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Unauthorized Class Action Sought Millions For Denial of Religious Freedom and Right To Marry By Utah and LDS Church
Religion Clause Blog: The complaint (full text) in Winburn v. State of Utah, (D UT, filed Dec. 27, 2013), describes the LDS Church as “an entity of defendant State of Utah,” and alleges violations of the Fair Debt Collection Act, the Utah Pattern of Unlawful Activity Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It seeks damages of at least $25,000 for each class member.
“In first year after Maine legalized gay marriage, 16 percent of couples who tied knot were same sex”
Bangor Daily News: The Uhlenhakes were one 1,530 gay couples married in Maine in 2013, representing more than 16 percent of all the marriages performed during the first year of the state’s same-sex marriage law.
David Bohon at the New American: hat was followed by the release in October 2012 of nearly 15,000 pages of files detailing decades of sexual abuse of young Scouts by male Scout leaders. The pages, dubbed the “perversion files” by the media, included letters, memos, news clippings, and other documents related to both alleged and confessed sexual abuse by trusted Scout leaders during a 20-year time period between 1965 and 1985. Nonetheless, following intense pressure by homosexual activist groups, as well as by leadership within the Scouting organization, Boy Scout officials reversed course . . .
National Review: Nonetheless, it is an uncomfortable truth that children of divorce and children with unmarried parents tend to do much worse in life than children of two-parent families.
USA Today: The last of the Utah counties that were holding out on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples reversed course Thursday and decided to hand out licenses to all eligible applicants.
LA Times: The Navajo banned such unions in 2005, but some hope to change that — especially since New Mexico began permitting gay marriage this month.
Salt Lake Tribune: Eyre and her partner, Cheryl Haws, have notified Utah County that they intend to sue because the county refused to grant them a marriage license — even after U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby reaffirmed Monday that gay marriages should proceed without a stay.
“As Utah tries to stay same-sex unions ruling, historians say marriage has evolved in response to social need, ethics.” | Salt Lake Tribune
Brooke Adams at the Salt Lake Tribune: The state of Utah so far has banked much of its legal argument against same-sex marriage on the assertion that such unions threaten the traditional, “age-old and still predominant,” form of marriage: heterosexual, monogamous marriage.
Fox News: The Boy Scouts of America will accept openly gay youths starting on New Year’s Day, a historic change that has prompted the BSA to ponder a host of potential complications — ranging from policies on tentmates and showers to whether Scouts can march in gay pride parades.
AP: A new law that spells out the rights of transgender students in kindergarten through 12th grade is set to take effect in California on Jan. 1. To get ready, school districts are reviewing locker room layouts, scheduling sensitivity training for staff and reconsidering senior portrait dress codes.
Fox13Now.com: The state had said Tuesday it would file a request with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver rejected the request. On Thursday, attorney general’s spokesman Ryan Bruckman said the office was coordinating with outside counsel before proceeding.
KSL.com: The price tag for hiring outside counsel to defend Utah’s voter-approved constitutional amendment on marriage is expected to be close to $2 million, money that key GOP lawmakers are willing to spend.
Gay Star News: Liz and Nadia Harris had a full house in New Orleans for Christmas with five new additions to their family. The couple, married for four-and-a-half years, are now the parents of quintuplets – four boys named Michael, David, Maxwell and Joseph and a girl named Elizabeth.
Mona Charen at National Review: Most women don’t want what the worst men have always wanted — sex with no strings attached. Women are all about strings. They want intimacy, tenderness, and commitment — all of which have been placed further out of reach by feminism’s conquest of the culture.
Cardinal Newman Society: An initiative to promote the controversial Common Core State Standards in Catholic schools, led by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), has amended a first-grade unit plan to remove three books celebrating families headed by same-sex or divorced couples.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is pulling its financial support for the Boy Scouts of America over the youth organization’s continued ban on gay adults serving as troop leaders, the Associated Press reports.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: New Mexico, a state that did not have a flat ban on same-sex marriage but also did not seem to allow it, must now permit such formal unions under the state’s constitution, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday.
San Francisco Chronicle: The ACLU is suing a Florida school district for the second time this year, claiming it is once again refusing to approve a gay-straight alliance club at a middle school
NPR: Bill Duncan, director of the Marriage Law Foundation and a conservative legal scholar who opposes legalizing polygamy, says the increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage played a role in the decision.
AP: United Methodist church officials defrocked a pastor from central Pennsylvania on Thursday who officiated his son’s gay wedding in Massachusetts, a move seen as contradictory to the denomination’s beliefs.
Illinois Family Action: An Associated Press report claiming that the challenge to Illinois House incumbents who voted for marriage redefinition has fizzled is utterly misleading.
