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Andrew Walker at Canon & Culture: “What is religious freedom and why does it matter? Anyone who believes that they can sit these questions out will soon learn they cannot. Indifference will no longer be possible. . . . The issue never was, and never will be, about Christians picking and choosing what they will or will not do. It’s about what Christians are forced, mandated, or compelled to do by state law.”
Kellie Fiedorek discusses Arizona SB 1062 on CNN with Brooke Baldwin | MP4 runs about 8:04 mins.
Doug Napier appeared on Erin Burnett’s CNN show to discuss Arizona’s SB 1062 | MP4 video runs 6:34 min.
Peter Corbett and Laurie Merrill at The Arizona Republic: “Supporters say the bill, written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense against a lawsuit.”
The Post-Standard (Syracuse): “La Rue, legal counsel for the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, says that a lack of clarity in the New Mexico law allowed for Huguenin to be sued for exercising her beliefs. He writes: ‘No Arizonan should be forced to choose between making a living and living free. An amended bill that provides a safeguard from laws that violate our First Amendment freedoms — while still letting government enact laws necessary to the common good — is a sensible one.’”
The Arizona Republic: “The bill, written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense against a lawsuit.”
SB 1062 forcing Brewer to consider issues tied to faith, discrimination | The Arizona Republic (video)
The Arizona Republic: “The bill was written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy — one of the most influential lobbies at the state legislature — and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom.”
Andrew Johnson at National Review: “In an interview with Kellie Fiedorek, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that aided in the creation of the controversial Arizona bill protecting businesses’ freedom to provide services in line with their religious beliefs, Cuomo badgered Fiedorek “to be honest” about the bill’s motives, which he claimed was to discriminate against gay customers.”
Andrew Johnson at National Review: “George Takei, the Star Trek actor-turned-gay-rights-activist, has threatened to launch a statewide boycott of the Grand Canyon State if Brewer approves what he calls the ‘turn away the gay’ bill. Takei is being joined in his call for a veto by both of the state’s U.S. senators, politicians around the country, and even three GOP state senators who voted for the bill.”
New York Times: “‘In America, people should be free to live and work according to their faith, and the government shouldn’t be able to tell us we can’t do that,’ said Joseph E. La Rue, the legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization based in Scottsdale, Ariz., that advocates religious liberty and supports the measure passed by the State Legislature. ‘Faith shouldn’t be something we have to leave inside our house.’”
Bob Unruh at WND: “The state’s constitution doesn’t recognize ‘same-sex marriage,’ but officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom said it simply was the government imposing ‘a new belief system upon [bakery owner] Jack [Phillips], one that is fundamentally at odds with his conscience and his liberty.’”
RT: “The Arizona Republic reported that the bill, which has a counterpart in the state House of Representatives known as HB 2153, was written by the conservative Center for Arizona Policy and Alliance Defending Freedom – a non-profit Christian lobby group that dedicates funding to the pro-life movement and has long opposed marriage equality.”
“Kansas, Arizona bills reflect national fight over gay rights vs. religious liberty” | Washington Post
Washington Post: “The law was written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and Alliance Defending Freedom, a prominent Arizona-based Christian law firm.”
U.S. News and World Report: “The bill was introduced in the Republican-controlled legislature last month by proponents who say they want to ensure that people are not held legally liable for refusing to do something that violates their religious beliefs. House Bill 2153/Senate Bill 1062 was drafted by the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative advocacy group, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization.”
Joseph La Rue and Kerri Kupec: SB 1062 provides needed protections, clarification | The Arizona Republic
Joseph La Rue and Kerri Kupec at The Arizona Republic: “Opponents of the proposed amendment to Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act are putting the people of Arizona in a high-risk disaster zone when it comes to their First Amendment freedoms.”
LA Times: “Arizona and New Mexico are among 26 states that, along with the federal government, recognize the gist of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, said Joe LaRue, an attorney at the Alliance Defending Freedom who helped draft SB 1062.”
Associated Press: “Several Republican candidates for Arizona governor are weighing in on a bill allowing business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs.”
Joseph La Rue and Kerri Kupec: Why our religious freedom needs more protection | The Arizona Republic
Joseph La Rue and Kerri Kupec at The Arizona Republic: “Those who oppose Senate Bill 1062, the proposed amendment to Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, are putting the people of Arizona in a high-risk disaster zone when it comes to their First Amendment freedoms.”
The Arizona Republic: “House Bill 2153, written by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense against a lawsuit.”
