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Turtle Bay and Beyond: The CRPD includes the extremely controversial term “sexual and reproductive health.” The combination of ill-defined terms and activist treaty bodies is nowhere more obvious than in the interpretation of the controversial term “sexual and reproductive health,” which negotiators did not define before including in the CRPD. This is the first time the term occurs in binding international law.
Christian Institute: Head teachers in Sweden have been told they can take pupils to Christmas services in church – but Jesus cannot be mentioned.
Lambda Legal: Today plaintiff couples in Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr, the lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois, met with legislators to urge them to vote in favor of a bill ending the ban on marriage for same-sex couples in Illinois. The bill, House Bill 5710, The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, could be voted on by the Illinois General Assembly in January 2013.
Annex Medical, Inc., a Minnesota-based medical supply company, and its owner, Stuart Lind, have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in federal court, seeking to prevent enforcement of the Obama administration’s requirement that they pay for contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs in any group health insurance plan they offer their employees (the “Mandate”).
National Review Online Bench Memos: As if the governor needed more excuses to make the issue a priority, the state’s judicial nominating commission decided to kick sand in his eyes by sending him a disappointing slate of finalists for a Court of Appeals vacancy.
Guardian: Archbishops’ Council calls on bishops to bring revised plans before General Synod in July after ‘sadness and shock’ of defeat.
Jill Stanke at LifeSiteNews: Twelve mothers that we know of died from “safe and legal” abortions in the U.S. in 2008. And as Americans United for Life’s Charmaine Yoest noted to LifeNews.com, “That number is double the deaths reported the previous year and it’s the highest since 1994.”
ProLifeBlogs: On December 4, 2012, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., an impressive and diverse group of experts and witnesses with personal experience of abortion will present a three hour media briefing and background session on the topic: “What Has 40 Years of Abortion Done to America?”
Naple News: In a case that offers a glimpse of the complexity of Florida’s parental-notification of abortion law, a divided appeals court this week overruled a Polk County judge and said a 17-year-old girl could receive an abortion without her mother being told. | In re Petition of Jane Doe
Washington Post: Daniel F. Attridge in July will become dean of Columbus School of Law at Catholic University, recruited from his position as managing partner of the Washington law office of Kirkland & Ellis.
Reuters: Italy has appealed a European Court of Human Rights ruling that it violated the rights of a couple carrying cystic fibrosis by preventing them from screening in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos, the Rome government said on Wednesday.
Human Events: The leader of Americans for Tax Reform told Human Events that Republicans should be ashamed to be part of the Democratic media campaign to raise taxes. “They should be embarrassed,” said Grover G. Norquist, the founder and president of the Washington-based ATR.
Kevin Kukla at LifeSiteNews: The Center for Reproductive Rights is attacking Costa Rica’s IVF laws as a means to push for greater access to abortion and contraception. CRR believes that legalizing IVF in Costa Rica will have, what they consider, positive repercussions for other “reproductive health” issues in the pro-life nations of Latin America. They call laws against IVF a “personhood movement in disguise, similar to efforts in the U.S. to define a fertilized egg as a person.”
LifeSiteNews: So parents like those in Nova Scotia are right to decry any unnecessary incursions into their proper area of authority. We need to ask: If parents are responsible to the government for what they teach their children, then what’s to stop the government from telling parents what to teach them?
NH: “1st Transgender Elected To Office Asked To Resign: Lawmaker was convicted felon for credit-card fraud”
WorldNetDaily: Republicans in New Hampshire’s state legislature have called for the first elected transgender official in the state – and the nation – to step down in light of a newspaper article that revealed her criminal past. Stacie Marie Laughton, a Democrat . . .
Wall Street Journal: The court issued an interpretation of an article of Poland’s Civil Code, which states that the surviving partner in a marriage or an informal union assumes the rights of a tenant in a leased apartment.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: Two men seeking to stop public prayer before Hamilton County Commission meetings have filed an appeal of a federal judge’s refusal to issue a temporary injunction.
