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Mercury News: Moving swiftly, gay marriage foes on Friday appealed a San Francisco federal judge’s order this week finding the federal government’s ban on same-sex marriage benefits unconstitutional.
Boston Catholic Insider: In the Republican Presidential debate Wednesday evening at about 8:50pm or so, former Gov. Mitt Romney said he never infringed on the rights of Catholics as governor of Massachusetts by requiring the Catholic Church to provide morning-after pills to rape victims–it was “entirely voluntary” on the part of the Catholic Church.
WABI.tv: Secretary of State Charles Summers announced today that enough valid signatures have been submitted to place “An Act To Allow Marriage Licenses for Same-sex Couples and Protect Religious Freedom” before the Maine State Legislature.
allAfrica.com: The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ruled that Italy violated human rights principles by spurning African migrants and asylum-seekers on the high seas, a judgment hailed as historic by Amnesty International.
John W. Whitehead at the Huffington Post: From disputes over whether the federal health care mandate should cover contraception and abortion to state-led efforts to undermine abortion by, among other things, requiring that women seeking to have abortions be subjected to invasive transvaginal ultrasounds without their consent, these highly partisan issues keep us divided and distracted, and incapable of doing anything to prevent the steady erosion of our rights by the powers that be.
One News Now: One Christian pediatrician is raising ethical concerns with parents allowing children who believe they were born the wrong gender to undergo hormone treatments, and later surgery to physically change their gender.
Boston.com: Meanwhile, Liberia’s former first lady, Senator Jewel Taylor, submitted a bill last week that would prohibit same-sex marriage and make homosexuality a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Matt Bowman at Townhall (“Ideas Have Consequences and Obama’s Have Bad Ones”): I’m not even talking about the fact that abortion will inevitably be mandated as “preventive care” too, because pregnancy, the president tells us, is a disease. I’m saying that because the government now treats pregnancy as an expensive, autonomously chosen health threat, pregnancy and children are officially worse than the far left’s greatest mortal sin of smoking.
The Times and Democrat: Dozens of colleges have scrutinized how on-campus Christian groups operate after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed a law school to deny funding to a Christian group that would not admit gays. The 2010 ruling touched on gay and religious rights on campus, and the tension is now at the center of a handful of disputes at colleges.
ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of South Carolina today asked a federal court to block South Carolina’s discriminatory voter identification law that would keep minorities and others from exercising their right to vote.
Steven Hayward at the Daily Caller: True, the Constitution gets a brief mention now and then. But it is amazing that there’s been virtually no serious question asked of the candidates about their extended views of, for example, the Commerce Clause of Article I, and whether they think Obamacare is compatible with it.
LifeSiteNews: Under Alberta’s new Education Act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program, says the spokesperson for Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.
LifeNews: Last week the Dilma Rousseff administration was pressed by CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) about an alleged number of 200,000 deaths of women each year because of illegal abortion in Brazil. The Brazilian representatives showed no willingness to question this patently inflated number.
LifeNews: Two abortion practitioners in England have been suspended for their roles in facilitating illegal sex-selection abortions as exposed by a recent undercover investigation the London Telegraph newspaper led.
LifeNews: The state of Texas is defying attacks form the Obama administration in the form of threats to revoke federal funding if the state cuts of its funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Religion Clause Blog: In Atheists of Florida, Inc. v. City of Lakeland, Florida, (MD FL, Feb 22, 2012), a Florida federal district court rejected challenges to the invocation policy of the Lakeland City Commission.
Religion Clause Blog: The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms reports that Iranian authorities’ reaffirmed a death sentence for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith. This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values.
AP: But prosecutors say being a trusted source also allowed her to lure them into unwittingly helping her build a baby manufacturing business spanning two continents that netted millions.
Ed News: One in six 16 to 24-year-olds is now part of the unenviable NEET tribe – short for not in education, employment or training – according to data published by the Department for Education today.
Ahram Online: After sweeping the first free elections in both countries, Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt reveal tendencies of more religion that previously admitted despite emphasis on working with the secularists
AP: Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered a defense Friday of a secret New York Police Department operation monitoring Muslims in several states, saying it was “legal,” “appropriate” and “constitutional.”
Baltimore Sun: Carroll County commissioners have asked county employees to attend a seminar on the Maryland Constitution led by a conservative Christian minister, sparking accusations that local officials are overstepping the boundary between church and state.
