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Ecumenical News:The Sheriff in Florida’s Polk County, Grady Judd, is under fire from a national group that fights for the separation of church and State and says several residents complained about him speaking at his local Baptist church.
Reason.com: One afternoon this past April, a Florida mom and dad I’ll call Cindy and Fred could not get home in time to let their 11-year-old son into the house. The boy didn’t have a key, so he played basketball in the yard. He was alone for 90 minutes. A neighbor called the cops, and when the parents arrived—having been delayed by traffic and rain—they were arrested for negligence.
One News Now: Samantha Harris of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, says the policy suffers from a “common defect” among colleges and universities, which is conflicting definitions within the same set of rules.
Orlando Sentinel: An appeals court Friday upheld a temporary injunction that would block Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando from performing abortions at an Osceola County medical park.
Miami Herald: Circuit Judge George Reynolds III ruled that the Florida Education Association, Florida School Boards Association and other plaintiffs had no legal standing to bring the case against the nation’s largest private school choice program.
Campus Reform: A professor at Polk State College has allegedly failed a humanities student after she refused to concede that Jesus is a “myth” or that Christianity oppresses women during a series of mandatory assignments at the Florida college.
News-Press: A Collier County Sheriff’s Office employee filed a lawsuit against the department Monday in federal court, alleging religious discrimination by the agency.
Western Journalism: Pastors and parishioners across Lake Worth, Fla., are up in arms following a recent city decision to begin forcing churches to secure permits or risk hefty fines and the possibility of being forced to close.
CBS 12: Members of several Lake Worth congregations say they’re being targeted by city officials and are asking if there is a war on religion?
USA Today: Following a week of protest and debate, the Nassau County School Board has decided that the Yulee High student who has ended his morning public announcement readings with “God Bless America” can continue giving the country his well-wishes despite atheists’ disapproval.
ABA Journal: Fleet and Smith says it has a dozen people who are qualified to officiate at weddings and will ask for more volunteers from outside the firm to officiate if necessary, the Daily News reports.
‘God Bless America’ morning announcement at Florida school deemed a ‘Constitutional violation’ by atheist group; student forced to drop phrase
The Christian Post: A legal law group representing atheist students in Florida has said that a daily morning announcement at Yulle High School which includes the statement “God bless America” is a constitutional violation. The school has, in turn, agreed make the student who added the phrase on his own accord to stop saying it.
The Christian Post: A school district in Florida is considering a complaint sent by a Washington, D.C.-based atheist organization regarding a high school’s morning announcement including the phrase “God Bless America.”
Christian News Network: According to reports, the Orange County School Board permitted FFRF to distribute several books and pamphlets, including a booklet entitled “What’s Wrong With The Ten Commandments?” and a brochure entitled “What Is An Atheist?” However, the board prohibited FFRF from giving students several other publications, citing the materials’ “disruptive” and inappropriate content.
Fox News: A Florida high school student was disciplined after a national atheist organization took offense when he concluded the morning announcements by saying “God Bless America.”
The Christian Post: The school board of Orange County, Florida voted on Tuesday to ban the distribution of Bibles and all other religious materials at its public schools in order to prevent The Satanic Temple organization from handing out Satanic coloring books to students.
EWTN: The clip including our own Matt Bowman starts at 11:39.
National Review: Yesterday, EWTN, founded by Mother Angelica – a cloistered nun and trailblazer woman in media — was in federal court seeking religious-freedom protection from his administration’s Health and Human Services abortion-drug, contraception, female sterilization mandate.
The Becket Fund: Minutes ago, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the global Catholic television network founded by a cloistered nun, had its religious freedom case heard in court.
Multichannel News: Oral argument in the Eternal Word Television Network’s challenge to the contraception mandate in the Affordable Healthcare Act is set for Feb. 4 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Christian News Network: A Christian group in Florida was not allowed to distribute Bibles for Religious Freedom Day on Friday after the school district decided to change its policy on distribution by outside groups when a New York-based Satanic organization sought last fall to pass out coloring books to students.
The Christian Institute: A US Christian leader has described the redefinition of marriage as a “vast social revolution”, as Florida became the 36th US state to introduce same-sex marriage.
Palm Beach Post (Subscription Required): Extensive research conducted for Palm Beach County seven years ago supports claims that strip clubs are crime hotspots.
Politico: Sen. Marco Rubio is sharply criticizing court rulings paving the way for same-sex marriage in his home state of Florida.
Miami Herald: Among the first tangible signs that Florida government has accepted that same-sex couples can be legally married: Same-sex spouses of state employees are now eligible for state coverage for health insurance and retirement benefits.
Religion News Service: “Whatever the role in which you serve within the Archdiocese, you publicly represent the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese in everything you do and say,” Wenski wrote in the memo, which was reported by the local NBC station.
The Daily Signal: Florida Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio – both potential presidential candidates – offered their reaction to their state’s recent decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, after a federal district judge ruled that it was unconstitutional for county clerks to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Zenit: The bishops of Florida have issued a statement addressing the redefinition of marriage in Florida to accommodate couples of the same sex. Same-sex marriage is now recognized in 36 states and Washington, D.C..
The Washington Times (AP): Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is not giving clear answers on whether she will keep up a legal battle over the state’s marriage law.
Christian News Network: While agreeing to issue “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples as per a federal court ruling, several counties throughout Florida have decided to no longer allow weddings to be held at their courthouses in order to avoid being required to officiate homosexual ceremonies.
NBC News: A judge in Florida ruled Monday that same-sex couples could marry immediately in Miami-Dade County, and a marriage law elsewhere in the state is set to expire at midnight. Florida will become the 36th state where same-sex marriage is legal.
