Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Baltimore Sun: Marylanders made history Tuesday as they voted to make same-sex marriage legal — a question that had been defeated each of the 32 times it had been on the ballot in other states.
LifeNews: With 87% of all votes recorded, Question 2 is behind 51-49 percent, losing by about 29,000 votes out of approximately 2.5 million cast.
Foreign Policy: For the head of Libya’s national election commission, the method by which Americans vote is startling in that it depends so much on trust and the good faith of election officials and voters alike. “It’s an incredible system,” said Nuri K. Elabbar, who traveled to the United States along with election officials from more than 60 countries to observe today’s presidential elections as part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
Catholic Culture: Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City purchased a half-page ad in the Sunday edition of the Sioux City Journal to urge readers to vote pro-life.
Christian Post: A pastor in Pakistan has been denied bail after he was accused of blasphemy and arrested by police, who protected him from a mob of angry Muslims.
Kentucky.com: The testimony provided more evidence that the eastern parts of our commonwealth are suffering. Perhaps more important than any other ailment that affects the rough underside of the “holler shack” or the “sagging modular home” are the dysfunctional families who live in them.
One News Now: Despite the increased demand and bigger budget, the Department of Education and the Obama administration have been working for a year to limit participation in the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Scott Yenor at the Ruth Institute Blog: Elizabeth Brake’s Minimizing Marriage breaks new ground in the contemporary liberal critique of traditional arrangements. The object of her critique is what she calls amatonormativity—the belief that society should value two-person, amorous love relationships. Even same-sex marriage (SSM) advocates are too restrictive for Brake in that they would confer benefits on two people alone; SSM advocates are unwitting amatonormativists.
Boston Globe: Authorities say a controversial cross honoring war dead that was stolen from its Mojave Desert perch two years ago has turned up hundreds of miles away in the San Francisco Bay area.
Christian Institute: A man who wanted his three children to be brought up in his Islamic faith instead of their mother’s Christian beliefs has failed in his court bid. The children will continue to be raised with their Scottish mother but can be taught about Islam when visiting their father. The mother was not a practising Christian until she split from her Muslim husband, when she started taking her children to church and Sunday school.
Christian Institute: Britain’s youngest sex swap patient has decided to reverse the procedure after living as a woman for less than a year.
Christian Institute: Parents in the East End of Glasgow were shocked to be asked about their sex lives, so that their pre-school children would get “gay-friendly” lessons.
Politics is the place where competing moral visions meet: A Statement on the 2012 Elections by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
Catholic Culture: Because politics is the place where competing moral visions of a society meet and struggle, our democracy depends on people of conviction fighting for what they believe in the public square, yet doing so with an abiding respect for one another. That struggle includes and depends on all of us, precisely as Catholics. For if we believe that a particular issue is gravely evil or that it will result in serious damage to society, then we have a duty, both as Catholics and as Americans, to hold political candidates accountable.
Christian Institute: Over 1,000 French mayors are calling for the scrapping of controversial proposals to redefine marriage, as President Hollande faces mounting opposition over the issue.
National Review: If we want to have our First Amendment rights tomorrow, we must defend them today, wherever they may be threatened.” Carl Anderson, the head of the Knights of Columbus, is the author of your pre-election weekend reading, the new e-book: Proclaim Liberty: Notes on the Next Great Awakening in America, which puts this moment for Catholics and freedom in America in perspective. He discusses the book with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
Gary Bauer at Human Events: Everyone knows the presidential election will hinge on the economy. But I think abortion will also be on many voters’ minds. That’s because the candidates are presenting voters with sharply contrasting agendas on the defining civil rights issue of our time.
Bloomberg: Four Turkish women went on trial today for staging an unauthorized protest outside the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against government plans to curb abortion, the Halkevleri activist group said.
Jon A. Shields at the First Things: Nearly twenty years ago, the judicious James Davison Hunter noted that journalistic reporting on abortion is “remarkable for its superficiality” since it rarely explores the “deeper issues and implications of the abortion controversy.” Maybe it is simply the partisan heat generated by a close presidential contest, but abortion coverage appears to be getting worse, not better. Just consider the mendacious, slash-and-burn New York Times Magazine story by Emily Bazelon on Charmaine Yoest, the director of Americans United for Life.
San Francisco Chroncle: Now, as the Socialist government prepares to unveil its draft “marriage for everyone” law Wednesday, polls show wavering support for the idea and for the president himself amid increasingly vocal opposition in this majority-Catholic country.
