Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Louisiana College Saturday against the Obama administration. The lawsuit challenges the administration’s unconstitutional mandate that religious employers provide abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception at no cost to employees regardless of religious or moral objections.
Deccan Chronicle: The government is considering a change in the law to exclude the religion of individuals from marriage certificates. This follows demands by minority groups, including Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, now shown as Hindus in official documents.
Gary Bauer at Human Events: But Santorum’s stance on birth control strikes the correct balance between his strongly-held private, personal views and policymaking in a pluralistic society.
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor will join Geneva College President Ken Smith Tuesday at a press conference to announce a new federal lawsuit against the Obama administration’s unconstitutional mandate that religious employers provide abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception to employees regardless of religious or moral objections.
KHASTV.COM (includes video): Gay rights advocates are preparing to fight a bill in the Nebraska Legislature that would prevent cities from enforcing local rules to protect gays and transgendered people from discrimination.
Christian Post: The American Center for Law and Justice has come to the defense of a Wisconsin mother, Melissa Wolf, whose child was told by his elementary school that he couldn’t distribute Christian-themed messages to his classmates as a part of Valentine’s Day.
Fox News: A resolution sponsored by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) denounces Iran for its leaders’ ruling of apostasy against Youcef Nadarkhani and calls for his immediate release.
LifeNews.com: Exit indicates it killed 416 people last year in assisted suicides, with 305 of the deaths occurring the German-speaking part of the European nation — an increase over the 257 in 2010 — while 11 people were killed in the French speaking portion of the country, up from 91 in 2010.
Telegraph: David Cameron was accused of planning an “Orwellian” act of “cultural vandalism” by an alliance of bishops, Tory MPs and legal figures yesterday over his plans to allow homosexual couples to marry.
KansasCity.com: A Kansas House committee has postponed its vote on a bill aimed at preventing the state from subsidizing abortions even indirectly through tax credits or deductions.
The Press Association: David Cameron is to face a mass petition opposing plans to launch a “hostile strike” on the traditional view of marriage, campaigners have said.
Gazette.net: The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is scheduled to vote on the House version of the bill at noon Tuesday, said Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Dist. 19) of Bethesda, who chairs the the committee. The bill is expected to get a favorable committee report, and could go to the Senate floor as early as Wednesday, Frosh said.
The Washington Post: It ain’t over until God says that it is over,” Thomas said. “It took one woman to take prayer out of schools. There are too many weak-knee Christians. This is bigger than same-sex marriage. It is about changing society.”
SeattlePI.com: Philosophical differences between the top two Republican presidential candidates are becoming starker as Rick Santorum drives harder on religious and social issues that Mitt Romney rarely discusses in detail.
LifeSiteNews.com: After Friday morning’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling denying a Quebec family’s request to exempt their child from the province’s controversial ethics and religious culture program, the mother says she feels that her parental rights have been thwarted.
LifeSiteNews.com: The Council of Europe has revealed that sex-selective abortion is widely practiced in Albania and the result is a growing gulf between the numbers of boys and the number of girls.
LifeSiteNews.com: Last week, the UK’s most powerful homosexualist lobby group, Stonewall, presented legislation to Parliament that proposes five steps to resolve the legal complexities involved in introducing same-sex “marriage.”
LifeSiteNews.com: Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor issued a statement Friday saying that there would be no criminal charges filed against Sebelius-era appointees in the destruction of critical evidence in a massive criminal case against Planned Parenthood.
LifeNews.com: The leading campaigner against forced abortions in China has collapsed outside his home because he has been repeatedly beaten and denied medical care after local population control officials have sentenced him to home confinement for exposing a massive forced abortion campaign.
George Weigel at National Review Online: t was not surprising that ill-educated Catholics in Congress rushed to embrace President Obama’s “accommodation” on the HHS mandate on sterilization and contraception (including possible abortifacients), or that the faux accommodation was defended, if risibly, by another embodiment of Catholic Lite, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
AL.com: Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker took aim Friday at U.S. abortion law, using a DeKalb County case to call for states to reject the concept of “viability” of a fetus and give legal rights to the unborn. | Hamilton v. Scott
NYTimes.com: The authority of the Supreme Court depends on the trust of the public. But in recent years, that trust has been undermined by controversies surrounding the court’s lack of openness in how justices deal with ethics questions and in the court’s continuing refusal to let oral arguments be televised.
