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AP: An all-out lobbying effort to legalize gay marriage in New York appears to have drawn to within one vote of victory, which advocates hope will generate fresh momentum nationally for the civil rights struggle that has both surged and stumbled in recent years.
Catholic Culture: A Pakistani bishop has pledged that the Church will do “everything possible” to secure the release of Farah Hatim, a 24-year-old woman who has been kidnapped, forced to marry, and forced to convert to Islam.
XINHUANET.com: The European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek on Tuesday stated that he opposes Palestinian plans to seek membership in the United Nations in September.
Asia News: Wang Guangya wants students to foster understanding of Chinese history, especially from Mao until today. The Office for public education makes a “popular” request to dedicate up to 50 hours of national education per year to issues. Many fear a form of “brainwashing”.
Ed Whalen: “Ware, rather than grapplying squarely with Prop 8 Proponents’ argument, disposes of it by mischaracterizing it”
LifeNews.com: Baton Rouge resident Richard Mahoney has uncovered evidence that Delta Women’s Clinic in Baton Rouge has, for decades, falsified medical records and under-reported the number of abortions resulting in the death of or injury to pregnant women. DHH officials have been aware of the practice and have allowed it to continue, he alleges.
The Washington Post: he president of Catholic University has decided to use a “slightly old-fashioned remedy” to curtail the binge-drinking and casual hook-up habits of students: Get rid of the coed dorms.
Pat Buckley – European Life Network: Council of Europe Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg during his visit to Dublin last week demanded that the Irish Government should respond to the decision of the European Court of human Rights decision and legislate for the introduction of abortion in Ireland.
TheHill.com: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is warning President Obama that he will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution on Sunday because he has not received congressional authorization for the military mission in Libya.
Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski at the Washington Examiner: First of a series of three excerpts from “Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America,” published by Threshold Editions of Simon & Schuster.
Freedom From Religion Foundation: proposal for the city of South Bend, Ind., to buy a commercial property and donate it to a Catholic school violates the U.S. and state constitutions, says a complaint to the city from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
“A federal judge on Tuesday refused to invalidate last year’s ruling against Proposition 8, deciding the gay jurist who overturned the same-sex marriage ban had no obligation to step aside because of a possible conflict of interest.”
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama’s guarantee on $1 billion of Egyptian Eurobonds is poised to reduce the country’s borrowing costs, helping the transition to democracy after six decades of autocratic rule.
Latimes.com: The largest bankruptcy court in the country has declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act a violation of the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee.
USATODAY.com: Twenty years ago, when a senator asked then-appellate Judge Clarence Thomas why he wanted to be on the Supreme Court, Thomas said he often looked out his courthouse window at arriving prisoners and said to himself, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”
LifeSiteNews.com: The Ontario Appeals Court began hearings today on a landmark case that could see prostitution decriminalized in the province.
LifeSiteNews.com: The Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario organization gathered a small, but stalwart group at a prayer vigil June 12, as part of their efforts to convince Ontario’s Catholic bishops to reconsider support for a government equity strategy that they say threatens the integrity of Catholic sexual teaching in the schools.
LifeSiteNews.com: Killing unborn children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome is “genocide” and “a crime against humanity,” a New Zealand pro-life group has said, an assertion they will be making in a case against the government at the International Criminal Court.
The Salt Lake Tribune: Rep. Jackie Biskupski, Utah’s first openly gay legislator, announced Monday she is resigning her state House seat because she and her adopted son will be moving out of her district.
Philadelphia Inquirer: The battle over proposals to impose tougher standards at Pennsylvania’s 20 abortion clinics took a new turn Monday as state senators voted to study what those standards would cost the clinics.
“Early Man and the Law”: Alabama ruling upholds parental rights, concurrence invokes Blackstone and the law of nature
Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: In Friday’s Ex Parte E.R.G., the Alabama Supreme Court struck down the Alabama grandparent visitation statute, holding that it violated the rights of parents. The decision was a splintered 4–3-2 decision, which reflects the Supreme Court’s splintered decision in Troxel v. Granville (2000) — which held that some such laws are unconstitutional, but didn’t decide whether all such laws are unconstitutional. And the opinion among state courts is likewise splintered. I hope to have a chance to blog about this in the next few days. But for now, I just wanted to note this passage from Justice Parker’s concurrence (which also contains various assertions about the Christian basis of American law) . . .
Fifth Circuit Invalidates City Zoning Ordinance that Treats Churches Less Favorably than Similar Secular Land Uses
NYTimes.com: About 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from just 8 percent in 2000, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Philadelphia Inquirer | 06/14/2011: School officials may not discipline students for speech or writing – even lewd or offensive satire or parody – that is created outside the school environment, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday.
The most recent, decided yesterday in the Central District of California, is the most sweeping. It concluded that a same-sex couple married in California could file a joint bankruptcy petition because the law that would have prevented the joint petition, DOMA, was unconstitutional as a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s due-process clause.
NY GOP senator: Religion freedom exceptions key to marriage vote; measure to redefine is two votes short
A New York state lawmaker says he’s seen no crack in the GOP bloc against a gay marriage bill, but proposed religious exceptions could make the difference . . .The effort now appears to be just two votes from passage.
