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Turtle Bay and Beyond: In December, the EU tried to qualify the word “family” with “various forms of the family exist” in a GA resolution on observing the international year of the family (2014). The proposal was shot down by the G77 (who sponsored the resolution), and the EU whined vociferously during the adoption of the resolution in the General Assembly.
Christian Institute: An influential group of NHS experts is urging the Scottish Government to allow the morning-after pill to be handed out in schools.
The New American: There appears to be a new rule in North Carolina’s high school wrestling rule book: Prayer is prohibited.
WDEL.com: The Delaware State AFL-CIO, the Delaware Building and Construction Trades Council and the Delaware Public Employees Council 81-AFSCME. are appealing to lawmakers to support a marriage equality bill this session.
Christian Post: Neil Clark Warren, Christian co-founder and CEO of the popular online dating site eHarmony, recently spoke on how he believes the same-sex marriage debate has “damaged his company,” and that he hopes America can “be more harmonious” on the issue.
Market Watch: For two people earning $400,000 or more each annually, their tax bill could increase by more than $30,000 after getting hitched, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center based in Washington. “You’re better off not being married in a lot of cases,” says Roberton Williams, an economist with the Tax Policy Center, which just updated its marriage penalty calculator to reflect the recent tax changes. See the calculator here.
AP: President Barack Obama is trying to change the face of a federal judiciary that has a long tradition of white men passing judgment on parties from all walks of life – if he can get his nominees past the Senate.
USA Today: In a move that could signal the end of a key restriction on political giving, the Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will consider a case challenging the limit on how much individuals can donate directly to federal candidates and political parties.
WoodTV.com: A member of the state Senate Health Policy Committee says she will ask for a hearing to investigate why the former chairman of the state Board of Medicine closed out a complaint against a Muskegon abortion doctor despite their past professional relationship.
Protesters call Dutch MP Geert Wilders a racist as he calls for end to mass migration from Islamic countries
Herald Sun: PROTESTERS clashed violently with police and guests tonight before a speech by controversial anti-Muslim Dutch MP Geert Wilders.
American Federation For Children Executive Counsel Kevin P. Chavous Responds To President Obama’s Decatur, Georgia Speech
American Federation for Children:For the past four years, supporters of educational choice have wondered why the Obama Administration has so vigorously opposed providing children in low-income families with access to more educational options. Right here in Washington, D.C., the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) has given thousands of children hope for a better future and yet the Obama Administration has consistently opposed it. In fact, despite signing the FY 2011 budget agreement which included a five-year reauthorization of the program, the President’s subsequent budget proposals zeroed out funding for the program.
LifeSiteNews: Despite the Obama administration urging states to run their own markets for those without health insurance to purchase subsidized plans, the majority have opted to leave the job to the federal government. Twenty-six states opted to let the deadline for forming state insurance exchanges pass on Friday, leaving the Obama administration to handle the details – and the costs – itself.
LifeSiteNews: A judge has granted an injunction to the pregnant Houston teenager who sued her parents to stop them from forcing her to have an abortion. Attorneys with the Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL), who represented the girl, were granted a long-term injunction by the 308th Family District Court of Harris County, prohibiting the girl’s parents from coercing her to have an abortion for the entire duration of her pregnancy.
LifeSiteNews: Between 120,000 and 200,000 people blanketed the Capitol Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico, today to encourage the island’s lawmakers to defend marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
AP: Police questioned 30 people on Tuesday and searched the homes of six employees of a private fertility clinic who are suspected of illegally trafficking human eggs and selling them to Israeli couples with fertility problems.
LifeSiteNews: If the U.S. Catholic bishops cannot rely on the president to protect religious liberty, they will instead lobby Congress. That’s the message of a letter written to Congress by Archbishop William E. Lori lobbying for two legal provisions on behalf of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
LifeNews: The North Dakota state Senate on Monday approved two pro-life bills – including one that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Senators voted 30-17 to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on scientific information showing unborn children feel pain at least at that point in pregnancy.
LifeNews: After the state House voted for the same bill earlier this month, the state Senate voted today to ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the science showing unborn children feel pain at that point.
Abortion Industry, Collapsing Under Its Own Weight, Resorts to Force | Matt Bowman on the Zeb Bell Show
Matt Bowman appeared on the Zeb Bell Show to discuss this: Mt. Sinai Ends Forced Abortion-participation Policy. | MP3 audio 11:09 mins
Legal roundtable: Obamacare’s HHS mandate on birth control | Matt Bowman, Daniel Blomberg on World Radio
Matt Bowman, Daniel Blomberg on World Radio (2/16)
Harry R. Jackson, Jr. at Townhall: Homosexual activists achieved historic gains in the November 2012 election in the states of Washington, Maine and Maryland. These three notoriously liberal states passed laws extending marriage benefits to homosexual relationships by four to six percentage points. But will these legal victories ultimately deny them the sweeping Supreme Court decision they long for?
