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SCOTUS Blog: Taken as a whole, the sixty-six legal briefs filed in defense of the four states’ bans on same-sex marriage show evident signs of trying mainly to satisfy Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
SCOTUS Blog: When the Supreme Court next week takes up what could be the decisive chapter in this constitutional saga, four states will urge the Justices to restore traditional state control over marriage laws, and begin the process of undoing at least some of the court rulings since Windsor.
SCOTUS Blog: With the Supreme Court assembling on April 28 to hear four combined cases on the issue, there are now thirty-six states in which same-sex couples may legally marry.
SCOTUS Blog: When the Court convenes on April 28 to hear oral arguments in the challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage, many of the reporters covering the hearing will be at the Court for the first time. This guide to covering the Court is intended for those reporters.
WND: The brief, filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, argues that those who want the court to redefine marriage to legitimize same-sex duos are incorrectly arguing for the highest level of court review.
Elko Daily Free Press: This is what AB 375 accomplishes. It accommodates students struggling with gender confusion while preserving the historic practice of having separate facilities based upon a person’s biological sex.
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.”
Yahoo News: A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a fresh challenge to New Jersey’s ban on so-called gay conversion therapy for minors, saying the prohibition does not violate the rights of either children or their parents.
Religion Clause: The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, for a second time, rejected a constitutional challenge to a New Jersey statute (A3371) that prohibits providing “sexual orientation change efforts” counseling to minors.
First Things: There has been no want of “writing on the wall” about the upcoming cases on marriage. Justice Clarence Thomas could not help but remark on the point that a majority of his colleagues had already, and gracelessly, signaled their “intended resolution of that question.” And yet, writers and lawyers on both sides continue to expend their genius in writing briefs for the Court, clinging to the possibility that the words they set down may yet tip the balance.
CBS News: Christian conservative Rick Santorum, the former senator considering a presidential bid, said Thursday that he would not attend a same-sex wedding — even if it were a loved one or family friend getting married.
National Law Journal (Subscription Required): In all, same-sex marriage opponents filed 64 amicus briefs. Combined with the 73 briefs in support and five expressing support for neither party, the justices—more likely their clerks—face a heavy lift reading 142 amicus briefs.
Free Times: On April 28, the Court will hear oral arguments on whether same-sex marriage should be legal across the country.
The Washington Post: Another day, another town. Ryan T. Anderson, the conservative movement’s fresh-faced, millennial, Ivy League-educated spokesman against same-sex marriage, has another busy schedule.
Alliance Defending Freedom: If there was ever a time to take a stand for marriage—this is it.
Christianity Daily: “The commission found that these three cake artists have the freedom to decline creating unique cake creations because the artists found the requests offensive,” said Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defending Freedom. “But all Americans should be alarmed that the same commission determined that Jack doesn’t have that same freedom,” he said in reference to the ruling for Masterpiece Cakeshop.
American Clarion: “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.”
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.”
Jeremy Tedesco and Mark Silverstein debate religious freedom and discrimination with Ryan Warner (audio)
Irish Examiner: “We the under-signed, for reasons of faith, consider the state of marriage the exclusive province of a man and a woman. This is the understanding of all revealed religions,” a petition reads.
The Independent: The Church of England is at risk of an unprecedented schism as conservative Anglican leaders gather to discuss forming a “parallel” church in protest against women bishops and gay marriage.
Reuters: Boko Haram Islamic militants have kidnapped at least 2,000 girls and women since the start of last year, turning them into cooks, sex slaves and fighters, and sometimes killing those who refused to comply, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
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.
Public Discourse: The metamorphosis of marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution would send the message that society no longer needs men to bond to women to form well-functioning families or to raise happy, well-adjusted children. That would be bad news for children of heterosexuals on the margins: the poor, the relatively uneducated, the irreligious, and others who are susceptible to cultural messages promoting casual or uncommitted sex.
Religion Clause: In Conti v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc., (CA App., April 13, 2015), a California state appeals court held that elders of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation had no duty to warn the congregation in general, or parents, that another member of the congregation had previously molested a child.
Associated Press: Guam’s attorney general directed officials to immediately begin processing same-sex marriage applications Wednesday, putting the island on course to be the first U.S. territory to allow gay nuptials.