LifeNews: The pro-life women’s group Feminists for Life of America, is out with a new list of “remarkable pro-life women” — some of whom were either conceived in rape or made courageous decisions to keep their baby after victimized by it.
First Things: Pro-life groups that spend time outside Planned Parethood clinics have recorded eighteen recent instances where women have had to be transported to nearby hospitals by ambulance. The most recent case occurred the day before Thanksgiving in St. Louis . . .
OnIslam.net: Turkey has lifted a decades-long ban on wearing hijab in Islamic schools, to the outcry of secularists who see the move as new evidence on government efforts to “Islamize” the country.
TheSunDaily.my: A Puteri Umno delegate today called on the authority to take stern action against the individuals who belittle or tarnish the image of Islam in the country.
ABC (AP): Texas wants to take ownership of Warren Jeffs’ polygamist ranch where the convicted sect leader and his followers sexually assaulted children, state prosecutors said Wednesday.
San Francisco Chronicle: Attorneys for Mississippi’s only abortion clinic are again asking a federal judge to block a state law that threatens to eventually close the facility, though a closing is not expected any time soon.
Reuters: U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts publicly dressed down an Obama administration lawyer on Tuesday, demanding that he be upfront about policy changes from one president to another and not hide behind language suggesting something else.
Challenge To Contraceptive Coverage Mandate By Pittsburgh Diocese Dismissed On Ripeness and Standing Grounds
Religion Clause Blog: In Zubik v. Sebelius, (WD PA, Nov. 27, 2012), a Pennsylvania federal district court dismissed on ripeness and standing grounds a challenge by the the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh and Catholic Cemeteries Association of Pittsburgh to the contraceptive coverage mandate issued under the Affordable Care Act.
One News Now: After a rocky road of legislation challenging parental and religious rights at every turn over the past months in California, public schools continue to be a breeding ground for policies geared to eradicate all Christian influences from students.
ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the city of Philadelphia’s appeal from a jury verdict that it was “unreasonable” for the city to require the Boy Scouts of America’s Cradle of Liberty affiliate to certify that it would not discriminate against gay scout members and leaders as a condition of continuing its rent-free use of city property for its headquarters building at 21st and Spring Streets.
Robert Knight at Townhall: Pawing through the ashes of the Romney defeat, it’s clear that if the Republican Party wants to compete nationally, it has to do several things, such as re-message timeless traditional values, attract more young and minority voters, particularly Hispanics, and do a better job of getting out the vote. But this will be moot if the integrity of the voting process is not restored.
The Church Report: An Egyptian court has convicted in absentia seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor and sentenced them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.
Wall Street Journal (via Google): Earlier this year, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana signed into law an expanded school choice program for underprivileged kids. Naturally, the teachers unions are suing to block it. Oral arguments begin tomorrow.
Wall Street Journal: ObamaCare is due to land in a mere 10 months—about 300 days—and the Administration is not even close to ready, so naturally the political and media classes are attacking the Governors and state legislators who decline to help out. Mostly Republicans, they’re facing a torrent of abuse in Washington and pressure from health lobbies at home. But the real story is that Democrats are reaping the GOP buy-in they earned.
Steven H. Aden at American Thinker: Ultrasounds have long been a thorn in the side of abortion sellers. This is because the images of hearts beating inside the womb, and of children sucking their thumbs or reacting to outside stimuli, have gone a long way in undercutting the “mass of cells” or “bundle of DNA” theories abortionists pawn to ease the consciences of prospective clients.
American Freedom Law Center: The order permits AFLC, a nonprofit Judeo-Christian law firm representing the Christians, to amend its lawsuit to name as an additional defendant the American Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), which is the organization responsible for the conduct of the Dearborn Arab Festival, an event where the police and festival workers have historically discriminated against Christians.