The Guardian: Senior legal figures believe promotion of three male judges to highest court delayed because ministers want a woman to fill one of the vacancies
Albany Watch: He’s not planning to separate the abortion piece in order to allow the Legislature to approve other, non-contentious measures. The so-called “Women’s Equality Act” would include not only a bill to codify federal abortion rights in state law, but also legislation enhancing pay equity, cracking down on sex trafficking and ending pregnancy discrimination.
NY Times: Bucking a trend in which states have been seeking to restrict abortion, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is putting the finishing touches on legislation that would guarantee women in New York the right to late-term abortions when their health is in danger or the fetus is not viable.
Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian: This belief in the unfettered legal and moral right of the US to use force anywhere in the world for any reason it wants is sustained only by this belief in objective US superiority, this myth of American exceptionalism. And the results are exactly what one would expect from an approach grounded in a belief system so patently irrational.
Victor Davis Hanson at Washington Times: The gradual decline of a society is often a self-induced process of trying to meet ever-expanding appetites, rather than a physical inability to produce past levels of food and fuel, or to maintain adequate defense. Americans have never had safer workplaces or more sophisticated medical care — and never have so many been on disability.
Doug Napier at Townhall: Today, homosexual activists have tried to co-opt the allusion to slavery to advance their demand to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Nice try, but if Lincoln were chiming in, he would undoubtedly bring up Euclid. A union of two men or two women is not the same as the union of one man and one woman, and all the rhetorical sleights of hand can’t change that biological and social reality. It’s one of those “self-evident truths” Lincoln referenced.
Conn. Lawmakers Consider Letting Doctors Assist With Suicide | Catherine Glenn Foster at Christian Post
Catherine Glenn Foster at Christian Post: Connecticut state senator Ed Meyer’s bill to create “physician-assisted suicide” is not simply an attack on human life generally, but on elder or infirm adults and otherwise-disabled individuals especially. And it is certainly a step too far for Connecticut citizens who appreciate life.
Vatican Today: More than one year after the Arab Spring, Christians in Egypt continue to suffer persecution. The latest attack happened Friday, when a mob of a few hundred people threw stones and set fire to St. Georgas Coptic Church in Sarsena. The village is located about 100 km southwest of Cairo.
Christian Post: “Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas. The personal well-wishes of a student are no different just because they mention God,” said Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Public school officials have no legitimate basis to shut down personal speech just because it has a religious reference.”
Austin R. Nimocks at Washington Examiner (2/16): By making a constitutional claim for a new federal definition of marriage, Windsor is asking the Constitution that binds all of us to impose her view of marriage upon everyone. If the U.S. Constitution is interpreted to require same-sex marriage, it doesn’t require it in one place and not another. The U.S. Constitution will require it everywhere. So much for Section 2 of DOMA.
Eighth Grader Barred From Asking God to Bless Classmates at Graduation Files Appeal | ChristianNews.net
ChristianNews.net: The girl’s family then asked the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to assist with the matter, which resulted in a federal lawsuit. “Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas. The personal well-wishes of a student are no different just because they mention God,” stated senior counsel David Cortman. “Public school officials have no legitimate basis to shut down personal speech just because it has a religious reference.”
One News Now: Ken Klukowski, a senior legal analyst for The American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), explains how that would happen. “The argument that’s being raised there is if there is no standing at the Supreme Court, then there was no standing at the Ninth Circuit, and, in fact, there was no standing in U.S. District Court — that the whole case has to be stricken entirely off the books,” he details.
Karen Gushta at the Christian Post: In January (1/14/2013),Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor reported more than 40 cases against the contraception/abortifacient mandate are being pursued in the courts by religious organizations, for-profit businesses, and individuals. Fifteen of these lawsuits have been filed by for-profit businesses or their owners. They all claim writes Baylor,”Their religious consciences preclude them from subsidizing the use of contraceptives and/or abortifacients by participants in their health insurance plans.”
Telegraph: Iceland could become the first Western democracy to attempt censorship of the internet under radical proposals to block online pornography.
New York Hospital Agrees to Respect Rights of Pro-Life Nurses | Thomas Messner at the Heritage Foundation
Thomas Messner at the Heritage Foundation: The nurse, Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, a public interest law firm that focuses on issues including right of conscience and religious freedom.
