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NJ.com: On one side of the parental tug-of-war over the 5-year-old twin girls at the center of the long-fought court battle were Donald Robinson Hollingsworth and Sean Hollingsworth — a gay couple who married in California and live in Jersey City. On the other was Angelia Robinson, Donald Hollingsworth’s sister, who agreed to serve as a surrogate, ultimately giving birth to the girls through a donor embryo fertilized by Sean Hollingsworth.
A federal court issued an order Tuesday that prevents the city of Duluth from enforcing a First Amendment ban on people desiring to share their faith at a city park during the “Bentleyville Tour of Lights” event.
Gordon G. Chang at National Review Online: Beijing has, for decades, been buying the loyalty of the North’s generals and admirals faster than Kim Jong Il could purge them. Now that Kim is resting under glass in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, the Chinese are going to own all the flag officers they need.
Turtle Bay and Beyond – International Law, Policy, and Institutions: A report conducted by UNFPA and the Armenian government health ministry revealed that women are aborting their female unborn children. Over the last 5 years over 7,000 women have had sex-selective abortions.
The Marriage Economy: ‘I Couldn’t Afford To Get Divorced’ : NPR (includes audio): As unemployment rises, the divorce rate goes down: For every 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate, the divorce rate goes down by 1 percent.
Canada.com: During the spring federal election, the Conservative party proposed creating an Office of Religious Freedom, a body within the Foreign Affairs Department that would cost an estimated $20 million over four years and seek to safeguard religious minorities abroad.
Guardian.co.uk: Appointment of Lord Reed and Lord Justice Carnwath dispels hopes that number of female justices on bench would increase
Knights of Columbus at Christian Newswire: The Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll found that nearly two-thirds of adults nationally — 64 percent — think people should say, “Merry Christmas,” while less than one-third — 31 percent — believe the appropriate greeting is “Happy Holidays.”
The Guardian: Two leading members of Iraq’s largest and most powerful Sunni tribe have warned of imminent sectarian chaos in the wake of the US withdrawal, claiming that the government of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is promoting an anti-Sunni agenda.
Steven Aden at Townhall: Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overrode the Food and Drug Administration and limited the over-the-counter availability of Plan B, the abortifacient sometimes called the “morning after” pill, to girls 17 and older who can prove their age. In short, this means Plan B pills, which are essentially a double dose of birth control pills and are already as accessible as aspirin for girls who just started driving months ago, will continue to be available for girls who are still but kids in society’s eyes.
Thomas Sowell: “Romney is a smooth talker, but what did he actually accomplish” compared to Gingrich
Thomas Sowell at RealClearPolitics – The Past and the Present: Those who want to concentrate on the baggage in Newt Gingrich’s past, rather than on the nation’s future, should remember what Winston Churchill said: “If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.” If that means a second term for Barack Obama, then it means lost big time.
Operation Rescue on the Christian Newswire: Franz Theard and Douglas Karpen have both been scheduled for hearings on May 16, 2012. Theard is accused of coaching minor girls to cross state lines to avoid Texas parental notification laws and with illegally disposing of aborted baby remains. Karpen is accused of violating the state’s informed consent laws, but has a sordid history of abortion abuses dating back to 1988.
The Christian Institute: The Scottish Government is considering redefining marriage but barring same-sex ceremonies from religious settings, media reports have suggested.
LifeNews.com: An Atlanta, Georgia-based abortion practitioner has been arrested as he faces accusations of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in Medicaid payments that were fraudulent.
CSMonitor.com: The scars of Iraq’s painful bloodletting are deep, and a powerful disincentive against a return to open warfare. But Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is moving against Sunni Arabs, his political enemies.
Reuters: Bob Vander Plaats, head of the influential Christian group Family Leader and Iowa Family Policy Center head Chuck Hurley backed Santorum after the Family Leader’s board of directors was unable to reach agreement on a broader endorsement.
Malaysia: Controversial PAS member Datuk Hasan Ali wants his party’s top leadership to settle the thorny question about establishing Malaysia as an Islamic state with its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners now rather than later.
LiveScience: Many committed couples aren’t marrying because they fear divorce, a new study indicates, though many other reasons for and against marriage abound in young adults from different social classes.
