Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
BuzzFeed: The White House announced on Wednesday that President Obama has nominated Judge William Thomas, an out gay man, to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thomas would be the first out LGBT black man to serve as a lifetime-tenured federal judge.
WhiteHouse.gov: Today, President Obama nominated Valerie E. Caproni, Kenneth John Gonzales, Raymond P. Moore, Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell, Judge William L. Thomas, Judge Analisa Torres and Derrick Kahala Watson for District Court judgeships.
Washington Examiner: Planned Parenthood, whose federal funding was threatened by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is taking credit for President Obama’s reelection by keeping independent women scared long enough about Romney’s agenda for Obama to win them over.
LifeNews: Leading pro-life attorney Phill Kline is involved in the fight for his life tomorrow at the Kansas Supreme Court — which political enemies may strip him of his law license for daring to prosecute Planned Parenthood.
Amy Ziettlow at Family Scholars: More than a century and a half ago Alexis de Tocqueville made the striking observation that an individualistic society depends on a communitarian institution like the family for its continued existence. The family cannot be constituted like the liberal state, nor can it be governed entirely by that state’s principles. Yet the family serves as the seedbed for the virtues required by a liberal state. The family is responsible for teaching lessons of independence, self-restraint, responsibility, and right conduct, which are essential to a free, democratic society. If the family fails in these tasks, then the entire experiment in democratic self-rule is jeopardized.
LifeNews: A Ohio legislative panel today approved legislation that will revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business. The vote is the first step in a long legislative battle to protect Ohio taxpayers.
LifeSiteNews: The passage of the Children’s Rights Referendum in Ireland this weekend – 57.4 per cent to 42.6 per cent – is a blow to families, NO campaigners have said.
Washington Post: Washington Teachers’ Union President Nathan Saunders said Wednesday that he wants to unionize the city’s charter schools and will push for legislative changes to make it easier to organize their teachers, who educate a growing number of D.C. students.
Q13Fox.com: A day after the charter schools initiative was declared a winner by a small margin, Washington’s superintendent of public instruction went on the offensive.
Wall Street Journal: Shedding light on the issues of divorce and health care, a new University of Michigan study estimates that 65,000 American women become uninsured each year as a result of marital dissolution.
MinnPost: In recent weeks yet another chapter has been opened in the controversy over the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s handling of bullying. A group of parents and students is petitioning school board Chair Tom Heidemann to remove a vocal anti-gay activist from a district anti-bullying task force.
A Little Girl Called ‘M.C.’: The Collateral Damage from Same-Sex Marriage | Jennifer Roback Morse at the Ruth Institute
Jennifer Roback Morse at the Ruth Institute: The policy proposal known as “same-sex marriage” is actually a proposal to redefine marriage. Instead of being a gender-based institution oriented toward the procreation of children and the good of the spouses, what is called “same-sex marriage” makes marriage into a genderless institution, oriented toward the good of adults only. Any possible negative consequences for children, according to this way of thinking, are not worth considering. We, and the children themselves, must simply accept any negative outcomes as collateral damage on the road to the nirvana of “marriage equality.”
Ryan Anderson at Double Think: Is there really “something highly contradictory,” as Kathryn Shelton argued here on Doublethink, about a position that “advocates the regulation of marriage, but rallies behind a platform for smaller government”? Or, on the contrary, is the promotion of marriage critical to limited government, as traditionalist conservatives—among others—regularly contend?
Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe: Supporters of same-sex marriage have reason to cheer after last week’s election. Supporters of democratic self-government, even those of us who oppose gay marriage, do too.
WorldNetDaily: German politicians from Angela Merkel’s governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister Christian Social Union (CSU) told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that they are willing to accept Christian Syrians fleeing the violence in their country, in comments due to be published on Sunday.
WorldNetDaily: he HRC ranks U.S. companies according to their support and non-support for “gay,” lesbian, bisexual and transgender causes. The scale is from zero to 100, with those closest to zero being firms that are not supportive of homosexual policies, and those nearest 100 being very “gay”-friendly . . . Here is the latest list of companies scoring 100 percent on the index . . .”
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Just elected or re-elected to the 47-member Human Rights Council are the US, Germany, Ireland, Argentina, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Montenegro, Pakistan, South Korea, Sierra Leone, the United Arab Emirates, and Estonia.
Vatican Radio: Do people in Britain want to see genetically modified babies such as children being born with two genetic mothers? This is essentially the question at the heart of an ongoing government consultation over whether to allow two possible techniques intended to eliminate mitrochondrial diseases through genetic engineering of embryos.
LifeSiteNews: Parents and ratepayers in a Hamilton area school board will never know exactly what a homosexual activist told their children during a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) assembly a year ago. The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario upheld last week the decision of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) to “deny access to the record” of the speech.
Christian Institute: Sir Gerald Howarth, who served as a Defence Minister until September this year, made his concerns known in a letter to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. Sir Gerald cautioned that a chaplain who was also a Church of England minister could be “disciplined or dismissed” for preaching in support of traditional marriage.
Christian Institute: Newspapers and Tory MPs have reacted strongly against George Osborne saying redefining marriage will help his party win the next election. One MP said: “The social liberal values of Notting Hill don’t translate well outside the M25.” The Daily Express called him a “part-time Chancellor” and said long-time Conservatives are “fed up seeing their party’s leadership trampling on their beliefs”.
AP: Uruguay’s congress is considering a gay marriage law that would give same-sex couples all the same rights and responsibilities of heterosexual married couples.
