Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
EUSD sued for civil rights violations resulting from its inherently and pervasively religious Ashtanga yoga program
Turtle Bay and Beyond: In a submission prepared by Alliance Defending Freedom, Mujeres para la Mujer, and Priests for Life, joined by several others, the organizations asked the Human Rights Council to recall how the quest to uncover and promote universally shared values is at the very root of the human rights project that started at the UN in the aftermath of WWII.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: While bioethics is a well established academic discipline, biolaw is often overlooked. Unlike bioethics, which is concerned with the question of what should be done or avoided, biolaw aims to answer the question what must or must not be done.
The Daily Caller: The pro-abortion organization NARAL Pro-Choice America hired a consulting firm linked to President Barack Obama to conduct extensive video interviews with young pro-life activists in their homes more than a year ago, without informing the pro-life activists that the videos were intended for NARAL’s use.
The Christian Institute: A French branch of Subway has been forced to shut after it advertised a Valentine’s Day deal that did not include gay couples.
Christian Institute: A Conservative councillor in Henley has left the Party because of its push to redefine marriage, saying there is no mandate for the move.
Reuters: The Alabama House of Representatives passed legislation on Tuesday that would tighten regulations for abortion clinics in a move critics say could force many in the state to close.
Discovery.com: The study, which examined the brain activity of 35 men and 47 women registered as either Democrat or Republican, found no difference in the amount of risk people of each political persuasion were willing to take on during a gambling game. But the way the brain processed risk worked differently between the groups, with Republicans showing more activity in an area linked with reward, fear and risky decisions and Democrats showing more activity in a spot related to processing emotion and internal body cues.
Moore American: Cleveland County Commissioners will join a handful of Oklahoma county commissioners that have added prayer at the beginning of the weekly meetings. In this case, Commissioner Rusty Sullivan pointed out that the prayer will be conducted prior to the meeting being called to order.
LifeSiteNews: While pressure continues at the international level to prohibit psychotherapists from offering help to those wanting to overcome same-sex attraction, a Canadian therapist has told a British audience that such bans are “unethical.”
LifeSiteNews: Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester has issued orders to the state’s K-12 public schools requiring them to permit “transgender” boys and girls to use the opposite sex’s locker rooms, bathrooms, and changing facilities as long as they claim to identify with that gender.
NewsOK.com: House Bill 1940, by Bennett, would allow school boards to adopt policies giving students the right to deliver an inspirational message, even if it has a religious theme, at school assemblies.
The Star Phoenix: A Saskatoon man, who filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights (SHR) Commission over a Christian prayer by a city councillor at a City-sponsored dinner last April, says he’s been told his complaint will proceed.
WorldNetDaily: Authorities in New Jersey allege a Muslim man beheaded two Coptic Christians, burying their bodies and heads and hands in separate graves near Philadelphia, bringing the horror of the persecution of Christians in Islamic nations to the United States.
Buzz Feed: Denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutionally discriminatory, Mexico’s Supreme Court announced in a sweeping ruling made public Monday. The ruling not only makes a strong statement about Mexican law’s treatment of equal protection guarantees, it also relies heavily on civil rights rulings handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Metro Weekly: Coming on the heels of the Pentagon’s decision earlier this week to extend certain benefits to same-sex military families, members of the House and Senate introduced legislation this week that would grant full benefits to gay servicemembers and their families.
Annie Laurie Gaylor at NY Times: If I had my druthers, Christmas would not be a federal holiday. It’s a no-brainer. The First Amendment categorically states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Clearly, designating the date upon which Christians observe the birth of their messiah as a federal holiday is making a law respecting an establishment of religion, and placing governmental weight behind Christianity.
Ken Connor at Townhall: The right of individuals to freely associate – in public and behind closed doors – has been an issue that has sparked controversy in all quarters. The question remains as to what level of acceptance society must accord homosexual behavior – conduct that is fraught with social, religious, moral, and medical implications.
Daniel Philpott at Public Discourse: Preserving the freedom to witness to the truths one believes, not merely avoiding cooperation with evil, is what’s primarily at stake in the HHS mandate debate.
San Francisco Chronicle: A state prison inmate and former inmate who practice the Wiccan religion can proceed with a lawsuit accusing California of discriminating by refusing to hire a Wiccan chaplain while paying for chaplains from more mainstream faiths, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. | Hartman v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation | Hat tip: How Appealing
NCPA Policy Digest: Villarreal demonstrates that there is a mismatch between job demand through the next decade and the graduates we are producing. It is important that the federal government stop interfering in employment and education markets by curtailing federal student loan programs and equalizing tax credits for all students at all colleges, be they four year or otherwise.
Religion Clause Blog: Last week the Virginia state legislature gave final approval to HB 1617 which provides . . . In an editorial yesterday, the Virginia Pilot called for the governor to veto the bill, saying: “The real reason for the bill is to allow certain religious or political groups to reject gay or lesbian students with the commonwealth’s blessing.”