NJ.com: This pattern of politicizing the judicial branch across the country is leading to loss in public trust in the courts, says one analyst tracking the issue. And that loss of trust and increased partisanship comes at the same time as lawmakers, activists and others try to push state policies through the courts to test political ideas to their limits.
CNSNews.com (includes video): Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Texas.), who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that social conservatism is “a losing position” for the Republican Party.
LifeNews.com: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins led a news conference today during which he is unveiling a new letter signed by more than 2,500 Catholic, evangelical, Protestant, Jewish and other religious leaders opposing the new Obamacare mandate.
NYTimes.com: Therese Stewart, a lawyer for San Francisco, which joined the lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, said there was a lot to like about Judge Reinhardt’s approach. “We’ve got a victory,” she said. “It not only lessens the likelihood that the court feels compelled to take the case, but it also gives the court an alternative route to rule in our favor.”
KYTX CBS 19 Tyler: Pastor Stephan Broden from the Fairpark Bible Fellowship in Dallas says, “I think we’re witnessing a titanic clash of two world views in our culture today. There’s the Christian world view and then the secular world view. This nation was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles.”
Fox News: The American Humanist Association, a national atheist organization, says that Jessica Ahlquist, 16, of Cranston High School West, stood up for her beliefs despite critics . . .
Religion Clause: In McGlone v. Cheek, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18820 (ED TN, Feb. 15, 2012), a Tennessee federal district court upheld rules at the University of Tennessee that permit outside speakers on campus only if they are sponsored by a student organization
Religion Clause: Yesterday, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order (full text) in the case, clarifying that the TRO applies only to evicting Bronx Household of Faith, and does not apply to protect other churches that are not parties to the litigation.
Christopher O. Tollefsen at Public Discourse: Were the central task of government to be seen as that of aiding citizens in their own self-constitution, oriented towards real human goods including the good of religion, the HHS mandate would be seen for the unjust imposition it is.
News from The Associated Press: But, on Saturday, Babeu’s conservative image took a beating as he was forced to confirm publicly that he is gay and was involved in a relationship with a Mexican immigrant who claims the sheriff threatened to have him deported if he revealed their relationship.
News from The Associated Press: The spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians said Monday that Turkey’s new constitution should grant equal rights to minorities in the country and safeguard religious freedoms.
SCOTUSblog: In the Obama Administration’s first formal response to constitutional challenges to the new birth control mandate, Justice Department lawyers have argued that the federal courts should stay on the sidelines of the dispute at least until a new attempt at compromise is finally worked out, more than a year from now
James Taranto at WSJ.com: Thus it is a fiction of economics to suggest that increased female labor-force participation was a new source of production. It was, instead, a reallocation of productive resources from homes to offices. No doubt on balance that has been a tonic for the commercial economy. But it has imposed significant social costs.
ADF Allied Attorney James Hochberg at the Hawaii Free Press: The Hawaii Legislature is currently considering the “Hawaii Safe Schools Act,” which claims to target bullying and harassment at schools. In reality, it is a mechanism for imposing a pro-homosexual, state-mandated orthodoxy on students and teachers. | Also carried in the Honolulu Star Advertiser (login)
The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened on Friday that he would recommend the White House make recess appointments of all 90 outstanding executive nominees if he did not receive cooperation from the GOP for confirmation through the Senate’s advise and consent function.
The Washington Post: Rick Santorum’s surprising momentum at a critical stage in the presidential race has forced the Obama campaign to reassess its reelection strategy, which for months has revolved around the likelihood that Mitt Romney would end up as the president’s Republican rival.
James Taranto at WSJ.com: Social issues have come to the fore on the GOP side in two of the past six presidential elections—in 1988 (prison furloughs, the Pledge of Allegiance, the ACLU) and 2004 (same-sex marriage). “Those are the only two elections since Reagan where the Republican Party has won a popular majority,” Mr. Bell says. “It isn’t coincidental.”
Steve Aden on the Hugh Hewitt Show: No one should be forced to pay for abortion in violation of conscience
NYTimes.com: CHARLES MURRAY’S “Coming Apart,” the book that’s launched a thousand arguments this winter, is a brilliant work with an exasperating conclusion. What’s brilliant is Murray’s portrait, rich in data and anecdote, of the steady breakdown of what he calls America’s “founding virtues” — thrift and industriousness, fidelity and parental responsibility, piety and civic engagement — within America’s working class, and the personal and communal wreckage that’s ensued.