MI: “State bills seeking to void Kalamazoo’s gay-rights ordinance, domestic partner benefits opposed by City Commission”
MLive.com: The Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously approved a resolution Monday opposing proposed state legislation that would void Kalamazoo’s two-year-old, voter approved ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gay, lesbian or transgender individuals in housing, public accommodations or employment.
allAfrica.com: Following the passage of the bill prohibiting the practice of same-sex marriage in Nigeria by the Senate on December 1, the country has continued to receive subtle, and sometimes open threats from leaders of a number of Western countries who are vehemently opposed to the legislation against homosexuality. Spearheading this arm-twisting are Canada, Great Britain and the United States of America.
The American Prospect: Opponents of California’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, have started collecting the 807,615 signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. It’ll be a slog—they have to have them all by May 14.
Seattle Times Newspaper: A University of Washington law professor and his partner have written a book — “The Geography of Love” — whose content, they realize, will be forever changing. Their self-published book, covered in four short chapters, uses maps and charts to relate the status of same-sex unions across the country.
ADF Attorney Nate Kellum appeared on the Zeb Bell Show to discuss the assault on a nativity scene in Texas. | MP3 audio 15:40 mins | Related: Video: Thousands Rally in Texas to Save Nativity – War On Christmas | Nate Kellum at Townhall: Don’t Mess with Texas (at Christmas)
LifeSiteNews.com: Use of the abortifacient morning-after pill in Spain has risen by 83% in 2010, the first full year of over-the-counter availability of the dangerous drug, according to a report by ANSAmed news service.
LifeNews: The ABC 20/20 news story is riveting — a revealing look at why there are so many fewer women than men in India. Reporter Elizabeth Vargas traveled to India to bring this story of what is called “Gendercide” home to a stunned American audience.
LifeNews: The state of Michigan has withdrawn a $200,000 taxpayer-funded grant to Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan, which is in the process of building a new abortion facility in Auburn Hills.
Engage Family Minute (includes video): However, in this very informative video presented by the Family Research Council, Dr. Daniel Dreisbach, a very respected professor of law at American University shows that the Founding Fathers used the Bible constantly in their creation and establishment of the United States. Dr. Dreisbach’s new article, “The Bible in the Political Rhetoric of the American Founding,” is prominently featured in the current edition of Politics and Religion Journal.
NYTimes.com: THE library at the Duncan School of Law may look like nothing more than 4,000 hardbacks in a medium-size room, but it is actually a high-tech experiment in cost containment.
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy: David Segal’s recent New York Times article on ABA accreditation of law schools makes the important point that the ABA uses the accreditation process to reduce competition for its members by artificially reducing the number of law schools, and thereby eliminating potential competitors for its members. This interacts with laws that require consumers to rely on lawyers even for relatively simple tasks that in many other countries are performed by paralegals and the like. The end result makes even basic legal services extremely expensive, especially for the poor and the lower middle class:
Business Week: Two Muslim men who were kicked off an airplane in May are suing Delta Air Lines Inc. and a regional carrier that operated the flight from Memphis to Charlotte, N.C.
Religion Clause: In Diocese of Quincy v. The Episcopal Church, (IL Cir. Ct., Dec. 16, 2011), an Illinois trial court refused to grant summary judgment to The Episcopal Church on its counterclaim against the Diocese of Quincy (IL) in a lawsuit originally filed by the break-away diocese to quiet title to its property.
Jack Hunter at The Daily Caller: Many Republicans love Ron Paul’s limited-government philosophy but have problems with his foreign policy. This is understandable given the state of today’s Republican Party. But what many Republicans probably don’t realize is that Paul’s foreign policy is part of his limited-government philosophy — and it’s a crucially important part. If the American right does not begin to at least consider Paul’s foreign policy, it will continue to forfeit any hope of advancing a substantive conservatism.
Washington Times: Denver District Court Judge Sheila Rappaport ruled in Lobato v. Colorado that the state’s funding system fails to provide the “thorough and uniform” education required by the constitution. She called the system “significantly underfunded,” even though Colorado now spends $3.2 billion, or about 45 percent of the $7 billion annual state budget, on K-12 education.
Ironton Tribune: Coal Grove Mayor Larry McDaniel and his wife, Vickie, had just finished checking the lights for the elaborate Christmas display at Paul Porter Park Saturday evening, when they got a phone call, they didn’t want to hear. “We hadn’t been home a half-hour and some people had been in the park and told us Baby Jesus wasn’t there,” Vickie McDaniel said.
Mercury News: ravis Air Force Base will not meet the demands of a group trying to take down the nativity scene and menorah displayed at a main intersection on the base.
