Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Catholic News Agency: “All Americans should oppose unjust laws that allow the government to force people to surrender their constitutionally protected freedom to live and work according to their deepest beliefs,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Michael J. Norton said Jan. 27.
Catholic News Agency: “Whether you have a narrow objection or a broad objection, what matters is the basis of your objection, the fact that you don’t want to engage in expression that violates your beliefs,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco said. “They’re both in the exact same position, they both don’t want to create a cake that expresses a message that they disagree with.”
Religion News Service: Cake artists, florists, photographers, and many others who operate businesses that create expressive products have First Amendment rights.
Alliance Defending Freedom: What is this strange obsession so many in our nation have with silencing opinions they disagree with? It’s not like there aren’t other options – open and reasonable debate, the verdict of the ballot box, the simple option of ignoring those with whom one doesn’t see eye to eye.
NC Register: Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona nonprofit representing Phillips, said his client and the alliance fully support Silva and the Azucar Bakery in refusing to make the anti-homosexual cake.
World Magazine: Bill Jack goes on the offensive today in the Colorado cake-baking story that’s received enormous media attention over the past week.
New York Mag: Shannon Maureen Conley, a 19-year-old nurse’s aide from Colorado who wanted to join the terrorist group ISIS, appeared in a hijab and civilian clothes for her sentencing hearing Friday. Judge Raymond Moore handed down a four-year sentence but announced from the bench that she needs psychiatric help.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton: “All Americans should oppose unjust laws that allow the government to force people to surrender their constitutionally protected freedom to live and work according to their deepest beliefs. While we are very pleased with the order issued in this case, many other similar cases continue throughout the country. In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the abortion-pill mandate in Conestoga and Hobby Lobby, and the clearly protected right of Americans to be free from this type of government coercion at home, in their family businesses, and in non-profit endeavors that benefit everyone, the Obama administration should give up its blind and indefensible efforts to punish people of faith and let freedom prevail.”
The Gazette:”This baker is in no different position than our client,” said Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona firm that represents Phillips. “She does not want to use her artistic expression in a way that contradicts her convictions, and neither does Jack Phillips. Each is exercising a fundamental right of free speech.”
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom says it will be interesting if the state of Colorado decides to disregard the fundamental freedoms of all its citizens – or instead decides to play favorites when it comes to bakeries, wedding cakes, and same-sex “marriage.”
Patriot Post: Kerri Kupec with Alliance Defending Freedom argues that both bakers should have the right to operate their business according to their moral values. “At the end of the day, this is about free speech,” she said. “They punished Jack Phillips for acting according to his conscience. It will be interesting to see how they act here.”
First Things: Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian conservative legal advocacy group that defends Christian bakers, florists, and photographers is defending Silva against the notion that she, under legal compulsion, must design a cake whose message conflicts with her values.
Deseret News: “Every American is guaranteed the freedom to live, work, think and speak without fear of being punished for exercising these very basic freedoms,” Jeremy Tedesco, a senior legal counsel for the group, said. “ADF vigorously opposes tribunals like the Colorado Civil Rights Commission punishing citizens for doing nothing more than exercising their constitutionally protected rights.”
Charisma News: “Every American is guaranteed the freedom to live, work, think and speak without fear of being punished for exercising these very basic freedoms,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
BuzzFeed News: “It was clearly Ms. Silva’s right to decline to promote a message with which she so clearly disagreed,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “Ms. Silva should not be forced to use her artistic abilities to further a message with which she sincerely disagrees.”
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom expressed support Friday for a Denver bakery that reportedly declined to draw two males holding hands with an “X” over them and related words and symbols on a cake in the shape of a Bible. A customer who made the request filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after Azucar Bakery’s pastry chef Lindsay Jones and owner Marjorie Silva declined his request.
The Washington Times: The case comes after the owner of another Colorado bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, was found guilty of discrimination by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for declining to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
PBS News Hour: Three dozen states have moved to legalize same-sex marriage, but in some quarters, a backlash is under way. One example is Colorado, where one bakery owner says the state shouldn’t force him to cater same-sex weddings.
Acton Institute: Bakers, florists, and photographers who refuse to use their creative talents to serve same-sex weddings have been fined and have had their business threatened because they refuse to violate their conscience. Many Americans—including many Christians—even argued that private business owners should be forced to violate their conscience when such practices are considered discriminatory.
Associated Press: A dispute over a cake in Colorado raises a new question about same-sex marriage and religious freedom: If bakers can be fined for refusing to serve same-sex wedding cakes, can they also be punished for declining to make a cake with anti-same-sex marriage statements?
NC Register: “The various attacks on these laws, many of which have been in place for years, are embarrassingly dishonest,” said Gregg Scott, vice president of media communications for Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based Christian public interest law firm that has represented several individuals who have run afoul of state anti-discrimination laws for their moral opposition to being forced to promote messages and participate in events celebrating same-sex marriage.
