Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
AP: The Cairo-based Arab League has condemned remarks by the Czech president about moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling them a violation of Palestinian rights and international resolutions.
Fresno Bee: The Czech Republic’s highest court on Monday upheld a government plan to pay billions of dollars to religious groups in compensation for property the country’s former Communist regime seized from them.
AP: Czech President Milos Zeman is being criticized for refusing to grant a university professorship – the nation’s top academic title – to a critic of his, allegedly because the man is also a gay rights activist.
Prague Daily Monitor: The European Human Rights Court has stopped dealing with a complaint by the dissolved Czech Workers’ Party (DS) and its former chairman Tomas Vandas, the Justice Ministry has said on its website, saying this means the party’s dissolution can be considered definitive.
LifeSiteNews: Organizers of the annual Czech National March for Life said this year’s demonstration surpassed all expectations as thousands of pro-lifers filled the streets to give witness to the need to end abortion in the Czech Republic.
Prague Daily Monitor: The portion of people aged over 65 increased from 19.1 percent to 23.4 percent of the Czech population over the past 20 years. The EU average rose from 21.1 to 26.8 percent over the same period.
Religion Clause Blog: Last year the Czech Republic passed a law on return of church property confiscated during the country’s Communist regime. Under the law, the government will return land worth 75 billion crowns and will pay additional compensation of 59 billion crowns over the next 30 years.
AP: Lawmakers at the Czech parliament’s upper house have decided to press high treason charges against outgoing president Vaclav Klaus over his controversial amnesty – an unprecedented move that taints the end of his presidency.
AP: The Czech government signed deals with representatives of 16 religious groups on Friday to pay them billions of dollars in compensation for property that the country’s former Communist regime seized from them.
AP: The lower house of Parliament has overruled an upper house veto and gave a green light to a plan by the center-right government to pay billions of dollars in compensation for property seized by the former totalitarian Communist regime
ForeignPolicy.com: So it’s strange that less than a year after Havel’s death, communism in the Czech Republic is making a comeback.
Catholic Culture: Cardinal Dominik Duka of Prague is pressing the government of the Czech Republic for a final decision on proposals to compensate the Church for the properties that were confiscated by the country’s Communist regime.
World Congress of Families Leadership Letter Protests U.S. Embassy Participation in Prague “Gay Pride” Parade
Christian Post: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Piero Tozzi has signed a letter protesting the U.S. Embassy’s participation in the Prague “Gay Pride” parade on Aug. 18. The following news release comes from the U.S. Congress of Families, which initiated the letter:
LifeSiteNews: Several groups in the Czech Republic are organizing pro-life, pro-family counter-demonstrations to take place at the same time as the “gay pride festival” scheduled for August 18th.
ChicagoTribune.com: “This is a treaty outside of the EU,” British leader David Cameron insisted Tuesday at the House of Commons. “We are not signing it. We are not ratifying it. We are not part of it.” The decision by Cameron and Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas to reject the deal leaves Europe with a clumsy compromise and has thrown up legal questions about using EU-wide institutions like the European Court of Justice to enforce the pact.
BBC News: wenty-five of the EU’s 27 member states have agreed to join a fiscal treaty to enforce budget discipline.
Radio Prague (includes audio): A woman’s right to give birth at home is back in the spotlight in the Czech Republic, as a group of pregnant women intend to file a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Czech state makes planned home births virtually impossible; there are midwives qualified to deliver babies at home, but they lack official registration and insurance companies won’t cover them.
Ceskapozice.cz (report contains graphic birthing images): Czech law unfairly denies coverage for homebirths, insurers don’t reimburse cost of hiring midwives, say women filing suit at ECtHR
News from The Associated Press: More than 22 years after the fall of Communism, the Czech government agreed Wednesday to pay billions of dollars in compensation for property seized by the former totalitarian regime.