The Christian Science Monitor: The recent backlash against “religious accommodation” laws in Indiana and Arkansas is evidence of an increasingly bitter confrontation that is dividing the country and threatens to diminish the scope of religious liberty in America.
Family Studies: Preparing for Tax Day, which was yesterday, brings up a lot of questions in any household: Where did I leave my W-2? Should we itemize our deductions? Why didn’t we hire someone to take care of this, anyway?
National Law Journal: A federal judge in Alaska on Wednesday awarded $127,000 to the solo practitioners and small-firm attorneys who successfully challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The amount was more than $100,000 less than the lawyers requested.
Public Discourse: A group of distinguished conservative public servants, policy makers, and political operatives has signed an amicus brief saying the US Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage. They argue that this is the truly conservative position—but it takes quite a bit of logical contortion to accept their argument.
Charisma News: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco agrees: “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.”
Colorado Public Radio: Ryan Warner discusses the debate with Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, and Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal non-profit.
Life Site News: The Mexican Neydy Casillas, who was present representing Alliance Defending Freedom, stressed that the manipulation that has been taking place at the Summit of the Americas is a “new form of ideological dictatorship” trying to eliminate the cultural values of the Latin American peoples. “This is a paradox considering that the OAS was born to neutralize the threat of political dictatorships,” she said.
The Daily Signal: “That’s what these bills are designed to protect—the privacy of 99 plus percent of students who have very serious concerns about sharing bathrooms with kids of the opposite biological sex,” said Jeremy Tedesco, a senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization that supports Nevada’s bill.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): The baker wars moved to a new stage last week. It seems that liberty, equality, and human dignity in America stand or fall with who is baking what for whom at weddings. A truly moving theme. I can’t wait to see the film.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Did you see the Honey Maid commercial during last Saturday’s NCAA Final Four game between Duke and Michigan State, the one with two men who call themselves married with two children? Rather than simply trying to get people to buy its graham crackers, Mondelēz International, which owns the brand, is pushing an agenda with its “This Is Wholesome” campaign.
What is a Christian clerk who issues marriage licenses to do with the possible legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide?
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Jennifer Schoenrock, 56, is a mother of four grown children, a grandmother to two, the wife of a disabled veteran, and her family’s breadwinner. She works for about $24,000 a year as a deputy clerk in Waynesville, Mo., a small town in the rural Ozarks. She handles court tasks like filing criminal records and certifying marriage licenses. The job helped pull the family from a financial crisis.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Colorado officials rejected discrimination claims filed by a man who was refused service at three bakeries because he requested cakes that included Bible verses calling homosexuality a sin, according to a decision released last week. Critics of the ruling argue it runs in sharp contrast to a decision in 2014 by the same agency, which declared a Christian baker cannot refuse to make a cake for a gay wedding ceremony.
Aleteia: Same-sex marriage advocates want to force Christian bakers to bake cakes celebrating their “marriages” or face civil penalties for refusing to do so – often now even forcing them out of business for failing to “go along.”
Aleteia: This utter lack of understanding directly affects the coverage of the marriage debate and other issues involving the LGBTQ community. It doesn’t occur to them that Christians might be listening to a higher authority than ever-changing public opinion.
Aleteia: President Obama is calling for an end to “reparative therapies” aimed at helping young people rid themselves of same-sex attraction and identification as “transgender.”
Attorneys for Christian Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran: Atlanta’s attempts to dismiss discrimination lawsuit show he was fired for his beliefs
The Christian Post: “In America, a religious or ideological test cannot be used to fire a public servant, but that’s precisely what the city did. The only thing that should be dismissed here is the city’s argument in favor of discrimination against Cochran,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The government can’t force citizens to convert to the government’s beliefs to remain employed.”
The Christian Institute: Schools should be required to give children a positive portrayal of same-sex relationships, according to a major teachers’ union.
The National Law Journal: The private-practice lawyer who will defend Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court is working independently from his firm, Warner Norcross & Judd, which declined to get involved in the litigation.
Aleteia: When a British science journal published an American study in January showing that emotional problems are more than twice as prevalent for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents, nobody expected the author, or the journal editors, to escape criticism. The “consensus” within the social science establishment is that the kids being raised by same-sex couples are doing fine, and will do even better if these parents are allowed to marry. Any researcher who finds anything different must be wrong, incompetent and homophobic.