Alan Sears at Townhall: This was seen over the weekend as hundreds of thousands of people rallied in France to support marriage in the face of a pending redefinition of it. They were also standing up for keeping the best environment for a child the number one priority for adoption, rather than change adoption laws to place children with same-sex couples for purely political reasons.
Lexington Herald-Leader: The company is being represented in the case by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group of Christian attorneys dedicated to “transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family,” according to the organization’s website. Americans in the marketplace should not be subject to legal attacks simply for abiding by their beliefs,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jim Campbell said in a statement. “The Constitution prohibits the government from forcing business owners to promote messages they disagree with.”
Todd Starnes at Fox News: The student group contacted Alliance Defending Freedom — a legal advocacy group that handles many First Amendment issues. The ADF promptly sent the college a letter urging them to either reconsider their decision or face possible legal action. “We’re pleased the college did the right thing,” attorney Matt Sharp told Fox News. “It really is ridiculous they tried to make this club use the word holiday instead of Christmas.”
Christian Post: “It’s ridiculous that anyone would have to think twice about using the word ‘Christmas’ as part of a Christmas tree sale,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “Not only is it perfectly constitutional to use the word ‘Christmas,’ it is unconstitutional to prohibit use of it. This is another perfect example of the immense misunderstanding that far too many college officials have about what the First Amendment truly requires.”
Todd Starnes at Fox News: It’s ridiculous that anyone would have to think twice about using the word ‘Christmas’ as part of a Christmas tree sale,” said Matt Sharp, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom.
First Amendment Center: But Jonathan Scruggs, attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom that is representing the preachers, disagreed.
AP: Senate Democrats rallied to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s defense as Republicans said they were even more troubled by her account of the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and signaled they would try to scuttle her nomination if President Barack Obama tapped her as the next secretary of state.
AP: The fissures within the Republican Party that some say cost the GOP control of the Senate have resurfaced just three weeks after the election. This time conservatives are targeting a popular veteran congresswoman from a storied West Virginia political family making a bid for Democrat Jay Rockefeller’s Senate seat in 2014.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys filed suit Tuesday on behalf of two African-American taxpayers in Minnesota who are challenging the unauthorized use of state funding for elective abortions.
AP: The surge in self-immolations, along with an increase in large demonstrations, mark a new phase in the Tibetan protests.
AP: Germany says it won’t back a Palestinian drive for statehood in a U.N. vote this week – putting it at odds with France and other European countries.
AP: Egypt’s two highest appeals courts suspended their work Wednesday to protest presidential decrees that gave the country’s Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi nearly absolute powers, state television reported.
AP: A majority of parties said Wednesday the European Union nation no longer needs the law, which hasn’t been invoked in the past half-century.
Ed News: Prospective teachers in three southern states paid stand-ins to take their licensing exams, according to a federal investigation that uncovered 15 years of mass fraud in the public school licensing system.
Ed News: If Clayton Fiscus, a new Republican member of the Montana House of Representatives, has his way, intelligent designwill soon be taught alongside evolution across the state.
The Hill: In their period of post-election soul-searching, Republicans are enmeshed in a debate about abortion — and whether to debate the subject at all.
SCOTUS Blog: Perhaps a bit prematurely, San Francisco officials on Tuesday told the Ninth Circuit Court they want to be able to move quickly to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — if the Supreme Court does not take up the so-called “Proposition 8″ case. In a letter to the Circuit Court, the officials noted that the Justices were about to consider that case, and the officials raised the possibility that the case would simply be bypassed.
SCOTUS Blog: This is the second of four articles explaining the constitutional controversy, now awaiting the Supreme Court’s attention, over same-sex marriage. The Court is scheduled to consider ten petitions on that issue at its private Conference on Friday. This article discusses the legal arguments in favor of same-sex marriage. Later articles will discuss the arguments against, and the options the Court has in considering the cases. The first article in this series can be found here.