Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Washington Post: A Canadian Medical Association survey found that 16% of 2125 doctors who completed a survey would be willing to euthanize a patient, if legal, while 44% said that they would refuse requests for euthanasia. 26% of the doctors were unsure how they would respond to requests for euthanasia and 15% of the physicians did not respond.
Washington Post: The Senate has agreed to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, showing bipartisan support for a measure that would revamp domestic violence programs and extend the law’s protections to gays and lesbians and women on tribal reservations.
Chicago Sun Times: Dear Abby: My daughters are attractive young women, both doing well in their professional careers. “Melanie,” who is 27, is married to “Sam,” an extremely attractive and successful man. My 30-year-old daughter, “Alicia,” has been divorced for a year. Her marriage failed two years ago because she and her husband had an appetite for sex outside their marriage. While I was disturbed about that, I was horrified to learn that Melanie allows her sister to occasionally have sex with Sam . . .
Michael Foust at Baptist Press: Bylaw language defining marriage in the biblical sense doesn’t mean a church won’t face a suit or a complaint, but it does mean the church would be in a much better situation legally, said Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for ADF. “I think we’re in a day where every church needs to have a statement in its bylaws of its doctrinal beliefs on marriage and sexuality,” Stanley told Baptist Press. “This is a proactive approach that churches can take to head off any claims of discrimination in the future, should they occur. There’s no magic language for such a bylaw statement, but it should be some form of a statement of the church’s religious beliefs.
Engage Family Minute: “Do you believe homosexual behavior is a sin?” That’s the question a Lifeway research team recently asked Americans as part of their ongoing polling of American’s and their position on homosexuality. The answers from 2011 and then again in 2012 are reflected in the graphic embedded in this article.
Christian Institute: The words “mother” and “father” will be dropped from Scottish matrimonial law under First Minister Alex Salmond’s plans to redefine marriage.
Christian Concern: Over half of Conservative peers are expected to vote against the government’s same-sex ‘marriage’ Bill when it reaches the House of Lords, the Telegraph has reported.
Christian Post: The Faith & Freedom Coalition, a Georgia-based Christian nonprofit organization founded by political activist Ralph Reed, has recently issued a petition urging the federal government to stop funding the Washington National Cathedral, which in January 2013 announced it would begin performing same-sex marriages.
ABC News 4: In October, the guardian ad litem for 3-year-old Baby Veronica caught in the middle of a custody battle filed a brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of the toddler’s adoptive parents, asking the high court to hear the case. | SCOTUS Blog Case Information
Washington Times: Supreme CourtJustice Antonin Scalia is skipping President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night and will be giving his own speech at an event hosted by National Public Radio at George Washington University.
Oregon Public Radio: Oregon voters could decide next year whether to legally recognize same-sex marriages. Supporters of gay marriage submitted an initiative Monday aimed at putting such a question on the Oregon ballot in November of 2014.
PewStates.org: The controversy started when Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap announced she’d begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples, arguing, correctly, that nothing in state law defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. “She just sprung it up,” Norma Vazquez de Houdek, Mary’s spouse, says. “I thought it was a big hoax.”
Columbus Dispatch: A Catholic school assistant principal was fired yesterday over comments he made on his blog in support of gay marriage.
Heritage Foundation: National Marriage Week (February 7–14) is drawing attention to the link between the collapse of marriage and child poverty—and its cost to America.
Star Advertiser: The state House Judiciary Committee has decided not to schedule a hearing for a bill that would legalize gay marriage, which means the issue is likely tabled for this legislative session.
Quad-City Times: Given the continued presence of Gronstal and Democratic control of the Senate, Republican leaders said they’re focused on other matters, such as Iowa’s education and property tax system, and not gay marriage.
Denver Post: A Senate bill that would ban sex-selection abortions and a House measure to “preserve religious freedom” died in their Democratic-controlled committee hearings Monday.
MLive.com: U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga has introduced legislation that would prohibit federal dollars allocated to the Department of Homeland Security from being used for abortions.
LifeNews: Much has been written about the emotional trauma that women go through after their abortions. But what most people don’t realize is that abortion is so inherently evil and destructive that it devastates everyone involved – the mother, the father – and the abortion provider. The doctors, nurses, and other clinic workers are human – and repeatedly seeing the bodies of aborted babies and participating in their deaths leaves emotional scars.