Howard Fischer at Arizona Daily Star: “The 17-13 vote along party lines, with Republicans in the majority, came after supporters defeated an attempt to extend existing employment laws that bar discrimination based on religion and race to also include sexual orientation. Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said that’s a separate issue from what he is trying to do.”
Phoenix New Times: “After a new state law in 2011 seriously limited the number of places in Arizona where abortions could be performed, Planned Parenthood once again is providing abortion services in Flagstaff. . . . According to Planned Parenthood officials, the Flagstaff location will only be offering the medicated abortions. The window of when medicated abortions can be performed is shorter than the window for surgical abortions.”
OneNewsNow: “ADF Attorney Natalie Decker sent a letter to the district stating that could be violating Arizona law. If a program is presented to students, she says, state law requires it to give preference to child birth and adoption over elective abortion. Planned Parenthood is ‘not an organization that’s going to encourage preference be given to child birth and adoption,’ says the ADF attorney.”
KTAR (AP): “An Arizona House panel has advanced a measure allowing surprise inspections of abortion clinics. The Reform and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 2284 by Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko of Peoria on a 5-3 party-line vote Thursday.”
Cathryn Creno at The Arizona Republic: “An attorney for the pro-prayer Alliance Defending Freedom in Scottsdale, however, contends that Mesa Public Schools is within its rights to have prayer before — or after the start — of board meetings. Brett Harvey also says his organization is prepared to help the district if it winds up in court over the prayer issue. ‘Opening meetings with prayer is a time-honored tradition,’ Harvey said.”
Howard Fischer at The East Valley Tribune: “A House panel agreed Monday to allow hundreds of thousands of children to attend private and parochial schools at public expense, a vote one legislator said is part of a radical agenda to destroy public schools.”
Howard Fischer at The East Valley Tribune: “Legislation awaiting action by the state Senate would scrap existing laws which essentially allow a parent who has custody of a child to move up to 100 miles pretty much at will. Instead, virtually any move could trigger a court hearing. SB 1038 also would scrap a provision in the existing 20-year-old law that permits a court to take into account whether a move would be in a parent’s best interest. Instead, a judge would be limited to what’s best for the child.”
NewsTimes: “Other supporters included the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian policy group, and the Arizona Catholic Conference.”
Arizona Daily Sun: “Joseph LaRue, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, said the concern is that current law protects individuals only from government action and not individual discrimination lawsuits. He cited a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court that said a photographer could be sued for refusing to videotape a gay marriage.”
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton and Litigation Counsel Natalie Decker will be available for media interviews immediately following Tempe Union High School District’s Sex Education Curriculum Committee meeting Tuesday. Decker spoke briefly at January’s committee meeting after the committee invited a Planned Parenthood employee to review, assess, and present an overview of three different sex education programs, thereby serving as a filter and advisor to the committee.
Arizona Republic: “Brett Harvey, legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, which describes itself on its website as a ‘legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith’ also spoke. . . . ‘Certainly there are some who dismiss the practice of opening with invocations, but that doesn’t make the practice unconstitutional,’ Harvey told the board.”
AZ Capitol Times: “Formally published today — the precursor to enforcement — these rules are what’s left of a 2012 law which also sought to ban abortions at 20 weeks. While that part was struck down by federal courts, the rest remain on the books and now can be put into effect.”
USA Today: “Senate Bill 1062, pushed by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and introduced by Sen. Steve Yarbrough, a Republican from Chandler, Ariz., would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense in a lawsuit filed by another individual.”
Ahwatukee Foothills News: “The Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) Governing Board is the latest to find itself in the stew. Under its direction, an advisory committee is working on recommending sex education curriculum, a heavy task. . . . Johnson’s assignment won’t be easy. In recommending a plan, the committee must adhere to SB 1009 passed in 2012. It requires all instructional material, on sex education, to support childbirth and adoption as a ‘preferred option to elective abortion. ‘In fact, the Alliance Defending Freedom has warned the district that it will sue if SB 1009 isn’t honored.
AZ Daily News: “A Senate committee has given initial approval to a bill allowing people to claim their religious beliefs led them to refuse service to gays or other groups.”
CNEWS: “Steven Aden, an attorney at the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group that backs the protesters, said the state was targeting people for expressing a particular view. ‘This case is about whether a government has the constitutional ability to cordon off a large section of public space and make it a First Amendment-free zone,’ he said.”
CBN News: “‘Every innocent life deserves to be protected. Not only did this law protect innocent children in the womb who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion, it also protected mothers from the increased risk of physical harm and tremendous psychological consequences that come with late-term abortions,’ ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden said in a statement Monday.”
