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Al Jazeera: Same-sex marriage became legal in Utah last October, a dramatic cultural shift for many, and eyes are on the expected ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States this summer that could legalize same-sex marriage across the U.S. Now some area residents are asking: Why not the polygamists?
The Salt-Lake Tribune: The brother of an imprisoned leader of a polygamous sect wants to double the amount of water available to the group’s compound in South Dakota, prompting concern by neighbors and law enforcement about a possible influx of members being displaced from an enclave on the Utah-Arizona border.
The Christian Science Monitor: Few were surprised when America’s largest denomination of “mainline” Presbyterian Christians voted to redefine marriage Tuesday, officially changing its church constitution to extend the sacred union between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
Reuters: Oklahoma’s conservative lawmakers, angered at being ordered by U.S. courts to allow same-sex marriage in the state, have come up with a new, religious tactic to block same-sex weddings by mandating that clergy conduct almost all ceremonies.
LA Times: In recent weeks, the most heated and difficult question among the same-sex marriage advocates has been trying to decide who is best suited to stand before the justices in a case that promises to be a landmark case.
Reuters: The battle over same-sex marriage in Alabama heightened on Monday when a federal judge refused to stay her order to a county judge that he start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
SCOTUS Blog: In the state where the law of same-sex marriage remains the most confused, an Alabama judge has asked the state’s highest court to get ready to promptly allow such marriages if the Supreme Court rules in their favor, avoiding “foot-dragging or other forms of resistance.”
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.
Religion News Service: “We will no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation and demand lifelong celibacy as a precondition for joining,” senior pastor Fred Harrell Sr. and six board members of City Church, one of the largest members of the Reformed Church in America denomination, wrote in a letter emailed to members Friday (March 13).
Pew Research: The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined other religious groups Tuesday in a vote that formally sanctions same-sex marriage. The 1.7 million-member church voted to amend its constitution to allow gay marriage ceremonies, a move widely anticipated after a step the church took last summer to allow its clergy to marry same-sex couples.
Public Discourse: Dolce and Gabbana, whether they use the term or not, are strong advocates of natural law.
Bloomberg View: The advantages that two people raising their own biological or jointly adopted children have over “nontraditional” family arrangements are too obvious to need enumeration, but apparently mere obviousness is not enough to forestall contrary arguments, so let me enumerate them anyway.
New (limited) poll shows over two-thirds of sampled voters want to institute federal law banning discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity
Rolling Stone: Greg Scott, a spokesman for conservative advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, told Buzzfeed that the poll only asks “a half-question” and would “increase the government’s coercive power in areas like free speech and exercise of faith.
Fox 31 (CNN Wire): The incident comes on the heels of similar complaints from same-sex couples around the country claiming discrimination from wedding vendors. A bakery in Oregon was ordered to pay fines for violating a same-sex couple’s civil rights by refusing to cater their wedding.
Religion Clause: The Arizona Supreme Court Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has issued Revised Advisory Opinion 15-01 (March 9, 2015), Judicial Obligation To Perform Same-Sex Marriages.
Arizona Capitol Times (AP): Arizona judges who perform wedding ceremonies are being told that they cannot turn away same-sex couples who want to marry.
Aleteia: On her Facebook page, Patricia Jannuzzi criticized gay activists and gay marriage as threats to the traditional family. Now the long-time religion teacher at Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey, has been suspended after actress Susan Sarandon complained about the post, according to media outlets.
Breitbart: A long-time teacher at a Catholic school in New Jersey has been suspended over comments made about homosexuality on her personal Facebook page.
Public Discourse: Sexual orientation and gender identity are conceptually different from race, and beliefs about marriage as the union of man and woman are conceptually and historically different from opposition to interracial marriage. Adapted from testimony delivered on Monday March 16 before the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
Speaker at L.A. archdiocese conference says Catholic teaching on homosexuality is ‘abusive’ and ‘gravely evil’
Life Site News: A speaker at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles annual conference for religious educators on the weekend denounced the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, saying the Catechism’s language on the issue is “abusive” and “gravely evil.”
Religion News Service: To hear some commentators talk, debates on these matters are over and conservatives have lost. But such predictions are premature.
byFaith: The Office of the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has received numerous emails regarding the recent action of the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA) in redefining marriage. On March 17, 2015 the Presbyterian Church (USA) approved language that allows its ministers to officiate at same-sex marriages in its churches. The change comes after the General Assembly and a majority of that denomination’s 171 presbyteries approved an amendment to their Book of Order that describes marriage as “a unique relationship between two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”
The New York Times: After three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Tuesday to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage.
Life News: Senate Democrats voted yet again today to block a bill to help victims of sex trafficking because it contains pro-life language to ensure that funds intended for women victimized by human trafficking are not used to pay for abortions. This time Democrats blocked passage of the bill to help women on a 57-41 vote.
