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The Scoop | dallasnews.com: The Dallas County Community College District board this week amended its policies to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity and expression.”
Houston Chronicle: A federal judge abused his discretion when he blocked the state of Texas from enforcing a law requiring doctors to show sonograms to patients and describe the images before an abortion, a lawyer for the state told an appeals court Wednesday.
Baptist Press: Acts of violence and intolerance against Christians in Indonesia nearly doubled in 2011, with an Islamist campaign to close down churches a key factor in the plight of the nation’s religious minority.
The Washington Post: “It is disappointing that a former constitutional law professor does not understand that the president is not a dictator or a king who can simply ignore the Constitution whenever he feels frustrated by the system of checks and balances wisely put in place by our Founders,” Paul said in a statement.
ChurchofEngland.org: The commission undertook a quest to find effective safeguards that could be put in place to avoid abuse of any new law legitimising assisted suicide. Unsurprisingly, given the commission’s composition, it has claimed to have found such safeguards. Unlike the commissioners, we are unconvinced that the commission has been successful in its quest.
Christian Concern: Lord Falconer’s ‘Commission on Assisted Dying’ released their proposals today (5 Jan) and recommended that doctors should be allowed to assist terminally ill patients to kill themselves, as long as the patients had less than a year to live, and provided they meet certain criteria.
TPMMuckraker: Washington may be the latest state to push for gay marriage, but in other states gay rights advocates have already been pursuing marriage equality for some time, in efforts that will likely culminate sometime in 2012. So where are the biggest battlegrounds?
The Hill: Rick Santorum said the Senate should sue over President Obama’s decision Wednesday to appoint Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and name three members to vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board.
ADF Attorney Steve Aden at Townhall: Moreover, there’s no reason to believe the immediate future will be any better than the recent past. That is, unless you’re affiliated with Planned Parenthood, the abortion giant that has benefited immensely from the fact that taxpayer dollars have continually poured into its coffers no matter what the condition of the economy might be.
CBC News: Scientists at the University of Turin and the University of Manchester say they have developed a new method to analyze personality differences between the sexes, which suggests the differences are much greater than previously thought.
National Review Online: Federal reporting standards for abortion are notoriously weak and several states typically refuse to report data to the CDC. The 2008 figures are no exception. California, Florida, Maryland, and New Hampshire all failed to report complete data to the CDC. In fact, only 43 states have reported abortion data to the CDC every year between 1999 and 2008.
The Tennessean | tennessean.com: Former state lawmaker turned Christian conservative activist David Fowler is squaring off in a new fight with gay-rights activists, this time over his effort to change Tennessee’s anti-bullying law for students.
Washington Post: Zimbabwean police stopped a retreat of 80 clergy over claims that their prayer gathering was not given police clearance under sweeping security laws, the country’s mainstream Anglican church said Tuesday.
Norwood News: Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera was arrested this morning along with six other pastors while protesting a city policy that they say is now excluded religious groups from worshiping inside city-run buildings.
LifeSiteNews.com: A referendum initiated by the Slovenian Civilian Initiative for Family and the Rights of Children (CIFRC) challenging the Slovenian Family Code adopted in June 2011, which gives same-sex couples the right to ‘marriage’ and adoption of children, was approved by the Slovenian Constitutional Court on December 27, 2011.
LifeSiteNews.com: The Forum Research poll, conducted on Dec. 13th, found that 67% support legalizing physician-assisted suicide, while 21% oppose it, and 12% are undecided.
LifeSiteNews.com: “But fetal homicide laws would have fangs if used against abortionists,” said Americans United for Life’s Clarke Forsythe to me in a phone interview today. “Maryland’s unprecedented application to abortion has the potential to be used more broadly and must be scaring abortion proponents silly.”
C-Fam Friday Fax: European human rights lawyer J.C. von Krempach has taken a close look at the funding stream of the International Gay and Lesbian Association – Europe (ILGA) and concluded that most of their money comes from governments. Writing in the foreign policy blog Turtle Bay and Beyond, von Krempach found a vast majority of ILGA’s funds come from just two governmental entities, the European Commission and the Dutch government.
C-Fam Friday Fax: A confidential audit of UNICEF and UNFPA found “gross” failures in transparency and surprisingly billions of dollars of unspent cash. Both agencies refused to disclose information on staff costs and travel. The auditor found that donors have “little knowledge regarding the ultimate destiny” of funds.