Washington Times: “Steven H. Aden of Alliance Defending Freedom lamented Monday’s news, saying, ‘New medical knowledge about the pain children can experience in the womb and the potential harms to women shouldn’t be ignored in any civilized society.’”
LifeNews: “Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven Aden emailed LifeNews about the ruling: ‘Every innocent life deserves to be protected. Not only did this law protect innocent children in the womb who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion, it also protected mothers from the increased risk of physical harm and tremendous psychological consequences that come with late-term abortions.’”
Lincoln Journal-Star: “Attorney General Jon Bruning said he will defend Nebraska’s so-called fetal-pain law despite Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling throwing out a similar law in Arizona.”
Arizona Republic: “The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a controversial Arizona abortion case that could have significantly impacted the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade opinion. The high court Monday did not comment on why it declined to hear the case.”
Ahwatukee Foothills News: “Natalie Decker, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, also took a stance of opposition about the matter, saying children deserve a positive education that is not dictated by Planned Parenthood’s abortion driven agenda.”
LifeSiteNews: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a pro-life legal foundation, said that not only was Tuesday’s presentation by Planned Parenthood’s Vicki Hadd-Wissler morally offensive, it might have been illegal . . . “The problem is the wisdom of a school district bringing in Planned Parenthood to consult them on their sex education program. It’s is an organization they shouldn’t be getting their advice from,” said Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney for ADF.
NPR: The Navajo Nation has prohibited same-sex marriage since 2005, when the Diné Marriage Act was passed. Now, critics are challenging that ban. Michel Martin, host of NPR’s Tell Me More, recently sat down with Deswood Tome, a special advisor to the president of the Navajo Nation, and Alray Nelson, from the Coalition for Navajo Equality.
The Arizona Republic (video): Attorney Natalie Decker of Alliance Defending Freedom also is scheduled to attend. Decker contends that Planned Parenthood will advocate for presentation of sex education to students “which may violate state law requiring preference to be given to childbirth and adoption, not abortion.”
ABC 15 (includes video): “The problem is the wisdom of a school district bringing in Planned Parenthood to consult them on their sex education program. It’s is an organization they shouldn’t be getting their advice from,” said Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom.
MyFoxPhoenix.com (includes video): But Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group doesn’t want planned parenthood involved in sex ed curriculum. “I have a concern about planned parenthood serving in any kind of advisory capacity.” said Natalie Decker, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom.
AZFamily.com: “Planned Parenthood of Arizona is scheduled to advocate for representatives to present sex education to students, which may violate state law requiring preference be given to childbirth and adoption, not abortion,” according to a news release from a group call Alliance Defending Freedom . . . “Schoolchildren have the right to a positive education that is not dictated by Planned Parenthood’s abortion marketing campaign,” ADF attorney Natalie Decker said in a news release. “Planned Parenthood should not be allowed access to public school classrooms to promote its pro-abortion message and to advocate for dangerous sexual behavior to Tempe schoolchildren,” ADF senior counsel Michael J. Norton concurred.
LifeNews: “Schoolchildren have the right to a positive education that is not dictated by Planned Parenthood’s abortion marketing campaign,” said Decker. “It would be a terrible mistake for the district to allow Planned Parenthood to teach sex education to students. Students and parents deserve better. This is a very important issue which requires much more time to present and consider than has been allotted to the public. There are many viable alternative programs available at no cost to the district that support abstinence, childbirth, and adoption instead of abortion.”
LiveActionNews: On Monday, Alliance Defending Freedom addressed the agenda of Tempe Union High School District’s Sex Education Curriculum Committee Meeting that is set for Tuesday, January 7. In the agenda published by the Committee, Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc.’s Director of Education, Vicki Hadd-Wissler, gets most of the scheduled time. One and a half hours are allotted to her, while less than fifteen minutes were designated to citizens who would like to give input. [more quotes]
ABC15.com: Alliance Defending Freedom is raising a red flag that Planned Parenthood representatives teaching students may violate state law. 4:30 p.m. meeting, Tempe Union High School District.
AZ Central: The Mesa Public Schools governing board may reconsider a November decision to start meetings with a moment of silence instead of a non-denominational prayer. Board Clerk Mike Hughes said he expects board members to consider reinstating the prayer by inviting a wide range of religious leaders to share their traditions at the start of meetings.
LA Times: The Navajo banned such unions in 2005, but some hope to change that — especially since New Mexico began permitting gay marriage this month.
