Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
Christian News Network: Despite impassioned objections, the California State Senate approved a bill on Thursday that would allow some elderly and disabled people to seek help in killing themselves through lethal doses of drugs.
LA Times: As one of her last acts before she took her own life, Brittany Maynard talked by telephone with California Gov. Jerry Brown about her desire to see her home state adopt an aid-in-dying law, her husband says.
LA Times: The state Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would allow physicians in California to prescribe lethal doses of drugs for terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths.
The College Fix: David Hacker, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, accused the campus of “viewpoint discrimination” and violating the pro-life students’ First Amendment rights.
The San Diego Union-Tribune: In a letter to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, the Alliance Defending Freedom — a Folsom-based legal group that defends these pregnancy counseling centers — argued the bill would violate federal rules that “states cannot receive federal funding if they rob women of the right to choose a pro-life medical provider by forcing pro-life entities to refer or arrange for abortions.”
World Magazine: California is one of the 29 states without a RFRA law to cover religious belief issues. Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer Jordan Lorence said a RFRA bill is a way to protect all citizens from the power of the government to compel action against their beliefs. If Titman’s lawyers argued using RFRA, they would have had to prove two things: his religious belief is sincere and the interest of the school in his case was not compelling enough to be more important than his beliefs.
Life Site News: Alliance Defending Freedom, which has already strongly opposed the bill and successfully handled the Hobby Lobby case, has the First Amendment on its side.
Life Site News: A California bill that pro-life opponents say would force locally funded pregnancy help organizations to surrender rights protected by the First Amendment gained the votes it required Tuesday to move from the Golden State’s Assembly to the Senate.
Breitbart: Not only would the bill require some pregnancy centers, specifically those devoted to pro- life causes, to advertise the availability of abortion, but it would also fine facilities that do not comply. The bill states that it would “authorize the Attorney General, city attorney, or county counsel to bring an action to impose a specified civil penalty against covered facilities that fail to comply with these requirements.”
NPR: Maynard’s story continues to garner support for right-to-die legislation moving through legislatures in California and several other states. Now, Packer, another young California woman, is stepping up to share her story, but she wants people to draw a different conclusion.
89.3 KPCC: The California Senate Thursday approved a controversial bill that would abolish the personal belief exemption and require almost all children enrolling in daycare or school to be vaccinated.
Los Angeles Times: Lawyers for a group of religious leaders complained to a federal judge Tuesday that Los Angeles County continues to display an official seal that includes a Christian cross, violating a legal agreement reached last year.
Reuters: California’s senate education committee approved a bill making it mandatory for children to be vaccinated before starting school despite opposition from “ant-vaxxer” parents who have packed public hearings and flooded lawmakers with calls.
Religion News Service (Reuters): The author of a California bill to require school children to be vaccinated for such diseases as polio and measles regardless of their parents’ personal beliefs said he would revive the measure, which stalled in the legislature last week.
Christian News Network: Last Tuesday, approximately 80 people testified in opposition to the bill, while 24 supporters spoke in favor of its passage. Representatives from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), California Coalition of Pregnancy Clinics and Centers, and Real Options Pregnancy Medical Clinics were among those who spoke against the proposal, as well as 13 nurses and four post-abortive women.
Pregnancy Help News: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is set to lead the bill’s opposition at a national level, with attorney Heather Gebelin Hacker lined up to testify as an expert witness, along with Mary Sterner Sosa M.D., an OB/GYN board member at Sacramento Life Center selected by the California Coalition of Pregnancy Clinics and Centers.
National Right to Life: Heather Gebelin Hacker, a lawyer affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in testimony the bill violates the First Amendment by forcing pregnancy centers to provide a government-mandated, pro-abortion message. Expert witnesses from California Coalition of Pregnancy Clinics and Centers and Real Options Pregnancy Medical Clinics also testified against the bill.
Religion Clause: In Conti v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc., (CA App., April 13, 2015), a California state appeals court held that elders of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation had no duty to warn the congregation in general, or parents, that another member of the congregation had previously molested a child.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): California lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would require pregnancy care centers to tell clients they can get abortions from state-funded facilities.
Life Site News: Expert witnesses from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and California Coalition of Pregnancy Clinics and Centers, along with Valerie Hill, CEO for Real Options Pregnancy Medical Clinics—licensed by the California Department of Public Health—opposed the bill.
Life Site News: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is set to lead the bill’s opposition at a national level, with attorney Heather Gebelin Hacker lined up to testify as an expert witness, along with Mary Sterner Sosa M.D., an OB/GYN board member at Sacramento Life Center selected by the California PRC Coalition, made-up solely of PRC Directors.
Life News: Expert witnesses from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and California Coalition of Pregnancy Clinics and Centers, along with Valerie Hill, CEO for Real Options Pregnancy Medical Clinics—licensed by the California Department of Public Health—opposed the bill.
Fox News (AP): The Supreme Court has denied an appeal from former California high school students who were ordered to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out during a celebration of the Cinco de Mayo holiday at school.
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).