News from The Associated Press: The Czech Republic’s coalition government may crumble over a junior party’s rejection of a plan to compensate religious organizations for property seized by the former Communist regime.
Washington Times: Vaclav Havel wove theater into revolution, leading the charge to peacefully bring down communism in a regime he ridiculed as “Absurdistan” and proving the power of the people to overcome totalitarian rule.
Catholic Culture: The government of the Czech Republic will pay the Catholic Church 47 billion korunas ($2.5 billion) over 17 years in compensation for property confiscated during the Communist era (1948-89), according to a proposal outlined by the government’s culture ministry.
Religion Clause: The Prague Daily Monitor and Czech Position both report on the agreement reached on Aug. 24 between a Czech government commission and church representatives on compensating churches for property seized by the former Communist regime of Czechoslovakia.
Czech Leader Is Isolated in Opposing Gay Parade – NYTimes.com: President Vaclav Klaus is known for frankly voicing his opinions, and finding popular support. But the latest furor — over Prague’s first gay-pride festival — has left him more isolated than usual, roundly opposed by many in the Czech establishment and publicly at odds with the American ambassador.
The New Republic: Given all this, the Czech Republic’s place in the NORC study poses important questions that apply to gay rights campaigns around the world. It complicates the belief that broad acceptance of homosexuality, while perhaps a long way off in the future, is inevitable. The lessons learned from the Czech Republic reinforce the reality that the battle for gay acceptance is far from over.
The Washington Post: Czech President Vaclav Klaus is lashing out at 13 ambassadors for their support of a gay pride festival in the Czech capital.
AP: Czech President Vaclav Klaus has defended his deputy chancellor who criticized the mayor of Prague for supporting a gay pride parade in the capital.
OneNewsNow.com: “No government must offer abortions simply because pro-abortion advocates demand that they be provided,” contends Croatia-based ADF attorney Roger Kiska. “Neither European nor international law requires the Czech Republic to offer abortions. The Czech Parliament made the right decision to derail this bad and unpopular legislation.” (Listen to audio report)
Charisma: “No government must offer abortions simply because pro-abortion advocates demand they be provided,” ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska says. “Neither European nor international law requires the Czech Republic to offer abortions. The Czech Parliament made the right decision to derail this bad and unpopular legislation.” [more quotes by Roger at the link]
Religion Clause: In the Czech Republic, another attempt is being made to settle claims of churches for property that was nationalized after the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948.
LifeNews.com: “No government must offer abortions simply because pro-abortion advocates demand they be provided. Neither European nor international law requires the Czech Republic to offer abortions,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “The Czech Parliament made the right decision to derail this bad and unpopular legislation.” [more quotes at the link] . . .
OneNewsNow.com: “No one should accept the falsehood that governments must offer abortions just because pro-abortion advocates want that to happen,” contends ADF attorney Roger Kiska, who is in Croatia. “Neither European nor international law requires the Czech Republic to offer abortion.”
Czech Republic scraps proposed legislation that would have required providing abortions to citizens of other EU member states
Lesbians | Prostitutes | Sex Workers: Because of greater plasticity of female sexuality, he says, “Some women who have had bad experiences with men might seek tenderness and love from women, even though their natural preference might be heterosexual.” . . . There is another complicating factor, experts here say: broken homes.
LifeNews: No one should accept the falsehood that governments must offer abortions just because pro-abortion advocates want that to happen. Neither European nor international law requires the Czech Republic to offer abortions,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “Forcing this type of illegitimate cross-border recognition is something Americans have already seen attempted in laws related to health care and marriage,” Kiska added. “It must be stopped wherever it rears its ugly head.”
Charisma: “No one should accept the falsehood that governments must offer abortions just because pro-abortion advocates want that to happen. Neither European nor international law requires the Czech Republic to offer abortions,” says ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “Forcing this type of illegitimate cross-border recognition is something Americans have already seen attempted in laws related to health care and marriage. It must be stopped wherever it rears its ugly head.”
