Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The Federalist: The ideology that denies the meaningfulness of biological ties for human identity is called same-sex marriage.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom and other pro-life organizations released a joint statement Monday as a District of Columbia law is set to go into effect that could force such groups to operate contrary to their missions and beliefs.
Red State: Last week in Sacramento, California, legislators and abortion advocates finally explained how they square the state’s new abortion insurance mandate with a federal law prohibiting it. They believe they can count on the Obama administration not to enforce the law.
CNS News: The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether the people of our republic will be permitted to continue to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
NOLA: For well over a decade, many have raised concerns that redefining marriage would impact the ability of churches, pastors, religious ministries and individual people of faith to maintain their religious freedom. And during that same time, activists have repeatedly given their assurance that religious entities and individuals will remain free to conduct their business in accordance with their deeply held religious beliefs.
Alliance Defending Freedom: As Rachael parked her minivan along the street in the Gill Village housing project, a group of ten kids gathered nearby caught her attention. “They were sharing a box of Bisquick – not even pancakes, they had no water – they were just eating the dry mix,” she told me.
Red State: Today, Congress will take up House Joint Resolution 43 to disapprove of the D.C. Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Amendment Act. Under the Constitution, the Congress has authority to govern the District. And under the Home Rule Act, the federal government retains the authority to effectively veto any act of the DC Council. While Congress has historically shown deference to the District, rarely disapproving its laws, the Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Amendment Act betrays Congress’s patience and challenges Congress’s authority over the District. Congress should intervene and disapprove of this egregiously illegal law.
The Washington Examiner: As we contemplate these historic arguments and attempt to navigate the frenzy surrounding them, let’s do our best to listen carefully to all of the voices that have spoken to the nine justices.
ADF International: ADF International filed a brief with the European Court of Human Rights Thursday that makes legal arguments in defense of unborn children. The court granted ADF International permission to intervene in the case of Lia Shioshvili, a Georgian national who gave birth to a stillborn child after Russian authorities mistreated her.
The Global Dispatch: “Churches and other religious employers should not be coerced by the government into violating their fundamental beliefs by being party to elective abortion,” said Mattox. “When Congress enacted the Weldon Amendment, it sought to ensure that the government could never strong-arm pro-life employers into paying for abortion coverage. California is blatantly ignoring federal law and pushing its abortion ideology on citizens while still receiving taxpayer money.”
The Christian Post: The amount of which Stutzman will be ordered to pay is yet to be determined, as the court will let the appeal process play out. However, Stutzman’s lawyer, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner, indicated on multiple occasions that the outcome could cause Stutzman “personal and financial ruin.”
Christian Examiner: “The government can’t force citizens to surrender free-speech rights or religious freedom in order to run a small business, and this decision affirms that,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell said in a written release.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell: “The people of every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws. In today’s oral arguments, Justice Kennedy said that this definition has been with us for millennia and acknowledged that it is very difficult for the court to say, ‘Oh, well, we…know better.’ The bottom line is that nothing in the Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage. As we approach decision day, we remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will follow what it has previously said – that states have the ‘essential authority to define the marital relation’ – and uphold the freedom of the people to affirm marriage as a man-woman union.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument Wednesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on behalf of an Ohio Christian school denied zoning approval to use its own new building.
Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s a fact of biology that children are the product of sexual relationships between men and women. And historically, those sexual relationships were reserved for marriage—when one man and one woman were committed to each other for life.
Alliance Defending Freedom: This past Saturday I was at the March for Marriage in D.C. Being there conjured up the old feelings of praying outside of those abortion clinics as a kid. There was a sudden and emotional appreciation that came over me for my parents, as I realized that my desire to stand up for the family and for my faith has been passed down from them. Growing up Hispanic, faith was more than what we did on Sundays. Faith and family were indistinguishable parts of our culture.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner: “The message that the attorney general and the ACLU have sent to the people of Washington in these two lawsuits is quite clear: surrender your religious liberty and freedom of speech, or face personal and professional ruin. The trial court’s ruling affects all Americans who wish to remain free to live and work according to their faith without fear of punishment by the government. For that reason and others, we are requesting that the Washington Supreme Court grant direct review of Barronelle’s case.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: Since becoming the owner of Kentucky print shop Hands on Originals in 2008, Blaine Adamson has served people from all different races, religions, nationalities, and sexual orientations.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox will testify Tuesday before the California State Assembly’s Committee on Health regarding Assembly Bill 1254. The bill would reverse the California Department of Managed Health Care’s mandate that all employers, even churches, include elective abortion in their health insurance plans.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and others who support the people’s freedom to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their laws will be available for media interviews outside the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. ADF and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office submitted one of the more than 60 briefs filed in defense of the marriage laws challenged in Obergefell v. Hodges and three other cases consolidated with it.
