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Yahoo News (Reuters): North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said on Thursday he would veto legislation allowing government officials to refuse to perform marriages by citing religious objections.
WRAL: Within hours of the House giving final approval to a bill that would allow magistrates and other public officials to refuse to perform marriages for religious reasons, Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed the measure.
World Magazine (Subscription required): Attorney Jim Campbell, who handles various constitutional cases for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), has a working list written down at his office in Scottsdale, Ariz. The list details benefits religious nonprofits could lose if the Supreme Court makes gay marriage a constitutional right. When he arrived at work recently, he read it off: 501(c)3 status, tax benefits, government licensing, accreditation, and government contracts or grants, among others.
Canon and Culture: “You’ll be on the wrong side of history” is practically anthemic to the same-sex marriage crusade. As a political device, it’s a fairly effective line, for two reasons. One, it appeals to most everyone’s basest desire to be thought well of, especially by strangers; and two, because it doesn’t actually advance any sort of moral or philosophical argument whatsoever, it’s almost impossible to shoot down.
National Catholic Register: A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.
Breakpoint: As we wait for the Supreme Court to decide whether there’s a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, I’d like to take a moment to go over what’s at stake.
ERLC: Any ideology that exalts one gender to the exclusion of the other is not honoring to God’s created design—namely that we bear his image (Gen. 1:26-27). Our humanity matters, and our maleness and femaleness matters. If men go the way of the Dodo Bird then we lose something precious about the image of God. And I don’t want to live in a world where that happens for men or women.
Albert Mohler: The Boy Scouts were doomed the moment the national leadership decided to preserve the organization at the cost of the values and ideals that gave it birth. Speaking to a national meeting of Boy Scouts of America leaders, President Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, called for the B.S.A. to abandon its policy of allowing the participation of openly gay scouts, but not the involvement of openly-gay adults.
Catholic World Report: Ireland, once dubbed “the most Catholic country in the world” by the future Pope Paul VI, has become the first country in the world to adopt same-sex marriage by means of a popular vote.
First Things: Of course I have been talking, in the first story, about the beleaguered but unbowed Mark Regnerus, the sociologist whose New Family Structures Study was published in Social Science Research in 2012. (Full disclosure: Regnerus’s NFSS was funded in principal part, but uninfluenced by, the Witherspoon Institute where I work.) And the second story, which broke this week, is about UCLA political science doctoral student Michael LaCour, whose co-author, Donald Green of Columbia, has asked for the journal Science to retract their much-ballyhooed December 2014 article.
Reuters: Earlier this month the company, RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc, retained the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian group that calls itself a “legal ministry” and has been involved in dozens of high-profile cases involving religious liberty, in a 2014 suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Federalist: Neither the U.S. Constitution nor prior case law requires school boards to make these changes, said Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Casey Mattox, whose children attend Fairfax schools. Citing a recent court case in a short presentation to the board, “There’s absolutely nothing behind [these federal demands],” said Mattox. “They’re bluffing.”
Illinois Family Institute: Columbia University Political Science Professor Donald P. Green decided to retract the study published in the December 2014 issue of the journal Science after discovering his co-author, UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour, used fake data to support his claim.
Boston Globe: As the official tallies rolled in on Saturday, from the liberal bastions of cosmopolitan Dublin to the more conservative townlands of rural Roscommon and Leitrim, and it was clear that an amendment to Ireland’s constitution legalizing gay marriage would pass easily, it became one of the biggest stories in the world. It was widely portrayed as shocking news
The American Conservative: You may welcome these changes. You may reject these changes. What you may not plausibly do is to deny the revolutionary nature of these changes, and of this historic moment in the history of the West.
The New York Times: Last week, their finding that gay canvassers were in fact powerfully persuasive with people who had voted against same-sex marriage — published in December in Science, one of the world’s leading scientific journals — collapsed amid accusations that Mr. LaCour had misrepresented his study methods and lacked the evidence to back up his findings.
I had a transgender parent. Unlike Obama, I don’t think transgender parents should be able to adopt.
