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LifeSiteNews: A girl who identifies herself as a boy has been given permission to use the boy’s bathroom at her Ontario public high school.
Catholic Culture: A Protestant missionary is in critical condition in a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, after an apparent murder attempt on December.
NECN.com: Helena’s city commissioners have given initial approval to an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Tuesday’s 5-0 vote sets a public hearing on the measure for Dec. 17.
Tulsa World: The measure would have required any woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound within an hour of the procedure and to have its results explained to her before the procedure. | OKLAHOMA COALITION FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE v. CLINE, 2012 OK 102 (No. 110765) (Dec. 4, 2012)
Baptist Press: The United States must make the fight against persecution a priority, religious liberty advocates said recently.
Washington Times: Reproductive-rights activists said Tuesday they were preparing another push to lobby the Obama administration to loosen restrictions on “emergency contraception” to women of any reproductive age.
Christian Concern: Attempts to silence the free speech rights of a Christian provincial member of parliament in South Africa have been condemned by the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA), a Christian democratic political party in Britain.
Blog of the Legal Times: The Senate confirmed a federal district judge Monday night and agreed to hold a confirmation vote for a second district judge before the end of the lame duck session, but at the same time cast doubt on whether 17 other pending judicial nominees could get votes this year.
Christian Institute: Almost two thirds of people are concerned about the decline in the importance of marriage in society, according to a new survey. A YouGov poll showed that 60 per cent of those questioned agreed it is a “bad thing” that marriage has become less important.
Sacramento Bee: On Tuesday morning, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ruled that the law prohibiting licensed mental health providers from steering patients under 18 away from gay and lesbian lifestyles does not infringe on the suing providers’ constitutional guarantee …
AP: A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked California from enforcing a first-of-its-kind law that bars licensed psychotherapists from working to change the sexual orientations of gay minors, but he limited the scope of his order to just the three providers who have appealed to him to overturn the measure. | Order: Welch v. Brown | Pacific Justice Institute press release: Federal Judge Rules that CA SB1172 Violates Free Speech
Carrie Severino at National Review: My organization, the Judicial Education Project, in conjunction with two leading Jewish Orthodox Groups, Agudath Israel of America and the National Council of Young Israel, has filed an amicus curiae brief in a Becket Fund case, Stormans Inc. v. Mary Selecky, et al., defending conscience rights for pharmacies and pharmacists.
National Review: Here is what we found: The teacher unions of Hawaii, Oregon, Montana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and California are exceptionally strong, while those in Mississippi, Virginia, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Arizona are among the weakest. States that require school districts to negotiate with their local unions tended to rate “strong” on our metric — but not always.
Kevin D. Williamson at National Review: Next week, fourth-grade students at Penn Valley Elementary School in the gilded Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion will spend part of their school day watching and discussing a very clever piece of cinematic propaganda courtesy of organized homosexuality. The film is called That’s a Family!, and it is endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign along with other homosexual activist groups.
Wall Street Journal: The right-leaning Pacific Legal Foundation amended its challenge to the ACA after the Supreme Court upheld the insurance mandate under Congress’ taxing powers. The group’s challenge turns on the Origination Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which requires that bills for raising revenue start in the House of Representatives.
NBC News: A federal appeals court on Wednesday takes up the issue of a president’s power to make appointments when the Senate is out of town, one that has divided Congress and the White House for decades.
Reuters: Egyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi’s palace in Cairo on Tuesday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, presidency sources said.
USA Today: In a scene that has been playing out in small cities throughout Kentucky in recent weeks, local citizens working with the statewide Fairness Coalition — which includes groups such as the Louisville, Ky.-based Fairness Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky — are seeking local anti-bias protections for gay and transgender people.
MSNBC: The American Psychiatric Association has revised its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and it no longer lists being transgender as a mental disorder, among other changes announced this past weekend.
Daily Caller: The poll found Hispanics in the conservative camp on social issues in particular. Fifty-one percent said they opposed legalizing gay marriage, compared to just 40 percent who favored legalization. Fifty-six percent called themselves pro-life, while just 33 percent said they were pro-choice.
Statesman.com: Nearly two months after the Pflugerville school district announced it would offer insurance benefits next year to domestic partners, the school board is reviving the controversial issue.
AP on S. Florida Gay News: A federal court challenge to Nevada’s ban on same sex marriage has been turned back in U.S. District Court, but proponents vowed Friday to fight on with an argument that a pair of state laws regarding same-sex unions unconstitutionally make gay couples “second-class citizens.”
San Francisco Chronicle: A state attorney tells the Wisconsin Supreme Court a couple caused their daughter’s death when they prayed over while she slowly died of diabetes.
Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute: There an ongoing battle over reparative therapy and the idea that gay men or men struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions can change. On one side of the issue is those that claim homosexuals are “born gay” and should just accept who they are; while also claiming reparative therapy is harmful. One the other side is proponents of reparative therapy that believe it is possible to change and that homosexuality is more about nurture than nature.
CNSNews: In what one Republican calls an “unprecedented” move, an atheist group is advising all newcomers to the U.S. House of Representatives to stay away from the Congressional Prayer Caucus.
Politico: And Club for Growth, a longtime small-government group, said Reps. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) were “free of the last remnants of establishment leverage against them” after they were booted from their committees by the House Republican Steering Committee for crossing leadership too often.
Christian Post: A new study from Australia showed that women who underwent an abortion were more likely to struggle with substance abuse than those women who did not have an abortion. Results of the study were made public by Kaeleen Dingle, of the University of Queensland, during a recent conference of the World Psychiatric Association in Melbourne.
