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LifeNews: One of the great pro-life victories internationally over the past twenty years has been the defeat of the attempt to make abortion a universally recognized right through U.N. documents. Abortion is not mentioned in a single hard-law treaty and therefore has not risen to the legal level of a “human right.”
Philadelphia Inquirer: A Mennonite-owned cabinetmaker has filed a federal suit charging that the Affordable Care Act’s mandate on contraception coverage violates its constitutional rights.
The College Fix (includes video): A parade of University of Virginia students filmed a YouTube video recently that praised a row of twinkling Christmas trees and other holiday fare adorning a row of front porches along the school’s famed Lawn dorms and pitched administrators to let the decorations stay -but alas- campus officials told students to pack it up
National Review Editors: On Friday afternoon, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments in two cases that are at the center of the same-sex-marriage controversy. One concerns the power of people in the states to govern themselves on the question, the other the complementary power of Congress to define “marriage” for purposes of federal law.
NPR (includes audio): The Supreme Court has chosen to hear two cases relating to same-sex marriage that would judge the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart argues that this is not the best time for a marriage equality ruling.
The New Civil Rights Movement (includes video): Glenn Beck, who seems to have a tenuous relationship with truth and consistency, after being definitely anti-marriage equality, is now trying to say the GOP should embrace same-sex marriage in order to “have the ultimate big tent” and to expand our own horizon.” But he himself doesn’t believe in full civil marriage equality.
Reuters on Yahoo News: The number of Christians in England and Wales declined by 13 percent over the past decade, while the non-religious population grew from 15 to 25 percent, the most recent national census has revealed.
Jordan Lorence at USA Today: The Supreme Court will soon consider why government is in the marriage business. A federal court in a Hawaii lawsuit recently answered that question well: Government can “rationally conclude that, other things being equal, it is best for children to be raised by a parent of each sex.”
LifeNews: Pharmacists in Illinois have won a final victory in a seven-year legal battle in which they have fought for the right not to have to dispense the Plan B drug, which may cause abortions in some instances.
Heather Gebelin Hacker at Speak Up Movement: At Christmas, one would hope that the only controversy surrounding the Salvation Army and their iconic bell ringers would be their fictional dispute with Homelessville and Justin Timberlake. But for a student body obsessed with political correctness at any cost, the mere presence of the bell ringers near campus doing their traditional collection of funds for the needy is intolerable if they are doing so in the name of a Christian organization.
CNSNews: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the debt limit is “not real” and should not be part of any negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff.
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News: Elizabeth L. Hillman, a respected scholar in military law and history who was part of the fight to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” has been appointed Academic Dean at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.
MagicValley.com: Twin Falls city staff will study the issue of adding sexual orientation to the anti-harassment and discrimination policy for city employees, at the suggestion of a councilwoman.
Politico: “I’m personally grateful to Speaker [John] Boehner for being willing to defend the law, but it’s clear GOP elites don’t want to talk about it and want to keep it as quiet as possible,” said Maggie Gallagher, a founder of the National Organization for Marriage and a fellow at the conservative American Principles Project. “That’s so obvious, I don’t see any point in pretending otherwise.”
Christian Concern: A petition of over half a million signatures against Government plans to redefine marriage has been ignored – as Ministers plough ahead with the controversial measure. Coalition for Marriage (C4M) handed in the 500,000-strong petition to the Government in June amid guarantees from civil servants that all submissions would be treated equally.
Washington Post: Taboo-breaking Uruguay is poised to legalize gay marriage, with lawmakers debating Tuesday whether to create a single law governing marriage for heterosexuals and homosexuals. It also would let couples, gay or straight, decide whose surname goes first when they name their children.
LifeNews: After fourteen years of debate, political leaders in the Philippines may be on the verge of passing the controversial, anti-life “Reproductive Health Bill” (RH Bill). The legislation is seen as a precursor to potentially legalizing abortion in the pro-life, Catholic nation.
LifeSiteNews: It is “inevitable that gay couples will seek the right to marry in Church and that Churches will refuse to permit them to do so,” said UKIP. Despite the government’s assurances, “there will, very soon after the introduction of gay civil marriage, be a challenge in first the domestic courts of England and Wales and then in the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the exclusion of gay people from the right to have a religious ceremony of marriage is unlawful discrimination against them on the grounds of their sexual orientation.”
