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The Spiritual Herald: According to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADL), the protest is scheduled to take place in pulpits across the country on Sunday, October 2. The “Freedom Pulpit Sunday” confrontation will take head-on the Internal Revenue Service’s regulation that churches or pastors who endorse political candidates face loss of the church’s tax-exempt status. “We challenge the IRS to remove a church’s tax-exempt status so we can get into court and get the rule declared unconstitutional,” ADL Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley told The Spiritual Herald in an exclusive interview.
Interfax: “We do not want the (Church) to become part of the state apparatus, state machinery, to assume secular functions,” Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, said.
Baptist Press: “It is disturbing that public officials have so blithely dismissed New Yorkers’ sincerely held beliefs even though millions of New Yorkers believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman,” said a legal memo ADF wrote for clerks throughout the state. “But New York law does protect an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Christian Science Monitor: Despite the president’s action, DOMA continues to enjoy significant support in Congress and among many Americans. “Congress rightly recognized that the lifelong, faithful union of a man and a woman is the fundamental building block of thriving societies,” Austin Nimrocks of the Alliance Defense Fund, which supports DOMA, said in a statement. “The union between husband and wife benefits society – especially children – in unique and special ways that cannot be duplicated by any other relationship.” He added: “We should not abandon what Congress wisely did … to appease a very small group of activists.”
Dakota Voice: “I applaud the Alliance Defense Fund’s effort to step forward and provide a legal resource for municipal clerks and other employees in New York who may face a dilemma when Governor Cuomo’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill goes into effect on July 24th. No one should have to resign from his or her job if issuing marriage licenses to gay couples violates his or her conscience.
WAMC (includes audio): When New York’s new definition of marriage takes effect on July 24, many county clerks will be confronted with the conflict between a surrendering to a new job requirement and adherence to their own religious beliefs. They may have some legal options – Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Charisma: Should New York’s clerks be forced to issue same-sex marriage licenses? That’s the subject of a legal memo the Alliance Defense Fund circulated Friday.
Baptist Press: “The Missouri Baptist Convention’s Christian Life Commission, with Krueger as chairman, plans to tackle the problem head-on through two upcoming workshops.”
AlberMohler.com: Each U.S. presidential election cycle brings its own set of unexpected issues, and the 2012 race already offers one topic of controversy that truly sets it apart — a debate over forms of therapy that attempt to change an individual’s sexual orientation.
Blog of the Legal Times: The June ruling by three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit limited Renzi’s ability to invoke the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause, which says lawmakers “shall not be questioned” outside the House or Senate for their legislative activity.
Courthouse News Service: According to the federal complaint, Maryland resident Richard Retta has violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by intimidating and interfering with patients for more than a decade.
The Christian Institute: A mother’s application to end the life of her incapacitated daughter is being heard by the Court of Protection, in a case which could shift the law on euthanasia.
ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Vermont filed a lawsuit today against a Vermont resort that refused to host a lesbian couple’s wedding reception due to the owners’ personal bias against lesbian and gay people. Vermont law prohibits denying access to public accommodations based on sexual orientation.
Lincoln Tribune: When the state House takes up a series of veto overrides in late July, an abortion-related measure could have one of the tightest margins, but supporters say they’ll have enough legislators on board to make it law.
As a leading Senate Democrat prepares for hearings this week on repealing the federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman, the White House on Tuesday threw its support to overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.
LifeSiteNews: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has set the passage of same-sex “marriage” as a legislative priority for next year, after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s success last month.
The Hill: Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said the hearing will take place on July 27. It is titled, “Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American Community and the Threat to the Homeland.”
Congratulations to allied attorneys Jim Bopp, Matthew Burkhart, A.C. Donahue, Peter Gentala, Ted Hoppe, David Langdon, Josiah Neeley, Brad Peppo, Deborah Sheasby, Dee Wampler, and Anita Woudenberg, as well as new Honor Corps members Charles Bundren, Ryan Kennedy, and Joseph Platt for their recent accomplishments and successes listed below.
The Morning Call: The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia heard arguments Thursday on whether charter schools can sue their parent districts — a question Judge Marjorie O. Rendell called hugely important for the future of charter schools in Pennsylvania.
LifeSiteNews: Mexico’s National Pro-Life Committee (Provida), the country’s largest and most prominent pro-life organization, has filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission regarding the mass murder of unborn children currently taking place in the nation’s Federal District. Currently abortion is legal, and financed, during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy in Mexico City.
LifeSiteNews: A leading fertility clinic in Hong Kong revealed this week that they aborted two embryonic children after clinicians had implanted them in the wrong woman. The Victory A.R.T. Laboratory realized the mix-up quickly and, according to the BBC, then had the embryos “taken out and discarded.”
Chuck Colson at Life News: Thus, as Hvistendahl tells us, “proponents of population control began talking about” sex selection. Ehrlich wrote in The Population Bomb that “if a simple method could be found to guarantee that first-born children were males . . . then population control problems in many areas would be somewhat eased.