CNSNews: Drafted by Islamists over the concerns of many non-Muslims and secularist-minded Egyptians, the draft text will be put to a national referendum on December 15, President Mohammed Morsi announced late last week.
Ed News: A school district in North Carolina has been given a deadline to affirm that it will not censor a student’s speech, or a legal team assembled by the Alliance Defending Freedom will seek a “remedy” to the problem . . . But in a letter sent from ADF to the McDowell County Schools in Marion, N.C., the lawyers pointed out that the censorship “was a violation of her First Amendment rights.” . . . [more]
AP on MyWay: Thousands of Egyptians massed in Cairo Tuesday for a march to the presidential palace to protest the assumption by the nation’s Islamist president of nearly unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his allies.
Volokh Conspiracy: The Georgetown Center for the Constitution will be devoted to studying and developing originalist textualism.
LifeSiteNews: But Dana Cody of Life Legal Defense Foundation told LifeSiteNews.com she was less certain about the law’s potential national implications. “Abortion proponents act like any sort of protection measure is going to overturn Roe,” she said.
Muskogee Phoenix: Exactly one year after a crash killed a Muskogee teenager, a complaint has been filed against the judge who sentenced the driver to church.
Wendy McElroy at Future of Freedom Foundation: The disagreement hinges on one question: “What is the exercise of religion?” In Breitbart (Nov. 25), legal contributor Ken Klukowski commented, If you agree with the Obama administration that the Constitution only protects freedom of worship — which is usually confined to what you do on Sunday morning in a church building — then you might think the HHS Mandate is okay. If instead you agree with the Framers of our Constitution that religious exercise includes living out your faith in your daily life, then you would find it appalling that the federal government would order a business owner to subsidize something he considers immoral, and possibly even participating in the ending of an innocent human life.
LifeNews: The treaty needed a two-thirds vote for approval and the Senate voted 61-38 to approve, which fell short of that requirement. Democrats voted for the treaty while most Republicans voted against it.
Sixth Circuit to Hear Oral Argument in Case of Christian Woman Fired by University for Speaking Out against Homosexuality
American Freedom Law Center: Tomorrow, Robert Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), is presenting oral argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in defense of Crystal Dixon, a former human resources administrator at the University of Toledo who was fired in 2008 for expressing her personal, Christian viewpoint on homosexuality in an op-ed published in the local newspaper.
Helen Alvare at Public Discourse: An unprecedented campaign against religious liberty, characterized by a formidable alliance between the White House and Planned Parenthood, bolstered by money, power, and market branding, is threatening women’s well-being. The first in a three-part series.
Matt Bowman at National Review: A court decision on Wednesday spells more trouble for Obamacare’s abortion-pill mandate. Defenders of that mandate have been crowing about two court rulings against Christian businesses, notably Hobby Lobby. But the government’s position is much weaker than its defenders let on.
Steve Aden appeared on the The Flag with Scott Hennen to discuss this: Minn. taxpayers illegitimately charged for elective abortions. | MP3 audio 7:05 mins
No disability benefits if you go to a religious school in Montana | Jeremy Tedesco on the Zeb Bell Show
Religion Clause Blog: In Turkey, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK), the national broadcasting regulator, has fined Turkish broadcaster CNBC-E the equivalent of $30,000 (US) for broadcasting an episode of The Simpsons found to be insulting to religious beliefs.
Religion Clause Blog: Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that a Tel Aviv Family Court has broken new legal ground by granting a divorce to a same-sex couple who had married in Canada but lived in Israel.
This post may be updated. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. U.S. SCOTUS Blog reports on 8-0 opinion by Justice Ginsburg: The Court holds that flooding that is induced by the government and temporary in duration is not exempt from …
AP: Attorney General Eric Holder and European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström will launch a global alliance targeting online child sexual abuse, building on the success of cross-border police operations that have dismantled international pedophile networks.
Crisis Magazine: Remember the pill scene from the movie Matrix? Neo is offered a choice between a red and a blue pill. The red pill promises only the truth. The blue pill offers the blissful ignorance to the fact that he is a human battery, one of millions that power futuristic machines. What’s really incredible about the scene isn’t the possibility of such a fantasy world. It’s that Neo actually has a choice to leave it.
Paul. A. Rahe at Ricochet: The heart of the matter is this. As a people — thanks in part to our astonishing prosperity, thanks in part to technological change, and thanks in part to the ordinary human propensity for self-indulgence — we have abandoned the notion that impulse-control is a thing both good and necessary, and we have abandoned it in a sphere that is fundamental. We are creatures of habit. In the absence of sexual self-control, there is apt to be very little self-control of any kind.
The HIll: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called GOP arguments that the United Nations treaty on disability rights affects U.S. abortion laws “bad politics” and “wrong.”
McGurn: A Lincoln Chafee Christmas: Diversity isn’t aided by calling the state spruce a ‘holiday tree.’
William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal: And the American people were again reminded of the apparent inability of so many of our bluest bloods to distinguish between upholding religious pluralism and enforcing anti-religion.
Joslin, Courtney G., Marriage, Biology, and Federal Benefits (November 27, 2012). Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming; UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 315. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2181517
Saving the Preachers: The Tax Code’s Prohibition on Church Electioneering (2012) | Nicholas P. Cafardi at Duquesne U.
Cafardi, Nicholas P., Saving the Preachers: The Tax Code’s Prohibition on Church Electioneering (2012). Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 503, 2012; Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-16. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2181557