Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Townhall: On March 18, Lane allegedly lured Michelle Wilkins, seven months pregnant with a baby girl, to her home by posting an ad on Craigslist for baby clothes. It is believed that Lane then attacked Wilkins, forcibly cutting into her and removing the child from her womb. Wilkins, covered head-to-toe in blood, was left in Lane’s basement. Lane then allegedly presented herself and the baby girl at the hospital, claiming she had a miscarriage. The baby girl died shortly thereafter.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Friday to hear the case of a faith-based business prohibited from advertising on a Texas school district’s Jumbotron during football games because the ad is too religious in nature.
ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner: “Today’s judgment affirms the court’s earlier decision that Barronelle must pay a penalty for her faith and surrender her freedom and conscience. The penalty and fees imposed today are only the first punch. The ACLU, on behalf of the same-sex couple also suing Barronelle, has asked the court to award them penalties, fees, and costs, which will financially devastate Barronelle’s business and personal assets – including taking this 70-year old grandmother’s retirement and personal savings. The message sent by the attorney general and the ACLU to the people of Washington is quite clear: surrender your religious liberty and free speech rights, or face personal and professional ruin.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed an appeal Thursday of a federal court’s decision that kept in place a Pittsburgh censorship zone ordinance. The ordinance allows the creation of hundreds of censorship zones throughout the city that ban leafleting and other free speech around the facilities of abortionists, eye doctors, dentists, and any “therapeutic,” “healing,” or “health-building” treatment services.
ADF Media: The city of Atlanta’s response to its wrongful termination of Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for his religious beliefs falls woefully short, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys who represent him in a lawsuit against the city.
ADF Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster: “The government should use the tax dollars of Americans responsibly, but this report confirms overwhelmingly that it has not. It’s bad enough that the government is funneling the hard-earned money of Americans to pay for elective abortions, contrary to what federal law is supposed to allow, but as ADF has reported annually to Congress, Planned Parenthood and other organizations have bilked taxpayers out of millions through waste, abuse, and potential fraud. That’s why Congress has been investigating Planned Parenthood, why some members of Congress have proposed additional legislation to help stop the funding stream, and why ADF will continue its fight in court against Planned Parenthood’s misuse of tax dollars in multiple lawsuits, including Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.”
A First Amendment SCOTUS case could bring much-needed clarification as to what constitutes ‘Government Speech’
National Review: Monday morning’s Supreme Court docket features arguments in a First Amendment fight between the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who wish to display the Confederate battle flag on their specialty license plate, and the state of Texas, which excluded the Sons from its specialty-plate program because it thought their symbol violated its policy against “offensive” messages on specialty plates.
Pregnancy Help News: The federal government appears to care more about advancing its abortion agenda than it cares for the lives of sexually abused children.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Recently, the Canadian British Columbia Court of Appeal saved a disabled woman from being literally starved to death.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The message today’s PC police are trying to send Christians is clear—you are free to believe, but you are not free to act on your beliefs.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Perhaps, like me, you find it hard not to marvel at the determined effort by so many authorities throughout the U.S. to impose silence on any speech that might disagree with their policies, raise thoughtful questions, or simply provide information useful to voters, students, and other fellow citizens.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The campus of a college or university is supposed to be the “marketplace of ideas,” a breeding ground for ideas, debates, and discourse among students, professors, and faculty. But some universities seem to think that’s only true as long as this expression happens only within certain very small zones designated by the university and only if the university grants approval.
ADF Media: The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that people who are not legal parents cannot use arguments that they are “psychologically” connected to a child in order to obtain some form of custody.
ADF’s YouTube Page: Matt Bowman discusses the Hercules Business case victory on CBN.
ADF International: The Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously Thursday that the government cannot force a private Catholic high school to teach a government-mandated ethics and religion course that includes teaching contrary to Catholic belief.
ADF Media: Two joint resolutions of Congress introduced Wednesday would, if approved, effectively “veto” two recently passed District of Columbia laws that force religious and pro-life organizations to operate contrary to their missions and sincerely held beliefs.
