Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed suit against the New York Department of Motor Vehicles in 2004 for rejecting a pro-adoption group’s application to sponsor a “Choose Life” specialty plate as part of a state program.
World Magazine: A new study on abortions in Mexico refutes two main arguments for legalizing abortion and proves a pro-abortion research institute overestimated statistics used to advocate for the procedure. The study disproves claims that banning abortion leads to a large number of illegal procedures, which results in high rates of maternal deaths.
MLive.com: Health insurance coverage for elective abortions would only be allowed through an optional rider on plans under legislation passed by the Michigan House and Senate last week.
“EMU resolves case of Julea Ward, former student kicked out of program for declining to counsel gay client” | AnnArbor.com
AnnArbor.com: Ward’s legal counsel, Jeremy Tedesco, said he is pleased and feels that Ward’s constitutionally protected rights have been “vindicated.” “Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The Sixth Circuit rightly understood this and ruled appropriately, so the university has done the right thing in settling this case,” Tedesco said.
“EMU to pay $75,000 to social work student Julea Ward who refused to counsel gay client” | Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press: The lawsuit was filed in April 2009 by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Julea Ward, a student in the university’s Graduate School Counseling Program, where she was training to become a K-12 school counselor.
The Hindu: Indeed, going by Aarathi Prasad’s book, human reproduction might too go that way. “The reproduction of the future is set to rewrite much of the fabric of human society.” Like a Virgin is a little prelude to that revolution.
The Spectator: A showdown between the government and the European Court of Human Rights over prisoner votes drew that bit closer today. The government hoped that having parliament vote to uphold a blanket ban on prisoners voting would buy it some time, as the European Court of Human Rights would then have to start examining the issue all over again.
LifeSiteNews: One of the more exciting hobbies of The Guttmacher Institute — besides receiving annual donations from Planned Parenthood — is demanding greater legal access to abortion in countries where abortion is restricted. This demand blooms from studies of these countries — usually Guttmacher’s — which consistently find high numbers of illegal abortions and abortion-related maternal deaths.
Newsmax: Texas conservatives have big plans to pass new anti-abortion laws in 2013, thanks to a large Republican majority in the state legislature.
Washington Post: A federal judge began hearing arguments in a case Monday about whether Congress is Constitutionally required to pass legislation by a simple majority vote, and whether the Senate’s filibuster rules violate such a requirement.
Chicago Tribune: Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn today said he hopes state lawmakers send him a gay marriage bill when they meet again in January, but even the measure’s sponsor is unsure the issue will rise to the top of a busy agenda.
Weekly Standard: At that time, the director of Obamacare’s newly established Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) — which the Hill describes as “the office tasked with crafting rules for the national exchange” — was Steve Larsen. Larsen had been the insurance commissioner for Maryland when Obama’s HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, was the insurance commissioner for Kansas, and the two are reportedly close. The CCIIO awarded the Obamacare exchange contract to QSSI while Larsen was the CCIIO’s director, and he played a central role in planning the construction of the exchanges — although it’s not known whether he made the decision to award the contract to QSSI or not.
Christian Institute: The House of Lords will vote on Wednesday on reforming a controversial law that criminalises “insulting” words or behaviour, as pressure mounts on the Government to act.
allAfrica.com: There are two things in the proposed marriage bill that have given me pause. The first is the legalisation of polygamous marriages and the second is the designation of cohabiting for more than six months as marriage.
BBC (includes video): Welsh Secretary David Jones will vote against plans to legalise gay marriage in Wales and England.
EMU student achieves final victory after court rules ‘tolerance is a two-way street’ | Alliance Defending Freedom
Eastern Michigan University has agreed to settle an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit filed on behalf of Julea Ward, a graduate student whom the university expelled from a counseling program for abiding by her religious beliefs. As a result, a federal district court issued an agreed-upon order of dismissal Monday.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at Jerusalem Post: No Holds Barred: The Guttmacher Institute’s data that 85% of all abortions take place outside of marriage would have us address the subject not as a social wedge issue but by cultivating a culture that commits to marriage.