LifeNews: Nevada District Court Judge Egan Walker has agreed that a pregnant 32-year-old mentally disabled woman will not be forced to have an abortion against her will.
7th Circuit: Restitution to child porn victims owed by possessors is less than amounts owed by distributors
U.S. v. Laraneta, No. 12-1302 (7th Cir. Nov. 14, 2012) (Opinion by Posner joined by Williams and Sykes)
The court held that a possessor of child porn images is not jointly liable for the total amount of restitution owed to victims by distributors of such images, because the amount of harm caused by possession is less than that caused by distribution. The Court also held that there is no right of intervention for child porn victims where claims of restitution are denied, but rather the appropriate remedy is to seek mandamus at the court of appeals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3771(d)(3).
Chicago Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tuesday ranked legalizing gay marriage as his No. 3 legislative priority in Springfield — behind pension reform and a Chicago casino — and said he plans to get “very involved” in passing a gay marriage bill.
Baltimore Sun: Lori said he hopes the bishops can take better advantage of “the most persuasive argument of all” — the living example of “strong families with loving fathers, mothers and children” — and some of his colleagues suggested finding more positive terminology for their position, as they had in debates over abortion.
allAfrica.com: The House of Representatives Tuesday dared western nations and their donor agencies, advising them to keep their grants, aids and other financial assistance if the new condition for Nigeria to access such credit facilities was for the National Assembly to legalise same gender marriages.
The Atlantic: “The United States is, perhaps other than India, maybe, the most religiously diverse country in the world,” said Rassbach. “It’s a recipe for societal strife to force people to try to conform to a particular ideal.” Despite Americans’ evolving views on marriage and the increasing legal recognition of marriage equality, the strife around the definition of marriage isn’t going anywhere. “Do you really think that we’re going to be quiet and go away?” Brown said. “Just because the state says it’s so, we’re never going to accept it.”
allAfrica.com: “The President needs to come out with a clear statement to the Liberian people on the issue of same sex marriage; she has to take a definite position on the matter,” Rep. Henry B. Fahnbulleh (UP) once told reporters. However, after the US State Department took exception to President Sirleaf’s ambivalence on gay rights, she reconsidered, saying her government would “guarantee people’s civil liberties.”
Voice of America: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new law expanding the definition of treason, a move critics say gives the government broad authority to brand anyone a traitor.
PennLive.com: Harrisburg City Council unanimously adopted a law Tuesday night preventing protesters from being within 20 feet of entrances and driveways of abortion clinics and other medical facilities.
Boston Globe: In a partial defeat for the socially conservative wing of the Massachusetts GOP, the Republican State Committee effectively rejected the national party platform’s strict language on abortion Tuesday night. By a voice vote, the committee voted overwhelmingly to endorse Mitt Romney’s presidential platform as an addition to the current state party platform, rather than embrace the national plan.
European Court of Human Rights Finds Slovakia violated Romani women’s rights in another involuntary sterilization case
Center for Reproductive Rights: Today the European Court of Human Rights re-affirmed its recognition of involuntary sterilization of Romani women as a major human rights violation in its ruling in I.G. and Others v. Slovakia. In the significant decision, the court found that sterilization without prior full and informed consent violated the applicants’ right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment and their right to respect for private and family life. | Case of I.G and Others v. Slovakia
Rasmussen: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 54% describe themselves as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, while 38% say they are pro-life. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Washington Post (AP): The debate over legalizing abortion in Ireland flared Wednesday after the government confirmed that a miscarrying woman suffering from blood poisoning was refused a quick termination of her pregnancy and died in an Irish hospital.
BBC: A Canadian man who was believed to have been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, has been able to tell scientists that he is not in any pain.
LifeNews: Americans United for Life (AUL) filed a brief today in Nebraska v. Health and Human Services, a case initiated by the state of Nebraska and six other states challenging the Obama Administration’s “HHS Mandate,” which requires that employers provide insurance coverage for all forms of FDA-approved “contraception,” including life-ending drugs and devices classified as “emergency contraception.”
WDBJ7.com: Roanoke County lawyer Paul Mahoney said he put in a lot of work to draft a policy that didn’t discriminate or set out to cause any religious divides. Mahoney got help drafting the 12-page resolution from the Liberty Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom.
AP: In the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, the government operated transit system has banned the practice of preaching to captive audiences on buses after complaints from some passengers.
AP: It is the first time the U.N. Population Fund’s annual report explicitly describes family planning as a human right.
Paul Coleman at the Bell Towers: “A secular society is not an anti-religious one. Rather, it is one where fundamental beliefs that we disagree about – beliefs that provide strong motivation to some but mean little or nothing to those who do not hold them – are left aside in public debate about communal decisions.” So says the European Humanist Federation. Such a statement is no doubt intended to comfort the religiously minded that often hold the sneaking suspicion that the secular vision for society is, a contrario, anti-religion. But do the secularists really practice what they preach, and is secularism really neutral in matters of religion and belief, as it is claimed.
Mathew Lu at Public Discourse: From the beginning of its existence a human being is always already a person because personhood belongs to it essentially as an instance of that natural kind. The second of a two-part series.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court will consider all ten of the same-sex marriage petitions at its private Conference on November 30, instead of at the next session on November 20, according to the Court’s electronic docket.
DailyCaller.com: By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.
Christ Church Pentecostal is appealing a lower court’s decision to deny the church tax-exempt status on part of its property under the argument that they are not an integral part of the church’s ministry even though the facilities, a gymnasium and non-profit bookstore, are used exclusively for ministry outreach. Tennessee law allows similar facilities that are not on church property to be tax-exempt.