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The Alliance Alert will not be published on Friday, November 30, 2012. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider several petitions in marriage cases tomorrow. Visit SCOTUS Blog for updates and commentary. The Alert will have further coverage on Monday Morning.
ABC: The historic vote recognizes Palestine as a state and gives Palestine the right to join U.N. agencies. It opens the door for Palestine to become a party to the International Criminal Court, allowing them to bring cases against Israel.
National Journal: In 2011, the overall birth rate was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, the lowest since at least 1920, Pew reported, citing numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics. The birth rate reached 122.7 in 1957, the peak of the Baby Boom.
Weekly Standard: Don’t the American people have a right to see these taxes and where they will fall? Shouldn’t the President of the United States, the only person who represents everybody in the country, lay out his plan, or must that remain a secret too? Will it just be revealed to us on the eve of Christmas or eve of the new calendar year? We will be asked to vote for it, to ratify it like lemmings, I suppose.”
Fides Service: A court of first instance in Orissa sentenced to six years in jail 12 persons guilty of violence against Christian communities, during the campaign of indiscriminate violence which occurred in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa) in 2008. “It is the first step toward justice. P
Christian Science Monitor: That warning by the Secretary General of the Church’s General Synod, went on to say that the church must begin consecrating women bishops and endorsing them in 2015, when the synod has another opportunity to vote, or risk England’s Parliament taking the issue out of its hands, reported The Times newspaper.
SCOTUS Blog: SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein previously told Poynter’s Mallary Tenore “his understanding from staff conversations with the Senate Press Gallery was that SCOTUSblog wouldn’t qualify because it doesn’t have broad-based advertising.”
LifeSiteNews: Vandals in Toronto attacked and damaged the nativity scene placed in front of Toronto’s Old City Hall courthouse by Gethsemane Ministries, a Catholic lay movement.
San Francisco Chronicle (AP): The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to order a Kansas abortion opponent to answer the government’s questions about her relationship with the man convicted in the murder of abortion provider George Tiller, including compelling her to admit to statements she made to The Associated Press in which she said she admired the then-accused killer.
Irish Times: The husband of the late Savita Halappanavar has decided to proceed with an application to the European Court of Human Rights.
Michael Barone at National Review: he willingness to lie systematically is also a requirement for administrators who profess a love of free speech while imposing speech codes and penalizing students for violations. All of which provides plenty of business for Lukianoff’s FIRE, which opposes speech codes and brings lawsuits on behalf of students — usually, but not always, conservatives — who are penalized.
The Constitutional Opening: The Sebelius ruling on the Medicaid mandate gives states an important way out.
Paul Moreno at National Review: Observers believe Obamacare could not survive without the taxing-power-based “individual mandate.” However, it is also likely that it could not survive if a large number of states refused to go along with the Medicaid mandate. And opting out of the mandate is a constitutionally orthodox alternative to secession.
UK: Now sick babies go on death pathway: Doctor’s haunting testimony reveals how children are put on end-of-life plan
Daily Mail: Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’. Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults. But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.
Christian Concern: Most Britons feel that the decline of marriage is a key cause of social breakdown, according to a new survey. In a poll of over 1,700 adults commissioned by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), 55 per cent say at least one of their local communities is plagued by broken families, crime and poor schools.
Christian Concern: A majority of the public support a referendum on whether or not same-sex ‘marriage’ should be introduced, a new poll has revealed.
Christian Institute: British proposals to create genetically modified babies with three or four biological parents should be rejected, a new report says. The report, written by bioethics expert Dr Calum MacKellar, says the techniques that are being discussed may carry medical risks for children, and for future generations.
Taipei Times: The Taipei High Administrative Court yesterday held a three-judge court hearing in a case involving two gay men seeking to have their marriage be given legal status . . . The court announced that a ruling would be handed down on Dec. 20.
San Francisco Chronicle: Maryland’s attorney general says clerks of court can begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses before Jan. 1, when the law is scheduled to take effect, so long as the effective date of the license is for the first of the year.
Forbes: This is no civil rights matter. Men and women are legally equal, but are not identical and never will be. Biological, psychological and other innate differences between sexes are undeniable. Even if you believe nature authored these distinct attributes, there is no getting around them. Pretending otherwise does neither sex justice.
C-FAM: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) rights continue to divide UN member states but LGBT groups are celebrating a minor victory at the United Nations General Assembly. Last Tuesday the GA adopted the term “gender identity” alongside “sexual orientation” for the first time in one of its resolutions.