ADF Media: A Kentucky court ruled Monday that a Lexington printer is free to decline to print messages that conflict with his religious beliefs and that the government cannot force him to do otherwise.
The Daily Signal: An Oregon administrative law judge recommended today that the bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding should be fined $135,000.
Alliance Defending Freedom: After the uproar over religious freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas, some states may be wondering whether Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) are such a good idea.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom is hosting a panel discussion Friday on the interests of children and the issue of same-sex marriage.
ADF Media: “Americans are already being forced to fund Planned Parenthood to the tune of more than $500 million in taxpayer dollars annually,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “Government can at least be transparent about this money. Since Planned Parenthood is already the subject of repeated state and federal audits and whistleblower lawsuits for waste, abuse, and potential fraud of taxpayer dollars, the government should comply with the law and come clean about the funding.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: Religious freedom is neither a conservative nor a Christian cause. It is a cause that all Americans can and must support.
The Hill: The issue pertinent here is not whether the death penalty for convicted murderers is moral or not. The issue is whether the state should be able to force people to help facilitate an execution against their will. And it raises the greater question of when the government, in general, can compel people to act against their beliefs.
Rhino Times: A poem, a Christmas tree and a T-shirt: three innocuous, seemingly unrelated items that nonetheless share a common bond. All three were censored by North Carolina educators who made bad decisions that could have been prevented if the state had a religious freedom law like the one North Carolina legislators are currently considering.
The News & Observer: As consideration of North Carolina’s religious freedom bill ramps up, North Carolinians should call on the many CEOs who have come out against such laws around the country to put their money where their mouths are.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom and The Heritage Foundation are co-sponsoring a debate Thursday on whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriage. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges and three other marriage cases consolidated with it.
Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Bryan Beauman: “Since this nation’s founding, public meetings have been opened with prayer. We commend the court’s decision to affirm this freedom as constitutional, as 6th Circuit did in this case in 2013 and as the U.S. Supreme Court so recently did in a similar case. A prayer offered according to the dictates of the giver’s conscience as part of a policy like Hamilton County’s is not an establishment of religion. Those who argue that it is are essentially arguing that America’s founders were violating the Constitution as they were writing it.”
Townhall: It seems the abortion industry never stops putting its positive spin on the bad news it continues to receive. Bad news for the abortion industry in recent years has been the fact that a growing number of Americans oppose abortion altogether or, if they support abortion, they want to see stricter limits on it.
Las Vegas Review Journal: The Nevada Student Physical Privacy Act maintains the longstanding practice of ensuring single-sex use of school restrooms and other intimate settings while providing accommodations for students struggling with sexual identity. What should be an uncontroversial bill has garnered significant national attention and has been the source of much misinformation.
Constituting America: Freedom of conscience is so important it is enshrined in the very first amendment to the United States Constitution. And our Founding Fathers thought freedom from government coercion so vital that they built it into the very structure of our government. Power is split between three coequal branches – legislative, executive, and judicial – to keep dictatorial officials like Herr Zeller in check.
Alliance Defending Freedom: North Carolina’s Constitution seemingly provides strong protection for religion and faith. And, we have a Federal RFRA. Why is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) needed in North Carolina?
Crisis Magazine: In a recent Crisis magazine column, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse—a valued leader in the pro-marriage and family movement—contends that “religious liberty arguments aren’t working” in the effort to retain marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In fact, she says the religious liberty argument in the marriage arena “weakens our case.” Instead, Dr. Morse argues, we should “argue against the Sexual Revolution because it has hurt people.”
The Federalist: Here are five positions of the party and many of its leaders (even if not necessarily all those who continue to vote for Democrats) that are arguably even more extreme.
Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears: “Cardinal George was a stalwart champion of religious freedom, marriage, and the family throughout his 17-year tenure. He never stopped advocating for what’s good and true, nor did he succumb to damaging cultural trends—regardless of how fierce the opposition. He remained steadfast to the truth and to the teachings of the faith. His passing is a loss to the Catholic Church and to all those he inspired to remain loyal to religious freedom and the undeniable meaning of marriage and family.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: If there was ever a time to take a stand for marriage—this is it.
ADF Media: “Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal good that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western Civilization,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “How we treat marriage has societal consequences. The wisest course, as these briefs demonstrate, is for the court to resist demands to prematurely end the national debate over the future of marriage.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: The people of Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota have spoken. And they have made it clear this legislative season that they do not need a sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) nondiscrimination ordinance in their states.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Pro-life pregnancy centers provide compassionate medical care, material assistance, and emotional support to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. But the abortion lobby continually paints this movement as deceitful, uncaring, religious fanatics.
The Washington Post (AP): The 70-year-old grandmother who owns a flower shop in Washington state and became a national figure for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding says she was surprised her actions gained such notoriety and had often done business with the gay couple, whom she considered friends.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom sent letters to six public universities after they received complaints from Freedom From Religion Foundation wrongly stating that having basketball team chaplains is unconstitutional.
The Daily Signal: “I think it is sad that it has come to this,” Stutzman told The Daily Signal via email in an exclusive interview. “We all have differences, and every day we disagree with one another on some subject or another. But being able to still live peacefully with each other, despite those differences, is what true tolerance is all about.”
Christian News Network: “The IRS’s delays make no sense because we only asked for the same information that it already provided to Freedom From Religion Foundation,” ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “The IRS has forced us to file this lawsuit just so we can obtain what the agency is already legally obligated to produce.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: Two big stories emerged last week. The first is that the Indiana Legislature announced a “fix” to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”), one which explicitly protects sexual orientation and gender identity from “discrimination.” The second is that Arkansas has passed its own RFRA.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the Internal Revenue Service for failing to produce records on its secret deal with an activist group to investigate churches. Federal law requires the tax agency to produce the records that ADF requested under the Freedom of Information Act in July 2014, but the IRS missed its legally required deadline months ago and has continued to stonewall the request.
Times Record: Twenty-two years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. By signing Arkansas’ version of that law, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has brought Arkansas in line with the federal government and 20 other states that already ensure that every American is guaranteed the freedom to live and work consistent with their faith. This is a good day for Arkansas.
ADF Media: The city of Atlanta’s attempt to defend its wrongful termination of Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran because of his religious beliefs is indefensible, according to a brief that the Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys who represent him filed in federal court Wednesday.
The Gospel Coalition: America is in the midst of a seismic cultural shift in matters of faith, family, and freedom.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Despite the good work these centers perform, many abortion businesses and their supporters try to discredit these centers by spreading lies and misinformation about them.
Red State: A man tells you he wants you to be part of his religious service. You will participate in prayers, listen to sermons, and either join in or stand reverently as hymns are sung and religious rites are performed. But the service worships a different god from your own. In fact, the service blasphemes your God. The man offers to pay you, but you nevertheless respectfully decline to be involved in or participate in this religious service. So he goes to the authorities and demands that the government punish you for your resistance. If this religious service is a same-sex wedding don’t go to the ACLU looking for help.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument Thursday before the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont in a legal challenge to an Obamacare surcharge that forces people to pay for elective abortion coverage.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom has sent Missouri pastors a letter to debunk critics who have wrongly asserted that churches can lose their tax-exempt status if they urge their congregations to vote in favor of repealing a city law.
The Federalist: Indiana’s ‘fix’ to its religious-freedom law will actively force private business owners to violate their consciences.
The Federalist: Not a single person who identifies as homosexual has been harmed by the federal or dozens of state religious freedom acts.
The Washington Examiner: Amid the current controversy over Indiana’s religious freedom law, it is important to understand just how important religious freedom has been in America’s legal history. By protecting religious beliefs and the free exercise of religion by its citizens, America has become a diverse society where people function successfully among others with whom we may not agree.
