Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Public Discourse: Austria’s attempt to mandate a single German translation of the Quran reflects ignorance about Islam and the factors contributing to violent extremism, obliviousness to the nature of modern media, and an attitude of cultural imperialism.
AP: A diocese in the southern city of Graz says it has been found guilty of contravening Austria’s telecommunications law by sending mass texts to the cellphones of followers asking them to pay overdue membership fees.
Irish Bureaucrat Thinks That Pro-life Event Is “too Controversial” To Be Hosted At European Parliament
Turtle Bay and Beyond: In the case at hand, an Irish EU Official working at the European Parliament turned down the request of an Austrian pro-life youth group to promote the right to life and the European Citizen’s Initiative “One of Us”, which seeks to promote the protection of the most fundamental of all human rights, the right to l life. Jim Higgins, MEP from the Irish “Fine Gael” Party, is unwilling/unable to explain why the right to life is “controversial”.
HSLDA: We’re a Christian family with four children, ages 6—12 years. Since our marriage, my wife and I were living in or near Munich, Germany, joining a small Church there. It was probably when our oldest daughter was still a toddler that we started thinking about school.
Had The Woman Been A Man… Comments On The Echr Ruling Of X And Others V. Austria On Homosexual Adoption And The Abandonment Of Natural Law.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The Court establishes that the impossibility of second-parent adoption in a same-sex relationship is discriminatory when such adoption is possible for unmarried heterosexual couples, although the exclusion of the biological parent. The reasoning may be thus summarised: If the woman had been a man, the adoption would have been possible, so it must be possible in the name of non-discrimination according to sexual orientation while the woman is not a man.
Belfast Telegraph: A legal victory for a lesbian couple who want to jointly raise one partner’s child could lead to same sex couples in Northern Ireland being allowed to adopt, a gay rights activist has said.
Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe: On December 23, three churches were set on fire in the small town of Amstetten, lower Austria. One of the churches was severely damaged.
Gatestone Institute: Saudi Arabia has officially opened the doors of a controversial new “interreligious and intercultural dialogue center” in the Austrian capital, Vienna. The King Abdullah International Center for Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue was inaugurated during an elaborate ceremony at the Hofburg Palace in downtown Vienna on November 26
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday, the inauguration ceremony marking the official opening of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) was held in Vienna, Austria, the Centre’s home base. Among those speaking at the opening ceremony was U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (full text of remarks).
Turtle Bay and Beyond: In a previous post, our friend Grégor Puppinck informed about a case currently pending before the European Court of Human Rights in which the petitioners, a lesbian couple from Austria, claim to have been victims of “discrimination” because the Austrian legislation does not allow homosexual adoption. As Grégor explains in more detail, one of the two applicants has a child from a previous (heterosexual) relationship; the father of that child is still alive, pays alimonies, and has no intention to renounce to his paternal rights. What is deeply disturbing about this case is not that every now and then there are people who file such frivolous and manifestly absurd applications, but that the Court decides to hear them.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: On 3rd October 2012, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights will hear a case of “homosexual adoption” concerning the impossibility for a woman to adopt the son of her female partner (X and others v. Austria, no. 19010/07). The two women consider it an infringement of their private life and discriminatory.
Religion Clause Blog: EJP reported yesterday that in Austria, the country’s Justice Minister Beatrix Karl has written a letter to state officials in the province of Voralberg assuring doctors that they will not face prosecution for performing circumcision of boys . . .
AFP on Yahoo: Switzerland has given the green light for a new prenatal test for Down’s syndrome amid controversy over whether this will lead to more abortions, a Swiss newspaper reported Sunday.
AP: The governor of Vorarlberg has told hospitals run by Austria’s westernmost province to suspend circumcisions motivated by religious custom, citing a German regional court ruling . . .
Austria: “Homosexual Lobby: Moral Bankruptcy Followed By Financial Bankruptcy… Taxpayers’ Money Urgently Needed”
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The strange phenomenon that governments use taxpayers’ money to maintain radical homosexualist lobby groups is apparently not limited to the notorious case of ILGA-Europe, which is kept alive by funds received from the European Commission.
Religion Clause Blog: Last weekend, senior Austrian government officials and members of Austria’s Islamic community attended ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of Austria’s Law on Islam.
Catholic Culture: Observing that Americans had shown support for the “Arab Spring” uprisings in the region that have increased the dangers to the religious minority, he said that the best way to promote democracy would be to ensure that Christians have “the space of freedom.”
CNBC: Standard & Poor’s will cut the credit ratings of Italy, Spain and Portugal by two notches and downgrade France and Austria by one notch, a French newspaper said Friday, without citing its sources.
BioNews: IVF using donated eggs or sperm other than from a spouse will remain banned in Austria. This was the final decision made by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) on 3 November in the closing of the case SH and others v Austria.