Sixty-Year Christmas Tradition Restored: Nativity Scene to Be Displayed Following Successful AFLC Lawsuit
American Freedom Law Center: A longstanding, local tradition returns to Warren, Michigan for the 2012 Christmas season as John Satawa is scheduled to reinstall his family’s nativity scene on the public median between Mound and Chicago Roads on Saturday, December 15.
Philly.com: City Councilman James Kenney is to introduce legislation Thursday that would give a tax credit to employers who provide health-care benefits to same-sex partners, saying his bill would make Philadelphia, already a popular city for gays and lesbians to live, even more so.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: Boeing’s stance on pension benefits for same-sex survivor spouses of employees has become an international issue, after arising in the midst of contentious negotiations between the company and its union engineers.
LifeSiteNews: Ireland’s prime minister is reportedly facing a backlash from his own party over rumored plans to legalize abortion in the Republic . . . Taoiseach Enda Kenny is caught between strong public disapproval of abortion and opposition from his own backbench MPs and ministers on the one hand and pressure from Labour coalition partners who have legalisation as part of their party agenda.
Chicago Tribune: When I argued a case challenging Ireland’s ban on abortion before the European Court of Human Rights in 2009, I told the story of my client, “Ms. C,” who had been battling cancer when she became pregnant. Ms. C’s doctors in Ireland, where abortion is illegal and lifesaving abortion is largely unavailable, refused to provide her with even basic information about the risk that continuation of pregnancy posed to her life, and so she had no option but to travel to England to obtain an abortion.
San Francisco Chronicle: GOP Senate President Tom Niehaus told reporters a Romney victory was a condition he had set with proponents for advancing the so-called “heartbeat bill.” The legislation proposed banning most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
Orlando Sentinel: The Council on American Islamic Relations has announced its strong repudiation of a conviction in absentia from an Egyptian court that sentences a Florida pastor and seven Egyptian Christians to death. The court announced the sentences on Wednesday.
Reuters: An assembly drafting Egypt’s new constitution voted on Thursday to keep the principles of Islamic law as the main source of legislation, unchanged from the previous constitution in force under former President Hosni Mubarak.
LifeSiteNews: Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has revealed that it is about to exchange the lifetime ban on homosexuals donating blood for a deferral system. According to a plan submitted to Health Canada, men who have not had sex with other men for somewhere between five to ten years would be eligible to donate.
LifeSiteNews: The Calgary Catholic School District has reversed course on the HPV vaccine, agreeing to offer the controversial drug in their schools despite the opposition of Calgary Bishop Fred Henry.
LifeNews: In the past year there have been three reports and two court cases concerning the legalization of euthanasia and/or assisted suicide in Canada and the UK. All three reports concluded that euthanasia and/or assisted suicide can be safely legalized and one of the court cases came to the same conclusion.
Randy O’Bannon at Life News: When abortions drop, for whatever reason, that’s a big deal. Precious unborn lives have been saved and their mothers saved from making a terrible mistake.
AP: The Palestinians are certain to win U.N. recognition as a state Thursday but success could exact a high price: Israel and the United States warn it could delay hopes of achieving an independent Palestinian state through peace talks with Israel.
AP: In a major test of presidential power, federal appeals courts are starting to hear legal challenges to President Barack Obama’s decision to bypass the Senate in appointing three members to the National Labor Relations Board.
Freedom from Religion Foundation: The Freedom From Religion Foundation helped one of its Pennsylvania members obtain a favorable ruling for nonbelievers from the state Human Relations Commission. After John Wolff of Lancaster was unable to get the owners of Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen in Columbia to stop discriminating against atheists and agnostics, he enlisted FFRF’s help. The restaurant was offering an illegal 10 percent discount for customers who brought in a church bulletin.
Religion Clause Blog: The complaint (full text) in Liberty Counsel, Inc. v. Village of Plainfield, Illinois, (ND IL, filed 11/28/2012), says that Liberty Counsel wishes to use a community room to present an educational program promoting a Christian view of the founding of America, but is precluded from doing so under the village’s policy.
Religion Clause Blog: In Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Weber, (D MT, Nov. 27, 2012), a Montana federal district court held that an advocacy organization has standing to bring an Establishment Clause challenge to the decision by the U.S. Forest Service to allow the continued presence of a statue of Jesus on National Forest Service land within Whitefish Mountain Resort.