The American: The controversy over a recent study on gay parenting illustrates a sociopolitical groupthink operating in the social scientific community. Scientists should go where the science takes them, not where their politics does.
WV Gazette: The state attorney general’s office asked a judge this week to throw out a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the plaintiffs in the case don’t have a legal basis to challenge the law.
NY Post: A married, heterosexual gym teacher at a tony Upper West Side private school was fired because his lesbian supervisor disapproved of his “traditional family status,” the canned teacher claims in a new Manhattan lawsuit.
Baptist Press: Maryland/Delaware Baptists approved new content to their constitution and bylaws regarding the convention’s stance on biblical marriage and the use of convention property for marriage ceremonies during their 178th annual meeting.
Oregon Live: Kelly Clark, a Portland attorney, contends otherwise in a lawsuit accusing the commissioners of violating the public meetings law. He says the violations warrant reversing the county’s action. In an interview, Clark said he thinks the commissioners purposefully used a rolling series of conversations to discuss the licensing change. He said they hoped to avoid any arrangement that would require a public meeting.
Houston Chronicle: Harris County Republicans, led by the county’s GOP chairman, sued the City of Houston Tuesday over Mayor Annise Parker’s extension of health and life insurance benefits to all spouses of legally married employees, including same-sex couples in November.
Washington Blade: A Harris County (Texas) judge on Dec. 18 issued a temporary injunction against Texas’ largest city from extending benefits to same-sex spouses of municipal employees.
Ed Whelan at National Review: Now that I’ve vented about how poorly written the opinion in Brown v. Buhman is, I’ll offer some comments about its reasoning (pp. 52-62) that the cohabitation prong of Utah’s bigamy statute has been enforced in a discriminatory manner against “religious cohabitation.”
CBS: “It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” Robertson stated. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” Robertson described in the interview how sin is becoming acceptable in America and that the country needs to turn back to its Christian values.
The Patriot News (AP): A federal judge hearing a challenge to Pennsylvania’s law banning recognition of same-sex marriages is keeping the case on track for trial by preventing an appellate review at this stage. | Opinion: Whitewood v. Wolf | Hat tip: How Appealing
Texas Pastor’s Council: In response to a decision several weeks ago by Houston Mayor Annise Parker to recognize same sex “marriages” from other states and extend employee benefits to them, Houston Area Pastor Council has initiated a legal challenge (Pidgeon and Hicks v. Parker) that resulted in a Temporary Restraining Order being placed on her action.
AP: An Ohio Amish couple who fled their home with their 11-year-old daughter so she wouldn’t be forced to get chemotherapy could be home for the holidays but not without a favorable decision from a judge, their lawyer says.
AP: Both sides of a fight over whether gay marriage should be recognized on Ohio death certificates despite a statewide constitutional ban were set to argue their cases in front of a federal judge in Cincinnati.
Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic: A ruling by a Utah judge gives more latitude to polygamous families.That should make liberals and conservatives alike conflicted.
MSNBC: Same-sex spouses of National Guardsmen can officially obtain benefits in any state, the Department of Defense announced on Friday, ending a period of resistance among several conservative holdouts.
Brandon Ambrosino at The Atlantic: alling someone “anti-gay” when his behavior is undeserving of that label doesn’t only end civil discussion – it degrades the foundation that undergirds a democratic, pluralistic society.
Federal Court Says Old Sodomy Conviction Cannot Be Basis for Current Sex Offender Registration Requirement
Art Leonard Observations: Finding that prosecuting a man for failing to register as a sex offender on the basis of an old conviction under an unconstitutional sodomy law would be “unthinkable,” U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg granted a writ of habeas corpus to Charlton Green on December 9, directing that the State of Georgia release him from the obligations of probation to which he had been sentence.
National Review: I came to see that the real question is not “who can marry whom,” but rather “what is marriage?” It became clear to us that the former question was impossible to address without answering the latter. Indeed, any position on the former presupposes a particular answer to the latter.
ABC27.com: Lawyers in a key federal court challenge to Pennsylvania’s law that bans same-sex marriage say the state’s lawyers are using delay tactics and are making unreasonable and intrusive requests for information.
NJ.com: Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said Sunday that she decided to follow the advice of Lambda Legal, a gay rights law group, to take the bill off the agenda. It was to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon.
The Economist: Yet strategists and pollsters report that—even after controlling for such variables as race, age, religiosity and income—marital status is a powerful predictor of Democratic voting (whereas married women and older widows lean slightly Republican).
AP: A United Methodist minister in Pennsylvania plans to defy a church order to surrender his credentials for performing a same-sex wedding.