LifeNews.com: Yesterday,the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has delivered its final judgment in the case of S. H. and others v. Austria (application no. 57813/00), reversing a prior judgment, and deciding that the Austrian ban on using sperm and ova donations for in vitro fertilisation (heterologous IVF) respects the European Convention on Human Rights, and in particular is not in breach of the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8 of the Convention).
Wesley J. Smith at Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog: This is why I am heartened by the UCHR’s ruling that upholds Austria’s law banning the use both donated eggs and sperm in an IVF attempt in order to allow a couple to bear a genetically unrelated child.
Austrian Times Online News – English Newspaper: People’s Party (ÖVP) State Secretary Sebastian Kurz has called for a reform of Austria’s anti-forced marriage law. Forced marriages are not a criminal offence under the current regulations if carried out abroad.
Vestnik Kavkaza: The president underlined that Muslims living in Austria must follow the local laws. Austria is a secular state, he noted.
Austrian Independent : Conservative opinion leaders turned their guns on Social Democratic (SPÖ) Health Minister Alois Stöger earlier this month after he suggested state-funded clinics across the country should provide induced abortions. The left-wing politician claimed women were “not taken seriously” at the moment. Public hospitals in three of the alpine country’s nine provinces were not offering such services.
LifeSiteNews.com: The office of Human Life International’s (HLI) European Regional Director Joannes Bucher was recently attacked after a pro-life march in Austria.
Teresa Collet at the University Faculty for Life Blog: In 1974 Austria removed all criminal penalties for abortions in the first three months of pregancy. While most people interpret this action as making abortion legal, some public authorities argue that the change merely removed any penalty for conduct that remains illegal (or at least publiclly disfavored) . . .
LifeNews.com: A ruling by a judge in Graz, Austria is a case of blatant persecution of pro-lifers, says Human Life International president Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carambula.
AP: A year after a widespread sex scandal rocked Roman Catholics in Pope Benedict XVI’s homeland, German intellectuals and faithful alike are turning their backs on the church, calling for change or simply leaving the congregation.
C-FAM: The European Union was founded on respect for national sovereignty,” Roger Kiska, Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, told the Friday Fax. “If the Advocate General’s opinion is followed, it destroys this sovereignty making all European nations vulnerable to legislation promoting anti-life and anti-family laws despite the national will of that country. It is not the role of the ECJ to legislate for all of Europe without Europe having a say in the matter,” said Kiska.
Austrian Independent: “More than 700 same sex couples decided to follow the government coalition’s offer of having their partnership “registered” last year.”
Europe News: The court based “denigration of religious doctrines” on the fact that Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff had characterized Mohammed as “pedophiliac” because — according to Islamic legend — he had sex with nine year-old Aisha. In the court’s view, this was “denigrating” because Mohammed did not have sex exclusively with children but also with grown women, and stayed with Aisha until his death when she was eighteen years old. So he was not inclined to pedophilia.
IsraelNationalNews.com: “The citizen, 63-year-old Helmut G., was told by the court that his yodeling offended his next-door Muslim neighbors, who accused him of trying to mock and imitate the call of the Muezzin.”
The Constitutional Court of Austria [Google Translation]: “The Constitutional Court has ruled [against] the approach taken by the Federal Minister of the Constitution. Nowhere in the relevant Austrian Laws is [it said] that . . . only one Islamic or confessional community must be [the] religion. [On the contrary]: Such a view violates Article 9 of the European Human Rights Convention (right to Religion).”
Vorarlberg Online [modified Google translation]: FPÖ [Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs / Freedom Party of Austria] member Dieter Egger is pleased that at the meeting of the Social Policy Committee on Wednesday, the votes of ÖVP [Österreichische Volkspartei / Austrian People's Party] and the FPÖ formed a majority rejecting calls for anonymous abortions in Vorarlberg hospitals.
KathWeb.at [modified Google translation from German]: “[About] one and a half years after the state election on 1 March 2009 in Salzburg, [the] Supreme Court (OGH) [dismissed the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) of Austria's action against] Youth for Life for a parody of [an] election poster [featuring] Governor [Gabi Burgstaller] and [criticizing] the possibility of abortion [at] LKH Salzburg. According to the [SPÖ, Youth for Life violated] copyright [and harmed Burgstaller's reputation].” Press Release from Youth for Life (Jugend für das Leben)
LifeSiteNews: “In the latest chapter in a long history of abuse, the state prosecutor’s office in Vienna is attempting to stifle the legal claims of a pro-lifer, whom a local abortionist’s hired thugs were caught on tape cutting, harassing and intimidating outside an abortion mill . . . A case filed in response to the bodily injury and theft inflicted by Fiala’s thugs has reportedly been pending for a year at the prosecutor’s office of Vienna. After the pro-lifer’s attorney took the case to the Superior Court of Vienna, the prosecutor’s office moved to stay the lawsuit, according to Gloria.tv. Dietmar Fischer, executive director of Human Life International (HLI) Austria, confirmed that the state prosecutor was seeking to dismiss the pro-lifer’s case against the thugs.”
Austrian Independent: “Austria’s first transsexual teacher has been given the all clear to work by the education ministry after a sex change operation.”
