Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
One News Now: Roger Kiska, an ADF attorney who is headquartered in Croatia, applauds the court for ruling against an “inhuman practice.” “A civilized society values the precious lives of children and does not reduce them to commodities and elective cosmetic procedures,” he says.
Live Action News: Abortion in itself is tragic enough, but the penchant for people to use dead babies for such ventures as cosmetic development is an abhorrent practice, and one condemned strongly in an international court recently, aided by a friend-of-the-court brief from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
Life News: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Daniel Lipsic participated in a hearing in Hungarian General Court in a criminal case involving the harvesting of embryonic stem cells and tissue from aborted babies and using them for profit in cosmetic procedures.
ADF Media: “Any baby deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, not as a commodity for commercial gain,” said ADF International Deputy Director Roger Kiska. “We commend the court for ruling strongly against this horrific and inhuman practice and outlawing this kind of hideous black market. A civilized society values the precious lives of children and does not reduce them to commodities in elective cosmetic procedures.”
Bos News Life: “Governments should not play favourites when recognizing churches,” said Roger Kiska, senior legal counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) advocacy group, which supported the case in earlier remarks.
Europe does not have a history of a strict separation of church and state where the state does not interfere in the internal affairs of the church. In fact, some countries in Europe still have state churches, for example, the Church of England.
OneNewsNow: “‘Hungary had put together a new registration law whereby they deregistered all of the churches and ministries in the country and had them reregister,’ [Roger Kiska] explains. ‘The law itself was discriminatory. It showed favoritism to a number of groups who didn’t meet the criteria otherwise, and then refused to reregister a number of other groups.’”
BosNewsLife: “The ruling came as a victory for the Magyar Keresztény Mennonita Egyház, or ‘Hungarian Christian Mennonite Church’ and several other faith groups who launched the case. ‘Governments should not play favourites when recognizing churches,’ said Roger Kiska, senior legal counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) advocacy group, which supported the case.”
“Governments should not play favorites when recognizing churches. A Council of Europe member state cannot show such favoritism nor can a country discriminate against other churches and ministries with which it may disagree. Europe’s highest human rights court upheld that very principle in this decision, which makes it a historic victory not just for Christians in Hungary, but for all Europeans.”
Filip Mazurczak at First Things: “In Hungary, Croatia, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, a pro-family, pro-life revolution and a rediscovery of Christian roots is occurring. While few in the American media have noticed, this trend should challenge those who simply lament Europe’s moral malaise. Unnoticed in the shadow of a secularized west, religion’s public role has been growing in the east since the collapse of communism.”
Boston Globe: Hungary’s parliament has overwhelmingly approved a modified plan to restrict the display of Nazi and communist symbols such as the swastika and red star.
AP: Hungary has failed to reinstate judges and prosecutors it forced into early retirement in breach of EU law, the European Union’s justice chief said Wednesday . . .
One News Now: Attorney Roger Kiska with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) tells American Family News the case, heard in Hungary’s capital on Wednesday, involves several people – Hungarians and Ukranians – who operate several clinics. “One of them is an abortion clinic from which they harvest from the aborted unborn children tissue and embryonic stem cells, which they then use in a cosmetic clinic injected directly into the veins of wealthy patients for $25,000 U.S. per injection,” he states.
Charisma News: Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing such use. “A baby is precious, not a precious commodity,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Daniel Lipsic. “This horrific and inhuman use of a child’s cells and tissues has no place in a civilized society. No one should be allowed to line their wallets with profit gained from creating this kind of black market—one that generates a hideous demand for babies’ bodies for use in unapproved, elective cosmetic procedures.”
LifeNews: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Daniel Lipsic will be participating in a hearing in Hungarian General Court in a criminal case involving the harvesting of embryonic stem cells and tissue from aborted babies and using them for profit in cosmetic procedures. The pro-life group filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing such use. “A baby is precious, not a precious commodity,” said Lipsic. “This horrific and inhuman use of a child’s cells and tissues has no place in a civilized society. No one should be allowed to line their wallets with profit gained from creating this kind of black market–one that generates a hideous demand for babies’ bodies for use in unapproved, elective cosmetic procedures.” [more]
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Daniel Lipsic will be available for media interviews immediately following a hearing in a criminal case involving the harvesting of embryonic stem cells and tissue from aborted babies and using them for profit in cosmetic procedures.
