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CNN (includes video): “I know this is a very emotional issue and a very divisive issue in my state,” Christie said in an interview to air on Piers Morgan Tonight Tuesday. “The only way we have to amend our constitution in New Jersey – which is by referendum – let’s put it on the ballot and let’s let the people decide.
Radio Iowa: Following a three-year legal battle, Supreme Court justices backed what lower courts had already ruled that the Chorus Line, which closed in 2008, has an existing Adult Entertainment Business License that does not need renewal.
NY Times: Abortion is back on the agenda in Ireland after a European Court of Human Rights ruling last year found the state in violation of its own Constitution on the matter. Ireland’s abortion laws are the strictest in Europe, but the Irish government may be about to address the previously unapproachable: whether to loosen restrictions on ending a pregnancy.
NECN.com: As a Republican lawmaker seeks to tighten rules on when a woman can get an abortion, a Democratic lawmaker is protesting the move by introducing a bill limiting vasectomies.
NCB-2.com: Ave Maria University is suing the federal government over the health care mandate that requires employers’ health insurance to cover contraception drugs.
ADF Attorney Steve Aden at Townhall: But too few people think about the financial windfall Planned Parenthood is certain to receive once ObamaCare goes into full effect, as too few people are right now thinking about the money that President Obama’s birth control/abortion pill mandate will place in Planned Parenthood coffers.
Jordan Lorence at Speak Up Movement Church: We reported the good news that last Thursday, the federal district court in Manhattan issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop New York City’s Department of Education from enforcing its policy banning private worship services. However, things went a bit askew Friday evening.
Heather Mac Donald at National Review: Katie Roiphe’s full-throated defense of single parenthood should not really come as a surprise, given the iron-clad grip of feminism and the related prerogatives of the sexual revolution on the elite worldview.
Cassy Fiano at LifeNews: The Virginia state legislature has introduced a bill requiring women get a sonogram before they get an abortion. It must be given by an MD at least two hours before the procedure — not one of the “nurses” employed by the abortion clinic — and the woman must be given the opportunity to see the ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat.
Reuters: A Maryland Senate committee approved a gay marriage bill on Tuesday, sending the issue to the full Senate and moving Maryland closer to becoming the eighth state to legalize same-sex nuptials.
Politics.co.uk: Eric Pickles has become the latest minister to demand a return of Christianity in Britain’s public life, as he outlined a new community cohesion strategy today.
UK: Christian carer who refused to work on Sundays ‘denied rights given to a Muslim allowed to visit mosque’
Daily Mail: Christian care worker was forced from her job for refusing to work on Sundays even though a Muslim colleague had time off on Fridays to visit the mosque, a tribunal heard yesterday.
The Florida Independent: “The Florida Family Policy Council, one of the most influential anti-gay rights and anti-abortion groups in the state, is joining the chorus of opposition to a school prayer bill quickly making its way through the Florida Legislature.”
One News Now: Wyoming Senate File 44, which dealt with compulsory school attendance, had the potential of jailing and heavily fining parents who home school their children.
One News Now (AP): Wright said, “The hecklers in our culture are beginning to dictate the terms of debate and what speech is permitted on social media.”
One News Now (AP): Kansas House committee has endorsed legislation that backers say would protect religious freedom but opponents believe would allow discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Boston Herald: Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu’s weekend confirmation that he is gay makes him the fourth openly gay or bisexual candidate seeking a congressional seat in Arizona this year.
Chicago Tribune: Less than a year since civil unions became legal in Illinois, a push to give same-sex couples the right to marry has emerged at the state Capitol with the support of high-profile public figures but also much skepticism that gay marriage will be approved this year.
ADF President and General Counsel Alan E. Sears appeared with ADF Attorney Doug Napier, and Abbey Johnson on the Mike Gallagher Show. The show is available in three separate audio files. | First MP3 audio 53:20 | Second MP3 audio 53:20 | Third MP3 audio 53:20
Washington Times: Harvard University is going to be hosting a conference entitled “One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One State Solution,” scheduled to take place March 3-4.
NY Times: Marriage has lost its luster in Lorain, Ohio. Sixty-three percent of all births to women under 30 in Lorain County occur outside marriage, according to Child Trends, a research center in Washington.
Boston.com (AP): “Generally speaking, we think the 9th Circuit as a whole deserves the chance to basically fix this because the decision is such an outlier, it’s really not representative of what the 9th Circuit’s thinking on this issue has been,” Pugno said.
Letter to the Baltimore Sun: While the legislation specifically mentions First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion, it cannot in the same breath then dictate that some organizations will be ineligible for state or local funding because of how they choose to implement these same First Amendment rights. We must also look at the impact of forcing religious charities to decide whether to stay true to their doctrine or forgo providing services.
Sydney Morning Herald: PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has told three same-sex couples she believes laws allowing them to marry in Australia are inevitable.
Detroit Free Press: After complaints from some Muslim and Arab-American groups, the FBI has pulled more than 700 documents and 300 presentations that stereotyped Islam or were factually inaccurate,
Religion Clause Blog: In a document titled Religion in Political Campaigns — An Interfaith Statement of Principles, drafted by the Anti-Defamation League, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and the Interfaith Alliance, the 14 groups said . . .