Americans United for Life Pre-Releases Cutting Edge Package of Trend-Setting Legislation – the Next Wave of Pro-Life Advances Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/23/4284954/americans-united-for-life-pre.html#storylink=cpy
PR Newswire on the Sacramento Bee: Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest announced the pre-release of AUL’s package of strategic, legislative initiatives designed to form the “frontlines of pro-life advances, continuing the momentum of 2011.” AUL serves the community of pro-life lawmakers through the annual release of Defending Life, a guidebook of model legislation, the 7th edition of which will be released in March.
Tampa Tribune: Inside Freedom High School’s gymnasium, heads are bowed in prayer at a club meeting where students talk openly about their religious beliefs.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, acting on behalf of more than half of America’s uniformed chaplains, is expressing concern about the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent refusal to defend the Department of Defense against a lawsuit concerning benefits for same-sex couples in the military.
Justin Dyer at Public Discourse: Many expect that the Supreme Court will soon overturn the traditional marriage laws remaining on the books in forty-three states, a prospect that would have been unthinkable only a decade or two ago. What happened?
Trayce Hansen at Christian Civic League of Maine: Men and women bring diversity to parenting; each makes unique contributions to the rearing of children that can’t be replicated by the other. Mothers and fathers simply are not interchangeable. Two women can both be good mothers, but neither can be a good father. So here are five reasons why it’s in the best interest of children to be raised by both a mother and a father:
Heritage Foundation Morning Bell: Should judges act based upon reasoned legal arguments, or based upon their personal feelings and media coverage? A controversial recent “statement” made by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer in a case that was the legal equivalent of a slam dunk raises serious questions about what really guides some judges.
WCN247.com: The Alliance Defense Fund filed the lawsuit on behalf of Geneva College, which was founded by the Reformed Presbyterian Church . . . The Alliance Defense Fund filed a similar lawsuit in Louisiana . . .
One News Now: “The people of California deserve to have their marriage amendment defended before the full appeals court. The panel’s ruling mischaracterized the purpose of marriage, failed to faithfully and fairly interpret the Constitution, and disregarded every relevant appellate and Supreme Court precedent in American history,” Raum comments. “Marriage is too valuable to be redefined by two San Francisco judges in a case funded by Hollywood millionaires.”
Non-Catholic Christian groups, state governments sue over Obama birth control mandate | Daily Caller
The Daily Caller: But the more surprising development may be the entrance into the fight of Christians from denominations other than Roman Catholicism. On Tuesday the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit on behalf of Geneva College, a Beaver Falls, Penn. school affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, and Louisiana College, a Baptist institution, adding them to the growing list of plaintiffs.
National Catholic Register: “It’s part of a trend in Latin America that often doesn’t get noticed: that there is the ‘latex left,’ and certainly countries like Uruguay and Argentina — they’re pushing this pro-abortion, pro-same-sex ‘marriage’ agenda, (and) the justices in Mexico City [are too],” said Tozzi. “But elsewhere the left is more of an old left that emphasizes economics rather than the ‘latex left’ issues,” he added . . . Tozzi sees signs of hope in other countries as well: “You also have the example of Ollanta Humala in Peru, who was elected president about half a year ago, with broad left-wing support. For a variety of reasons, he has rejected the ‘latex left’ agenda. His women’s affairs minister, a big pro-abortion supporter, was fired by him about a month ago and replaced with a woman who’s an evangelical Christian. So there are certain elements of the left in Latin America that are distinct from the latex left, which people sometimes overlook.”
Baptist Press: The Becket Fund and the Alliance Defense Fund represented a pharmacy and two pharmacists in the lawsuit against the state of Washington.
Christian Post: While some groups opposed to the contraception mandate have backed off with the president’s modification, others including the Alliance Defense Fund believe Obama’s compromise is a “sham.” “This is simply an accounting gimmick rather than a substantive amelioration of the moral problem,” wrote Gregory Baylor of the ADF. “The bottom line remains the same: employees will be given abortifacients and contraceptives as a direct consequence of their employer’s purchase of a group health plan.”
MSNBC: Seven states asked a federal judge Thursday to block an Obama administration mandate that requires birth control coverage for employees of religious-affiliated hospitals, schools and outreach programs.
Weekly Standard: The office of Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, sends along this chart, showing that ‘America’s Per Capita Government Debt Worse Than Greece,’ as well as Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain . . .
CNN: The Maryland Senate voted Thursday evening to legalize same-sex marriage, the latest sign of growing national recognition of such unions among gay and lesbian couples.