Telegraph: “In a report on homosexual equality, the Agency for Fundamental Rights said that phallometric testing, when men are shown both homosexual and heterosexual pornography while censors monitor the blood flow to the penis, ‘was questionable, since it is dubious whether it reaches sufficiently clear conclusions.’”
European Commission Press Release: “The European Commission has today sent a formal request to the Czech Republic to implement fully EU rules against gender discrimination in employment (Directive 2002/73/EC). The request, in the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures, comes after the Czech Republic failed to adequately implement all aspects of the Directive in its national law. The Czech Republic has two months to tell the Commission how it will fully comply with the Directive, failing which the Commission may decide to refer the Czech Republic to the EU’s Court of Justice.”
The Prague Post: “Charlie, a gay and lesbian students’ association at Charles University, took issue with what they saw as a biased and intolerant treatment of homosexuality in the handbook.”
Catholic News Agency: “Seven foreign embassies in Peru have expressed support for protests organized by homosexual activists groups demanding the legalization of same-sex unions by claiming they are being discriminated against. The statement of support was signed by the Embassies of Australia, Belgium, the United States, Holland, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Sweden and the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS.”
Martin Kornel, Parental Custody Disputes: Criteria Used by the Courts in Central Europe (July 16, 2009). West University of Timisoara and European Studies, pp. 353-418, July 2009 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1520564
“The paper explores statutes and court practice on the field of child custody in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Some conclusions are made on such comparison. Regardless differences in written law, usual court decision on custody in countries under consideration are very close. Strong maternal preference is visible. It is primarily the outcome of ‘Tender Years Doctrine’ and the effect of father’s resignation to seek for the child custody. Furthermore, the fact that statutory criteria for decisions on child custody are very vague implicates that fathers aim their actions and negotiation skills on other divorce related questions, e.g. contact with their child, alimony or the settlement of marital property.”
CTK: “Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka, the Catholic Church primate, agreed that court disputes about the ownership of St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle would not continue, in an agreement on joint care of the cathedral they signed in the church today.”
BBC: “The Baltic republic of Estonia, a country of 1.3 million people, is on course to adopt the euro in January 2011, the European Commission says . . . The Commission’s assessment covered: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Every two years the Commission judges whether their economic conditions meet the strict Maastricht criteria.”
Europa Press Release: “The European Commission has today closed legal proceedings against the Czech Republic on two directives prohibiting discrimination . . . The main points of the infringement case for the Employment Equality Directive (see also (IP/08/155) were: . . . rules on recruitment of customs officials included discriminatory conditions related to sexual orientation . . . The Czech Republic has amended its legislation on all those points, notably by adopting a comprehensive Anti-discrimination Act. As a result, the Commission now considers that Czech Republic has properly transposed the Directives.”
EU Observer: “Slovakia may also seek an opt-out from part of the Lisbon Treaty if the Czech Republic gets an exemption designed to prevent ethnic Germans expelled after World War II from claiming back their property.”
NY Times: “French President Nicolas Sarkozy criticised Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Thursday for failing to sign the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty and said there would be repercussions unless he fell into line quickly.”
Breitbart (AP): “Vaclav Havel, who led the 1989 Velvet Revolution that peacefully toppled communism in the former Czechoslovakia, accused his presidential successor on Thursday of damaging the country by refusing to sign the EU reform treaty.”
EU Observer: “Polish President Lech Kaczynski signed the Lisbon Treaty at a ceremony in Warsaw on Saturday (10 October). But Czech head of state Vaclav Klaus put a dampener on the occasion with attempts to revive World War II-era tensions from his castle in Prague.”
European Voice: “Czech President Václav Klaus has asked for a footnote to be added to the Lisbon treaty before he will sign the Czech Republic’s ratification document.”
Balkan Insight: “Czech President Vaclav Klaus says that he will not sign the Lisbon treaty, while it is under legal review, and that the treaty will have no impact on EU enlargement.”