ABC: A pregnant 16-year-old Texas girl is suing her parents, claiming that her parents are attempting to force her to have an abortion . . . The teen, identified in the lawsuit only as R.E.K. since she is a minor, was “beside herself” when she called the center for help, her lawyer Stephen Casey told ABCNews.com. | Related report and video.
Washington Post: The White House is also reviewing whether the president should issue an executive order offering protections to gays and lesbians who work for government contractors. Obama decided against issuing such an order during the presidential campaign last year, disappointing many gay-rights activists.
Religion Clause Blog: Christian Churches Together, an organization of over 40 Christian church groups (Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical and main-line Protestant) last week issued a press release and Statement (full text) calling for comprehensive immigration law reform.
3rd Circuit Denies Stay Pending Appeal In Small Business Challenge to Contraceptive Coverage Mandate
Religion Clause Blog: In Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, (3rd Cir., Feb. 7, 2013), Judge Rendell in her majority opinion concluded that the Mennonite owners of a wood specialties manufacturing company had failed …
Court Dismisses Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Challenge By Illinois Catholic Organizations On Standing and Ripeness Grounds
Religion Clause Blog: In Conlon v. Sebelius, (ND IL, Feb. 8, 2013), an Illinois federal district court dismissed on standing and ripeness grounds a challenge to the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate brought by Catholic dioceses and related Catholic Charities organizations in Joliet and Springfield, Illinois, as well as by a Catholic high school.
San Francisco Chronicle: It’s an argument they might come to regret. If it succeeds, some legal analysts say the ruling may be so narrow that it benefits only the two couples who filed the suit, leaving Prop. 8 in effect for the rest of the state.
Religion Clause Blog: In Israel, the ongoing struggle over Jewish women’s rights to egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem continues. The New York Times and the Jerusalem Post report that earlier today ten women were detained by police after the women prayed there wearing the type of prayer shawls (tallitot) traditionally worn by men.
Religion Clause Blog: The complaint (full text) in Child Evangelism Fellowship of Dauphin County, Inc. v. Harrisburg School District, (MD PA, filed 2/8/2013), alleges . . .
Religion Clause Blog: In Juma Mosque Congregation v. Azerbaijan, (ECHR, Feb. 8, 2013), the congregation sued complaining that the government refused to re-register the congregation unless it subordinated itself to the Caucuses Muslim Board.
Michael Farris at HSLDA: But, let’s assess the position of the United States government on the face of its argument: a nation violates no one’s rights if it bans homeschooling entirely.
AP: A Ugandan government official says the country has deported a British producer who staged a gay-themed play because he “defied the directives” of Ugandan authorities.
People of Faith Still Threatened by Obamacare Mandate Regs | Michael J. Norton on Koinonia with Tom Brown
Religious Liberty Extends Beyond Church Doors: Obamacare Mandate Regs | Michael J. Norton on WAVA Radio with Don Kroah
AP: France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a sweeping bill to legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children, handing a major legislative victory to President Francois Hollande’s Socialists on a divisive social issue.
LifeNews: Following a new probe started by local officials, the Maryland Attorney General has opened an investigation into the late-term abortion practitioner who killed a woman last week in a botched abortion.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel, weighs in on why support for natural marriage is so widespread. Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse faiths and cultures throughout the history of Western civilization have seen fit to honor,” he notes. Marriage is not merely about personal preferences, but a bigger relationship that has a societal impact. “As these briefs show, the right course of action for the Supreme Court is not to short-circuit the debate that America is having about marriage, but instead to let that debate continue so we as Americans may find our common ground.”
LifeSiteNews: Representative from several organizations spoke, including Father Frank Pavone(pictured below) of Priests for Life, Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, Mallory Quigley from the Susan B. Anthony List, Michael Mortelli of the Maryland Coalition for Life, and Catherine Glenn Foster of Alliance Defending Freedom, as well as three local pastors.