A nonprofit group said today it is filing an ethics complaint against U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) over how he and other House Republican leaders plan to pay for litigation over the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Religion Clause: Last night’s CNN debate between 7 Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination included a lengthy exchange on same-sex marriage, repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and abortion rights. Here is the excerpt from the full transcript . . .
Transcript: Republican Debate Includes Discussion of Church-State Issues and Attitudes Toward Muslims
Religion Clause: Last night’s CNN debate among 7 Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination included an extensive exchange on separation of church and state, and attitudes toward American Muslims. Here is a lengthy excerpt from the full transcript . . .
Religion Clause: In a federal court lawsuit, followers of Brooklyn Satmar Rabbi Zalman Teiltelbaum who make up some 40% of the population of Kiryas Joel sued seeking dissolution of the city or alternatively a ban on religious leaders holding city office for 25 years.
Religion Clause: The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday denied certiorari in Freedom From Religion Foundation v. United States, (Docket No. 10-1214, cert. denied 6/13/2011)
AP: Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress – called the Nation’s Report Card – showed solid academic performance in American history.
ACLU: The Department of Education today issued a “dear colleague” letter to school districts around the country reinforcing students’ legal right under the federal Equal Access Act to form gay-straight alliances (GSAs).
Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law.
ACLU still awaits GCPS response on Internet filter: The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia extended a deadline for Gwinnett County Public Schools to respond to a complaint about an Internet filter that blocks some websites about sexual orientation.
George Berkin at NJ.com: Yes, I know, most, if not all, public high school officials across the state will not take that kind of bold step for constitutional liberties. If asked, school officials will probably give the “politically correct” reason for excluding any prayer – it’s “unconstitutional” and “not inclusive.” The real reason, as we know, is less idealistic. School officials have been utterly intimidated by the ACLU . . .
Why should we trash Walker’s Prop 8 ruling? Court rules spell it out | LifeSiteNews.com: Judges have a duty not only to apply the law without bias, but also to do so in a way that avoids even the mere appearance of impropriety. This idea is a cornerstone of the judiciary. Thus, the Supreme Court has long been clear that “no man can be a judge in his own case and no man is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome.” Against the backdrop of these bedrock principles, it is clear that the ruling of Judge Walker must be vacated.
The Advocate: New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is helping to sponsor a rally of Christian bishops and clergy members at New York City Hall on Tuesday afternoon to respond to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has contributed high-profile lobbying, fund-raising and advocacy to the marriage equality campaign. Other sponsors include the Alliance Defense Fund and the National Organization for Marriage, which has issued an action alert urging members to contact 14 key state senators, including the four who announced their support on Monday.
OneNewsNow.com: Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Matt Bowman tells OneNewsNow the philosophy behind the law is to protect abortion clinics. “Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, should not be punished by political allies of the abortion industry,” he argues . . . “The government cannot create special speech rules for people who want to talk about pregnancy choices,” the attorney contends. “And it also cannot target pro-life centers for special sign requirements and fines while leaving speech by abortion clinics unregulated.”
OneNewsNow.com: But Casey Mattox of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) believes there is a complete lack of understanding of First Amendment rights at Pellissippi State and many campuses throughout the country. “ADF is working to try to remind these universities…that the First Amendment does apply to students, and [that] every student has a right to free speech on their campus,” Mattox explains.
‘Gay’ judge’s verdict ‘must’ be abandoned: Prop 8 supporters argue Walker stands to benefit personally from his court decision
WorldNetDaily: “When judges ruled on cases in which they possess a direct and substantial personal interest, there can be no justice. And when judges fail to disclose all relevant facts concerning their potential personal interest in the outcome of a case and permit the appearance of partiality, the entirety of our judicial process is undermined,” said Austin R. Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund today.
Washington Times: Attorneys for both sides held press conferences after the three-hour trial. Austin Nimocks, attorney for the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, cited the Supreme Court’s ruling that “no man can be a judge in his own case and no man is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome.” “Judge Walker’s decision must be vacated and reconsidered by a neutral judge who has no direct and substantial personal interest in the outcome and whose impartiality cannot reasonably be questioned, as required by federal law,” said Mr. Nimocks in a statement.
Christian Post: “In this case, Judge Walker’s actions have violated timeless rules for judges. His decision not to recuse himself from this case is in conflict with what federal law demands of a judge who has an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding,” said Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks.
Thomson Reuters: For the gay marriage opponents: Charles Cooper, David Thompson, Howard Nielson, Nicole Moss and Peter Patterson of Cooper and Kirk; Andrew Pugno of the Law Offices of Andrew Pugno; Brian Raum and James Campbell of the Alliance Defense Fund.
Charisma: “Churches should not be singled out for discrimination by a city’s zoning restrictions,” says John W. Mauck, lead counsel in the suit and an ADF alliance attorney. “The city of Mountain Home did the right thing by agreeing to this court order and letting this growing church meet on its leased property so it can exercise its constitutionally protected right to assemble—just like everyone else.” . . . “This case is just one of numerous lawsuits throughout the country demonstrating that many municipalities don’t understand the law. Zoning schemes may not exclude churches or single them out from similar uses for disfavored treatment,” ADF Senior Counsel Joseph Infranco explains.“This lawsuit had a great outcome, and we hope other cities in similar situations will take notice.”