U.S. House approves bill to include houses of worship in FEMA grants | Joel Oster at Speak Up Movement
Joel Oster at Speak Up Movement: On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed a bill to allow houses of worship to receive federal disaster aid from FEMA.
David Hacker at Speak Up Movement: We get a number of calls from students asking if we can do anything to help change a bad grade.
Breitbart: The Supreme Court has taken McClutcheon v. FEC for arguments this fall. McClutcheon is a challenge to the part of the current version of FECA that limits how much money an American citizen can give to one of the national political parties in a two-year period. Although the overall limit is slightly over $100,000, that’s beside the point of asking what empowers the federal government to tell a citizen how much communication he can have with his fellow citizens in the political process.
Religion Clause Blog: Last month, a Texas federal district court issued yet another decision in the 7-year long litigation challenging the Plano school district over school rules that, among other things, precluded a student from handing out candy canes with an attached religious message.
AFLC: Yesterday, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, requesting that the court issue an order preventing the Wayne County Sheriff and his deputies from restricting a group of Christian evangelists from displaying banners and signs with Christian messages on the public sidewalks during the 2013 Arab Festival to be held in Dearborn, Michigan.
Baptist Press: A family homeschooling safely in rural Tennessee may be forced to return to their native Germany, where the parents likely face huge fines and criminal penalties, and could lose custody of their five school-age children. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are looking to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to give them permanent refugee status. But Attorney General Eric Holder is disputing their case, arguing Germany’s ban on homeschooling fails to violate the family’s fundamental rights.
Michael Foust at Baptist Press: The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution that criticizes Boy Scouts leadership for trying to change the policy on homosexuality but also urges the Scouts’ voting members to uphold the current policy in May.
Liberty Counsel: California ban on change therapy (SB 1172), which would ban any counseling to minors seeking to diminish or eliminate unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, or identity. On December 21, 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pickup v. Brown granted Liberty Counsel’s emergency motion to temporarily block the law from going into effect on January 1, 2013, as scheduled.
Gatestone Institute: Spain has acceded to the demands of the Islamist government in Morocco by agreeing that Moroccan children adopted by Spanish families must remain culturally and religiously Muslim.
N. Dakota wants to stop abortions at 20 weeks: New time limit cites evidence of fetal nerve development | WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily: Attorney Harold J. Cassidy called the decision of the full 8th Circuit Court of Appeals “a fabulous victory for the women of the state of South Dakota.” . . . Commenting on the decision, Steven H. Aden of the Alliance Defending Freedom said “a woman’s right to make a fully informed choice is more important than Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.” “If Planned Parenthood truly cared about the well-being of women, it would not try to prevent them from being informed of the well-documented risk of suicide that accompanies abortion,” he said. “The 8th Circuit has done the right thing in upholding a reasonable law that protects the well-being of women by making sure that the truth is not hidden from them.” [more]
Matt Bowman Letter to NY Times: A corporation is simply a group of people acting together. The Supreme Court has ruled many times that corporations can exercise religion. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, protects “any” exercise of religion. That protection applies when families earn a living in business.
TheHayride.com: Louisiana Family Forum joined Alliance Defending Freedom in filing an amicus brief with the Louisiana Supreme Court in support of the Louisiana Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence program. [more]
Washington Times: The Obama administration’s rule must be finalized by Aug. 1. “We haven’t had to file anything new, because nothing has really changed,” said Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing several religious nonprofits and religiously devout corporate owners who have sued over the mandate. He said the lawsuits will continue and likely pick up by August if the exemption is not broadened to cover all religious employers.
One News Now: According to Casey, the teen’s case is not unusual, adding that Texas girls being forced into an abortion can contact the Texas Center for Defense of Life for help. Alliance Defending Freedom makes itself available for such matters across the U.S.
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review: “Plaintiff Stephen W. Briscoe is a believing and practicing Evangelical Christian,” the brief in the case filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom in federal district court in Colorado explains. Briscoe runs several assisted-living centers and skilled nursing facilities for seniors and “sincerely holds religious beliefs that God mandates respect for the sanctity of each human life and that abortion and abortion-inducing drugs result in the wrongful taking of a human life. Mr. Briscoe seeks to run his businesses in accord with his sincerely held religious beliefs,” the brief reads. Briscoe, who became the first business owner to join over 130 plaintiffs suing over the HHS mandate since the latest insufficient “accommodation” was issued, talked to National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
Benjamin Bull at the Christian Post: Christians sometimes ask me, “Shouldn’t Christians, including Christian lawyers, try to avoid conflict, such as litigation in the courts, and spend their time on prayer and Christian fellowship and evangelism?”
NY Times: The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job.