NewsBusters: Friday is National Religious Freedom Day, and what better time to consider where threats to American religious freedom originate. (Hint – it’s not with Bible-thumping Baptist preachers or dogmatic Catholic cardinals.)
World Magazine:Over the last few years, WORLD has reported on several Christian-owned businesses across the country approached by homosexual couples to provide services for their weddings. In all cases, the owners declined to work with the couples, stating their religious beliefs prevented participation in same-sex ceremonies. The couples sued, alleging discrimination. Here’s an update on where their cases stand as 2015 gets underway.
Westword: “Such alarming bias and hostility toward Jack’s religious beliefs — and toward religion in general — has no place in civil society, let alone on a governmental commission that sits in judgment of whether he may follow his faith in how he runs his business,” Jeremy Tedesco, the senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement. The Arizona-based nonprofit “legal ministry” is helping Phillips defend his case.
Christian cake artist Jack Phillips labeled a ‘Nazi’ by Civil Rights Commissioner due to same-sex marriage stance
Breathecast: Christian cake artist Jack Phillips was labeled as a bigot by Civil Rights Commissioner Diann Rice due to his stance on same-sex marriage because of his religious beliefs, according to a leaked audio recording.
Christian cake company’s refusal to bake pro-same-sex marriage cake compared to slavery, holocaust by colorado commissioner
The Christian Post: A Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner has said that a Christian cake company’s decision to invoke religious freedom rights to refuse to bake a pro-same-sex marriage cake is comparable to slavery and the perpetrators of the Holocaust.
American Thinker: A shocking revelation in a brief filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Colorado baker who refused to supply a wedding cake to a gay couple and was cited by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The baker, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Bakery, was also “ordered to create new policies on serving gay customers, have his employees attend sensitivity training, and submit quarterly reports to the commission detailing any refusals to serve customers.”
The Patriot Post: As Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco put it, “Rice compared a private citizen who owns a small bakery to slaveholders and Holocaust perpetrators merely for asking that the state respect his right to free speech and free exercise of religion.”
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco says the organization is representing Phillips in an appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals after the state commission ordered Phillips to do the cake, and submit himself and his staff to re-education.
WND: “The commission’s impartiality is in serious question,” said a brief filed by a legal team with the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop.
Baker compared to ‘slave owners and perpetrators of the holocaust’ by gov’t officials, lawyers claim
The Blaze: A conservative legal firm is accusing a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of comparing a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding to “slave owners and perpetrators of the Holocaust” in a new legal brief filed with a the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Cake maker who refused to bake for same-sex wedding labeled a ‘Nazi’ by Colo. civil rights officials
The Washington Times: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys released an audio recording in which Diann Rice, a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, said that Mr. Phillips‘ citing of his religious beliefs in his defense puts him on the same level as Nazis and slaveholders.
ADF Media: A new brief filed with the Colorado Court of Appeals reveals that a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission compared a Christian cake artist to slave owners and perpetrators of the Holocaust when the commission ordered him to re-educate himself and his employees about marriage.
Charisma News: “Such alarming bias and hostility toward Jack’s religious beliefs—and toward religion in general—has no place in civil society, let alone on a governmental commission that sits in judgment of whether he may follow his faith in how he runs his business,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
NewsCut: When the Minnesota Legislature convenes in St. Paul next month, it’ll head for a showdown over whether businesses who don’t favor same-sex marriage should be required to do business with same-sex couples. How broad the legislation is isn’t entirely clear yet, since it hasn’t been filed.
Opposing Views: The debate over whether religious shop owners can be compelled to provide services for weddings of same-sex couples continues. One such owner, Jack Phillips, of Lakewood Colorado, finds himself, still, at the heart of that debate.
The New York Times: Jack Phillips is a baker whose evangelical Protestant faith informs his business. There are no Halloween treats in his bakery — he does not see devils and witches as a laughing matter. He will not make erotic-themed pastries — they offend his sense of morality. And he declines cake orders for same-sex weddings because he believes Christianity teaches that homosexuality is wrong.
Missouri Family Policy Council: “Public schools should encourage the free exchange of ideas,” says Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for ADF. “Instead, this school implemented an ill-conceived ban that singles out religious speech for censorship during free time.”
Denver Catholic Register: As University of Northern Colorado students prepared for final exams, members of the Students for Life Club took a break in their studies and braved the cold Dec. 4 to host the Planned Parenthood Project display from the national Students for Life of America organization on the Greeley campus.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys continue their tireless efforts to convince school administrators nationwide that the rights guaranteed by our Constitution apply as much to our children and young people as they do to any other citizen in the land.
Religious Freedom Coalition: In Forsyth County, NC, the courts have reaffirmed the God-given rights of residents to pray in Jesus’ name at public meetings due to the lifting of a federal court order on Thursday. In contradiction to our rich history of prayer and faith, the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit in 2007 in that challenged the county’s freedom to allow opening invocations by volunteers who wish to pray according to the dictates of their own consciences. This sets a precedent that could be good news for proponents of prayer in similar cases across the country.