The Daily Signal: The proclamation relates Obama’s latest thoughts on what’s best for LBGT adults. But what’s best for children? It is stunning that we hear no personal accounts from adults who grew up in transgender homes like this, and that so little research is made public about this.
Public Discourse: I’m attracted to people of the same sex, and I’m glad that I was raised by a devoutly Christian mom and dad. My dad’s acceptance of me as a man, with full knowledge of my attraction to other men, was his gift to me. And though it was late coming, I am utterly thankful for it.
Aleteia: For supporters of natural marriage, the results of Ireland’s referendum last Friday are obviously a great disappointment. A resounding majority throughout the country supported the addition of 17 momentous words to the Irish constitution: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
Breitbart: The mother tried to get the Catholic school system to allow her son to use the little girl’s room and they refused. The school has even installed a special non-gendered bathroom for this situation, but the mother feels this solution is not good enough for her child; she claims no harm will come to anyone if he is allowed to use the girls’ restroom. She cited a doctor who said the boy has “gender dysphoria.”
The Stream: For many of us, National Review is indispensable daily reading. It hosts many of conservatism’s most gifted writers. Indeed, The Stream is proud to publish columns by such NR stalwarts as Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry and Kathryn Lopez. This is why the publication of a long essay defending same-sex marriage by National Review’s managing editor Jason Lee Steorts is so distressing.
Law and Religion UK: Following its vote last Saturday to allow the ordination/induction/appointment of ministers and deacons in civil partnerships, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has now taken the first step to extend that permission to ministers in same-sex marriages.
UK Human Rights Blog: In contrast, the judge’s findings in relation to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation do not make much sense. One key misstep appears to be that she conflates support for same-sex marriage with a homosexual orientation, when they are clearly different things. Many people who are not gay (including the Prime Minister) support same-sex marriage. Some people who are gay (including Rupert Everett and Dolce and Gabbana) oppose same-sex marriage.
Christian Concern: Last week the Church of Scotland voted to permit clergy in same-sex partnerships to be appointed to leadership positions.
The Shreveport Times: Now that the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act (HB 707) has been stalled in the Legislature, and then converted by Governor Bobby Jindal into the form an Executive Order (EO), it is useful to summarize why the bill was so urgently needed, and why the EO is so important.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 to defend its right to prohibit homosexual leaders from its ranks. It spent a decade and millions of dollars on the case Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. But it ultimately prevailed.
The New York Times: Irish citizens in places as far-flung as Australia and California were flying back to their home country on Friday to cast ballots in a referendum that could make Ireland the first country to adopt same-sex marriage by a popular vote.
The Gospel Coalition: Speaking to volunteers at the 2015 National Annual Meeting, Boy Scouts of America National President Dr. Robert M. Gates warned that the organizations ban on homosexual Scout leaders is “unsustainable” and should be modified.
Religion News Service: Evangelist Franklin Graham has taken to Facebook to plead for prayers on behalf of each U.S. Supreme Court justices as they prepare to rule on gay marriage.
Religion News Service: On Friday (May 22), voters in this once deeply Roman Catholic country will decide whether the country’s constitution should be amended to allow for gay marriage. If the amendment passes, Ireland will become the first country to legalize same-sex civil marriage by popular vote.
The American Conservative: Let’s understand what happened here. This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield. Which, of course, he did.
The Federalist: A scene stands out to me from my graduate program in social work. A lesbian professor visited our class to tell about her experience of being same-sex attracted in a small, Midwestern, devoutly Protestant town in the latter twentieth century. As expected, her story was heart-rending.
The Christian Institute: The owners of Ashers Baking Company have told of their deep disappointment after losing their high-profile court case and are considering an appeal.
The Christian Institute: The owners of the family-run bakery at the centre of the ‘gay cake’ case have expressed their disappointment following the conclusion of the controversial court case.
The Christian Institute: National newspapers have raised concerns about the ruling against the Christian-run bakery that declined to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake.