“Lambda Legal And ACLU Of Illinois Expedite Marriage For Same-sex Couples Facing Urgent Medical Circumstances”
Lambda Legal: Today, a federal court ordered the Cook County Clerk’s office to immediately issue marriage licenses to all Illinois same-sex couples who, because of a life-threatening illness, cannot wait until next summer to get married.
W. Bradford Wilcox at National Review: . . . . one common and largely unremarked thread tying together most of the school shooters that have struck the nation in the last year is that they came from homes marked by divorce or an absent father.
WTSP.com: The case of Bostic v. Rainey could become the standard-bearer for the same-sex marriage movement as it emerges from last summer’s victories at the Supreme Court. For starters, it challenges a state constitutional amendment that’s all-inclusive in its exclusions: It bans same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships, and denies recognition in Virginia for those performed legally in other states.
Eugene Kontorovich at the Volokh Conspiracy: Brown v. Buhman and Bestiality
AP: Herbert says while he had not had a chance to review U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups’ ruling, he’s “always a little concerned” when public policy changes are made by the courts.
Washington Post: The U.S. Education Department announced Friday that the federal government will now recognize all legal same-sex marriages for the purposes of applying for and receiving federal financial aid.
Washington Blade: By a largely party-line vote of 54-41, the Senate confirmed Chai Feldblum for a five-year term on the bipartisan panel, which enforces federal laws against workplace discrimination.
NJ.com: The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday is scheduled to hear a new bill called the Marriage Equality Act, (S3109) which is a slightly modified version of a bill (S1) to legalize gay marriage that Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed in 2012.
Catholic Culture: As Indiana legislators debate a proposed state constitutional amendment designed to preclude the possibility of same-sex marriage and civil unions, Indiana’s bishops have issued a statement upholding marriage as “a permanent partnership between one man and one woman ordered to the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children.”
LifeSiteNews: Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) has filed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education against the Montgomery County, Maryland, Board of Education and its School Superintendent, Joshua Starr.
LifeSiteNews: For Massachusetts’s social conservatives, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back: Karyn Polito, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and former state senator, recently reversed her long-held opposition to same-sex “marriage” and announced she now favors the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples
Reuters: A San Antonio federal court will hear arguments in February in the case seeking to nullify a 2005 amendment that defines marriage as solely “the union of one man and one woman.”
USA Today: Virginia gay, lesbian couples begin same-sex marriage fight that may lead to Supreme Court.
Mona Charen at National Review: Pesident Obama addressed income inequality in a recent address but failed to mention one of the most significant contributors to rising inequality in America — the marriage gap.
LifeSiteNews: A new study shows that growing up without a father not only affects behavior – it transforms children’s brain structure. That’s the verdict reached by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and recently published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. | Francis R. Bambico, Baptiste Lacoste, Patrick R. Hattan, and Gabriella Gobbi, Father Absence in the Monogamous California Mouse Impairs Social Behavior and Modifies Dopamine and Glutamate Synapses in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex
Richard Stith at Mercatornet.com: Indiana’s Libertarian Party chair, Dan Drexler, announced in early November his opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent Indiana from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. But the libertarian reason he gave for his opposition does not support that opposition.
Washington Examiner: One congressman’s beef with the National Republican Congressional Committee over its support for gay candidates will likely have little effect on the committee’s operations or fundraising. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., has tried to persuade other lawmakers and the committee not to support the campaigns of gay candidates, Politico first reported.
In a class by themselves: Home-schooled girls easily dispatch both chauvinism and feminism | Robert Knight
Robert Knight at the Washington Times: Years ago, when I was writing a book called “The Age of Consent,” about moral relativism, I was warned by a book agent that it wouldn’t fly with New York publishers. I had committed unpardonable sins in an early draft: defending marriage as the union of a man and a woman and critiquing the idea of putting women into combat. I also defended stay-at-home moms.
One News Now: “When are they going to socialize?” the judge reportedly asked. “At which point are these children going to interact with other children, and isn’t that in their best interest?”
News Observer: The state teachers organization and the N.C. Justice Center say they will file a lawsuit Wednesday over what they are calling “unconstitutional school legislation.”
Christian Institute: Michael McClure and Kamala Devi are starring in Polyamory: Married and Dating, and are currently living with McClure’s girlfriend Rachel. “They’re spreading the gospel of polyamory, hoping to speed up societal acceptance of this kind of set-up,” ABC’s Nick Watt explained.
Christian Post: In a recent interview with CNN’s host Piers Morgan on his show “Piers Morgan Live,” well-known evangelical pastor Rick Warren was questioned about sensitive topic of homosexuality. Despite being familiar with Warren’s stance against same-sex marriage, Morgan was seeking to revisit the issue on the heels of a new papal institution.