Fox News Latino: Cancun and other resort areas on the Mexican Caribbean will have a new attraction for gay and lesbian couples from the United States, Canada and Europe, allowing them to legalize their unions thanks to a quirk in the local civil code, activist Patricia Novelo told Efe.
WA: Redmond pastor says same sex “marriage” legislation will infringe upon freedom of religion (includes audio)
MyNorthwest.com (includes audio): Ken Hutcherson, a pastor at Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, is vowing to fight same sex marriage legislation Gov. Gregoire plans to propose next week.
The Republic (AP): The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit claiming the constitutional rights of four same-sex couples are being violated by a new Michigan law that bars insurance for some domestic partners. | ACLU press release, complaint, and other documents
The Washington Independent: Van Zant’s bill would make performing an abortion a felony. House Bill 1151 would create the “Florida for Life Act,” a law that would essentially outlaw all abortions in direct defiance of legal abortion rights in the U.S.
Ian McLean at VirtueOnline: The UK government has promised to launch a consultation on ‘how to make civil marriage available to same-sex couples’ in England and Wales. Note: HOW, not WHETHER. This reflects the astonishing social change in the last two decades in the UK and other liberal democracies.
The Egyptian Gazette: The new Egyptian Parliament, which will be inaugurated on January 23, looks set to be dominated by Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafist Al-Nour Party, which seeks to impose strict Islamic Law, similar to Saudi Arabia, have captured a clear majority of votes in Egypt’s first elections since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak. It’s a huge blow for the liberals and young activists who drove the uprising. This has divided people in the street; some are more afraid of the Salafists than the Muslim Brothers.
Jonathan Adler at The Volokh Conspiracy : The WSJ Law Blog reports on comments by former Senator Rick Santorum (unearthed at RedState) on federalism and the authority of different states to adopt different policies on moral questions.
WSJ: Rick Santorum’s loss-as-win in Iowa gives Law Blog a chance to take a look at his views on the Constitution and the judiciary. Fortunately for us, Santorum gave a policy speech in November on the subject. Dozens of people attended.
TheHill.com: President Obama is confident he had the authority to recess-appoint Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.
Bonian Golmohammadi at the : Huffington Post: On December 15-16, governments, international agencies and civil society groups met to discuss hundreds of recommendations on sustainable development in preparation for the June 2012 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development. Focuses ranged from creating green jobs, to improving food security, achieving universal energy access, bettering water resource management, and addressing shark finning and marine pollution.
LaTimes.com: On Tuesday, the high court will hear arguments from News Corp.’s Fox and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC that the Federal Communications Commission’s rules regarding indecent programming and the way they are enforced by the agency are both vague and unconstitutional.
The Montgomery Advertiser | montgomeryadvertiser.com: However, former state Attorney General Charlie Graddick, who is now the presiding circuit court judge in Mobile County, raised more in 2011 than Malone and former Chief Justice Roy Moore.
OneNewsNow.com: The NEA has lost nearly 170,000 members over the last three years. Although there are an increasing number of retirees, the union is facing a numbers crisis among the working education employees
OneNewsNow.com: Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a California-based legal group dedicated to protecting religious liberty in the courts, says the next push from the state’s “gay” activists will be to encourage “gender liberation” in the public school system.
News from The Associated Press: An aide to Israel’s prime minister says he has frozen a bill that critics said would let governing nationalists stack the committee that selects supreme court judges.
News from The Associated Press: Democrats were poised to sit out another day of the Indiana House session on Thursday as they try to stop their state from becoming the first in more than a decade to enact right-to-work legislation.
Wyoming Tribune Eagle: “We’re interested in protecting First Amendment rights across the country in situations like this where a group is being singled out because of its religious expression and that expression is being banned, even where other groups are allowed to erect similar displays and similar viewpoints in the area,” said Jonathan Scruggs, a lawyer for the fund. He added that WyWatch wants to put up materials communicating members’ belief that “life begins in the womb.” “I don’t think it’s the type of situation where it’s any type of gruesome photo or anything along those lines, where it’s a baby that’s been aborted or a fetus that’s been aborted,” Scruggs said. “It’s more of a depiction of a baby in the womb.”
