Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Cowboys for Life wrangles outlaw administrators at Okla. State University | Alliance Defending Freedom
Cowboys for Life, a student organization represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, has filed a federal lawsuit against Oklahoma State University after school officials took numerous actions to impede and disrupt the group’s pro-life displays on campus.
Jeana McGregor, Washington Post, 8/10/2012: Why President Obama shouldn’t step down from the Boy Scouts On Wednesday, the White House said President Obama is against the Boy Scouts of America’s recently reaffirmed policy of excluding gays from its organization. He will …
Baptist Press: Page, though, told them that pressure should never trump principle, and he added that he could no longer laud the Scouts for standing on principle. Just six months ago, the Boy Scouts released a statement standing by the ban, saying a “majority of our membership” agrees with the policy and that the “vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their rights to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”
USCCB: Urging the Court to uphold DOMA http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/united-states-v-windsor.pdf the USCCB brief in United States v. Windsor says that “there is no fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex.” The brief also states that “as defined by courts ‘sexual orientation’ is not a classification that should trigger heightened scrutiny,” such as race or ethnicity would . . . In a separate brief filed in Hollingsworth v Perry urging the Court to uphold Proposition 8 http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/hollingsworth-v-perry.pdf, the USCCB states that there are many reasons why the state may reasonably support and encourage marriage, understood as the union of one man and one woman, as distinguished from other relationships.
Washington Times: Some churches have expressed outrage after an announcement by the Boy Scouts of America that it might lift its policy banning gays from the organization.
The case landing page with document links: Perry v. Hollinsgworth U.S. v. Windsor
Liberty Counsel: Today, Liberty Counsel is filing two amicus briefs with the United States Supreme Court on two marriage cases, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (U.S. v. Windsor) and California’s Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry), a state marriage amendment. The High Court will decide both cases by the end of the term in June 2013. “We are at a pivotal point in history,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Nothing will define the future of America more than the Court’s decision on marriage.”
U.S. Supreme Court Warned of Consequences for Families and Society if DOMA is Overturned | Manhattan Declaration Brief
Christian Newswire: Male-female marriage received a vigorous defense Monday in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Manhattan Declaration, Inc., the voice of more than 500,000 Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, filed a “friend of the court” (amicus) brief. The foundational document of this organization, which has gained over half-a-million signatures, addresses religious liberty, sanctity of life, and traditional marriage. (links to brief)
Christian Institute: The Government’s attempt to prevent the Church of England performing same-sex marriages could be illegal under European law, a leading human rights lawyer has said.
Telegraph: The Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron is the reason for his obsession with gay marriage, according to an unnamed cabinet minister. The Daily Telegraph quoted the minister as saying: “Samantha is the driving force behind the policy”.
Heritage Foundation: In a new Heritage Legal Memorandum, John Eastman notes that in Loving v. Virginia (a challenge to the state’s law criminalizing the marriage of interracial couples), the Supreme Court upheld the freedom to marry as “a fundamental freedom that could not be denied on so unsupportable a basis as a racial classification.”
The HIll: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) sailed through the chamber in a 94-to-3 vote, with Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Texas Sens. Ted Cruz (R) and John Cornyn (R) casting the only “no” votes.
Heritage Foundation: Countless statistics show marriage is a good thing for people and society. The Heritage Foundation has numerous studies discussing the financial, health, and overall living benefits that come along with marriage versus cohabitation or the single life. That’s why marriage is an important part of a thriving civil society that makes limited government possible. But an increasing number of men and women (especially of the current generation) are delaying marriage or simply not getting married. Why is that, when the facts point to life successes after the “I do’s”?
ABC: Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told the national assembly Tuesday that the bill constitutes an “act of equality. … Finally, marriage will be a universal institution.”
Argus Leader: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked the Rapid City Council to stop having a local minister lead a prayer to start council meetings, a request that has not been well-received by city leaders.
Ansamed.info: France will expel radical foreign preachers within days, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced Tuesday at an international conference on fighting terrorism and radicalism.
DW.de: Bremen is the third German state to recognize Islamic organizations as official religious bodies. Holidays, funerals and pastoral care will be regulated by state contracts. Other states will likely follow suit.
Telegraph: Egypt is nearing “state collapse”, its defence minister and army chief warned in comments widely seen as a threat to re-impose military rule.
Christian News: The Republic of Ireland, which has long been held up as one of the most traditional Roman Catholic Church nations, has ranked religion dead last out of 119 options in a new poll seeking to determine what people consider important in their lives.
ChristianNews.net: Government officials in a Wisconsin county have voted unanimously to continue with prayers at their monthly county board meetings despite threats from a national atheist organization to file a lawsuit over the matter.
Argus Leader: Adelstein tried for the third time in the past 11 years Tuesday to repeal South Dakota’s “alienation of affection” law, which allows individuals to sue a third party for breaking up their marriage.