LifeSiteNews: The Nigerian government has put the Western world on notice that if the cost of accepting aid is to allow same-sex couples to “marry,” that’s a price the country is unwilling to pay.
LifeSiteNews: The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has launched a federal investigation over a conversation between a Huntsville JROTC instructor and a lesbian student about the Bible and homosexuality.
LifeSiteNews: A Mississippi judge has handed down two suspended six-month jail terms and $5,000 in fines for Kristina Garza, a pro-life activist who was arrested in March for handing out literature in front of Murrah High School in Jackson.
AP: The Supreme Court has asked a Massachusetts lawyer to present arguments on why the justices should not rule on a federal gay marriage law next year.
University Pays Up For Expelling Christian: Female student booted for not promoting homosexuality | WND
WorldNetDaily: ADF said even though counseling referrals are a common and accepted professional practice, the university instead chose to expel Ward “when she sought to avoid violating her religious beliefs by referring a potential client to another counselor.” Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued before the court in October of last year, said public universities “shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree.” “The 6th Circuit rightly understood this and ruled appropriately, so the university has done the right thing in settling this case,” he said. “When Julea sought to refer a potential client to another qualified counselor – a common, professional practice that is endorsed by her profession’s code of ethics – EMU denied the referral. Then it attacked and questioned her religious beliefs, ultimately expelling her from the program. We are pleased that Julea and her constitutionally protected rights have been vindicated.”
RT.com: “A certain control over homosexual behavior is necessary in a democratic society,” says a senior Russian MP as the State Duma prepares a bill on the nationwide ban of gay ‘propaganda’. The first parliamentary reading on the draft federal law prohibiting “homosexual propaganda” is scheduled for December 19.
Bloomberg: Davis escalated salaries and benefits for 164,000 state workers, including a 34 percent raise for prison guards, the first of a series of steps in which he and successors saddled California with a legacy of dysfunction. Today, the state’s highest-paid employees make far more than comparable workers elsewhere in almost all job and wage categories, from public safety to health care, base pay to overtime.
Fox News: The cuts would force federal courts to lay off up to 2,000 employees or furlough 20,000 employees for 16 days, according to a Dec. 4 letter to federal chief judges around the country from the Judicial Conference of the United States.
NJ.com: Gov. Chris Christie yesterday nominated a Japanese-American judge and the Board of Public Utilities chief to the state Supreme Court, hoping to finally win over Senate Democrats who landed their strongest punch against the Republican governor by rejecting his last two nominees earlier this year.
On Brief, Iowa’s Appellate Blog: This afternoon, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Gartner v. Iowa Department of Public Health, which presents the following issue: When a mother gives birth to a child, does the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision in Varnum v. Brien require that the mother’s same-sex spouse be listed on the birth certificate?
Evan Wolfson at the NY Times: Now here we are, with the Supreme Court heading toward decisions on both the state and federal marriage discrimination that same-sex couples endure. And if we do our part over the next months, building on the irrefutable momentum of 2011 and 2012, we can give the justices confidence that when they stand on the right side of history, their rulings will not only stand the test of time, but be true to where the American people already are.
Religion Clause Blog: LifeSite News reports that in Canada, Quebec’s Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the province’s Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports refusing to exempt a Catholic school, Loyola High School, from the requirement that it offer a government-mandated course in Ethics and Religious Culture instead of the school’s own course covering other religions and ethical creeds from a Catholic perspective.
Findlaw (AP): Lawyers for the Senate are asking a federal judge to dismiss a suit by a citizens lobbying group challenging the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for overcoming filibusters.
Ed News: With Michigan teachers unions outraged over the state’s new right-to-work law that allows teachers to work without joining the union, the state’s current teachers are preparing to close down schools in protest.
AP: The federal government has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta and other religious institutions seeking to overturn a provision in the federal health care law that requires group health plans to provide free birth control.
McPhersonSentinel.com: The city of McPherson announced Monday it would continue to pursue a police chaplaincy program. The city received a letter Dec. 3 from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, asking the city to cease its chaplaincy program. The foundation alleged the program was a violation of the separation of church and state.