LA Times: “European nations do not have to allow same-sex marriage, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled, though gay rights groups claimed a partial victory Friday because the court acknowledged growing agreement that their relationships should be recognized in law.”
“The court found no violation of [Schalk and Kopf's, a homosexual couple in Austria who were denied the right to marry] human rights, although it was very divided on the issue of discrimination (four votes against three in holding that Austria did not discriminate).”
Breitbart (AP): “The bureau said the material—confiscated during a search of the man’s home—shows children under the age of 14, including babies, being sexually abused. Some of the scenes are violent, it said . . . The man, currently in pretrial detention, is also alleged to have sexually abused two young daughters of a Thai woman who lived with him for a while . . . ”
AFP: “A Vienna museum dealing with contraception and abortion received a special prize from a European body Thursday for raising public awareness of both issues.”
BBC: “A heterosexual Austrian couple have embarked on a court battle to have their relationship legally recognised as a ‘registered partnership’ – a new form of civil union for same-sex couples. Helga Ratzenboeck and Martin Seydl say they don’t want a traditional marriage and insist that the law should be blind to gender and sexuality.”
EurActiv: “National administrations and the European Commission are ignoring the regions’ new right to shape EU decisions under the Lisbon Treaty, Mayor of Vienna Michael Häupl told EurActiv in an interview . . . The treaty, he stressed, was designed to reinforce the democratic input of national and regional parliaments in EU decision-making, via the so-called subsidiarity principle. But as a result of national intransigence, he claims powerful regions such as Vienna are losing out and must start to make their voices heard, pressuring national governments into fully recognising these changes.”
European Court of Human Rights (ECHR): Austrian law restricting in vitro fertilization violates European Convention on Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has issued a Chamber judgment that Austria’s laws restricting in vitro fertilization procedures are ‘discriminatory’ and violate the right to a family life under the European Convention on Human Rights . . . ”
Pride1Radio (“gay radio station”): “According to a report of Info magazine GGG.at the Styrian EPG Adjustment Act [is currently under review]. [Everywhere Styrian state law uses "spouse" it should also add gay and lesbian partners].” [Google Translation]
CBN: “CBN News recently traveled to one small town in Austria where residents are up in arms over the newest local attraction: a multi-million dollar Islamic center.”
Europe News: “Turkey is today considered a rising power in the Middle East and Europe. But just a few centuries ago, the Turks ruled large chunks of both regions under the banner of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish-led forces drove deep into Europe, even reaching the gates of Vienna twice before being defeated. Now they’re back . . . So far, Austrian officials have yet to comment on the Turkish government’s expanded influence. ‘They close their eyes because they want to be elected again and the growing Islamic population is for them a target group for the next election,’ said Zeitz.”
AFP: “A gay couple accused Austria before Europe’s top rights court yesterday of discriminating against homosexuals in adoption and other matters despite a new law allowing same-sex unions . . . The couple, who filed their petition before the European Court of Human Rights in 2004, claim ‘that the nation of marriage had evolved over time thus having to be understood nowadays as a permanent union encompassing all aspects of life,’ the Strasbourg-based court said in a statement.”
Deutsche Welle: “A heterosexual couple in Austria is fighting for the right to enter into a registered civil partnership – introduced for homosexual couples in January 2010. Under current law the couple will be denied that right – but they have vowed to take the case to the country’s constitutional court to overturn what they says is a discriminatory legislation.”
LifeSiteNews: “The change, announced before Christmas by the country’s health ministry, went into effect on December 18th . . .”
LifeSiteNews: “The Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna has warned that Christianity in Europe is dying out. Christoph Cardinal Schönborn said at St. Stephen’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday, ‘The time of Christianity in Europe is coming to an end. A Christianity, which achieved such great things like this cathedral or the wonderful music we will hear today.’”
Int’l Herald Tribune (Reuters): Austrian police on Friday said they have broken an Internet child porn ring that stretched across 170 countries, charging nearly 200 men and confiscating 14,000 computers, hard drives and diskettes.
In Europe, where citizens lack the protection of a First Amendment, hate crime legislation is used to punish citizens for the expression of negative opinions concerning minority groups. In Europe the concept of hate crimes make sense because hate crimes are crimes of opinion and sentiment. Unlike America, Europe criminalizes opinions and sentiments. However, in the United States, with its First Amendment, it is difficult to see what purpose hate crime legislation can serve. The Matthew Shepard Act contains a “Rule of Construction” explicitly stating that “Nothing in this Act… shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
LifeSiteNews: An Austrian chemist who helped spearhead the creation of the earliest contraceptive pill has expressed dismay at the severance of sexuality and reproduction made possible by widespread use of the pill, and has warned against the impending demographic disaster …
LifeSiteNews.com reports: On June 25, Vienna Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schönborn awarded Vienna Deputy Mayor Renate Brauner the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great, one of the highest honors conferred by the Catholic Church . . . The German-language Catholic …