Hungarian Parliament Passes Constitutional Amendment Giving Parliament Power To Recognize Religious Commuities
Religion Clause Blog: The new constitutional amendments specifically authorize parliament to decide on recognition of religious communities . . .
FT.com: Critics say the amendments contain provisions threatening the independence of the judiciary, and potentially violating freedom of religion and the principle of separation of state and church. They narrowly define heterosexual marriage and “marriage and parent-child relationships” as the basis of the family.
Jurist: The Constitutional Court of Hungary [official website, in Hungarian] on Tuesdaystruck down [judgment, PDF, in Hungarian, press release, in Hungarian] a law that outlines how churches are given official designation, finding that it was too political. Under the law, only Parliament could give churches official status.
AP: The EU’s highest court ruled Tuesday that Hungary’s reduced retirement age for judges constituted unjustified discrimination on the grounds of age . . .
Religion Clause Blog: BosNewsLife reported yesterday that in Hungary, the country’s Ombudsman who is elected by Parliament to protect fundamental civil rights is asking the Constitutional Court to overturn the country’s recently enacted Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions and Religious Community.
Religion Clause Blog: . . . Jewish congregations on Tuesday submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights contending that Hungary’s new Church Law is illegal and discriminatory. Hungary’s Constitutional Court has already rejected their claims.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: But the rights-in-childbirth movement also considers the fact that the unborn child may have rights beyond survival, that is, the right to be born in a way that is best for her.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The Venice Commission is currently reviewing the Hungarian cardinal law on the Protection of Families. This law has been strongly criticised, especially for defining family as “based on the marriage of a man and a woman,” and for protecting human life since conception. The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) submits today a Memorandum to the Venice Commission demonstrating that this law respects the letter and the spirit of international treaties on family and follows the legitimate aim to set foundations for the recovery of the country through the protection of life and family.
Hungary Makes Waves with New Constitution: Ambassador Says Document Can Promote a ‘Christian Renaissance’ in Europe
Zenit: Hungary’s Ambassador to the Holy See is rather perplexed by the negative reaction of some European figures and institutions to his country’s new Constitution — a document he sees as offering a possible impetus to a “Christian renaissance” in Europe.
AP: The head of the Council of Europe on Wednesday criticized a new law in Hungary that sharply reduced the number of officially recognized churches and changed the procedure they need to follow to gain that status.
Religion Clause Blog: The Venice Commission is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional law. Yesterday, responding to a request from the government of Hungary for an advisory opinion, the Commission issued a 15-page report on Hungary’s 2011 Act On the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion and the Legal Status of Churches, Denominations and Religious Communities.
Wall Street Journal (via Google): Hungary’s premier fired a new broadside in the country’s running battle of wills with the European Union, saying that Hungarians should be free to make their own laws without interference from Brussels.
Religion Clause Blog: Under Hungary’s new Law on Churches passed last month, all churches other than those of 14 traditional faiths, must apply to Parliament if they want formal recognition.
Wall Street Journal: The European Commission proposed Wednesday to suspend €495 million ($602.2 million) in European Union budget funds for Hungary in 2013 unless it acts quickly to cut its deficit.
C-Fam Friday Fax: Hungarian leaders have passed a law protecting the traditional family, defying ongoing criticism that their new constitution would curtail abortion and homosexuality.
Courthouse News Service: Hungarian officials violated citizens’ right to peaceful assembly by routinely refusing to authorize demonstrations and declaring the area in front of the Parliament in Budapest a “security operational zone,” the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday.
Yahoo! News: Hungary’s prime minister yielded on Wednesday in a dispute with the European Union that threatens aid for his country, saying he was willing to change contested laws tightening government control over institutions including the central bank.
News from The Associated Press: The EU’s executive Commission said the new constitution that came into force Jan. 1 undermines the independence of the national central bank and the judiciary and does not respect data privacy principles.