LifeNews.com: Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden is arguing in favor of lifting the order that stalled the Arizona Abortion Consent Act. “If Planned Parenthood really cared about women’s rights, they’d support laws that allow women to make fully informed choices instead of going to court to tear them down,” said Aden. “The protection of women should not be on hold while the nation’s largest abortion purveyor ties things up in court.” “If abortionists really cared about women’s rights, they’d support laws that allow women to make fully informed choices instead of challenging these laws in court,” Aden said.
The New American: David Cortman of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the conservative legal advocacy group that represented the women in court, declared that “Christians should be allowed to express themselves on public school campuses, just like everyone else. It is cowardly to shut down everyone’s participation in this program simply to keep out Christian speech.”
Courthouse News Service: Judges Johnnie Rawlinson and William Fletcher seemed skeptical of Cortman’s First Amendment claims. “How do you have a First Amendment argument if, in fact, it’s the government’s speech that’s being regulated?” Rawlinson asked. Cortman replied that it was the speech of a local school district, but Rawlinson countered that the school has to comply with the governing body . . . Cortman claimed in his rebuttal that the Charter School Commission has no authority to impose the ban on religious works and only the State Board of Education can decide curriculum. He also claimed that the school was shut down in retaliation for opposing the book-ban policy.
KnoxNews.com via Fox News: The lawsuit was filed Friday by the Alliance Defense Fund, which is described on its website as a “legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations.”
ADF attorney Erik Stanley at The American Thinker: Zoning issues are not a concern, either. Calvary Christian Church has the approval of planning officials because it has met all zoning requirements to run such a facility. So, quite simply, no legitimate reason exists to oppose the opening of this school. There’s no reason to run up a taxpayer tab with needless litigation over a school that wants to help disabled children in need, that meets all safety and zoning requirements, and that is on firm footing under the law to do work that benefits everyone.
OneNewsNow.com: . . . senior legal counsel David Cortman says the case will end up before the Supreme Court. “[The Ninth Circuit was] completely hostile to the argument. It didn’t seem to have too much of a problem with this broad-based censorship,” he accounts. “So it looks to me this is one of those cases that’s going to continue to climb the ladder.” . . . [more quotes by D. Cortman]
California Catholic Daily – Speaking for the sisters?: Supporters of Prop. 8, of course, disagree with Powers’ analysis. “The American people have a right to a fair judicial process and deserve a court system that upholds it with the utmost integrity,” said Austin R. Nimocks, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which is defending the voter-approved initiative. “In this case, Judge Walker’s actions have violated timeless rules for judges. His decision not to recuse himself from this case is in conflict with what federal law demands of a judge who has an ‘interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.’”
“Political allies of the abortion industry”: San Francisco supervisor joins with NARAL in assault on pro-life pregnancy centers
California Catholic Daily – “Political allies of the abortion industry”: “Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of the abortion industry,” said ADF attorney Matt Bowman in a prepared statement. “As the district court ruled, the government cannot create special speech rules for people who want to talk about pregnancy choices. And it also cannot target pro-life centers for special sign requirements and fines while leaving speech by abortion clinics unregulated.” “The city (Baltimore) places no sign requirements on Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities regarding services they do not offer,” noted an ADF news release.
California Catholic Daily: “Christians should be allowed to express themselves on public school campuses just like everyone else,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “It is cowardly to shut down everyone’s participation in this program simply out of animosity toward Christian speech. There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about a Bible verse on a brick when a school opens up a program for anyone to express a personal message. The school could simply have allowed the Bible verses, but instead, it chose to punish everyone.”
NCRegister.com: The problem is that the NLRB’s attempts to force Catholic colleges to comply with federal labor laws are part of a larger trend, described by Kevin Theriot of the Alliance Defense Fund in a recent analysis for the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education. “Federal and state laws are increasingly being used to coerce religious institutions into actions and commitments that violate deeply held religious convictions and moral principles,” Theriot writes . . . “But an educational institution that veers from a religious founding will probably not be able to demonstrate that it is a religious organization,” Theriot warns. Authentically Catholic colleges have an “advantage” over other religious colleges because they have been given clear standards to follow in the 1990 apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
Fredericksburg, VA Patch: The church’s lawsuit has been taken on by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian non-profit organization which defends issues of religious liberty.
McClatchy: Egypt’s military rulers told human rights advocates Monday that at least 7,000 civilians have been sentenced to prison terms by military courts since Hosni Mubarak was ousted — an astoundingly high number likely to fuel debate over how much the revolution has changed the country.
The Guardian: Experts divided on whether ‘deeply complex’ procedure, previously only carried out on animals, is safe for humans
Washington Examiner: Nevada’s law barring public officials from voting—or officially speaking—for or against issues where they have a personal stake is okay under the First Amendment, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan, the high court considered whether Nevada’s recusal statute for public officials violates those officials’ free speech rights.