The Christian Institute: Free speech would be threatened if marriage is redefined in the Republic of Ireland, journalist and marriage campaigner John Waters has warned.
Texas Values Action: Today, the Texas House passed the Pastor Protection Bill, SB 2065, with bipartisan support, 141-2, with two Democrats voting against the bill. The bill protects pastors, ministers, clergy and churches from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
The Daily Signal: Defying state legislators who rejected a measure that sought to protect “the right of conscience as it relates to marriage,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal acted on his own Tuesday.
The New York Times: The president of the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday called for an end to the group’s blanket ban on gay adult leaders, warning Scout executives that “we must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be,” and that “any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.”
Denny Burk: The National Review is a leading journal of conservative opinion. It should not be lost on us that many conservatives are eager to shed the albatross of traditional marriage. They view it as a political loser. Younger conservatives can hardly comprehend any reason to oppose gay marriage. At this point, the Republican party is divided on the issue with traditional social conservatives being the only ones holding the line. Those social conservatives have always been viewed as a key part of the Republican coalition. For the time being, they still are. But how long will that last? That a leading journal of conservative opinion would publish an article like this tells us something about the future of political conservatism in America.
WND: In a state where the law already deprives minors of counseling for unwanted sexual attractions, a trial is scheduled to get under way in a case that could be a bellwether for what is often called “conversion therapy.”
The Week: Legally recognized sperm (and egg) “donors” take money with the expectation that the resultant children will not be “theirs.”
The Washington Post: Gallup announced historic results of two polls within a day of each other this week, one for support for same-sex marriage, the other for belief that people who are gay or lesbian were born that way.
Aleteia: The Catholic bishops in Ireland, as might be expected, are having none of it. In March, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference issued a statement urging voters to think seriously before approving a referendum that would change the nature of marriage.
The Federalist: Ireland is currently engulfed in a bitter debate over a national referendum on gay marriage to be held this Friday. They could draw some useful lessons from America’s own little experiment with gay marriage—which turns out to be a cautionary tale about what can go wrong.
Religion Clause: After a committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives effectively killed the proposed Marriage and Conscience Act yesterday (New Orleans Times Picayune), Governor Bobby Jindahl issued Executive Order BJ 15-8 (May 19, 2015) designed to accomplish the same thing. Its key provision prohibits government departments, commissions, boards, agencies and local governments from denying various benefits because a person acts in accordance with his religious belief that marriage should be only between one man and one woman.
NOM Blog: Last year, the media was awash in stories reporting what was considered a major study that “proved” that once people had a conversation at their home with a same-sex canvasser, their minds were changed on whether same-sex ‘marriage’ should be accepted.
Scottish Legal News: The Christian directors of a bakery “unlawfully discriminated” against a gay man in refusing to accept his order for a “Bert and Ernie” cake bearing a caption supporting same-sex marriage.
Law and Religion UK: Regular readers will no doubt recall that the proprietors of Ashers Bakery refused to bake a cake for Gareth Lee bearing the slogan “Support Gay Marriage” with the Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie.
Erasmus: Across the island of Ireland, long regarded as western Europe’s last bastion of traditional religous power, a huge change is underway in the way issues of personal and sexual behaviour are handled by society and the state.
The Guardian: With just five days to go before Ireland’s historic referendum on the legalisation of gay marriage, a bitter row has broken out between supporters and opponents over the funding of their respective campaigns. Supporters of a yes vote have accused opponents of a lack of transparency over finances and of accepting funding from rightwing Christian groups in the US.
Reuters: Its word was once law in Ireland on everything from contraception to divorce. Now, shorn of much of its influence, the Catholic Church has limited campaigning on Friday’s gay marriage referendum to sermons to its remaining flock.
Religion Clause: In Ireland on Friday voters will cast ballots in a referendum to approve same-sex marriage.
Law and Religion Australia: My previous post mentioned that some books used in Special Religious Education (SRE) in NSW had been summarily banned by the Department of Education and Communities, apparently on the grounds that they conveyed classical Christian teaching about sexual morality.