The Only Thing Inevitable About Same-Sex “Marriage” is that It’s Not Inevitable | Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute
Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute: Sure, there is a great chance that legalizing same-sex “marriage” won’t affect you. But I can promise you that your kids and grandkids will be affected each and every day if it is legalized. Is that what you want your legacy to be?
If Government Gets Out of the ‘Marriage Business’ You Will Have More, Not Less, Government | Jeremy Dys at Engage Family Minute
Jeremy Dys at Engage Family Minute: The central point is whether or not getting government out of the “marriage business” reduces the size of government and, ergo, increases liberty.
AP: Senate Republican Leader Mitch Connell insisted on Tuesday that President Barack Obama and Democrats spell out where they would cut government spending as part of any massive budget deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” double hit of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.
Sen. Roy Blunt: In light of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (Nev.) continued threats to launch the so-called “nuclear option” to stop debate or compromise surrounding controversial legislation, Senate Republicans launched a new website today, “Stop The Nuclear Option” where Americans can learn more about Reid’s partisan power grab.
Ben Bull at Townhall: The attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi brought to light that terrorism is on the rise in North Africa. But for African Christians this has been a reality for many years.
“Grad student who was expelled for refusing to counsel gay client settles for $75,000″ | Daily Caller at Yahoo News
Daily Caller at Yahoo News: Legal proceedings began in 2009 when the Alliance Defense Fund (now called Alliance Defending Freedom) filed a lawsuit on Ward’s behalf. At the time, she was training to become a K-12 school counselor in Eastern Michigan’s graduate counseling program. The Alliance Defense Fund had sought a court order requiring EMU to change its curriculum to permit referrals in cases when the religious beliefs of counseling students could cause a professionalism conflict. Such cases could occur when sexual relationships, abortion, premarital sex and other contentious moral issues arise.
Federal Court Hearing Today in Defense of Tulsa Police Captain Punished for Refusing to Attend Islamic Proselytizing Event at Mosque
American Freedom Law Center: Today, Robert J. Muise, Co-Founder and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), is presenting oral argument at a hearing in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on behalf of Captain Paul Fields, a Tulsa police officer who was summarily punished for refusing to attend a mandated Islamic proselytizing event held at a local mosque.
AP: “I don’t think it’s necessary, but I think it’s effective,” Scalia said, adding that legislative bodies can ban what they believe to be immoral.
AP: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says in her upcoming memoir that her lifelong battle against diabetes and the fear that she might die early played a big part in her decision not to have children.
The Hill: Deficit-reduction proposals from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama fall short of clearly stabilizing the debt, according to budget experts, putting the U.S. credit rating at risk of a downgrade.
Missouri Family Policy Council: Leaders of the homosexual rights movement are mounting a statewide petition drive to adopt a new law to provide special legal rights to homosexuals, bisexuals, and so-called “transgendered” individuals.
AP: Some 59 percent of residents said they were Christian, compared with 72 percent in 2001. A quarter said they had no religion, up from 15 percent a decade earlier.
AP: Tehran’s chief prosecutor says authorities have arrested 28 Iranians for alleged links to foreign-based TV networks advocating the Baha’i religion, which is banned in the Islamic Republic.
Reuters: Britain outlined plans on Tuesday to allow gay marriage that have split Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives and raised fears among religious groups they will be forced to hold same-sex weddings.
Ryan Anderson at Ricochet: Same-sex relationships weren’t on anyone’s radar. (It may be hard to remember, but until just recently same-sex marriage was inconceivable to almost everyone.) The marriage movement leaders’ concern, like that of today’s leading conservative scholars and activists, was much broader . . . The question of whether to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships didn’t take center stage until 2003, when the Massachusetts Supreme Court claimed to find a constitutional right to it.
Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew T. Walker at National Review: Regardless of what Will might imagine, support for marriage isn’t a relic of the past. A careful look at the polls reveals complex and dynamic trends. But how those polls change over time will depend on human choice, not blind historical forces. The right question is not what will happen, but what we should do. Would George Will give up market economies if polls showed an “emerging consensus” in favor of socialism? We think not.
Gayopolis: In related news, the anti-gay Texas Values group, along with the Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a “Memorandum of Law” to Abbott’s office last week explaining why the group believes that DP benefits offered by Pflugerville Independent School District violate state law.