LifeNews: “By granting our motion, the appeals court blocks the implementation of the HHS mandate and clears the way for our lawsuit to continue – a significant victory for our client,” said Francis Manion, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. “The order sends a message that the religious beliefs of employers must be respected by the government. We have argued from the beginning that employers like Frank O’Brien must be able to operate their business in a manner consistent with their moral values, not the values of the government. We look forward to this case moving forward and securing the constitutional rights of our client.”
“Minnesota Anti-Choice Activists File Frivolous Lawsuit Against Medicaid-Funded Abortions” | Robin Marty at RH Reality Check
Robin Marty at RHReality Check: Attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense League) have filed a suit alleging that Minnesota has wrongfuly paid for as many as 37,000 abortions since the year 1999 that should not have been covered. According to their press release . . .
Christian Civic League: Protect and prepare for any conflict that same sex marriage will bring to your church. Click here for part 1 of a two part “Faith Matters in Maine” interview with Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. Part 2 will air next Dec. 3 at 6:15 pm (WHCF 88.5, Hodgdon/Houlton 93.7, and Presque Isle 102.7)
AP: An Islamist-dominated panel began a fast-track vote on a final draft of a new Egyptian constitution Thursday, pushing through the document despite liberals’ boycott in a move likely to stoke a deepening political crisis between the Islamist president and the opposition.
Tyndale House Publishers: A federal court Friday stopped enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a Bible publisher represented by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom . . . The court’s order is the third nationwide against the mandate and the second obtained by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys.
Kathleen Hunker at the Bell Towers: The Republican Party will not solve its election woes by retreating from the defense of the unborn. The American public has grown increasingly pro-life, and Republicans are unified in their objection to abortion on demand . . . The pro-life position is more marketable to American voters today than it has been in decades. Republicans just need to learn how to stand up and follow through on the sale.
Education News (linking to MyFoxBoston): “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. ADF sent a letter to officials at Western Piedmont Community College urging them to either reconsider their decision to censor the word “Christmas” – or else face a possible lawsuit.
Heritage Foundation: The United Nations—of course—has an agency that oversees international telecommunications. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was founded in 1865, when the telegraph was its main concern. Now it’s trying to expand its influence over modern-day communications.
NCPA Policy Digest: The renewable fuel standard (RFS) is increasing the biofuel-blending requirements. This change can give rise to numerous damaging spillovers throughout the economy, says Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow in environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institu
Liberty Counsel: For the second year, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee will not use “Christmas” to describe the evergreen tree decorated to celebrate December 25. “Governor, what do you call a green, pointed, prickly tree we decorate in December? Everyone except for the governor knows it’s a Christmas tree,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Telegraph: Zurich council has approved a plan to build the boxes, which will, it hopes, provide a discreet location for prostitutes and their clients to conduct business when they open in August next year.
Lee Habeeb & Mike Leven at National Review: Conservatives need to support their arguments with creative storytelling.”>National Review: But if there is one thing conservatives can agree on post-election, it’s this: The dominance of the Left in the storytelling arena is making a difference at the polls. It’s impossible to measure, but anyone who doesn’t think it skews outcomes is living in an alternative universe.
San Francisco Chronicle (AP): The Alliance Defending Freedom argues that state government is allowed to pay for abortions for indigent women only for “therapeutic reasons,” including when the life or health of the woman is in danger or in cases of rape or incest, under state laws and a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision . . . Steven Aden, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the numbers cited in the lawsuit represent the “best assessment” the group could make based on the statistics available. He said a fuller picture of the “illegitimate public funding of elective abortions” will emerge as the case proceeds.
LifeNews: “The critical taxpayer dollars of Minnesotans should not be used for medically unnecessary abortions, nor should such funding be used to take the lives of more African-American babies than other babies,” said lead counsel Chuck Shreffler, one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. “The reporting statistics are unambiguous,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden, who is co-counsel in the case. “The state is indisputably funding medically unnecessary abortions in violation of state law, and 40 percent of the abortions are being executed on African-Americans even though they make up only 5 percent of the state’s population. This lawsuit intends to stop this from continuing.”
SCOTUS Blog: This is the third 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 tomorrow. This articles discusses the legal arguments against same-sex marriage. The final article tomorrow will discuss the options the Court has in considering the cases. The first article in this series can be found here, and the second article is here.