Rasmussen Reports: Most voters think women should be allowed to serve in the same combat military roles as men but also believe they should be able to pass the same physical tests as men do if they’re going to be in the Green Berets or Navy SEALs.
FOX Charlotte: In a letter to commissioners this week, the ACLU legal director writes, “These legislative prayers are explicitly sectarian and favor only one religion, Christianity.” It goes on to read, “…We have received more complaints about sectarian legislative prayer by the rowan county board of commissioners than any other local government in North Carolina…”
WorldNetDaily: Part of Obama’s apparent war against U.S. energy independence includes a foreign-aid program that directly threatens my state’s sovereign territory. Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.
The Hill: He’s a deeply religious Republican, the father of nine children and a member of the clergy. The House campaign he’s now mulling will be about social conservatism and traditional values. But Rabbi Shmuley Boteach believes people like Rick Santorum and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins have it all wrong.
LifeNews.com: In its latest attempt to quell the broiling rebellion against Obamacare’s obliteration of religious freedom, the Administration did, well, what it does. It issued another dissembling, contradictory press statement.
Jurist: US Attorney General Eric Holder [DOJ profile] sent a letter [text] Friday to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) [official profile] stating that the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has decided that denying same-sex couples military and veterans benefits violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment [text]
JURIST: The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday blocked enforcement [order, PDF] of a Montana Supreme Court ruling, which upheld a state law [JURIST report] limiting the amount of money corporations can spend on campaigns, until it can consider an appeal from the corporations challenging the law.
Washington Times: Steven Aden, vice president for human life issues and senior council at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) says: “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it. Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It is not entitled to a dime of taxpayer funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud.” [more]
Law.com: Less is known about his opponents’ fee arrangements. Folsom solo practitioner Andrew Pugno, lawyer for ProtectMarriage.com said he couldn’t disclose information about his firm or Washington, D.C., boutique Cooper & Kirk, except to say “the rates are discounted in a manner consistent with private firms working for nonprofit clients.” He said “thousands” of hours have been donated by counsel, and the Alliance Defense Fund, co-counsel for the proponents of Prop 8, donated all of its lawyers’ time.
The Washington Post: Here’s how members of the Maryland House of Delegates voted Friday to approve same-sex marriage legislation. The vote was 72-67. A majority of 71 votes was needed.
pjstar.com: Americans “confront unprecedented government threats to their religious freedom, in particular from the federal government’s newly enacted mandates relating to health insurance,” said Gary McCaleb, a lawyer from the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based Christian nonprofit.
Washington Times: Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, joined House Democratic leaders on Friday night to celebrate the chamber’s 72-67 passage of the bill, which received one more than the necessary 71 votes.
Christian Post: No court should presume to redefine marriage,” says ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum, “or undercut the democratic process by taking the power to preserve marriage out of the hands of the people. Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing the definition of marriage. Sixty-three million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63 percent voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.”
Catholic Sentinel: “Pro-life students shouldn’t have to get a permission slip to share their beliefs on campus,” says David Hacker, legal counsel of Alliance Defense Fund. “Making free speech the exception rather than the norm and then corralling it to a limited area is unconstitutional and contrary to the marketplace of ideas that a university is supposed to be.”
Investors.com: Another Protestant college, not yet named, will file a federal suit on the same grounds later in the week, according to the Alliance Defense Fund, the nonprofit alliance of Christian attorneys providing both colleges’ legal representation . . . According to ADF senior counsel Kevin Theriot, “the government shouldn’t be able to force anyone to buy or sell insurance that subsidizes morally objectionable pills and treatments.”
News from The Associated Press: “Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government and big business and authoritarian rule and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen.”
My Way News (AP): A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics.
Telegraph: A little boy who decided he was a girl trapped in a boy’s body has become one of the youngest-ever children to have his decision backed by the NHS – aged just four.
Crouch, Melissa, Indonesia’s Blasphemy Law: Bleak Outlook for Minority Religions (January 26, 2012). Asia Pacific Bulletin (East-West Center), No. 146. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1995154 This brief article discusses Indonesia’s 2010 Constitutional Court ‘Blasphemy Law’ ruling, which leaves so-called ‘deviant’ groups …