to become a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York . . . ”
AP: The Obama administration warned Friday that governments around the world are extending their repression to the Internet, seeking to cut off their citizens’ access to websites and other means of communication to stave off the types of revolutions that have wracked the Middle East.
AP: Kloppenburg’s campaign manager, Melissa Mulliken, demanded a full explanation of how the error occurred and said an open records request for all relevant documents would be filed. She also said Friday that the campaign has started raising money for a recount.
AP: One of Europe’s first countries to allow Jews to practice their religion openly may soon pass a law banning centuries-old Jewish and Muslim traditions on the ritual slaughter of animals.
AP: “A key Catholic supporter of President Barack Obama complained Friday that a government audit criticizing his work as the U.S. ambassador to Malta reflects some State Department officials’ hostility toward expressions of his religious faith. The report by the department’s inspector general rebuked Douglas Kmiec for spending too much time writing and speaking about subjects such as abortion and his religious beliefs . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: In Merrimack Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v. Town of Merrimack, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36090 (D NH, March 31. 2011), a New Hampshire federal district court agreed with the conclusion previously reached by a magistrate judge (see prior posting) that a Jehovah’s Witness congregation was not entitled to a preliminary injunction to override a zoning denial by the Merrimack (NH) Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Jeremy Tedesco on the Janet Mefferd Show: AZ school tax credits and the victory at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco appeared on the Janet Mefferd Show with a guest host to discus the Arizona school choice victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. | MP3 audio 16:04 mins
Greg Baylor on KDCR, Conversations with Carl Zylstra: Victory for school choice at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney Greg Baylor appeared on KDCR, Conversations with Carl Zylstra to discuss this: ADF attorneys win Arizona parental-choice-in-education case. | MP3 audio 21:13 mins
Wall Street Journal: The Alliance Defense Fund, an alliance of Christian lawyers, defended the Arkansas law in court. The Law Blog caught up with ADF attorney Byron Babione. “The court placed adult sexual acts above the best interests of children,” he said. The court “essentially nullified and vetoed the will of the people of Arkansas who raise families and understand what is best for children and know that children should be placed in homes with married mothers and fathers, which is supported by social science,” he said.
Christian Post: The ruling is a huge win for Adams and French. “The 4th Circuit’s decision is a ringing vindication of the academic freedom of public university professors,” French stated. “Disagreeing with an accomplished professor’s religious and political views is no grounds for refusing him promotion.”
LifeSiteNews: The needs of children outweigh the wants of adults. The court’s decision tragically places more importance on the sexual interests of adults than on protecting children,” said Byron Babione, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. The ADF was representing the Family Council Action Committee, which fought to get Act 1 on the ballot and approved in 2008. “The people of Arkansas believe that children deserve the most safe and stable home possible. They cast their ballots to ensure that children wouldn’t be deprived of the best possible family environment and decisively approved Act 1 for that purpose only, but the court struck down the people’s will anyway,” Babione said.
Washington Times: “Ark. high court finds adoption law biased against gay couples: Unconstitutionally violates privacy”
Washington Times: Alliance Defense Fund lawyer Byron Babione, who defended Act 1 on behalf of its sponsor Family Council Action Committee, said the high court’s ruling “tragically places more importance on the sexual interests of adults than on protecting children.”
LifeNews: “Pro-life students should not be discriminated against for expressing their beliefs. As the Supreme Court has noted, students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “School officials do not have the authority to trump the constitutionally protected rights of students, and by denying the ALIV Club official status on campus, they are doing exactly that. ADF has successfully litigated numerous cases like this around the country.”
Delmarva Now: Alliance Defense Fund attorney Austin Nimocks warned that any civil unions bill would likely produce litigation, as such laws have elsewhere in the nation. He also warned that while the bill protects clergy from being forced to conduct civil-union ceremonies, it does not extend such protections to business owners and parachurch organizations.
Colorado Statesman: Not only would the civil unions bill defy the will of voters, but most of the legal rights it establishes already exist in the state’s Designated Beneficiaries law — legislation Ferrandino sponsored just two years ago — said Doug Napier, an attorney with the Focus on the Family-allied Alliance Defense Fund. By depositing virtually all the rights and responsibilities of marriage in civil unions, Napier warned during a lengthy exchange with committee Democrats, the bill’s sponsors were laying the legal groundwork to overturn the gay-marriage ban. “You heard the testimony that, ‘I don’t want to be treated like a second-class citizen,’ and all those other things. This doesn’t solve those issues, and it won’t,” Napier said. “That’s why you won’t hear anybody who testified in favor of this say, ‘If you give us this, we’ll be satisfied, we won’t come back next year and ask for same-sex marriage,’ or, ‘We won’t file a lawsuit.’” In fact, Napier argued, the civil unions bill was part of a clever attack on marriage via the courts. Borrowing language from the marriage statute, he said, “sets up the equal-protection issue that is the impetus for getting to court. That’s why this is important from a legal strategy for those who want to usher in same-sex marriage in Colorado.”
Christianity Today: FCAC was represented by Byron Babione, an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney. “The court’s decision tragically places more importance on the sexual interests of adults than on protecting children,” Babione said. “The people of Arkansas believe that children deserve the most safe and stable home possible. They cast their ballots to ensure that children wouldn’t be deprived of the best possible family environment and decisively approved Act 1 for that purpose only, but the court struck down the people’s will anyway.”
Senator Kyle on the Senate Floor: Planned Parenthood is not the only entity that can provide medical care to women
House Republicans have proposed a temporary funding measure that would fund the military for the remainder of the fiscal year, extend the budget impasse another week, and cut taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.
Education News: McKay Hatch started a “No Cussing Club” in his California high school in 2007. Since then, he’s received over 50,000 pledges from students who say they won’t swear — about a tenth of which have come from Utah, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Hill: In a letter to all lawmakers, Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), said up to 2 million people who work for the federal government could be without pay during a shutdown.
The Hill: “The president needs a distraction, and this is a choreographed distraction to try to shift the blame from a president who has been AWOL from leadership and has very little political courage,” the conservative senator charged.
National Organization for Marriage: Last week, the Colorado House Judiciary narrowly defeated a SSU bill on straight party lines, after it was passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. This decision comes as a bitter defeat to gay mega-millionaire Tim Gill, who has been pouring millions upon millions of dollars into Colorado for a decade to elect pro-SSM politicians (including $5 million in 2006 alone).
Washington Times: “Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s office has confirmed that it is taking steps to block proposed rules that would compel private agencies to place foster children with unmarried couples, including gay couples.”
LifeNews: “Business mogul Donald Trump shocked attendees at the conservative CPC conference in February when he declared himself pro-life after years of supporting the pro-abortion position.”
NY Times: Each year, an ever larger portion of the world’s crops — cassava and corn, sugar and palm oil — is being diverted for biofuels as developed countries pass laws mandating greater use of nonfossil fuels and as emerging powerhouses like China seek new sources of energy to keep their cars and industries running.
Politico: There is actually a war on women,” the California Democrat said Thursday in Washington, taking aim at House Republicans’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict access to abortions, among other measures.