LifeNews: Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, which co-authored the legislation with the SBA List, have helped state Solicitor General David Cole defend the law to date. The state is expected to appeal today’s ruling. | Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Betlach
AZ Daily Star: Steven Aden, an attorney with the privately funded Alliance Defending Freedom, which is helping the state defend the law, said blocking the law “would frustrate the public’s interest, expressed through its elected representatives, in ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not directly or indirectly support abortions.” He also argues the state has sovereign rights to decide who can participate in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, regardless of who provides most of the money. | also reported on NBC: Judge blocks Arizona from cutting off Planned Parenthood funds because of abortions | Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Betlach
Jim Campbell at Townhall: Disagreements and projections abound in the dialogue about marriage and its redefinition to include same-sex couples. But both sides agree on one issue: redefining marriage significantly jeopardizes religious freedom—the first liberty upon which our nation was founded. The convergence of several factors creates this unavoidable clash between religious liberty and redefining marriage. First, the vast majority of religious adherents in America believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman
One News Now: Responding to the threat of a lawsuit, Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the Radiance Foundation and has gone to court asking for a judge to rule in the Foundation’s favor.
Ken Connelly at Townhall: G.K. Chesterton observed in The Superstition of Divorce that “reformers of marriage . . . do not know what it is, or what it is meant to be, or what its supporters suppose it to be . . . .” Marriage opponents, who today seek not to reform but rather redefine marriage, appear to suffer from the problem diagnosed by Chesterton almost a century ago. In their heedless rush to establish the legitimacy of same-sex “marriage,” they ignore what marriage is and what marriage does.
Groups from Around Country to Come Together to Mourn Death of Young Woman Killed by Leroy Carhart and Hold Press Conference Monday at 9am
Christian Newswire: Representatives of Priests for Life, Alliance Defending Freedom, 40 Days for Life, the Family Research Council, Students for Life, Operation Rescue, Rock for Life, the Christian Defense Coalition, the National Black Pro-Life Union, the Maryland Family Alliance, the Archdiocese of Washington DC, several local churches and pastors, and many others will join the Maryland Coalition for Life on Monday.
Elizabeth Hovde at Oregonian: CitizenLink.com writes that Nicolle Martin, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, testified late last month before the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee and told lawmakers, “My client would not turn away a customer regardless of how you identify. What he objects to is being forced to use his creative talents from God to convey a message he doesn’t believe in. It’s the message, not the goods or services.”
On Top Magazine: Christian conservative groups which oppose the measure, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and CitizenLink, the political arm of Focus on the Family, have previously said that the measure threatens religious freedom.
Matt Bowman at the Daily Caller: In early 1912, the ship that “God Himself couldn’t sink” met a watery grave. And in 2012, President Obama decided to pit his titanic Obamacare against God’s people and their religious freedoms. His ship is taking on water fast.
HHS investigation requested by Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of NY nurse prompts new changes at hospital
Williston Herald: Freier referred to lawyer Kellie Fiedorek with the Alliance Defending Freedom to explain some legal matters, including how the bill would put the LGBT community against businesses operating in line with their religious beliefs. Fiedorek cited examples in Colorado and other states of businesses that faced discrimination suits for refusing to provide a service, such as wedding photography or making a wedding cake, for a gay couple. In one example, she said the business referred the couple to a different business that provided the service. “This isn’t discrimination,” Fiedorek said. “This is religious intolerance.”
World Magazine: Last Friday in Virginia, with the help of attorney Charles M. Allen of Alliance Defending Freedom, Bomberger filed his own lawsuit against the historic civil rights organization.
Cronkite News: The church’s attorney, Jeremy Tedesco, said they have 14 days to appeal for rehearing by the full circuit court, “so you’ll know in 14 days what we plan to do.” “To us it’s a very simple case of content-based discrimination,” said Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. “Of course we’re disappointed the court did not see it this way.”
Religion Clause Blog: 9th Circuit In 2-1 Decision Rejects Church’s Challenge To Town’s Sign Restrictions
SCOTUS Blog: From this wide range of viewpoints, two persistent and related themes have emerged: Supreme Court recusal is a matter of judicial ethics, and Congress should seek to protect the integrity and legitimacy of the Court by more closely regulating the Justices’ recusal practices.
Nina Totenberg at NPR: The Obama administration faces tricky political and legal questions on the subject of gay marriage. By the end of this month, the federal government is expected to file not just one but two briefs in a pair of same-sex marriage cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Missouri Family Policy Council: “All Americans, not just those in church organizations, are guaranteed freedom of conscience in their daily lives and in their work,” commented Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. “The government has no business putting religious freedom on the negotiating table, or picking and choosing who is allowed to exercise their faith.”
A group of European jurists and legal scholars have filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a 2008 constitutional amendment approved by California voters that protects marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Reuters: Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.