LifeNews:In Poland, a nation-wide grassroots effort has lead to the proposal of bold, new legislation aimed at removing all exceptions to the country’s abortion laws thus protecting children from the moment of conception.
Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Democrats made history Saturday afternoon, electing Jim Dabakis as state party chairman by a wide margin. He is believed to be the state’s first openly gay major party leader.
NY Times: With the military’s ban on openly gay troops expected to end this fall, advocates for gay and lesbian service members are already looking ahead to the next battle: winning equal benefits for same-sex married couples.
LifeNews: A new report issued by the influential Institute of Medicine today recommended to the Obama administration that it force insurance companies to pay for birth control under the Obamacare government-run health care program.
EPPC: Thank you very much, Chairman Leahy and ranking member Grassley, for inviting me to testify before this Committee on S. 598, which is misleadingly titled the “Respect for Marriage Act of 2011.” I will briefly explain in my testimony why I oppose S. 598 and why I support the continuation in law of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). S. 598 should also be understood in the broader political context of the Obama administration’s stealth campaign to induce the courts to invalidate DOMA and to invent a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. I will therefore discuss more extensively how, even before its February announcement of its formal decision to abandon defending DOMA, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice was systematically sabotaging its supposed defense of DOMA.
AP: A Malaysian transsexual who underwent sex-change surgery has lost her bid to officially change her gender, with a court ruling that a person’s sex is determined at birth, her lawyer said Thursday.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: Ruth Sheldon, town clerk for 15 years in Granby, 25 miles north of Syracuse, said Monday that she has submitted her resignation effective Saturday.
ADF Media: Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks will be available for media questions Wednesday immediately after providing testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the proposed repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, passed by 84 percent of Congress and signed into law by then-President Clinton in 1996.
Journal Sentinel Online: Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s decision to block the judicial nomination of a University of Wisconsin law professor has drawn a pointed letter of protest by a group of legal academics from around the country.
Religion Clause Blog: According to the Malay Mail, an appeals court in Malaysia yesterday rejected a claim that the protection in Art. 11(1) of the Malaysian Constitution allowing every person the right to profess and practice his religion precludes prosecution of a follower of Ayah Pin for apostasy by a Syariah court.
Religion Clause Blog: A lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Michigan yesterday challenging a rezoning ordinance adopted by Inkster, Michigan which prevented a church from renovating fire-damaged buildings and locating a church and parochial school on property the it owned in an area zoned as a business district. The complaint (full text) in T.C. Spann Bible Institute v. City of Inkster, (ED MI, filed 7/18/2011) . . .
Canadian Constitution Foundation: The lesson to be learned is that the law only protects certain people: the identity of the complainant matters. Because Pardy is a lesbian, her feelings are protected by the law. As a Christian, Johnson’s are not. These cases are not anomalies. This is the way that our human rights legislation works. Individuals deemed to be part of “vulnerable” groups get protection, while others do not. And it is difficult to understand how this is constitutional.
As previously reported, in March 2011, in a major policy shift, the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a Resolution on Freedom of Religion or Belief which omits any reference to the concept of “defamation of religion” and instead focuses on the individual’s right to freedom of belief.
Religion Clause Blog: Now, however, Constitutional Law Prof Blog reports that the Alliance Defense Fund last week sent a memo (full text) to New York Municipal Clerks telling them that they are entitled to claim a religious accommodation to exempt them from issuing same-sex marriage license.
Gainesville.com: Dixie County has 30 days to remove a granite monument of the Ten Commandments from atop the steps of the county courthouse in Cross City, where it has sat since 2006, according to a federal court ruling Friday. | ACLU press release and link to order
The Spiritual Herald: New York’s approval of same-sex marriage is just the first round in what will be a lengthy and fractious heavyweight legal battle that will wind up in the laps of the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court next year. ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero, who is gay himself, spelled out a robust list of lawsuits the organization has filed in states across the nation.
ACLU: Alaska requirements for correcting transgender drivers’ licenses unconstitutional From a news release
Windy City Times: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alaska filed a brief today seeking to allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates without undergoing major surgery.
Metro Weekly: In the second panel, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese and Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson will be joined by two marriage equality opponents. David Austin R. Nimocks is the senior legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been the driving legal force behind most anti-LGBT litigation in recent years . . .
USA Today: The Bronx church is seeking a rehearing. Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents the church, expects the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the ruling. Lorence said in a news release, “Religious groups, including churches, shouldn’t be discriminated against simply because they want to rent a public building just like other groups can.”
Capitol Confidential: The Alliance Defense Fund has issued the below memo explaining the rights of clerks to refuse to issue licenses.
Advocate.com: The Alliance Defense Fund has issued a legal memo in defense of New York municipal clerks who object to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and officiating the ceremonies on the grounds of religious belief.
Politics on the Hudson: According to a memo from the Alliance Defense Fund, a group that defends religious freedoms, said in a memo on the new same-sex marriage law that state statute requires New York employers “accommodate sincerely held religious beliefs.” The memo refers to city and town clerks who have religious objections to officiating same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Rasmussen: Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe greater free market competition between insurance companies would do more to reduce health care costs than more government regulation.