One News Now: ADF attorney Michael J. Norton alleges that Planned Parenthood threatened a lawsuit and misled the trustees into believing the hospital could lose its Medicare and Medicaid funding for failing to approve a transfer agreement.
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.”
The Global Dispatch: “Planned Parenthood cares more about its abortion profits than it does about the people of El Centro, the majority of whom seem clearly to not want Planned Parenthood here,” said ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton. “Planned Parenthood threatened the members of the board with a lawsuit and misled them into thinking they could loseMedicare and Medicaid funding as a result. That is nearly impossible in light of the abundance of existing abortion facilities in the area. Planned Parenthood simply used its typical bully tactics to get what it wanted.”
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.
ADF Media: Planned Parenthood reportedly threatened to sue El Centro Regional Medical Center trustees in their personal capacity and falsely claimed the city-run hospital could lose public funding if it refused to sign an agreement that paves the way for Planned Parenthood to begin performing abortions in the city. El Centro is the seat of Imperial County, which borders Mexico.
World Magazine: The United States has historically upheld the right for businesses, organizations, and individuals to refuse funding abortions. But following the passage of Obamacare and its contraceptive mandate, threats against this right have increased.
Red State: The D.C. Council’s nine-month quest to enact two anti-conscience laws appears to be coming to a close. After hearing concerns about violations of the First Amendment and federal law from outgoing Mayor Vincent Gray, the D.C. Attorney General’s office, members of Congress, and dozens of pro-life and religious organizations and schools in the District, the council has apparently rejected those concerns, effectively challenging Congress to intervene.
Townhall: Since August, California has been forcing churches and every other employer in the state to provide elective abortion coverage to their employees.
Alliance Defending Freedom: If some California legislators are to be believed, Catholic schools that enforce a teacher code of conduct that is consistent with the Catholic faith are in danger of discriminating.
Pacific Justice Institute: A school district in Southern California has added legal muscle to its defense against a lawsuit that was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Cardinal Newman Society: Casey Mattox, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing several of the complainants, reportedly stated: “It’s puzzling it’s taking them six months for them to weigh in at all.” Mattox relayed to Examiner that the HHS Office of Civil Rights informed him of its investigation back in December but that an answer or even a possible timeline for a response has still not been given.
The Washington Times: Casey Mattox, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group, said the law would still require organizations to hire employees who don’t embody the groups’ own message. “This would still mean that a pro-life organization in the District would still be required to employ someone who doesn’t agree with the group’s message on abortion,” Mr. Mattox said.
Religion Clause: The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in ProtectMarriage.com v. Padilla, (Docket No. 14-434, cert. denied 3/2/2015) (Order List). In the case, the 9th Circuit in a 2-1 decision (full text) rejected a challenge by backers of California’s Proposition 8 to the state’s campaign contribution disclosure requirements. Challengers had argued that contributors to the campaign against same-sex marriage had been harassed.
The College Fix: When Cal Poly Sal Luis Obispo hosts its annual Open House this April, during which campus clubs typically greet and recruit prospective visiting students, one longtime mainstay at the university will be conspicuously absent: Cru.
The New York Times: Other church leaders, including those in Oakland, Calif., Cincinnati, Cleveland and Honolulu, have instituted similar teacher morality clauses with far less protest. In Oakland, three teachers quit rather than adhere to the rules. But in San Francisco, in addition to the petitions and protests, eight state legislators from the Bay Area have asked the archbishop to withdraw the clause as discriminatory. Two of them called for an investigation, accusing the archbishop of using religion “as a Trojan horse to deprive our fellow citizens of their basic civil rights.”
Life News: Casey Mattox, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, added, ““Forcing a church to be party to elective abortion is one of the utmost-imaginable assaults on our most fundamental American freedoms. California is flagrantly violating the federal law that protects employers from being forced into having abortion in their health insurance plans. No state can blatantly ignore federal law and think that it should continue to receive taxpayer money.”
The Washington Examiner: “It’s puzzling it’s taking them six months for them to weigh in at all,” said Casey Mattox, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, one of two groups representing the churches. The other group is the Life Legal Defense Foundation.
Crux (AP): Two California lawmakers who called the San Francisco archbishop’s morality clauses discriminatory are asking for a probe of working conditions at four San Francisco Bay Area Catholic high schools.
SF Weekly: San Francisco parents of children enrolled at local Catholic schools were recently shocked to discover that their children are attending schools run by Catholics.
CNA/EWTN: Politicians have targeted San Francisco Catholic schools’ teacher standards, but Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says they are a matter of Catholic mission and common sense.
Religion News Service: San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has rejected criticism from state lawmakers over the use of morality clauses for Catholic schoolteachers, asking whether they would “hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those you stand for?”
Crux Now (AP): California lawmakers on Tuesday urged the archbishop of San Francisco to remove from a teachers’ handbook morality clauses they say are discriminatory and divisive.
Christian Today: The coalition is composed of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archdiocese of Washington, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, the Catholic University of America, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Association of Evangelicals.
