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LifeNews: Blackburn informed LifeNews today that she has introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 61), which would stop the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from providing federal family planning assistance under Title X to abortion businesses until they certify they won’t provide and refer for abortions.
RT.com: Only recently has the Pentagon been willing to let lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans openly serve in the military, but it seems the Defense Department still isn’t too keen on the LGBT community. AmericaBlog, a self-described progressive journal of news and opinion, has published an article discussing how the US Department of Defense has blocked internal computers from accessing a number of websites that are categorizes as “LGBT.”
Guardian: Gay clergy in civil partnerships will be allowed to become bishops if they are sexually abstinent, according to new policy.
Gatestone Institute: Shortly before Christmas the European Court threw out a lawsuit filed almost three years ago, which would have led to the EU being required to release the details of its funding of non-governmental organizations [NGOs].
LifeNews: The following article was written by Seattle lawyer, Margaret Dore and published on December 31 on the Missoulian website under the title: Oregon, Washington assisted suicide laws include no protections for patients. Margaret Dore indicated that she had titled the article: Assisted suicide in Washington and Oregon: A recipe for elder abuse and cloaked in secrecy.
Christian Today: Two Christians from the Church of Iran denomination, Behzad Taalipasand and Mohammadreza (Johann) Omidi, were detained on New Year’s Eve in the northern city of Rasht. The arrests are the latest developments in a December crackdown on house churches by the Iranian government
CNN: While 57.6% of incumbents, a majority of Congress, identify as Protestants, that number is lower among freshmen legislators, of whom 48.2% identify as Protestants, according to the study. Additionally, there are more unaffiliated, Unitarian, Hindu and Buddhists in the 113th Congress freshman class than in classes before.
PilotOnline.com: A lawsuit filed by a former employee of the Chesapeake City Treasurer who claimed he was wrongly fired in 2011 for refusing to take his Bible off his desk has been dismissed
“Study: Catholic, Protestant Support for In-School Prayer Falls: Evangelical Support of the Practice Remains Strong” | U.S. News and World Report
U.S. News and World Report: Catholic and mainstream Protestant support for prayer in schools has sharply declined since the 1970s, while Evangelical support for the practice has remained steady according to a new study released Thursday.
The Blaze: A leading nun in Syria is reporting that a young Christian man in Syria was beheaded by jihadi rebels who then fed his mutilated body to dogs.
Bangor Daily News: Chanting, arguing and sometimes yelling, dozens of Planned Parenthood supporters turned out Friday morning in opposition to weekly protests by anti-abortion activists at the organization’s Congress Street location in Portland.
WYFF4.com: An Upstate school district has gotten a complaint from a national organization that’s upset about the way the district opens their meetings. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter of complaint to the School District of Pickens County after someone complained to the organization.
The Hill: The House passed legislation on Friday that allows the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to take on $9.7 billion in new debt to help meet claims related to Hurricane Sandy.
Blog of the Legal Times: There will be a Tea Party for two on the Republican side of the Senate Judiciary Committee next session. Senate Republicans announced today that newly elected Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a lawyer who was backed by the Tea Party movement, will serve as a member of the committee during this session.
New York Times: “FEMA said that they considered the church a business, so they offered us a loan,” the Rev. Alex K. Joy said in an interview about a month after the storm. “But we don’t want a loan. We have 400 members, 90 families. In this situation, we need some assistance.”
Religion Clause Blog: Rejecting the husband’s contention that the prenuptial agreement was a religious document that is not enforceable by a secular court, the court held that it can adjudicate the claim using neutral principles of law. . .
Illinois Federal District Court, Bound By 7th Circuit Precedent, Grants Preliminary Injunction In Contraceptive Mandate Challenge
Religion Clause Blog: In Triune Health Group, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (ND IL, Jan. 3, 2012), an Illinois federal district court granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate against a for-profit company that that facilitates re-entry of injured workers into the workforce
LifeNews: The letter from Hobby Lobby CEO David Green that LifeNews received follows . . .
Durbin: Illinois legislature should redefine marriage, because God created different sexual orientations
The HIll: “I don’t often write to express my position on issues before the Grand Assembly. But as a citizen of this Land of Lincoln, I want to be clearly on record in regard to an issue of historic importance,” Durbin writes in the letter sent Thursday. “I believe those whom God has brought to this Earth with a different sexual orientation and who seek a loving relationship in the eyes of the law should be given that opportunity.
Jeremy Tedesco at Townhall: Alliance Defending Freedom recently settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of Julea Ward, a former graduate student at Eastern Michigan University who was expelled from her counseling program after refusing to violate her religious beliefs. Media reports have unfortunately suggested that Julea’s lawsuit involved her refusal to counsel a client because he identified as gay: this is untrue.
New York Times: Volunteers for the Safe Abortion Hot Line in Chile routinely wear masks when showing support in public for the organization in a country where abortion is illegal under any circumstances.
Verde News (Howard Fischer Media): But Steven Aden, an attorney with the privately funded Alliance Defending Freedom which is helping the state defend the law, said allowing the injunction to remain place “would frustrate the public’s interest, expressed through its elected representatives, in ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not directly or indirectly support abortions.”
Education News: An Indiana state senator has introduced a bill that would give the state’s public schools the option to require recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day.
Same-Sex Marriage and Social Change: Exceeding the Speed of Thought | Matthew J. Frank at Public Discourse
Matthew J. Frank at Public Discourse: Yet it struck me that if denying same-sex couples the “right to marry” was such an obvious and gross injustice as to merit such energetic claims today, why had it never occurred to either of these august scholars decades ago, at the beginning or the middle of their careers?
Washington Post (AP): With a vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois looking less likely to happen in the next few days, supporters of marriage equality are looking ahead to the following legislative session as their next best hope.
AP: A 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education has been released from a Birmingham hospital to live with her family, doctors said Friday.
The Hill: “I do not expect the Supreme Court to find in the near term that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage,” Frank said. “And that’s not what the LGBT groups are asking for. We’re asking for a recognition by the federal government of state marriages.”
Maggie Gallagher at Townhall: But we need, as well, a next generation of culture creators, of storytellers, with the credentials to name reality: empirical social scientists, novelists, poets, preachers and filmmakers. We need donors to invest in building the networks and communities through which such voices are born, flourish and give meaning to the lives of millions. The future belongs to those of us with enough hope to rebuild on the ashes of optimism, a new American civilization — uniting sex, love, babies, mothers and fathers in this thing called marriage.
LifeNews: “Americans deserve to know if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said Senior Counsel Michael Norton, a former United States Attorney who is handling the lawsuit for ADF. “People may hold different views about abortion, but everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should play by the same rules as everyone else. It certainly isn’t entitled to any public funds, especially if it is defrauding Medicaid and the American taxpayer.”