San Francisco Chronicle: Voters were deciding Tuesday whether to keep Justice David Wiggins on the Iowa Supreme Court or throw him out of office for joining the landmark 2009 decision that legalized gay marriage.
Washington Post: Spain’s Constitutional Court upheld the legality of the country’s gay marriage law on Tuesday, rejecting an appeal contending that marriage in the Spanish constitution means only the union of a man and woman.
Geoffrey Fowler at the Wall Street Journal: Americans weighed in on gay marriage in four states Tuesday, in a test of whether attitudes have changed on the divisive issue. In Maine, Maryland and Washington state, voters decided whether to begin allowing same-sex unions. A vote to permit gay marriage would mark a first for a cause that previously has been rejected by voters in 32 states.
Globe and Mail: Ms. Wynne, the first openly lesbian politician at Queen’s Park, has held several cabinet portfolios during her nine years in office, including transportation and education. She resigned last Friday from the dual positions of municipal affairs and housing and aboriginal affairs to jump into the leadership race.
Benjamin Bull at Christian Post: On August 30, an Indian state High Court struck down a law requiring people who want to convert to Christianity to give a civil magistrate 30 days advance notice. Just how one provides advance notice of a future intent to convert is anyone’s guess, and was doubtlessly one of the reasons the Indian court struck this crazy law down.
Freedom from Religion Foundation: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a report with the Internal Revenue Service over illegal political campaigning by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). BGEA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has run full-page ads publicizing Billy Graham’s call for the electorate to “vote biblical values.” The ads have appeared in several “swing state” newspapers in preparation for tomorrow’s heated presidential election. Throughout the month of October, BGEA published articles favorable to Romney, which included a statement by Billy Graham: “What impresses me even more than Gov. Romney’s successful career are his values and strong moral convictions.”
Casey Mattox at Townhall (11/3): President Obama apparently has chosen to stake his re-election on abortion, and particularly on Planned Parenthood. He sees abortion as a winning issue if enough women can become convinced that taking federal taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood would somehow harm women’s health. In order to make that case effectively, the administration must convince Americans to view Planned Parenthood not as the nation’s largest abortion seller but as a more sympathetic provider of a broad range of women’s health services. Hence the repeated and blatantly dishonest claims about Planned Parenthood providing mammograms.
Complaint to IRS Against Catholic Bishops is Bogus ‘Scare Tactic,’ Religious Rights Attorneys Say | CNSNews
CNSNews: Erik Stanley, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund), said flatly that CREW’s complaint is “bogus.” “This is a favorite tactic of advocacy groups that believe in a radical secularist view of America,” Stanley …
CNSNews (includes video): Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said recently that–”especially after last term”–he does not know if he is confident the Constitution can be restored to its original meaning.upreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said recently that–”especially after last term”–he does not know if he is confident the Constitution can be restored to its original meaning.
LifeSiteNews: Premier Dalton McGuinty was asked today about an Ottawa-area Catholic school’s decision to cancel a trip to support the re-election of President Obama this week and learn about the U.S. political system.
LifeSiteNews: A controversial pro-life group at one of Australia’s highest ranked universities has been barred from affiliation, funding and advertising by the university’s student union.
LifeSiteNews: Although the Catholic bishops’ stuck to the issues, a few priests – and many Protestant clergy – have openly defied the 1954 tax ordinance and endorsed a political candidate from the pulpit. Nearly 1,600 pastors took part in last month’s Pulpit Freedom Sunday, arranged by the Alliance Defending Freedom. The IRS has not yet investigated any participating church.
LifeNews: With the 2012 presidential election revolving around major abortion policies for pro-life voters, two leading pro-life groups expect a massive turnout of evangelical voters at the polls today. Family Research Council Action says evidence suggests considerable Election Day turnout among values voters.
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: The problem? The parents wanted to change the children’s last name to a name other than either the mother’s or the father’s, plus (and it’s not clear how relevant this ended up being) they had changed one child’s name three years before. From In re Kobra, 2012 WL 5373490 (N.Y. City Civ. Ct. Oct. 26) . . .
