Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
Public Discourse: I write because I am one of many children with gay parents who believe we should protect marriage. I believe you were right when, during the Proposition 8 deliberations, you said “the voice of those children [of same-sex parents] is important.” I’d like to explain why I think redefining marriage would actually serve to strip these children of their most fundamental rights.
National Review: In a short essay for SCOTUSblog, Yale law professor William Eskridge, an early architect of the constitutional attack on state marriage laws, presents his newfound claim that state laws that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman violate the “original meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.” I think that Eskridge’s claim is wildly implausible, indeed preposterous.
Pew Research: While the rising level of support for same-sex marriage among the general public is well known and now stands at 52%, less known are the views among those most likely to utilize the law.
WRAL (AP): Lawyers on both sides of a same-sex marriage case urged Louisiana’s Supreme Court on Thursday to rule soon on the matter even though the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to do so by late June.
Crux: With news that Mormons will support laws that prohibit housing and job discrimination against LGBT people in exchange for greater religious liberty protections, the Catholic Church finds itself allied with just one other mainstream Christian denomination — the Southern Baptist Convention — in opposing work and housing protections for gays and lesbians.
The Christian Institute: A man who underwent a sex change then had it reversed is warning that surgeons are too quick to operate in cases like his.
ERLC: In every age and culture there are certain habits of sinful behavior that are particularly common and overwhelmingly destructive. In modern Western cultures one of the most soul-destroying habits is consumption of pornography, which leads us to commit adultery in our hearts. (Matthew 5:28).
Religion Clause: As previously reported, on Jan. 23 an Alabama federal district court invalidated Alabama statutory and constitutional provisions that bar recognition of same-sex marriages.
Reuters: “I am dismayed by those judges in our state who have stated they will recognize and unilaterally enforce a federal court decision which does not bind them,” Moore wrote. “I would advise them that the issuance of such licenses would be in defiance of the laws and constitution of Alabama.”
BP News: In the wake of an interfaith Vatican conference on marriage two months ago, a coalition of Roman Catholics and evangelicals — including Southern Baptist Timothy George — has issued a statement calling the legalization of same-sex marriage “a graver threat” to society than either “easy acceptance of divorce” or “widespread cohabitation.”
Washington Post story on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma is long on emotion, short on religious insight
Get Religion: I guess I hoped the Post would go below the surface and not rely on easy stereotypes to characterize the beliefs and attitudes of my fellow Oklahomans.
The Washington Post: This is the standard rationale used in many campus speech codes aimed at restricting supposed “hate speech.”
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says he will continue to recognize Alabama Constitution’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment
AL.com: “As Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, I will continue to recognize the Alabama Constitution and the will of the people overwhelmingly expressed in the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment,” Moore wrote.
First Things: Americans’ public and private lives are on a collision course. Our social system—the one we publicly engage daily—still unwittingly encourages and rewards chaste behavior (though perhaps not speech). Privately, our lives bespeak an emerging chaos, regardless of what we personally hold to be good or true or ideal. In other words, American life is becoming sexually bipolar.
The Christian Post: Last January, Wayne Lela and John McCartney sent an application to Waubonsee Community College seeking permission to pass out leaflets on its campus promoting their Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, a group organized by Lela that advocates that homosexuality is immoral. After submitting the required details about the leaflets to the administration, the administration sent them back a letter denying their request later that month.
Life Site News: Fox News political anchor Bret Baier says he pulled out of his speech at this week’s Legatus Summit, a gathering of Catholic business leaders, on the request of the channel’s leadership.
National Law Journal (Access via Google): History-making arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage are still more than three months away, but the strategizing among lawyers has already begun.
The Wall Street Journal (access via Google): President Barack Obama expressed hope that the Supreme Court would affirm a nationwide right to same-sex marriage, in an interview that aired on YouTube Thursday afternoon.
Mirror of Justice: Nothing in the Constitution, even read loosely, requires states to recognize same-sex romantic or sexual partnerships as marriages. Here are two pieces on that point.
National Review: Last week I suggested that Republicans are suffering from excessive angst about the political costs of opposing same-sex marriage. In the absence of a Supreme Court decision requiring all states to recognize same-sex marriages, conservative candidates for federal office in 2016 should say that they oppose it, why they oppose it, that they understand that many people of good will disagree, and that they have no intention (or power) to stand in the way of states that chose to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Family Studies: “Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.” You’ve probably heard that claim several times—just as you may also have heard from other sources that it’s inaccurate. As I’ll explain below, the real number is likely lower, but perhaps not by a lot. One thing is for sure. Arguments over what the divorce rate is and whether it’s dropping are ongoing and unlikely to end anytime soon.
Associated Press: A dispute over a cake in Colorado raises a new question about same-sex marriage and religious freedom: If bakers can be fined for refusing to serve same-sex wedding cakes, can they also be punished for declining to make a cake with anti-same-sex marriage statements?