Detroit Free Press: Legislation that could limit access to abortion — several measures that shot through Thursday in a chaotic day in Lansing — drew sharp criticism Friday from Michigan residents who said the proposals run roughshod over women’s rights and could allow doctors to pick and choose patients based on religious or moral beliefs.
Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to review California’s same-sex marriage ban disappointed some Golden State gay couples who would have been able to wed if the court refused to hear the case.
Court Rejects Quaker’s Challenge To Tax Procedures Invoked After Anti-War Withholding Of Amounts Due
Religion Clause Blog: In Boardman v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, (ED CA, Dec. 6, 2012), a California federal district court dismissed free exercise claims by a Quaker peace activist who challenged provisions of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (26 USC Sec. 6330(g)) that curtail the administrative appeals process for “frivolous” taxpayer claims.
Religion Clause Blog: The FBI today released its 2011 Hate Crime Statistics. The report shows that there were 6,216 single-bias motivated incidents reported, of which 1,233 (19.8%) involved religious bias.
The New American: A recent study out of Denmark appears to show a higher incidence of premature death among women who have had an abortion than for women who give birth. The study tracked a group of Danish women over a 25-year period, finding that those who had undergone a single abortion had a 45-percent higher mortality rate over that time period than those who had carried babies to full term.
Greg Sargent at the Washington Post: The Supreme Court’s decision to weigh in on two gay marriage cases has raised an important question: Will the Obama administration offer clarity on whether he thinks gay and lesbian Americans have a constitutional, as opposed to a moral, right to marry?
First Things: While abortion has not made any real progress through the U.N. rights-based approach, it has made serious advances through its promotion as a basic medical practice. The great engine for this has been the World Health Organization.
PressTV.com: Just as days for the Pakistan’ general elections are getting nearer, people in Pakistan are struggling for an Islamic system in their country, and in the northwest, tens of thousands of them gathered to hold a ‘Long Live Islam’ conference.
LifeNews: A federal judge ruled that the Choose Life plates in North Carolina are constitutional unsound because the state legislature did not offer a pro-abortion version of the plates for motorists to purchase.
LifeNews: A conservative GOP congressman announced he will not challenge pro-life House Speaker John Boehner, squelching rumors that the top Republican in Washington will face a contest for his position. The office of Rep. Tom Price’s (R-GA), a pro-life lawmaker from Georgia, told conservative media outlets mid-day today that he will not seek the Speakership in an inter-party fight against Boehner.
Adam J. McLeod at Public Discourse: A recent ruling in the United States District Court in Hawaii reveals a rational basis for the Supreme Court to rule on a morally neutral basis that marriage can be enshrined in law.
KTRE.com: A group that previously attacked an East Texas county for its nativity scene is back again. This time hitting Houston County. But officials there say it’s not going anywhere.
Paul Coleman at IntoleranceAgainstChristians.eu: Summarizing what appears to be the popular position on “hate speech” laws, two judges of the European Court of Human Rights recently held that “extremist opinions can bring much more harm than restrictions on freedom of expression.” This book seeks to challenge this prevailing orthodoxy by detailing the stark history of the internationalization of “hate speech” laws, their present day application and their possible future. Over thirty “hate speech” cases are discussed and a fully up-to-date compendium containing hundreds of European “hate speech” laws is included.
MSN.com: The Alliance Defending Freedom criticized the decision, saying it robbed the grade schooler of her First Amendment rights. School reps are now meeting to discuss the situation and come up with a policy should this happen again in the future.
Fox News (includes video): The Alliance Defending Freedom, which advocates religious freedom, criticized the school’s decision in a statement. “The censorship of this young student’s poem about her grandfather is repugnant to the First Amendment rights of all students and sends an impermissible message of hostility towards religion,” the group argued.
George Will: University Campuses Train Students To Support Censorship | Jordan Lorence at SpeakUp Movement
Jordan Lorence at SpeakUp Movement: Both Will’s column and Lukianoff’s book show the importance of Alliance Defending Freedom and allies to fight these unconstitutional policies, and why students and faculty need to stand up for liberty and freedom of expression. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys stand ready to protect students and faculty members from these unconstitutional policies restricting their speech. Universities are no longer a marketplace of ideas, encouraging robust debate, when they adopt and enforce these unconstitutional policies.