Emily Bazelon at the NY Times: Yoest put her arm around her daughter and finessed the slogan a bit. “We’re fighting Planned Parenthood to protect women,” she said. “When those babies aren’t born, that is a loss for their mothers, and that’s part of why they need a chance to live.” It’s the kind of deft reframing of the abortion debate that has put Yoest (pronounced “yoast”) at the center of anti-abortion politics and enabled her to help push through the greatest number of abortion restrictions since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
Wesley Smith at National Review: An unusual custody battle involving a surrogate mother and two Houston men is playing out in a Harris County courtroom.Cindy Close, 48, gave birth to twins at Texas Children’s Medical Center in July, but on the night of their birth she was visited by a social worker. “She told me we had a surrogacy situation,” Close said. “I looked at her and said ‘I’m not a surrogate, what are you talking about?’”
Religion Clause Blog: While the Presidential contest obviously looms largest at the polls tomorrow, those interested in church-state and religious liberty issues are watching a number of down-ballot issues and contests . . .
Religion Clause Blog: Americans United reports that last month Arlington County, Virginia officials relented on an earlier refusal and have issued an order permitting a Wiccan high priestess to officiate at wedding ceremonies.
Religion Clause Blog: Last week, one more lawsuit challenging the contraceptive coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act was filed– this time in federal district court in Minnesota. The complaint (full text) in Annex Medical, Inc. v. Sebelius, (D MN, filed 11/2/2012) . . .
Ed News: Countless tears were shed at the first Global Home Education Conference here as homeschooling parents told horror stories of having to flee vicious persecution in their home countries – mostly Sweden and Germany, but other places as well.
Pat Buchanan at Townhall: Yet whoever wins today, it is hard to be sanguine about the future. The demographic and economic realities do not permit it.
ABC30 (includes video – Oct. 29): But the law says otherwise, argues Arizona-based religious liberties group “Alliance Defending Freedom.” They sent a letter to the college warning it “may be held liable” if something happens in the locker room . . . Joseph Backholm is the Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, he said, “Most of us who have daughters have the expectation that when our daughters are in women’s restrooms they will not be exposed to naked men.”
AP: Spain’s Constitutional Court is expected to rule on an appeal against the country’s gay marriage law, seven years after the legislation was approved.
AP: The EU’s highest court ruled Tuesday that Hungary’s reduced retirement age for judges constituted unjustified discrimination on the grounds of age . . .
Regina Griggs and Peter Sprigg at the Christian Post: Voters in 32 out of the 32 states where it has appeared on the ballot have upheld marriage as the union of a woman and a man. Advocates of same-sex marriage are holding out hope that their long losing streak will end on Election Day in Minnesota, Washington, Maryland or Maine.
Piero Tozzi at the Bell Towers: Restoring dignity to the Office of President is not something to be taken lightly – character matters, and the President should be a role model. Integrity radiates from the top: as Confucius noted, the virtuous ruler is like the pole star, setting the standard for those around him. When those in high office act virtuously, people are inspired to virtue. And when that happens, young lads stop cussin’ around the house… Actually Confucius did not say that last bit, but of this much I am confident: there will be no more upending the ottoman in an effort to reach the remote in order to hit the mute button and prevent an assault on tender ears when a President Romney or his minions speak.
AP: Opposition lawmakers and human rights groups are criticizing German Chancellor Angela Merkel for claiming that Christianity is “the most persecuted religion worldwide.”
Video: Tyndale House Publishing Suit v. the Obamacare mandate | Matt Bowman on the Roger Hedgecock Show
More information through the Alliance Defending Freedom Media website.
One News Now: But Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Jeremy Tedesco says the man’s action violates the law. “This is a biologically created man who is exposing himself in a women’s restroom to minors between the ages of 6 and 18 — and that clearly violates the indecent exposure statute in Washington, and it probably would in every other jurisdiction,” states the attorney
Matt Driscoll at Seattle Weekly: Yesterday on The Daily Weekly I wrote about the dustup at The Evergreen State College involving the use of the college recitation center locker room by transgender student who identifies as female but was born male. Specifically, Colleen Francis’ use of the sauna in the female locker room has led Arizona-based religious group Alliance Defending Freedom to go on the attack.
Laurie Shrage at NY Times: Marriage reform is typically part of a larger agenda for social change. In earlier eras, challenges to bans on interfaith and interracial marriage were tied to political movements promoting religious, ethnic and racial equality and social integration. In the Middle East, Africa and Asia today, marriage reformers often aim to expand the rights and liberty of girls and women, while in the Americas and Europe, their primary aim is to advance social equality and respect for lesbians and gay men.
ABC: ABC News projects that Tammy Baldwin has won the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin, making history as the first openly gay U.S. Senator.