Kristi Burton Brown at Live Action News: Every innocent life deserves to be protected. Not only does this law protect children in the womb who experience horrific pain during a late-term abortion, it also protects mothers from the dangers and tremendous psychological consequences of late-term abortions,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Arizona’s law is entirely reasonable and constitutional, and we hope the Supreme Court takes this invitation to revisit the extreme constraints Roe v. Wade imposed on state safeguards for women’s health.
East Valley Tribune: In legal filings with the high court, attorney Janet Crepps of the Center for Reproductive Rights said it is long-settled precedent that states cannot interfere with the ability of a woman to make a decision prior to a fetus being viable. She said there is no question but that, under current medical standards, a fetus is not viable at 20 weeks.
NCPA Policy Digest: The number of privately insured individuals will fall 333,000 in 2014 and, by 2023, the number of privately insured will be 450,000 fewer than it would be otherwise. The net number of Medicaid participants will increase1.07 million in 2014 and, by 2023, the number of Medicaid enrollees will be 1.65 million higher than it would be otherwise. The total cost to the state of covering these new Medicaid beneficiaries will reach $906 million annually within the next decade.
Phoenix New Times: The Arizona Technology Council, a trade organization that you might expect to push for laws related to things like job training and tax credits, announced that it’s adding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality issues to its lobbying agenda.
Stoyan Zaimov at Christian Post (11/21): “Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the work of abortionists. Arizona should be free to enforce its public policy against the taxpayer funding of abortion and in favor of the best health care for women,” ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden, who argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in June, said on Wednesday.
Alliance Defending Freedom at Life News: “Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the work of abortionists,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden, who argued before the 9th Circuit in June. “Arizona should be free to enforce its public policy against the taxpayer funding of abortion and in favor of the best health care for women.”
Think Progress: Arizona is hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the case and reverse that decision, allowing HB 2800 to take effect. “Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the work of abortionists. Arizona should be free to enforce its public policy against the taxpayer funding of abortion and in favor of the best health care for women,” a counsel for the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom, which is working with the state to defend HB 2800, said in a statement.
LifeSiteNews: “Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the work of abortionists,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden, who argued before the 9th Circuit in June. “Arizona should be free to enforce its public policy against the taxpayer funding of abortion and in favor of the best health care for women.”
AZ Republic: The conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom has been working with the state to defend the law. Alliance senior counsel Steven H. Aden said in a statement: “Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the work of abortionists. Arizona should be free to enforce its public policy against the taxpayer funding of abortion and in favor of the best health care for women.” (linked on How Appealing)
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne asked the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday to uphold an Arizona law that limits the use of taxpayer funds for abortion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit struck down the law in August.
Speak Up Movement Church: Cities, towns, villages, and hamlets across the country often permit a wide array of signs—especially political signs—to be placed within their borders. Yet all too often these local governments apply different, and far more restrictive, rules to signs placed by churches. In legal terms this is called “content-based discrimination,” and it is forbidden by the First Amendment.
USA Today: Justices won’t reconsider decisions striking down Oklahoma laws on mandatory ultrasound and abortion-inducing drugs, but more states are seeking to defend their laws.
AZ Republic (includes video): The Mesa Public Schools governing board has quietly ended its tradition of starting public meetings with a non-denominational prayer.
Arizona Daily Star: Nikolas Nikas, an attorney for the Bioethics Defense Fund , which is leading the effort, told the justices much more is at stake. “Aborting children with disabilities is a form of discrimination that threatens to devalue the lives of people born and living with disabilities,” Nikas wrote. And he said that is a bad precedent that the Arizona law is designed to prevent.
Abortions that cause babies pain: AZ law at the Supreme Court | Casey Mattox on The Source with Paul Anderson
LifeNews: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox responded to the decision in an email to LifeNews: “Every innocent life deserves to be protected, and that’s especially true of babies being targeted for death simply because of their sex or race. There is nothing medically necessary or constitutionally protected about an abortion that is committed on the basis of sex or race, and the NAACP should be opposed to such a practice more than anyone. The court has done the right thing in dismissing this meritless lawsuit.”
This week, Life Legal Defense Foundation joined the Bioethics Defense Fund in submitting an amicus (friend of the court) brief urging the United States Supreme Court to grant review in the case Horne v. Isaacson.
Alan Sears at Alliance Defending Freedom: The opening of another session of the U.S. Supreme Court brings to the forefront several key cases being litigated or funded by Alliance Defending Freedom – cases with profound implications for the future of your life and your religious freedom. I want to give you a glimpse of what’s coming . . .