First Things: On one side we have Stefano Gabbana, who with his famous business partner Domenico Dolce has decided to express his commitment to an Italian vision of family through his art—fashion. Judging from the footage of his most recent men’s fashion show, nobody can deny that Dolce and Gabbana’s current vision of family is heartfelt, profound, and essential.
Aleteia: One of man’s persistent dreams is to find a good reason he can’t help sinning. It started with Adam’s trying to blame Eve. Modern man naturally turns to science for this, and as he has learned more about himself and the world around him, he has also grown more ingenious in finding ways to explain why he cannot help breaking the moral law. On the one hand we have cell phones and brain surgery, on the other sophisticated defenses of sexual treachery.
The Weekly Standard: On Tuesday, 42 Senate Democrats prevented a vote on a bill to help the victims of sex trafficking because the bill does not provide federal funding for elective abortions.
Kevin Theriot and former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran discuss his case with Warren Smith (audio)
The World and Everything In It: Warren Smith interviews former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran and ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot in this segment.
BuzzFeed News: “This poll predictably asks a half-question,” Greg Scott of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal and advocacy group, told BuzzFeed News. Such a law would “increase the government’s coercive power” in arenas of free speech and exercise of faith, Scott argued. “If Americans knew their affirmation of the question in this poll would have such disastrous results, the numbers would look much different.”
First Things: The senior pastor and elders of City Church, identified as the largest evangelical church in San Francisco, will no longer require members to abstain from homosexual practice, so long as the homosexual activity occurs in the context of marriage.
The Federalist: I’m writing to you because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think.
Huffington Post (Reuters): U.S. District Judge Callie Granade said in a five-page order that Mobile County Probate Court Judge Don Davis must comply with her previous ruling, which found the state’s marriage law to be unconstitutional.
Christianity Today: Blogger and writer Dianna E. Anderson would like to give your sex life a makeover. But Anderson’s idea of a godly yes is very different from what the Christian church, through the ages, has generally understood it to mean.
The New York Times: As promised in my last entry, this will be the first of two posts on the theme of whether economic trends largely explain post-1960s family breakdown (my answer: no), addressing counterarguments that I didn’t have room to discuss in Sunday’s column.
SCOTUS Blog: If the Supreme Court agrees to plans made by lawyers involved in the same-sex marriage cases, seven attorneys will take turns at the lectern for the two-and-a-half-hour hearing on April 28. Both sides in the four cases sent in their proposals on Tuesday, responding to the Court’s request for them to coordinate.
Religion News Service: Bowman said forcing people to serve clientele planning gay marriages is parallel to “forcing nurses to assist in abortions.”
Standard Newswire: “Young girls and women shouldn’t be sentenced to the horrors of human trafficking and sex slavery,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “Withholding help for these girls and women in desperate need for any reason is tragic, but holding that help hostage because it doesn’t include abortion funding is downright wicked.”
The Gospel Coalition: Many Christians are beginning to conclude the traditional understanding must be wrong if it’s having this sort of effect on people. Surely, they reason, this kind of self-loathing and despair cannot be the fruit of God’s truth.
The American Conservative: First they came for Brendan Eich, and I said nothing, because I browse with Google Chrome. Then they came for Dolce & Gabbana, and I said nothing, because my clothes rack is full of Lands End and L.L. Bean. …
Public Discourse: Catholic sexual ethics are as fully reasonable today as they were in the time of St Paul. In fact, the natural law understanding of human fulfillment is inherently intelligible even without a theistic framework.
The Washington Post: Every few weeks or so, it seems, I hear of another family on the verge of “disruption,” the term used to describe families relinquishing back to the system children they have adopted. As with divorce, in some of these situations, there is no alternative to the tragic outcome. But as with divorce, in other cases, many of the adoptions did not need the nuclear option.
The World and Everything In It: Planet Fitness has revoked the membership of Yvette Cormier after she complained about a transgender male in the female locker rooms. Plus: an ABC Family television show depicts a homosexual kiss between two 13-year-old boys.
asktheBigot: Every human being has a mother and a father, and to cut either from a child’s life is to rob the child of dignity, humanity, and equality.
First Things: In an interview with Panorama magazine, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the two men whose business partnership—and one-time romantic partnership—lies behind one of the world’s great fashion powerhouses, have declared that “The only family is the traditional one.”
Public Discourse: The US Supreme Court has set a precedent upholding the right of states to define marriage as the union of husband and wife. All federal and state judges—including those in Alabama—are bound by that precedent.
The Gospel Coalition: In a statement issued today, Gordon College reaffirms commitment to biblical sexual ethics and launches campus taskforce on human sexuality.