“American Workers’ Access To Birth Control Must Not Be Subject To Employers’ Religion, Says Americans United”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State: In a friend-of-the-court brief, Americans United urged the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate, which requires most businesses to provide workers with a health insurance that includes no-cost birth control.
Religion Clause Blog: As reported by Courthouse News Service yesterday, a bill has been introduced in the Texas legislature that would give offsetting state tax refunds or credits to any business that pays a federal fine for refusing on conscience grounds to offer employees a health insurance plan that includes emergency contraception.
WorldNetDaily: The Alliance Defending Freedom says the ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “mandates hostility to religion and puts the free exercise rights of students at risk.” “Church buildings should not be treated like toxic warehouses simply because they normally house religious activities. That has never been the intent of the First Amendment,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “On the contrary, as the judges who dissented on the 7th Circuit’s opinion said, this opinion clearly exhibits an unconstitutional hostility toward religion. The government isn’t being neutral toward religion when it treats it worse.” (quotes from ADF Brief)
Hercules Meets Obamacare Debate: Freedom of Religion or Freedom of Worship? | Michael Norton on Denver AM 91 Point of Faith
Dave Cortman appeared on several radio shows to discuss this: Supreme Court asked to toss ruling that treats church buildings like toxic dumps | The Zeb Bell Show, MP3 audio 14:01 mins | WAVA on the Don Kroah Show, MP3 audio 13:10 mins
Education News: A furious dad has slammed a school after his six-year-old son was banned from wearing a Christian band in class on health and safety grounds. Peter Thompson’s son Eddie had been wearing the band, decorated with the Christian symbol of a fish, out of sight for six months.
Education News: Two Arizona lawmakers are stirring Constitutional debate and threats of legal action after introducing bills that would require the state’s students to express love of country under God.
Tulsa World: Brently Olsson, the group’s attorney, said the signs and leaflets featured pictures of an aborted fetus. The group uses the graphic imagery to show the result of abortion, Olsson said.
Jim Graves at Catholic World Report Interview with Robert P. George: Robert P. George on Roe’s cultural and legal legacy, 40 years and 50 million lives later.
Religion As An Activity Engaged In By Consenting Adults In Private | Peter Berger at the American Interest
Peter Berger at the American Interest: But I do want to make a general observation: In all these cases the authorities accused of violating the plaintiffs’ rights operate with a definition of religion as a private matter to be kept out of public space. There is here a general issue of government overreach, as clearly illustrated by the (still unresolved) attempt by the Obama administration to force Catholic institutions to provide contraception coverage in their employees’ health plans. Beyond that, though, there is a very ideological view of the place of religion in society. In other words, religion is to be an activity engaged in by consenting adults in private. The attorney for the Judeo-Christian side in the aforementioned American case had it quite right when he compared the treatment of his client’s religion with measures of disease control. This is not an attitude one would expect to find in a Western democracy. It is curiously reminiscent of policies toward religion in Communist countries and toward non-Muslims under Islamic rule.
GoErie.com: There is no doubt that religious liberty is under serious threat in Britain, particularly for Christians,” says Paul Coleman, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which was involved with cases before the European human-rights court. “In the language of ‘equality,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance,’ secularists have found a way to sideline and marginalize Christianity, successfully framing the moral beliefs of Christians as ‘intolerant’ or ‘discriminatory’ and unworthy of protection. Unless a true balance is found, where Christians can be accommodated in the public square and not shut out, we will see many more cases like the four before the ECHR in the headlines.”
The Hill: Leading House Democrats wrote to the Health and Human Services Department on Friday to push for changes in rules about wellness programs in employers’ healthcare packages.
Missouri Family Policy Council: Pro-life state legislators are making a strong push this session to win passage of bills that would revive a state tax credit program which benefits pregnancy resource centers.
Gatestone Institute: When one thinks of Yemen—the impoverished Arab country that begat Osama bin Laden, and is cushioned between Saudi Arabia and Somalia, two of the absolute most radical Muslim nations—one seldom thinks of Christians, primarily because they are practically nonexistent in such an inhospitable environment. Most tallies, in fact, suggest that Yemen’s entire non-Muslim population is less than one percent. A new Arabic report , however, discusses the existence of Christians in Yemen, and their plight—one that should be familiar by now, given the situation wherever Christian minorities live under Muslim majorities.
NC Register: Around 200 opponents of a Colorado civil unions bill rallied at the state capitol Jan. 25, warning that the legislation not only redefines marriage but could shut down Catholic adoption agencies in the state.
Carson Holloway at Public Discourse: If the HHS mandate is enforced, our government may provoke a schism in the American Catholic Church and will reduce faithful Catholics to second-class citizenship.
AP: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state.
SCOTUS: The spreading constitutional controversy over President Obama’s use of the power to appoint government officials when the Senate is not in full session has now reached all but three of the federal courts of appeals, with thirty separate challenges. So far, only one of the cases has been decided — the overwhelming defeat of the President’s position by the D.C. Circuit Court last Friday.