The Washington Times: Supporters of such therapy counter that it has helped many people successfully reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, and it’s wrong to trample people’s rights to seek the counseling of their choice.
Caffeinated Thoughts: Alliance Defending Freedom senior council Austin Nimocks affirmed that the law protects religious liberty in a released statement yesterday before the vote. “Nobody should be punished by the government for believing that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act forbids the government from revoking the tax-exempt status or professional license of any person or organization that affirms marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The government should not be empowered to force anyone to choose between embracing same-sex marriage and losing their livelihood or their ability to carry out their organization’s mission. The bill secures freedom by limiting government intrusions into the lives and minds of all Louisianans,” Nimocks stated.
Family Studies: My dad was just 61 when he died. I never had the deep and meaningful relationship with him that I craved. From the day he divorced my mother when I was aged three, I probably saw him a couple of times a year. On those occasions, we got along extremely well and I enjoyed his company very much. But there was so much missing from what could and should have been a powerful bonding relationship between father and son. It’s an absence that has affected me profoundly and still does.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks : “Nobody should be punished by the government for believing that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act forbids the government from revoking the tax-exempt status or professional license of any person or organization that affirms marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The government should not be empowered to force anyone to choose between embracing same-sex marriage and losing their livelihood or their ability to carry out their organization’s mission. The bill secures freedom by limiting government intrusions into the lives and minds of all Louisianans.”
The Guardian: Tens of thousands of Christian immigrants who have become Irish citizens are being mobilised across the Republic to vote down a historic move to legalise gay marriage in Ireland this week.
The Washington Post: Catholic and deeply conservative, Ireland was long known as one of the toughest places in the Western world to be gay. Homosexuality was decriminalized here only in 1993, after years of pressure from European authorities.
The New York Times: The prime minister of Luxembourg on Friday wed his partner of several years in the first same-sex marriage of a European Union leader.
Christian Concern: A judge sitting at Belfast County Court has ruled today (19th May) that a Christian-run bakery that refused to bake a cake backing same-sex ‘marriage’ was guilty of ‘discrimination’ on the grounds of sexual orientation.
CBN: In an exclusive one-on-one interview with The Brody File, Jeb Bush says there is not a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court will be deciding that issue next month. Watch him talk about the issue below.
Religion News Service (Reuters): Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Sunday that Ireland must seize its opportunity to become the first country to approve same-sex marriage in a popular vote when it holds a referendum on the issue on Friday.
New Jersey: A longtime Wawa employee is suing the convenience store chain in federal court, claiming she was harassed and eventually fired from her corporate office job after working to create a Gay-Straight Alliance group at the company in 2012.
The Legal Intelligencer: Federal regulations requiring producers of pornographic material to keep records of their models’ ages don’t violate the First Amendment, but the warrantless searches they authorize do violate the Fourth Amendment, the Third Circuit has ruled.
The New York Times: Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida hardened his position against same-sex marriage in an interview that aired on Sunday, making clear he did not believe in constitutional protection for gay marriages — an issue now before the United States Supreme Court — and leaving out his past call for “respect” for gay couples.
The New York Times: No one was sure if she was emphasizing her own beliefs or giving a hint to the outcome of the case the Supreme Court is considering whether to decide if same-sex marriage is constitutional.
National Review: In our entire legal history, no one bothered to legislate a restriction of marriage to sexually complementary couples until the day before yesterday because everyone understood what “marriage” meant and would (if asked) have thought it naturally impossible for two men or two women to marry.
The Washington Post: Millennials are poised to become the nation’s largest living generation this year. As they grow as a percentage of the population, more of them will reach the age at which Americans historically have gotten married. And many baby-boomer parents are probably eagerly anticipating the big day when their son or daughter walks down the aisle (and the grandkids that will follow.)
Public Discourse: Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable—they both add distinct benefits to the development of children. Courts and legislatures can change legal definitions, but they cannot alter biology or psychology.