The Journal Friendswood (FRC): Recently Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg intoned that it “would not take a large adjustment” for Americans readily to accept a Court decision to affirm the “right” to same-sex marriage.
IWF: An IWF study has found 100% of the sexual images and videos observed, which were produced by children (aged 15 and younger), had been taken from their original online location and uploaded to another website.
First comes love, then comes marriage… tying the knot before first baby is a key ingredient for marriage success
Marriage Foundation: In the first ever UK study of its kind, new research from Marriage Foundation, a think tank dedicated to building stronger families, has found that the recipe for relationship success lies in making the decision to commit before starting a family.
BBC News: Children from the age of 11 are to be taught about sexual consent under new government plans.
The Daily Signal: Should faith-based adoption providers have to agree to placing children with same-sex couples? The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act would protect the right of child welfare providers, including private and faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, to continue providing valuable services to families and children.
The Christian Institute: A columnist at The Herald newspaper has praised the institution of marriage following a study by pro-family group the Marriage Foundation.
Christian News Network: The Supreme Court of Alabama has ordered a judge who was at the center of a same-sex “marriage” lawsuit not to issue any such licenses, advising that a recent federal court ruling surrounding the matter does not apply to anyone outside of the two women involved in the legal challenge.
Family Studies: In 1965, American mothers spent an average of eight hours a week on paid work and 10 hours a week on child care. In 2011, they worked 21 hours a week—and spent 14 hours on child care. That is, even as they became much more likely to spend a significant amount of time at work, moms came to devote more time, not less, to their kids. Do you think children benefited from that change? Restricting the question to today, are kids who spend more time with their moms more likely to do well on standard academic and behavioral measures?
Family Studies: What can couples do to avoid divorce? Hundreds of books, articles, workshops, and lectures have tackled that question. If there were a surefire way to “divorce-proof” a marriage, we would have found it by now. It doesn’t exist.
Savannah Now: The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act was introduced in the last Congress. This legislation will soon be re-introduced and should be given priority by Senate and House leadership and passed.
Tulsa World: Preventive efforts matter — and can save money. An Institute for American Values study shows that even a 1 percent increase in family stability saves the state $43 million.
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.”
New Republic: The bill passed 23-5 in the Senate and 65-10 in the House, but many of those who worked on the bill are already anxious about what is sure to follow: a fight over public accommodations, or questions like whether a baker with religious objections would be obligated to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
NY Mag: If you fancy yourself a normalish, reasonably rational parent, you probably read, with equal parts horror and fascination, about the recent travails of a Maryland couple that tried to allow their children to walk the one mile from a local park to their home in Silver Spring.
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty: The Navy has relieved a chaplain from duty allegedly because he offered counseling on sexuality consistent with his Christian faith.
The Daily Signal: Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about the constitutional status of state laws defining marriage as the exclusive union of husband and wife.
The Guardian: A plan to to challenge young children’s ideas about gender through play at schools in northern Italy – including with a memory game that contains images of male homemakers and female plumbers – has created a storm of protest, with some politicians saying the effort will confuse children about their sexual identity.
Christian print shop refuses to make same-sex wedding invites; ‘God is our defense,’ says Irish firm
The Christian Post: A printing company based in Ireland has refused to print out invitations for a same-sex couple’s wedding.
Christian Today: Military veteran and former Navy chaplain Wes Modder is at risk of being discharged because of alleged insensitivity towards premarital sex and same-sex relations during counselling sessions, Fox News reported Monday.
Crux Now (AP): The growing conflict between religious groups and same-sex marriage advocates over punishments in discrimination cases is playing out in Colorado, with a Democrat-led committing rejecting Republican proposals aimed at protecting individuals and organizations from complaints.
NPR: The Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention and its nearly 16 million members continue to resist societal trends like same-sex marriage and cohabitation. They also want to go against the grain on the rising marital age.
Washington Square News: “If marriage is to be an egalitarian institution, then that necessitates a redefinition of parenthood,” Shafer said. “If the law ratifies as normative both adoption and the use of surrogate mothers, by saying they are equal to traditional procreative development, there might come a time when it’s normal for a child to have only a transactional relationship with their biological parents.”
The Oklahoman: Sparked by controversy over same-sex marriages, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would abolish government-issued Oklahoma marriage licenses.
The New York Times: With the backing of Mormon church leaders, the Republican-dominated Utah Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday night that would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing and employment, while also protecting religious institutions that object to homosexuality.
Fox News: A chaplain who once ministered to Navy SEALs could be thrown out of the military after he was accused of failing “to show tolerance and respect” in private counseling sessions in regards to issues pertaining to faith, marriage and sexuality, specifically homosexuality and pre-marital sex, according to documents obtained exclusively by Fox News.
Law and Religion UK: The ever-helpful Religion Clause blog reports a recent decision of the High Court of Madras that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 takes precedence over the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937.