ADF Media: Planned Parenthood reportedly threatened to sue El Centro Regional Medical Center trustees in their personal capacity and falsely claimed the city-run hospital could lose public funding if it refused to sign an agreement that paves the way for Planned Parenthood to begin performing abortions in the city. El Centro is the seat of Imperial County, which borders Mexico.
ADF Media: The family business that was the first in the nation to obtain a preliminary court order against the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate has achieved final victory in its lawsuit. A federal district court issued a permanent injunction Monday in favor of Hercules Industries and its owners, who are represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys.
The Gospel Coalition: New York City churches are awaiting word from the U.S. Supreme Court about whether they can continue meeting for worship services in the city’s public school buildings outside of class time
BuzzFeed News: The United States government on Friday urged the Supreme Court to strike down state bans on same-sex couples’ marriages across the country, concluding, “There is no adequate justification for such a discriminatory and injurious exercise of state power.”
Foreign Policy: Last August, President Barack Obama signed off on legislation creating a special envoy charged with aiding the ancient Christian communities and other beleaguered religious minorities being targeted by the Islamic State.
ADF International: ADF International will hold a parallel event at the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Thursday to call upon European nations to respect the fundamental right to freedom of conscience within the medical profession. Two ADF International lawyers will speak at the event and will be available for media interviews.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton will be available for media interviews following oral arguments at the Iowa Supreme Court Wednesday regarding a ban on “webcam” abortions. In August 2014, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland appealed a trial court’s decision to uphold an Iowa Board of Medicine ban on the practice, in which women are provided with abortion-inducing drugs without any in-person examination by a licensed physician.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Lexington-area printer will be available for media interviews Friday following oral arguments in state court. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission is forcing Blaine Adamson of Hands On Originals to print messages that conflict with his religious beliefs, so ADF attorneys asked the Fayette County Circuit Court to weigh in.
Alliance Defending Freedom: As the owner of the printing shop Hands On Originals in Lexington, Kentucky, Blaine Adamson is used to receiving all kinds of print requests. He regularly makes judgment calls about where the line is in terms of messages that his shop will express or promote to remain consistent with his religious convictions. He’s even gone so far as to make arrangements with other local printers to ensure that when he needs to decline a request that conflicts with his Christian faith, he can refer these customers to another shop that will match his price.
National Review: On Monday, the Supreme Court reversed a 7th Circuit case concerning the HHS abortion-pill mandate. In so doing, it may also have reversed the narrative of the Obama administration’s defenders.
Jurist: ADF counsel Elissa Graves stated: Americans, including those who are pro-life, have the freedom to speak with whomever they please on public sidewalks. As the [US] Supreme Court noted just last year, this freedom has been a foundational element in American life since the nation began. Because of this, we are considering appeal of the court’s decision, which allows enforcement of Pittsburgh’s unconstitutional censorship zones to continue.
Alliance Defending Freedom: One of the saddest realizations that can come to anyone studying the news – locally, nationally, globally – is how endlessly, indefatigably, so many forces are working to negate and erode the value of human life.
Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Elissa Graves: “Americans, including those who are pro-life, have the freedom to speak with whomever they please on public sidewalks. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted just last year, this freedom has been a foundational element in American life since the nation began. Because of this, we are considering appeal of the court’s decision, which allows enforcement of Pittsburgh’s unconstitutional censorship zones to continue.”
Townhall: Since August, California has been forcing churches and every other employer in the state to provide elective abortion coverage to their employees.
Alliance Defending Freedom: If some California legislators are to be believed, Catholic schools that enforce a teacher code of conduct that is consistent with the Catholic faith are in danger of discriminating.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell: “The people of Nebraska, Alabama, and every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws. The courts should respect the freedom of the people to debate this important issue and decide it as a community. The Constitution does not demand that one irreversible view of marriage be forced on all the states.”
ADF Media: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Friday upheld a district court ruling that threw out a former congressman’s defamation lawsuit against the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List. Former U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus filed the defamation case against SBA List after it publicized that his vote for Obamacare was a vote for taxpayer-funded abortion.
SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court on Thursday released the calendar of oral arguments for the final sitting of the Term, beginning April 20, and listing the four cases on same-sex marriage for hearing on Tuesday, April 28.
SCOTUS Blog: Sharply criticizing the Supreme Court for its recent actions on same-sex marriage, the Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday evening ordered all state judges who have the duty to issue licenses to wed to stop doing so immediately for same-sex couples.
‘Jesus Tattoo’ claims discrimination in Texas school district court case over rejection of Christian ad
The Christian Post: Matt Sharp, legal counsel with the ADF, told The Daily Caller in an interview Monday that this was a matter of stopping the censorship of religion in public schools. “All of these are part of a larger effort to make sure that religious speech can’t be targeted and censored simply because a government official finds it offensive,” said Sharp.
ADF Media: The University of Georgia has revised its “speech zone” policy in light of a lawsuit Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed on behalf of a student group. The university’s new speech policy no longer limits student free-speech activities to less than one percent of the college’s main campus or requires students to obtain a permit to use the remainder of campus.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Disgraced Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez recently made headlines with a hand-written apology addressed “(to) the (f)ans” over his drug violation suspension. Predictable debate followed the apology; some thought it sincere, while others suspected he was hoping for kinder fan treatment – especially if he failed to live up to his very sizeable contract. Whatever the case, A-Rod took “full responsibility” for his suspension from baseball for substance abuse, and hoped the apology would allow him to get on with playing baseball.
Red State: With abortion at stake, Arizona acknowledges that the legislature’s words matter.
Barronelle Stutzman and Kristen Waggoner discuss the Arlene’s Flowers case with Janet Mefferd (audio)
Alliance Defending Freedom: Religious freedom and Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) ordinances are on a collision course. They cannot coexist.
Alliance Defending Freedom: It might be helpful to understand what we mean by “conscience.” Conscience is what guides a person’s understanding of what is right or wrong, and this definition is OK, but it does not discuss what is naturally implied: action. If one cannot act on what they believe to be right or wrong, then what worth does a conscience have? None at all. For a good and just society, a person must have the freedom to act on what they believe is morally right. But that is not the current state of things.
Kristen Waggoner and Barronelle Stutzman discuss the Arlene’s Flowers case with Michelle Mendoza (audio)
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews following oral arguments in a federal appeals court Tuesday on behalf of a faith-based organization prohibited from advertising on a Texas school district’s Jumbotron during football games.
Time Magazine: More formidable than its al-Qaeda precursors in the view of many experts, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is more than a network of terrorist cells or even a militia: it’s almost a nation.
Alliance Defending Freedom: In the state of Washington, the simple act of giving a referral now has some negative implications—if the reason you choose to refer has anything to do with your faith.
First Things: Ms. Stutzman isn’t complying. She’s refusing to settle. Not only is she not complying, she has responded in defiance, and rightfully so. She’s called their bluff. She’s said to the state: “Bring it on.” She has counted the cost and determined that the sacredness of her conscience cannot be exchanged for handouts from the state.
Alliance Defending Freedom: A Washington state judge ruled that local floral artist and grandmother Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers violated state law by refusing to provide floral design and arrangements for a long-time customer’s same-sex ceremony. Not only is her business in jeopardy, but Barronelle also faces losing her home and life-savings to the opposing sides’ damages and attorneys’ fees associated with the lawsuit filed against her by both the state and the same-sex couple.
Alliance Defending Freedom: This week, in newspapers and on radio and TV programs across America, the “wanted posters” for bigotry bear a picture of Barronelle Stutzman. So take a good look at her story, and decide.
Via ADF’s YouTube Account.
Fox News: In 1962, in the middle of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the State of New York required Harry Keyishian and four other employees of the University of Buffalo to certify they were not communists to keep their jobs. Fast forward to 2015. Apparently, the city of Atlanta thinks former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran should be treated the same way because of his Christian beliefs.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit Tuesday that encourages the court to uphold the freedom of the people of Missouri to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In November 2014, a district court ruled that the state’s marriage laws are unconstitutional and that marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples.