Aleteia: Pope Francis on Wednesday devoted his general audience catechesis to children, calling them the “greatest blessing which God has bestowed on man and woman.” Even if they suffer in this life, he said, “children are never a mistake.” In fact, he added, “their sufferings are only reasons for us to love them even more.”
The New York Times: In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside aWhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.
One News Now: In order to make a point, Bill Jack of Castle Rock, Colorado, visited several bakeries in the Denver area and ordered cakes with messages that violated the cake artists’ conscience. The bakeries declined his requests – and that information was taken to a state agency for adjudication. Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco explains what happened.
NC Register (CNA/EWTN News): “Like the other bakers, Jack happily serves all people but declines to use his artistic talents to create cakes that violate his conscience,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said April 7.
CBN: CBN News Spoke with Kerri Kupec with the Alliance Defending Freedom about Phillps’ case.
Patheos: My guess though is that the Christians who favor a “bake for them two” approach don’t track with this logic for the same reason they don’t track with most critiques of same-sex marriage in general: They actually don’t quite understand what they support.
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 New York Times: Recently, Sex and Society, a nonprofit group that provides much of Denmark’s sex education, adjusted its curriculum. The group no longer has a sole emphasis on how to prevent getting pregnant but now also talks about pregnancy in a more positive light.
Life Site News: On April 28, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear Obergefell v. Hodges, et al, which could decide the state of marriage in America for decades to come.
The Denver Post (AP): President Barack Obama is calling for an end to psychiatric therapy treatments aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of gay, lesbian and transgender youths.
The Denver Post: A Colorado Senate committee killed a bill Wednesday that the state’s gay rights organizations and mental health groups had high hopes for: a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors.
The Washington Times: “The Committee is discriminating against these college students purely on the basis of their association with Gordon College and their imputed religious beliefs,” he said. “This the Constitution forbids.”
The Gospel Coalition: America is in the midst of a seismic cultural shift in matters of faith, family, and freedom.
Aleteia: A Christian man has no right to demand that a baker make him a cake with Bible verses that criticize homosexual conduct, a Colorado court ruled last week.
The New York Times: AFTER watching the debate about religious freedom unfold over the past week, I decided to subject myself to an interview by an imaginary — but representative — member of the press.
Mere Orthodoxy: Now that our “insane national freak-out” about Indiana’s religious liberty bill has subsided a little, it’s worth stepping back to reflect on what happened and what the drama might mean for religious conservatives. Ross Douthat said nearly everything that needs to be said in his two posts; I note up front that I agree with his substantive analysis of the law completely, and am inclined to agree with him on the question of making cakes.
AP: Guam on Wednesday rejected a marriage license application from the first-same sex couple to apply for the document in the U.S. territory.
Religion News Service: Whenever people today say that Christianity needs to update and adapt its moral standards for the 21st century, I hear echoes from 100 years ago. Back then, the calls for change had less to do with morality and more to do with miracles. But the motivation was similar, and the results are instructive.
The Daily Signal: While the nation debates whether Christian business owners should be forced by the government to cater same-sex marriages, the military is embroiled in its own dispute over religious freedom.
Centennial Review: For years, a central argument of those in favor of same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love as they choose. But why should that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships?
Western Journalism: According to Alliance Defending Freedom, the reports must include the number of customers declined a wedding cake or any other product. They must also include why it was declined “so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.”
Daily Report: Cochran—who is being defended by two teams of lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund and the Alliance Defending Freedom as well as attorneys Jonathan Crumly of Maner, Crumly & Chambliss and Garland Rafael Hunt of Hunt & Associates in Alpharetta — claimed in his complaint that Reed’s actions “put every city employee at risk of punishment, up to and including termination, simply for expressing religious beliefs on sexual morality that are similar to Cochran’s.”
DFW Catholic: “Like the other bakers, Jack happily serves all people but declines to use his artistic talents to create cakes that violate his conscience,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said April 7.
Newsmax: Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defending Freedom asked this question at Townhall.com: What do the gay lobby and abortion have in common?
Religion News Service: Throughout Christian history, friends have made promises to each other. Because I accept the traditional Christian view that marriage is about male and female coming together in a lifelong covenant and raising children, I wouldn’t want to see vowed friendships become a covert way of promoting same-sex sexual intimacy in the church. But I do think that committed, permanent friendships may be one way for gay and lesbian Christians to practice celibacy.