Christian Concern: All but one of the evangelical churches in Hungary have been decertified under the new Hungarian constitution, losing their official status, tax exemptions and freedom to run schools.
Religion Clause: According to Focus News Agency, Hungary’s Parliament last Friday passed a restrictive new Law on Churches which recognizes only 14 religious faiths (the so-called traditional faiths), instead of the 300 that have previously been recognized.
Boston.com: Hare Krishna members on Tuesday protested outside Hungary’s Parliament against a new law that could strip them of their status as a recognized church.
Politics.hu: The letter referred to Hungary’s new church law and said that it had deprived over 100 religious communities of their church status, many of which are playing a key role in providing services to the homeless, the elderly, the Roma and other disadvantaged groups representing tens of thousands of people.
Joseph K. Grieboski at the Huffington Post: On July 12, the Hungarian parliament procured for the country the title of Worst Religion Law in Europe when it rushed after midnight to adopt its new “Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions and Religious Communities.”
The Institute on Religion and Public Policy at the Christian Newswire: Legislation recently proposed in Hungary contains provisions designed to create the most oppressive religion law and the most burdensome registration system in the entire OSCE region. Over a hundred religious organizations will be retroactively stripped of their status as religious communities and “de-registered” as religious organizations if these provisions become law.
NPR: Gays and lesbians marched in several Eastern European capitals Saturday protected by hundreds of riot police after some extremist groups urged members to stop the Gay Pride rallies.
Religion Clause Blog: Politics.hu reports today that Hungary’s cabinet will be presented within a few weeks with a proposed new law on churches. It will prohibit the government from controlling or supervising churches.
Wall Street Journal: The Hungarian ad campaign, partly financed by the EU, will run for two months and show a picture of a fetus with the words, “I understand it if you aren’t ready for me, but rather put me up for adoption, let me live!”
LifeNews: The new Hungarian constitution, which protects life from conception, has evoked a maelstrom of protest from the European institutions, not to mention the pro-abortion lobby.
AP: Hungarian lawmakers approved a socially and fiscally conservative new constitution Monday that was blasted by rights groups and the political opposition for measures including a ban on gay marriage and protection of the life of a fetus from conception.
Religion Clause Blog: . . . A European Parliament group says that while the new document prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, language, religion, political views, national or social origins, ownership of assets, or birth, it does not ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Among the other controversial provisions are ones that protect the life of the fetus beginning at conception and a provision that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman . . .
Wall Street Journal: “Hungary won’t ban abortion in its new constitution, contrary to initial plans. Still, the country’s government wants to see more children and will use other means than a constitutional ban on abortion to achieve it.”
Christian Science Monitor: “People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations. As most pension schemes in Europe are organised by the state, European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends. In recent weeks I have noted five such attempts: Three situations concern private personal savings; two others refer to national funds.”
Reuters: “Hungary’s parliament passed legislation on Tuesday to tighten government control over news outlets that media watchdogs say is arbitrary and ill-defined.”
Politics.hu: “Human life will be protected from conception and marriage will be defined as heterosexual co-existence in the new Constitution, according to the specimen The Principles of Regulating the Constitution of Hungary.”
Politics.hu: “The constitution which is now being drafted at the behest of the ruling Fidesz-Christian alliance will declare marriage suitable only for men and women, according to a section of the draft document seen by MTI.”
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.”
Politics.hu: “The Constitutional Court yesterday upheld the same rights regarding property and inheritance for same-sex couples as for those in conventional marriages.”
Politics.hu: “Hungary’s governing Socialist party will initiate an amendment to the Constitution so as to ban Holocaust denial and hate speech and make them punishable by law . . . ”
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 …
The Budapest Times reports: “The court last Monday rejected two amendments to Hungary’s laws on inflammatory public discourse that would have made ‘hate speech’ a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison.” Hat tip: Religion Clause Blog.
Orsolya Szeibert-Erdös, Same-Sex Partners in Hungary Cohabitation and Registered Partnership. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1146926 Same-sex partners cannot enter into marriage according to current Hungarian law. However, they can live together in unmarried cohabitation, which does have certain limited legal consequences …