Fox News: WAGGONER: Yes. The attorney general contacted the couple. They didn’t file the initial complaint. The attorney general took it on after reading reports in the media. And the attorney general has relentlessly pursued Barronelle ever since. The court’s decision, as well as the attorney general’s actions are sending a very clear unmistakable message Barronelle and anyone like her which is that if you dare to decline the government will bring about your personal and your professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage.
CNS News: Religious freedom, and the right of every individual to follow the dictates of his or her conscience, is a principle so hallowed in the American soul that our nation’s courtrooms, classrooms, and most corners of the public square have honored and sustained it for more than 200 years.
ADF Media: Washington floral artist Barronelle Stutzman on Friday sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson to decline the settlement offer he made to her on Thursday through a news release he sent to the media.
ADF Media: A state judge ruled Wednesday that Washington floral artist and grandmother Barronelle Stutzman must provide full support for wedding ceremonies that are contrary to her faith – a decision at odds with the views of most Americans according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. The court claims that Stutzman’s referral of a long-time customer to another business for floral design and support for a same-sex ceremony violated Washington law.
Alliance Defending Freedom: A state judge has determined that the government can force a floral designer to do custom design work and provide wedding support services even if she has a religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman. Barronelle Stutzman was found guilty for referring her friend and long-time customer to another florist because the customer wanted her to design floral arrangements and provide services for a same-sex wedding. Barronelle’s referral ensured the customer received the services he wanted, but has been labeled “discrimination” under Washington law.
Alliance Defending Freedom: When former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was suspended, investigated, and fired for self-publishing a religious book that briefly mentioned biblical teaching regarding non-marital sexual conduct, including homosexuality amidst a host of other topics, it sparked a national debate. Now, ADF is representing Kelvin Cochran in his case against the city. You can watch Kelvin Cochran’s story here, but here’s answers to five burning questions.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Last week, I shared with you some of the good news of important victories your prayers and support have enabled Alliance Defending Freedom to have a part in across the U.S. But we’ve also been blessed with encouraging wins in courts overseas – wins that have great potential to influence U.S. jurists, protect religious liberty and national sovereignty, and perhaps even favorably impact similar cases in our own country in the years ahead.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the city and mayor of Atlanta for their termination of Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran because of his Christian faith and beliefs. At a news conference Wednesday, ADF and Cochran announced the lawsuit, which comes on the heels of an administrative complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Sexual orientation gender identity (SOGI) ordinances allow members of one sex to use the other’s restroom and locker room facilities if they self-identify as the opposite sex rather than their biological sex.
The Christian Institute: In a legal opinion to the European Parliament, lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) argued that the procedures involve altering the human germ line, which is explicitly banned in an EU directive.
The Global Dispatch: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed their opening brief Friday in an appeal of a trial court’s decision that upheld $14 million of taxpayer subsidies to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood. ADF attorneys represent former Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Jane Norton in the lawsuit, which is now at the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Alliance Defending Freedom: In a recent unanimous decision, the Canadian Supreme Court overturned a longstanding ban on doctor-aided death. The Court found that the ban violates a person’s right to life, liberty, and security of person under the Canadian Charter of Rights, if that person has an incurable condition that causes “enduring and intolerable suffering.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed their opening brief Friday in an appeal of a trial court’s decision that upheld $14 million of taxpayer subsidies to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood. ADF attorneys represent former Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Jane Norton in the lawsuit, which is now at the Colorado Court of Appeals.
ADF Media: The Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that Bulgarian authorities violated a Christian woman’s freedom of thought, conscience, and religion when they unjustly arrested her for private worship meetings in her home. The court also found that the government violated her right to an effective remedy of the situation, which has spanned 20 years. ADF attorneys represented the woman, Petya Dimitrova, at the ECHR.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor will testify Friday before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice chaired by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). Baylor will speak on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and the increasing need to protect the two laws from any attempts to weaken them.
Casey Mattox discusses D.C. bills coercing organizations against their missions with Don Kroah (audio)