National Review: President Obama’s “middle class economics,” a major theme in last night’s State of the Union speech, aimed to be family friendly, most especially through paid family leave. Specifically, the president has urged that the government provide six weeks of paid leave for federal workers needing to care for a sick family member or a new child, and he wants to put additional funds into encouraging states to do something similar.
The Christian Post: Two states that had previously rejected bans on a controversial therapy practice that aims to change sexual orientation are again considering measures to prohibit the practice on minors.
Family Studies: Earlier this month, the New York Times’ David Leonhardt published a brief letterarguing that increasing economic inequality is both a cause and an effect of changing family structures. He suggested that this is one area where conservatives, who emphasize the causal impact of family structure on economic factors, have a greater claim to the evidence than liberals. We asked a few scholars to weigh in on the significance of his piece. Their responses are below.
Family Studies: Until Tyler was fourteen years old, his dad beat him. Then, a girl that he loved committed suicide. By high school, Tyler was “just looking for an escape from everything that had happened.” That’s when he started smoking meth.
The Washington Times (AP): Two Kansas lawmakers are pushing similar measures to make it illegal for someone to post nude photographs or videos of a former spouse or significant other on the Internet without permission.
The Christian Post: Clinton was the first president to mention “gay” during his State of the Union address in 2000, according to the LGBT publication The Washington Blade. And in 1999, the former president used the term “sexual orientation” while talking about hate crimes legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
One News Now: The ACLU is going after a Mississippi school district that’s requiring students to obtain parental permission before joining a club that advocates for homosexual rights.
The Economist: THE link between marriage and better health is well established. Less clear is whether marriage causes good health or vice versa—healthy people may simply be more likely to marry in the first place. In a recently updated paper Nezih Guner, Yuliya Kulikova and Joan Llull of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona looked at data on Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 in order to try to work out which way the causation runs. Does marriage make people healthier?
Aleteia: No society in human history has survived for any length of time without strong marriages and a strong family life. None.
National Law Journal (Access via Google): The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into a historic legal, political and social debate on Jan. 16 when it agreed to decide whether states can prohibit same-sex marriages without violating the federal Constitution.
The Christian Post: If you artificially remove one requirement for marriage – in this case, the binary male-female prerequisite – then there is no justification, logically or legally, for not removing all requirements.
Election Law Blog: The framing of these questions apparently differ from the way the questions were presented in all of the petitions, which raises the question of why were they rewritten (with an accompanying direct order—I’ve not seen that before—admonishing the parties to stick with discussing these questions presented).
LA Times: Throughout American history, Kennedy said, states had “full power over marriage and divorce,” including “the definition and regulation of marriage.” He referred to the act of Congress as a federal intrusion on state power that discriminated against gay couples and denied the equality of same-sex marriages.
Christian News Network: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case that would determine whether or not the U.S.Constitution provides states the right to ban same-sex “marriage”—a decision that could have massive ramifications nationwide.
Christian News Network: A New York woman from the Great Lakes region says that she is set to marry her biological father after being estranged from him for 12 years—a report some say confirms the slippery slope America is on concerning the devaluation and redefinition of marriage.
Virginia seeks to remove references to ‘husbands and wives’ from state law books; replace with gender-neutral ‘spouse’
The Washington Times: The language of the New Age, like a lot of things in Li’l Abner’s hometown of Dogpatch, can be “amusin’ but confusin’.” The word “sex” has been displaced by “gender,” though no one ever called Marilyn Monroe a “genderpot,” and no woman we know thinks a silky black night gown will make her feel “gendery.” Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia thinks he can ride to the rescue of all by making the language of marriage more confusing, if not amusing.
The New York Times: The first page of a petition seeking Supreme Court review is the most important. It sets out the “question presented,” the one the court will answer if it takes the case.
The New York Times: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether all 50 states must allow same-sex marriage.
The Daily Signal: Today the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it would rule on the constitutional status of state marriage laws. It granted certiorari and consolidated four cases coming out of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. The Supreme Court should uphold these laws and respect the constitutional authority of citizens and their elected officials to make marriage policy.
National Journal: The Supreme Court will tackle another landmark case on same-sex marriage, opening the door to a ruling that could bring marriage equality to all 50 states in just a matter of months.
LA Times: Setting the stage for its most significant ruling ever on gay rights, the U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it would resolve the state-by-state battle over same-sex marriage.
SCOTUS Blog: Taking on a historic constitutional challenge with wide cultural impact, the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex marriage.
The Gospel Coalition: This afternoon the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in a same-sex marriage case out of the Sixth Circuit. This means, with all likelihood, that the Court is destined to answer once and for all whether there’s a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
ERLC: Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, commented on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to take up four same-sex marriage cases involving state constitutional amendments that define marriage as the union of a man and woman.