The College Fix: The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit against the district Nov. 7 after officials rebuffed an October letter from the group that claimed the district is violating the students’ First Amendment rights.
Christian News Network: The Colorado Supreme Court has thrown out a lawsuit by a professing atheist organization that challenged proclamations in recognition of the National Day of Prayer, overturning a lower court ruling that declared such proclamations unconstitutional.
The Durango Herald: “Public officials today should be as free to issue prayer proclamations as the founders of America and Colorado were,” said Michael Norton, a former Colorado U.S. attorney and counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which fights for religious rights and represented the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
One News Network: Also in reaction, Alliance Defending Freedom states that governors and other elected officials are free to issue prayer proclamations today just as America’s forefathers have in the past.
Daily Caller: “All Americans – including governors – are free to speak out in recognition of constitutionally protected freedoms, such as prayer,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton said in a statement. “The Colorado Supreme Court was right to keep in place the governor’s freedom to do just that in the form of a prayer proclamation.”
Canada Free Press (Christian Newswire): “Public officials today should be as free to issue prayer proclamations as the founders of America and Colorado were,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and former U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Michael J. Norton. “State and federal courts nationwide have repeatedly upheld and recognized prayer proclamations as a deeply rooted part of American history and tradition.”
Charisma News: “Public officials today should be as free to issue prayer proclamations as the founders of America and Colorado were,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and former U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Michael J. Norton. “State and federal courts nationwide have repeatedly upheld and recognized prayer proclamations as a deeply rooted part of American history and tradition.”
The Washington Times: The Colorado Supreme Court threw out a legal challenge to the governor’s honorary Day of Prayer proclamations Monday, ruling that members of an anti-religion group lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.
CBS Denver (AP): The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday rejected a legal challenge to the governor’s right to issue Day of Prayer proclamations, finding that non-believers who objected to the annual events did not suffer harm and do not have grounds to sue.
Life Site News: A Denver-area man who offered to pay for an abortion to cover up his seven-year-long abuse of a preteen has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.
ADF Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton: “All Americans – including governors – are free to speak out in recognition of constitutionally protected freedoms, such as prayer. The Colorado Supreme Court was right to keep in place the governor’s freedom to do just that in the form of a prayer proclamation. Public officials remain free to issue such proclamations in the years ahead just as the founders of our country and state of Colorado were free to do. This is a freedom not only rooted in our history; it is a constitutionally protected freedom clearly recognized in both state and federal courts.”
World Mag: But when the issue was not quickly resolved, Windebank enlisted the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a pro-bono legal group specializing in religious liberty issues. ADF sent aletter to the district, outlining the situation, and asking the school to lift the ban on the prayer meetings, noting it violated Windebank’s constitutional rights.
Western Journalism: Loverde’s case comes just a few weeks after another case the Liberty Institute handled on Long Island involving students at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, who sought to obtain official recognition from their school, and another case at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado where school officials have barred praying during free time school hours. The latter case is being handled by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
Worthy News: But when Windebank was recently summoned to the office of Assistant Principal James Lucas, he was informed that he and his fellow students could no longer pray during their free time on account of the separation of church and state, according to Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom who is representing Windebank.
Alliance Defending Freedom: The school and its district are standing by the clearly unconstitutional decision despite the fact that ADF attorneys sent a letter to the district explaining that the policy violates the First Amendment, which protects the students’ religious speech. ADF has since filed a lawsuit on Chase’s behalf.
Western Journalism: Colorado high school senior Chase Windebank has been leading a prayer group with other students at Pine Creek High School for the past three years. In September, Assistant Principal James Lucas told Windebank he could no longer hold the prayer meetings during school hours, claiming that the “separation of church and state” requires a ban on religious speech during open periods. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit on Windebank’s behalf Friday seeking to reverse the ban and allow students to meet once again.
Alliance Defending Freedom: These are the stories that caught our attention last week.
Biz Pac Review: Check out Wildebank’s ADF attorney making his case Saturday on “Fox and Friends.”
One News Now: The students are fighting back with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which notes in a lawsuit filed on Nov. 6 that the school says the students can talk about anything they want — except religion. Such “viewpoint discrimination” violates both freedom of speech and freedom of association, the suit says.
Fox News Insider: Kerri Kupec, legal communications director for the ADF, joined Ainsley Earhardt on “Fox and Friends Weekend” this morning and said it’s a sad day when our schools are censoring students and shutting down the exchange of ideas.
Human Events: Last week, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a religious freedom lawsuit against Pine Creek High School here in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs.
CBN News: The ADF has filed a federal lawsuit Friday arguing: “Public schools should encourage the free exchange of ideas. Instead, this school implemented an ill-conceived ban that singles out religious speech for censorship during free time.”