Matt Bowman at the Alliance Defending Freedom Blog: Religious freedom won a victory in New York in the first week of December when a federal court ruled on behalf of the Archdiocese of New York and other Catholic entities and …
“Supreme Court: Both sides in gay marriage debate voice optimism” | Christian Science Monitor on Yahoo News
Warren Richey at Christian Science Monitor on Yahoo News: The Supreme Court’s decision to take up appeals over DOMA and California’s Prop. 8 ban on gay marriage elicited positive reactions from advocates on both sides of the contentious issue . . . Jim Campbell, a lawyer with the conservative group, Alliance Defending Freedom, stressed that Americans have a right to preserve the traditional definition of marriage. He said the institution forms a “fundamental building block of civilization.” “Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western civilization,” he said. “Marriage expresses the truth that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life.”
One News Now: The Scandinavian Human Rights Committee has handed Alliance Defending Freedom the 2012 Human Dignity Award, saying ADF has “truly become a global force.”
AP: The EU received the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday for promoting peace and human rights in Europe following the devastation of World War II, and the bloc was urged to use that unity in its battle with an economic crisis that is causing suffering for many of its citizens.
Daniel Fisher at Forbes: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a pair of cases that could — but likely will not — establish a nationwide, constitutional right to gay marriage. The cases leave the high court plenty of escape hatches from taking a big step the country may not be ready for yet, said William Eskridge, a constitutional law scholar at Yale Law School who contributed the legal reasoning that helped decide one of the cases, a challenge to an anti-gay marriage referendum in California.
US Supreme Court asked to weigh in on strange ruling against NY town’s prayer policy | Alliance Defending Freedom
In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit said that, because the town contains predominantly Christian clergy, it should invite non-Christians from other jurisdictions to invite to pray at its own town meetings and take other uncommon steps to ensure that non-Christians do not “feel like outsiders.”
Scott Shackford at USA Today: The Supreme Court can’t actually stop the trend toward gay marriage recognition if that’s what the public wants. It can only decide whether or not same-sex couples have a right to demand it.
NY Times: Fifty-eight years after it banned discrimination in public education, the Supreme Court has set the stage for the defining civil rights decision of this era — agreeing to hear two cases challenging laws that define marriage to exclude couples of the same sex. To us, and a growing number of Americans, the right course seems clear: that the justices continue the march toward real equality.
Commentary on marriage grants: Article III & same-sex marriage | Neal Devins and Tara Grove at SCOTUS Blog
Neal Devins and Tara Grove at SCOTUS Blog: In this post, we argue that the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) is not a proper party to defend DOMA. Likewise, we doubt that the proponents of Proposition 8 have standing to defend California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. At the same time, we suspect that the Court will rule on the merits of both cases – something it can still do if it rules against the BLAG; something it cannot do if it finds the Proposition 8 proponents are without standing.
Commentary on marriage grants: Different ways of splitting the difference – the menu of options in Hollingsworth v. Perry | Kenji Yoshino at SCOTUS Blog
Kenji Yoshino at SCOTUS Blog: It might seem to follow from these two premises that the Court will split the baby between the cases. But the error lies in thinking that the Perry Court must require marriage in all fifty states or none. In fact, the Court can more narrowly invalidate Prop. 8 in at least three ways.
Commentary on marriage grants: Opportunity for the Court to right some wrongs | William Duncan at SCOTUS Blog
William Duncan at the SCOTUS Blog: Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeals of one of the decisions striking down DOMA and the Proposition 8 case, the Court’s focus should turn to correcting the serious flaws in the lower court decisions it will be reviewing and preventing future judicial adventurism on the definition of marriage. The decisions the Court will be reviewing have embraced something like a “substantive equal protection” doctrine.
National Review: As Egypt under the heel of Mohamed Morsi unravels, here’s the late-breaking news: The Muslim Brotherhood is the enemy of democracy. This has always been obvious to anyone who took the time to look into it. Nevertheless, it has not been an easy point to make lo these many years.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska will join two other expert witnesses to testify before the U.S. Helsinki Commission Monday on the state-sanctioned marginalization of Christians in Western Europe.