Phys Org: The 21st Century dad – as defined by celebrity fathers such as David Beckham, Brad Pitt and Jamie Oliver – isn’t a new phenomenon according to research from the universities of Manchester and Leeds.
Kansas Health Institute: Gov. Sam Brownback opened the 2015 session Monday with an inaugural speech that emphasized strengthening families as a solution to the state’s financial woes.
Family Studies: A recent study claiming that pornography could be contributing to lower marriage rates made a lot of headlines. Two researchers at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany used data from the General Social Survey to determine how many hours participants spent on a variety of online activities each week. People who used the Internet more tended to be unmarried, and those who visited pornographic sites had were even less likely to be married.
Christian News Network: A federal judge in South Dakota has struck down the state’s voter-approved marriage amendment which enshrines marriages as being solely between a man and a woman, opining that the law is unconstitutional because it excludes homosexuals from having the same opportunity.
Detroit News: A Detroit minister has sued Michigan in federal court, alleging state law violates his right to religious freedom by barring him from conducting same-sex and polygamous marriages.
Family Studies: Sex and violence are at an all-time high in the movies our children watch, the music they hear, and the games they play. And, in bad news for moms and dads a new study, published recently in Pediatrics, suggests that it is parents who are unknowingly dropping the ball.
NYT same-sex marriage advocate claims ‘live and let live,’ but wants gov’t coercion, Ryan Anderson argues
The Christian Post: While Frank Bruni, a columnist for The New York Times, claims to be advocating a “live and let live” position on gay marriage versus religious freedom, he’s actually advocating government coercion, Ryan Anderson, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, argued Tuesday.
Family Studies: When states of the U.S. are compared on indicators of child well being, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts usually does well. In the 2014 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, for example, Massachusetts is number one in the overall ranking of the 50 states. But another recent report, entitled Fatherlessness in Massachusetts: The Economic and Social Costs to Our Commonwealth, finds sizable disparities in the state, not just in family wealth and incomes, but in child wellbeing.
The Christian Institute: A US Christian leader has described the redefinition of marriage as a “vast social revolution”, as Florida became the 36th US state to introduce same-sex marriage.
Los Angeles Times: A West Hollywood law requiring all single-stall restrooms in businesses and public places to be gender-neutral will go into effect this week.
The Courier-Journal: In the first ruling of its kind in Kentucky, Judge Joseph O’Reilly permitted the divorce of two Louisville women who were legally married in Massachusetts.
Family Studies: Much has been made of the rising median age at first marriage among young adults in America. But as two recent articles note, the historic delay of marriage in America has notcorresponded with a delay in forming intimate, coresidential relationships.
Juicy Ecumenism: It is unlikely that Cortez’s Evangelical brothers and sisters will take up his “third way” and deviate from 2,000 years of agreed upon teachings in the West and East on marriage. Not because Evangelicals have not love, but because we love with the firsthand knowledge that Jesus Christ’s transformation of our selves is, ultimately, what offers real life.
WTVA: Starkville’s mayor vetoed the Board of Alderman’s decision to rescind a resolution that made it clear that the city is intolerant of discrimination against anyone and in any form.
National Review: Late last Friday, the Ninth Circuit issued an order denying the petitions for rehearing en banc in the Nevada and Idaho marriage cases. The order includes a strong dissent from Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, joined by Judge Johnnie B.Rawlinson and Judge Carlos Bea. (It’s possible that other judges voted for rehearing but chose not to register their votes publicly, but, given the composition of the Ninth Circuit, I doubt that the vote margin was close.) Rawlinson is a Clinton appointee. Given the dissent’s discussion of Loving v. Virginia, I’ll also note that she is African-American.
Prawfs Blawg: I’m not a big fan of Frank Bruni, admittedly. But his piece yesterday has a number of interesting aspects that are worth highlighting. It’s difficult to describe his argument with precision. To say the column ranges all over the map is unjust to cartographers.
Albert Mohler: Barely five days after The New York Times ran a major news article on the firing of Atlanta’s fire chief for his views on homosexuality, a major Timesopinion writer declared that religious liberty is a fine thing, so long as it is restricted to “pews, homes, and hearts” — far from public consequence.
Palm Beach Post (Subscription Required): Extensive research conducted for Palm Beach County seven years ago supports claims that strip clubs are crime hotspots.
SCOTUS Blog: The four same-sex marriage cases challenging the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that upheld four states’ bans have now been set for consideration by the Justices at their Conference on Friday of this week. The post below has been expanded.
The Christian Post: A bill has been introduced in the Texas Legislature that if enacted would strip the salary of any Texas-government employee who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple.
Mass Live: Patricia Rivas, who is 16, sometimes can’t afford a taxi ride to bring her 1-year-old daughter to another medical appointment. She realizes, she said, having given birth when she was 15, that she is scorned by many people as a “child who had a child.”