MyFoxDetroit: You may have heard this argument before, that a nativity scene or any display of religious symbol on public ground is a violation of church and state. In Warren, a man wants to challenge the argument a step further by displaying a ‘certain’ sign right next to the nativity scene.
ACLU: The New York Civil Liberties Union today wrote to New York City officials and Brookfield Properties asking them to accommodate a Christmas prayer vigil at Zuccotti Park.
OneNewsNow.com: A religious freedom ballot issue is slowly moving forward in Florida. Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel explains that the Florida constitutional amendment is opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union and teachers unions because it could lead to school vouchers allowing parents to send their children to religious and private schools.
ADF Attorney Steven Aden at Townhall Conservative: Christmas is a holiday which marks the birth of Christ, and one on which people celebrate rich traditions that have come to be tied to the season. However, one thing’s for certain: none of those traditions involve Planned Parenthood’s newly released talking points for defending baby killing during your Christmas dinner—an idea even more repugnant than the group’s usual propaganda.
Chuck Norris at Townhall: Anyone who knows me knows that for my whole life, I’ve been a huge supporter of our U.S. military personnel, whom I congratulate about their victory in Iraq. But when our president and officials in the U.S. Department of Defense exchange a war abroad for a religious war at home, can’t we see that something else is seriously awry in this administration?
Hawaii News Now: The B and B’s attorney, Jim Hochberg, says he hasn’t seen the suit so he cannot comment. Lambda Legal says it hasn’t been able to find a license permitting Aloha Bed and Breakfast to operate . . . Hochberg says he’s defending Young with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund.
One News Now (includes audio): “The school should not succumb to pressure from the faulty legal demands of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which spends its time threatening and intimidating school districts with disinformation to further its own constitutionally incorrect agenda,” Sharp contends. And ADF attorney David Cortman says . . . “An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that it’s okay to celebrate Christmas in schools and in the public square, and they are certainly correct,” he offers. “There is nothing unconstitutional about inclusion of this song in the school’s program, and that is supported by how the courts have consistently ruled.”
Los Angeles-area lesbian couple’s lawsuit claims discrimination by Hawaii bed and breakfast | Newser
Newser: Reached by phone, owner Phyllis Young declined to comment and referred questions to her attorney. Honolulu attorney Jim Hochberg said he is representing her on behalf of the Alliance Defense Fund, an organization of attorneys representing people whose religious freedom is infringed. He said he hadn’t yet seen the complaint.
Politico: Paul officials note that they’ve embraced the Iowa way. And even establishment Republicans like Branstad concede that the congressman has done it “the old-fashioned way” and enjoys the best organization of any of the candidates
News from The Associated Press: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says rival Newt Gingrich’s idea to send Capitol Police or U.S. marshals to bring judges before lawmakers to explain their decisions is neither practical nor constitutional.
The Hill: Republican senators have asked President Obama not to recess appoint his two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
News from The Associated Press: Physicians and the federal government cited the case of a San Francisco Bay area man who has fathered 14 children as an example of the risks posed by the informal market for sperm donations, which doctors consider unsafe but some people call a civil liberties issue.
News from The Associated Press: A young Iowa man’s plea for marriage rights for his lesbian parents drew 18.3 million views to become the most-watched political video of the year, according to YouTube’s ranking of viral political videos
News from The Associated Press: As he works to rev up his conservative base in Iowa with just two weeks to go until the state’s caucuses, Newt Gingrich is launching a full-throated assault on a reliable GOP target: judges.
On Capitol Hill, 69 members of Congress recently sent a letter toDepartment of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder, whose respective offices are conducting a joint review of the roughly 300,000 currently pending immigration cases, asking that same-sex couples are included in a rubric for closing low-priority deportation cases because of family ties.
Legal Periodical: What Did Jesus Do?: Answering Religious Conservatives Who Oppose Bullying Prevention Legislation
Weddle, Dan and New, Kathryn E., What Did Jesus Do?: Answering Religious Conservatives Who Oppose Bullying Prevention Legislation (October 18, 2011). New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, Vol. 37, p. 325, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1945737
Arkansas News: A group pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that would ban abortion in Arkansas says it has submitted proposed ballot language to the state attorney general. If Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approves the language, the group Personhood Arkansas would have until July 6 to collect 78,133 signatures to place the measure on the November 2012 ballot.
Washington Examiner: Looks like the PC police have threatened members of the House of Representatives against wishing constituents a “Merry Christmas,” if they want to do so in a mailing paid for with tax dollars.