CNS News: Unfortunately, amidst many of today’s debates about the efficacy of religious freedom, such as the debate over Indiana’s religious freedom law, a pernicious underlying assumption exists that religious freedom is only for the religious. Such a belief is as dangerous as it is false. Religious freedom benefits all of us, though many unfortunately do not recognize it.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco: “We commend the commission for reaching the right conclusion that these cake artists should not be forced to violate their conscience, but clearly the commission should have done the same for Jack Phillips. The commission found that these three cake artists have the freedom to decline creating unique cake creations because the artists found the requests offensive, but all Americans should be alarmed that the same commission determined that Jack doesn’t have that same freedom. Like the other bakers, Jack happily serves all people but declines to use his artistic talents to create cakes that violate his conscience. The commission’s inconsistent rulings mean that the owners of these three cake shops may run them according to their beliefs, while Jack cannot. He risks losing his life-long business altogether if he continues to run it consistent with his faith. Such blatant religious discrimination has no place in our society.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom and the Alabama Attorney General’s Office filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Friday that encourages the court to uphold the freedom of states to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In November 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled that Michigan’s, Ohio’s, Kentucky’s, and Tennessee’s laws affirming that understanding of marriage are a rational exercise of state authority and are thus constitutional.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner “The religious freedom law is a good law. It does not pick winners or losers, but allows courts to weigh the government’s and people’s interests fairly and directs judges to count the cost carefully when freedom is stake. The new proposal unjustly deprives citizens their day in court, denies freedom a fair hearing, and rigs the system in advance. It gives the government a new weapon against individual citizens who are merely exercising freedoms that Americans were guaranteed from the founding of this country. Surrendering to deception and economic blackmail never results in good policy.”
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell: “Government should protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs in their lives and work. We commend the governor’s decision to support a law that does this. Government shouldn’t be able to punish Americans for exercising basic civil rights. Religious freedom laws ensure that freedom gets a fair hearing, and they limit the government’s power to intrude on our liberties. We hope other states join Arkansas and many others in adopting similar laws.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: Two major legal actions last week illustrate with startling clarity not only what’s at stake in the current struggle for religious freedom in America, but how much courage is required to put forward even the most modest protections for that freedom.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The first time something happens it is certainly OK to speculate about the outcome and the consequences. This is pretty normal, and is actually quite wise. The second time something happens the question is always: Was the first time a fluke? Will the second time result in a different outcome? By the third time something happens you have enough data to start to prove a point.
The Christian Post: To affirm these sacred rights, a national law virtually identical to Indiana’s new law was passed by a near unanimous Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Thirty-three states have adopted similar religious liberty protections. Indiana’s law makes it the thirty-fourth state to do so.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys filed a reply brief Tuesday with the Colorado Court of Appeals on behalf a Lakewood, Colorado, cake artist who declined to use his artistic talents to create a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex ceremony.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit Monday to hear the case of Pennsylvania’s Geneva College, which is challenging a three-judge panel’s ruling that would force the Christian school to provide access to abortion pills as required by an Obama administration mandate.
Townhall: There’s a secret underneath Boycott Indiana’s false rhetoric about that state’s new religious freedom law: some of those involved also want to force you to help purchase and perform abortions.
Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster: “American tax dollars should be used responsibly and for the common good, not wasted on Planned Parenthood’s irresponsibility and self-interest. No responsible economic policy includes bailouts for Planned Parenthood. Just last week, the GAO reported that our government sent $1.5 billion to Planned Parenthood over a three-year period. Through audits like this and reports like the one ADF has provided to Congress, Americans are learning more about the folly of funding Big Abortion.”
ADF Media: Many eyes are turning to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to leave in place an appeals court ruling that upheld a city ban on worship services in public school buildings during non-school hours.
Alliance Defending Freedom: We are saddened that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear the Bronx Household of Faith case. The court passed by an opportunity to defend religious freedom and to give churches access to facilities that allow them to freely worship and serve their communities. Now it’s up to Mayor Bill de Blasio to decide whether these churches will be evicted from the neighborhoods they serve.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Like the players in the show, as Christians we tend to get caught up in the narrow view of the tasks right in front of us—thinking that if we are busy doing our assigned route then we’re helping the team. But if we keep our heads down too long and never look up to connect with the One calling the plays, we might miss the changes happening around us. Then, before we know it, we’re disconnected from the team and moving in the wrong direction.
Life News: Recently, the Canadian British Columbia Court of Appeal saved a disabled woman from being literally starved to death.