European Voice: “The senators want the court to examine whether the Lisbon treaty and other EU treaties infringe Czech sovereignty and create a European federal super-state. They also want the court to rule if the Irish guarantees on the implications for tax, neutrality and ethical issues in the Lisbon treaty constitute a new international treaty and need to be ratified by the Czech parliament.”
NY Times: “With the Irish poised to vote next month on a landmark European Union treaty meant to improve the bloc’s global standing, alarm is growing in Brussels that the real stumbling bloc could prove to be the recalcitrant Czechs.”
Ceske Noviny reports: “Svoboda said he respected traditional Muslims and wanted an open Europe but that newcomers had to respect the local traditions. It would help if Muslim countries were open to Christians, he added. Svoboda noted that it is often a problem for Christians in Turkey to build a church.”
Simon Taylor reports at European Voice: “Václav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, is threatening to thwart the ambitions of Sweden’s presidency of the EU to see the Lisbon treaty take effect before the end of the year. If he lives up to his threat, the appointment of the next European Commission could be delayed until 2010.”
Christian Telegraph: “The Czech Republic’s Roman Catholic Church has appealed to the Constitutional Court against a ruling giving the state ownership of Prague’s 14th century St Vitus Cathedral, reports Ecumenical News International
NY Times: “Whether castration can help rehabilitate violent sex offenders has come under new scrutiny after the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee last month called surgical castration ‘invasive, irreversible and mutilating’ and demanded that the Czech Republic stop offering the …
CNSNews: “Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, told the International Conference on Climate Change that the true aim of environmentalists is to stop global development, not save the planet.”
AP: “The European Union has turned into an undemocratic and elitist project comparable to the Communist dictatorships of eastern Europe that forbade alternative thinking, Czech President Vaclav Klaus told the European Parliament on Thursday.”
AFP: Czech President Vaclav Klaus took aim at climate change campaigner Al Gore on Saturday in Davos in a frontal attack on the science of global warming. “I don’t think that there is any global warming,” said the 67-year-old liberal, …
Washington Post: On a frigid evening this month, more than 10,000 people gathered outside a 13th-century cathedral in this Baltic capital to protest the government’s handling of Latvia’s economic crisis and demand early elections . . . “People here instinctively …
Aktualne.centrum.cz reports: . . . Demographically dying out, Cardinal Vlk expects Europe to become markedly more Muslim in the 21st century because of the low fertility of Europeans the majority of whom are non-believers. “Muslims in Europe have much more …
TIME reports: Jan. 1 should be a moment to savor for Czechs: almost two decades after the Velvet Revolution ended communist rule, the country is about to take over the six-month rotating E.U. presidency. But while some Czechs may be …
Vaclav Havel: “China’s Human-Rights Activists Need Support: The signatories of Charter 08 face the wrath of the state.”
Valclav Havel writes in the Wall Street Journal: In January 1977, a group of Czechoslovak citizens, of which I was privileged to be one, released Charter 77. That document was our call for the better protection of basic civil and …
The Times of India: British men and women are the world’s most promiscuous people, leaving their American cousins far behind, according to a study. Germans come next with the Dutch, Czechs, Australians, Americans and French ranking third, fourth, fifth, sixth …
LifeSiteNews.com reports: “The Czech cabinet has passed a controversial bill that would allow Czech doctors to kill the unborn children of EU residents from other countries with more restrictive abortion laws . . . “
International Herald Tribune: In the 1980s, a Communist secret police agent infiltrated clandestine economics seminars hosted by Vaclav Klaus, a fiery future leader of the Czech Republic, who had come under suspicion for extolling free market virtues. Rather than reporting …
LifeNews.com reports: The parliament of the Czech Republic is set to debate a measure that could have the eastern European nation follow its western counterparts in legalizing assisted suicide. Currently the practice is only allowed in the Netherlands, Belgium and …