Billings Gazette: Jonathan Skruggs, one of the attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund that filed the lawsuit, said that as far as the attorneys and WyWatch knew, the vague state policy was still in place. “At some point, we have to act to protect our client’s First Amendment rights. Not just our client but everyone else,” Skruggs said. “We’re not seeking special treatment. We’re seeking equal treatment,” he said. “Other people get to put displays in the gallery, and our clients should as well.” Alliance Defense Fund is linked to a network of Christian attorneys who litigate strategic cases to preserve and reclaim constitutionally protected religious freedom, sanctity of life and the family, according to the group’s website.
Christian Institute: ADF’s Matt Bowman, who represented the nurses, said: “No pro-life medical personnel should be forced to assist or train in services related to abortions. The hospital has finally done the right thing in agreeing to obey the law and not force our clients to do any work on abortion cases in violation of their beliefs”. He added: “The hospital agreed not to penalize our clients in any way because they choose not to participate in abortion according to their legal rights.”
News from The Associated Press: Another New Year’s has passed since, and there are still no answers in Egypt’s most dramatic anti-Christian attack. The investigation was halted 11 months ago and never picked up again.
CNSnews.com: Had voting in the Iowa Republican caucuses been restricted to voters under the age of 40, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas would have won easily, according to an entrance poll published by CNN.
One News Now: “The mere fact that a classical text is religious does not mean it has no educational value,” contends ADF attorney David Cortman. “In fact, the Supreme Court itself has clearly acknowledged this, and that’s why it should hear the case.” . . . “It’s ridiculous that a historical, religious text that has been studied as part of Western civilization for centuries is somehow automatically off-limits,” the attorney argues. “When government officials ban the objective study of all religious texts, including the most important literary works of all times, it only contributes to the further dumbing down of government-run education.”
News from The Associated Press: A New Jersey doctor charged with 10 counts of murder for providing late-term abortions in Maryland has agreed to return to that state to face charges.
News from The Associated Press: President Barack Obama insists the United States will maintain what he calls the best-equipped military in history despite deep and looming defense budget cuts.
This court defers to the legislature’s chosen means of discharging its McCleary, et ux., et al. v. State of Washington, 84362-7 article IX, section 1 duty but retains jurisdiction over the case to help facilitate progress in the State’s plan to fully implement the reforms by 2018.
The Hill: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who chairs a House subcommittee that oversees the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), on Wednesday said President Obama’s decision to recess-appoint a director for the CFPB is a move against transparency and accountability.
NYTimes.com: As a teenager growing up in Butler, Pa., Rick Santorum spent Sunday mornings as an altar boy, taking wheelchair-bound veterans to Roman Catholic Mass. In the ninth grade, he announced his intention to hold elective office. “I’m going to be governor of Pennsylvania,” he declared, according to his brother Dan.
LifeNews.com: The new document the abortion organization posted shows Planned Parenthood did 329,445 abortions in 2010 while it provided prenatal care to only 31,098 women and referred only 841 women to adoption agencies.
Rasmussen Reports: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 49% are pro-choice when it comes to abortion, while 43% say they are pro-life.
Education News: Parent organizers from San Diego and Lynwood on Wednesday rallied against what they called inaccurate and misleading union dispatches to teachers on the controversial parent trigger law, which allows parents at low-performing schools to force their campus to convert to a charter and hire new teachers, or change its administration.
FFRF.org: The Freedom From Religion Foundation, its Valley of the Sun chapter, and several FFRF members and Maricopa County citizens brought suit today against Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, challenging her annual Arizona Day of Prayer.
Catholic Exchange: The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to point out that the UN isn’t one entity trying to control the U.S. or any other country, and two, that the U.S. is responsible for creating and driving the international agendas that are so abhorrent to pro-lifers.
Joel Alicea at Public Discourse: The real question is not whether opponents of the Court’s assertion of judicial supremacy in Cooper applaud the outcome of the case; it is whether supporters of judicial supremacy understand that their position places them on the other side of Abraham Lincoln. It was Lincoln who, in response to Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney’s opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford, rejected judicial supremacy in his first inaugural address.
Middle East Forum: n the course of the present unrest across the Middle East and North Africa, it has become clear that questions of identity are going to be extremely important in deciding the future paths of the various countries in turmoil, not only as regards the divide between Islamists and secularists, but also concerning ethnic and sectarian tensions in countries like Syria, Yemen, and Libya.