E. Christian Brugger at Public Discourse: True doctors and abortionists are different kinds of persons because they perform different acts as they carry out different proposals: the one, a proposal to remove a non-viable child to save the mother; the other, to kill that child for the mother’s benefit.
Mercury News: On a May day in 2009, Vaughn Walker was going through one of his weekly routines as a federal judge, reviewing a stack of new lawsuits assigned to his San Francisco chambers, when one case caught his eye: Perry v. Schwarzenegger.
SCOTUS: Hague Convention Appeal Not Mooted by Return of Child to Foreign Jurisdiction in Custody Dispute
The Supreme Court has issued a ruling in Chafin v. Chafin. SCOTUS Blog links to the opinion and provides more information here. Issue: Whether an appeal of a district court’s ruling on a Petition for Return of Children pursuant to the International Child Abduction Remedies Act and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction becomes moot after the child at issue returns to his or her country of habitual residence . . .
Religion Clause Blog: As previously reported, last December a West Point cadet, Blake Page, who had been disqualified on medical grounds from receiving a Second Lieutenant commission, resigned from West Point 5 months short of graduation in protest of the school’s promotion of religion.
Religion Clause Blog: According to the Durham News & Observer, a Durham, North Carolina state trial court yesterday, finding no likelihood of success on the merits, denied a temporary restraining order against amplified music played at a popular local church.
Religion Clause Blog: Britain’s Equality and Human Right Commission this month issued two publications designed to give guidance on accommodating religion and belief in the workplace, in light of last month’s judgments on the issue handed down by the European Court of Human Rights.
Reuters: As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take up same-sex marriage next month, laws barring recognition of such unions are not the only issue hanging in the balance. The very question of whether gay people constitute a vulnerable group that needs the court’s help in asserting equal rights is also at stake.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief late last week with the Louisiana Supreme Court in defense of the Louisiana Scholarship Program against an attack by a teachers’ union and several public school boards.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to weigh in on a three-judge panel’s ruling against a New York 8th-grade student who wanted to include a religious blessing at the end of her graduation speech.
Liberty Counsel: After nearly six years of effort, culminating in a yearlong battle with Charlotte County’s zoning board, Lutheran Church of the Cross will now be able to build a 60-foot monument cross on its 11-acre property.
LifeSiteNews (2/15): “Pro-life medical personnel shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions, and the new policies and procedures at Mt. Sinai reflect that,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The hospital seems to have decided to do the right thing and respect the conscience rights of its employees, who are protected by both federal and state law. We will continue to monitor the situation to make sure that the new policy is followed.”
Overwhelming turnout of young people at March for Life is encouraging | Alan Sears at American Thinker
Alan Sears at American Thinker (2/15): With estimates that 500,000 to 650,000 supporters took part in the 2013 March for Life on Jan. 25, the outlook for the pro-life movement is very good.
Religion Clause Blog: In 2006, Dixie County, Florida commissioners approved a request by citizens to permit them to place a 5-foot tall, 6-ton granite Ten Commandments monument at the county courthouse. The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the monument on behalf of an ACLU member, identified only as John Doe, who did not live in Dixie County, but said he was looking to purchase property there on which he and his wife could park their recreational vehicle.
KTAR.com (2/14): “There is a potential concern for businesses that have offices in multiple cities across our state to have unequal enforcement of the law throughout our state,” Legal Consultant Joseph La Rue, with the Alliance Defending Freedom said. La Rue said the new proposals may make hiring decisions difficult for multi-city companies. The Alliance Defending Freedom is a nonprofit religious rights group dedicated to defending religious freedom, marriage and family, and pro-life issues. La Rue also opposed the new proposals because of potential costs to small businesses if further protections are added to the city ordinances. “What we’ve seen in other places where amendments like these are passed is the cost to small business owners goes up,” La Rue said. “There is the threat of litigation anytime [businesses] fail to hire someone who is a member of the protected class.”
World Mag: “Pro-life medical personnel shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions, and the new policies and procedures at Mt. Sinai reflect that,” said ADF senior legal counsel Matt Bowman in a statement. “The hospital seems to have decided to do the right thing and respect the conscience rights of its employees, who are protected by both federal and state law.”
Baptist Press (2/15): “Pro-life medical personnel shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions, and the new policies and procedures at Mt. Sinai reflect that,” said Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), in a Feb. 12 written statement. “The hospital seems to have decided to do the right thing and respect the conscience rights of its employees, who are protected by both federal and state law.”