AP: Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an opponent of same-sex marriage, hosted a dinner for two lesbian couples and a pair of gay men Tuesday after an Australian activist group won a charity auction.
AP: A retired Massachusetts judge is defending her decision to order a mentally ill woman to have an abortion and be sterilized against her wishes.
Robert McDowell at the Wall Street Journal: On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet.
William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal: It’s arguably the most glaring double standard in American life today. It helps explain why candidates with social views that are fairly conventional among ordinary Americans—the citizens of 31 states including California have rejected same-sex marriage when put to a vote—find themselves depicted as extreme.
EurWeb: As ADF senior counsel Jordan Lorence puts it, “Churches help communities; evicting churches hurts communities. Empty buildings offer nothing to communities that need hope.”
Bloomberg: Jordan Lorence, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund in Washington who represents the Bronx Household of Faith, said in a phone interview the appeals court’s order didn’t deal with the merits of the case. “It’s somewhat disappointing but it’s not a major ruling,” Lorence said.
One News Now: However, as ADF litigation staff counsel Matt Sharp reports, other diverse posters were allowed, including edited photos that made students look like bloody zombies, as well as posters announcing the Gay-Straight Alliance’s “Day of Silence.” “The simple fact is that [the student] has a positive pro-life message, and the school, under the First Amendment, must respect that message and give it the same treatment that’s given to all of these other student posters — the zombie posters and everything else that’s allowed in the school,” Sharp contends. [more]
One News Now: “Americans deserve to know how the federal government is spending their money and if that money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” contends ADF ally Michael Tierney, one of two attorneys filing the suit. “The Obama administration is violating the law by refusing to disclose records related to its decision to fund Planned Parenthood,” and that is without competitive bidding.
TheTownTalk: “The First Amendment protects Americans from forceful mandates that we act against our own convictions,” Johnson said Monday. “People of faith shouldn’t be punished by the government for simply following their faith and be able to make decisions for themselves and their organizations in accordance with what they believe.”
HHS mandate means ‘ongoing, comprehensive government surveillance’: two new colleges sue | LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews: “They’re really concerned about the requirement that they would cover drugs that are abortifacients. That violates their sincerely held belief to protect life at all stages, even at the embryonic stage,” Kevin Theriot, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, told LifeSiteNews.com.
Religious colleges join fight over contraceptives: Lawsuits challenge Obama’s mandate | Washington Times
Washington Times: It doesn’t matter if someone believes in it or not,” said Mike Johnson, a faculty member at Louisiana College, a Southern Baptist school in Pineville, La. “If they have a sincerely held religious belief, under current law they’re forced to violate it. It really comes down to a matter of religious liberty and not so much distinctions” among religions’ teachings.
TheTownTalk.com: “People of faith shouldn’t be punished by the government for following their beliefs when making decisions for themselves or their organizations,” said Kevin Theriot, ADF senior counsel. “The Obama administration invented a fake ‘right’ to get ‘free’ abortion pills and sterilization and elevated it above real freedoms protected by the First Amendment . . . The Obama administration has purposely transformed a non-existent problem –access to contraception — into a constitutional crisis,” said ADF-allied attorney and co-counsel Mike Johnson, dean of Louisiana College’s Pressler School of Law.
TimesOnline: Matt Bowman, an ADF spokesman, predicted many more lawsuits will be filed by those “being forced to violate their core religious beliefs.” “At Geneva College, we have only one Lord, and he does not live in Washington, D.C.,” Geneva President Ken Smith said in a statement. “The First Amendment protects Americans from mandates that require us to act against our own convictions. We find the mandate to provide our faculty, staff and students with insurance that provides pills to abort babies is totally abhorrent and unacceptable.”
WorldMag: “The Obama administration has attempted to negate exiting real protections for religious freedom and it has no authority to do that,” Matt Bowman, an ADF lawyer, told me.
National Catholic Register: Still, whenever marriage has been put to a vote, Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea of changing its definition. Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel Brian Raum said that “63 million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on marriage, and 63% voted to preserve marriage as the timeless, universal, unique union between husband and wife.”
LifeNews.com: “People of faith shouldn’t be punished by the state for following that faith in making decisions for themselves or their organizations,” said Baylor. “Every American should know that a government with the power to do this to anyone can do this–and worse–to everyone.”
News from The Associated Press: The Supreme Court will once again confront the issue of race in university admissions in a case brought by a white student denied a spot at the flagship campus of the University of Texas.
Michael Stokes Paulsen at Public Discourse: An ancient example of resistance to a tyrant’s attempt to coerce violations of religious conscience provides an interesting perspective on resistance to the Obama administration’s recent healthcare coverage mandate.
Slate Magazine: Could such a go-it-alone ideology ever be truly progressive—by which I mean, does homeschooling serve the interests not just of those who are doing it, but of society as a whole?
Heritage Foundation Morning Bell: An examination of “administrative earmarks” around the time of congressional votes on key pieces of President Obama’s agenda suggests the White House used its power to fund local projects as a means to “buy” votes for major legislative efforts.