National Review: If California’s assisted suicide numbers were the same as Oregon’s, more than 1000 people would commit assisted suicide each year. That’s roughly 85 a month, or nearly 3 every day.
Christian Examiner: Signatories to the letter included the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Association of Evangelicals and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In total, 14 religious and pro-life organizations signed the Feb. 5 letter.
Life News: Sophistry, redefintion of terms, blurring vital distinctions, postmodern deconstruction of words–such are the weapons wielded by assisted suicide ideologues as they work unceasingly to undermine Hippocratic medical values and promote suicide as a “medical treatment.”
Pacific Justice Institute Press Release: A Northern California school under fire for religious discrimination has agreed to change its policies and settle a student’s First Amendment lawsuit.
LA Times: San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone sparked a protest last summer when he ignored pleas from public officials to cancel his plans to march in Washington, D.C., against same-sex marriage.
Casey Mattox discusses D.C. bills coercing organizations against their missions with Don Kroah (audio)
Archdiocese joins religious, pro-life groups in asking Congress to disapprove two recently enacted laws in the District of Columbia
Catholic Standard: Other signers of the letter included Jeanne Monahan, the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund; Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Leith Anderson, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals; and representatives of the Alliance Defending Freedom; the American Center for Law & Justice; Concerned Women for America; the Eagle Forum; the Family Research Council; Heritage Action for America; and the National Organization for Marriage.
BR Now: Casey Mattox, senior counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and a letter signer, said in a written statement, “The government has no business forcing pro-life and faith-based organizations to betray the very values they were created to advance. Congress should exercise its authority to stop these hopelessly illegal bills rather than allow D.C. officials to waste American taxpayer dollars defending the indefensible.”
Baptist News: Other groups signing the letter included Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Catholic University of America, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Family Research Council and the National Association of Evangelicals.
Baptist Press: Casey Mattox, senior counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and a letter signer, said in a written statement, “The government has no business forcing pro-life and faith-based organizations to betray the very values they were created to advance. Congress should exercise its authority to stop these hopelessly illegal bills rather than allow D.C. officials to waste American taxpayer dollars defending the indefensible.”
Christian Today: These organisations are the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archdiocese of Washington, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, The Catholic University of America, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Association of Evangelicals, CNS reported.
Crux: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone faced hundreds of teachers from four Catholic high schools Friday for the first time since announcing his intent to include morality clauses in their handbook and labor contract, but did little to ease the anger and fear associated with the new language, teachers said.
Fox News: Teenagers at a California high school were publicly shamed for disagreeing with speakers allowed to push an LGBT agenda during an English class, according to several upset parents.
The Global Dispatch: “The government has no business forcing pro-life and faith-based organizations to betray the very values they were created to advance,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “These laws are an egregious attack on religious freedom and freedom of conscience. Congress should exercise its authority to stop these hopelessly illegal bills rather than allow D.C. officials to waste American taxpayer dollars defending the indefensible.”
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Casey Mattox tells OneNewsNow the government has no business forcing pro-life and faith-based organizations to betray the very values they were created to advance.
Catholic News Agency: Also signing the letter were representatives of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Archdiocese of the Military Services USA, the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, and the National Organization for Marriage.
The Boston Pilot (CNS): The letter was signed by Anthony Picarello, USCCB associate general secretary and general counsel, and representatives from other organizations including the Archdiocese of Washington, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, The Catholic University of America, Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Association of Evangelicals.
Religion Clause: In Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. v. Burwell, (MD FL, Feb. 3, 2015), a Florida federal district court granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of part of the latest rules accommodating religious non-profits’ objections to the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate.
Deseret News: An example of this can be found in California, where the state’s Supreme Court unanimously voted to “prohibit state judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts on grounds that the group discriminates against gays.” This ruling comes in spite of the fact that the Boy Scouts of America allows all young men to fully participate regardless of sexual orientation, although restrictions for Scout leaders remain.
Breakpoint: Freedom of religion, freedom of association — these are rights guaranteed by the Constitution. But I guess a guarantee isn’t what it used to be.
News-Press: A federal ruling will allow a retirement community in Fort Myers and five other organizations to avoid providing employees with abortion-inducing drugs through their insurance plans.
The Washington Post: More than a dozen prominent conservative groups and Catholic institutions are asking Capitol Hill leaders to overturn a pair of laws passed last year by the D.C. Council, calling them “unprecedented assaults upon our organizations,” setting the stage for a possible new intervention in the Democratic-majority city’s affairs from the Republican-majority Congress.
Heritage: Heritage Action has joined with 15 conservative organization in demanding Congress file a disapproval of D.C.’s Reproductive Heath Nondiscrimination Amendment Act of 2014 and the Human Rights Amendment Act.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom and other religious and pro-life organizations sent letters to Congress Thursday that ask it to veto two recently passed District of Columbia laws that force religious and pro-life organizations to operate contrary to their missions and sincerely held beliefs.
SF Gate: Educators at East Bay Catholic schools must “demonstrate a public life consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church” as part of a new contract disclosed Monday.