These Florida clerks will stop performing all courthouse weddings as same-sex marriage battle intensifies
The Blaze: Just days before a federal judge’s Thursday ruling cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Florida, at least five counties decided that they will no longer conduct courthouse weddings in their jurisdictions.
The Daily Signal: Hundreds of Florida parents are able to celebrate the New Year with access to school choice thanks to a decision last Tuesday to dismiss the union lawsuit against the Sunshine State’s Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts and expansion of the tax credit scholarship program.
The National Law Journal: Delta Air Lines Inc., General Electric Co., Target Corp. and 34 other employers have come together to support plaintiffs fighting in a federal appeals court to overturn Florida’s marriage law.
Life Site News: People are probably inclined to think more warmly of churches amid the cold winds of Christmas than at any other time of the year, but, sad to say, even the spirit of the season isn’t enough to dissuade some from all out legal assaults on houses of worship.
Christian Examiner: Facing similar claims against Kentucky public schools in 2013, Alliance Defending Freedom’s Rory Gray rejected FFRF’s assertion, based on information distributed by the American Civil Liberties Union, a liberal cause advocacy group, about distributing Bibles. Alliance Defending Freedom is a conservative religious liberty advocacy group based in Scottsdale, Arizona, that works to protect the rights of Christians across the country.
Alliance Defending Freedom: People are probably inclined to think more warmly of churches amid the cold winds of Christmas than at any other time of the year, but, sad to say, even the spirit of the season isn’t enough to dissuade some from all out legal assaults on houses of worship.
Christian News Network: A professing Florida atheist who recently led an invocation to Mother Earth, Satan and other entities at a public meeting in Lake Worth has been denied his request to do the same at a commission meeting in Palm Beach County.
Christian News Network: A school teacher who engages in pro-life outreach outside of an abortion facility in Florida has been barred from going near the location after a worker sought to accuse him of “stalking” her.
Christian News Network: Two Florida women have taken their city and local police to court after they were threatened with a loitering citation for conducting pro-life acitivities outside of a local abortion facility.
Satanic Temple allowed to display Satan descending into hell holiday display for first time at Florida capitol
The Christian Post: The Satanic Temple group has for the first time won the right to showcase its holiday display, featuring Satan descending into hell, at the Florida Capitol this year.
WND: “A city’s zoning restrictions shouldn’t target churches for discrimination. The court was right to find that federal law prohibits Jacksonville Beach from using its zoning code to block the church’s religious community services just because the city wants to have property used for other purposes,” said Daniel Dalton, a Michigan lawyer who is one of 2,500 private attorneys affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom. He represented the church together with ADF-allied attorney Charles Stambaugh of Jacksonville.
WND: “The preeminent social purpose of marriage – and the overriding reason why government recognizes marriage – is to connect children to both of their biological parents, argues a brief submitted by the Alliance Defending Freedom to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of supporters of a Florida law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
ADF Media: A Florida church represented by an Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney has prevailed in its lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville Beach after a trial that took place in September.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit Friday to accept a friend-of-the-court brief that encourages the court to uphold the freedom of the people of Florida to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Life News: A pro-life man in Florida says he was kicked out of a Planet Fitness gym not once but twice simply for wearing a pro-life t-shirt. Mike Amoroso says he has a collection of pro-life t-shirts but officials with Planet Fitness told him they were “offensive.”
Christian News Network: A Florida school board has moved to change its policies to ban the distribution of Bibles and all other religious materials after a New York-based Satanic organization sought to distribute coloring books to students.
The Christian Post: A school board in Florida is moving to ban the distribution of Bibles and other Christian materials after a satanist group requested to distribute its literature.
ADF Media: Haines City has decided to amend its Land Development Ordinance to comply with federal law after receiving a letter from Alliance Defending Freedom. The ordinance previously required churches—but not other groups—to locate on a minimum of two acres in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
The Christian Post: A Satanic Temple group is petitioning Florida’s State Capitol to include a display depicting the angel Lucifer descending into hell among other holiday stands. Florida denied the group’s same request last year, deeming it “grossly offensive.”
One News Now: Steven Chase Brigham has already lost his license in several states —including Delaware, Virginia and Florida — and now has lost his license in New Jersey, as well, where he owns eight abortion facilities.
Florida couple keeps statues of Jesus, Virgin Mary on property despite threat of legal action by HOA
The Christian Post: A couple in Florida will be allowed to keep statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary on their property after initially being told by a homeowners’ association that they could not.
Christian News Network: A prominent Satanist organization plans to distribute pamphlets and other materials to public school students in Florida after an atheist group that took issue with the distribution of Christian materials was given the green light to also share its printed publications.
Yes, you read that headline right. Just a fair warning, the video embedded in the story isn’t for everyone. Via The Daily Mail: Swinging might not be the obvious way to spread the word about religion but for Cristy and Dean Parave, from Florida, it is ideal.
Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Daniel P. Dalton will be available for media interviews immediately following the conclusion of each day of a bench trial in a lawsuit filed by a church against the city of Jacksonville Beach. The city twice denied the church a property permit because city officials prefer that the church property be used for some other purpose.
Life News: A Florida couple will receive $4.5 million after winning a wrongful birth lawsuit claiming their son, born with no arms and one leg, should have become a victim of abortion. They complained the doctor in the case should have detected the physical disabilities before birth and suggested an abortion.
The Federalist: As kids head back to school this fall, parents in Arizona and Florida are able to customize their experience thanks to an innovative tool: education savings accounts. After decades of government centralization of education, parent-controlled ESAs are ushering in a new era of choice and accountability in education.
One News Now: The most recent action came when a Florida federal judge struck down that state’s marriage amendment, which had been approved by 62.5 percent of voters. A stay on the court’s decision has been issued, but Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver tells OneNewsNow, “It’s ridiculous when federal courts overturn the natural order of marriage.”
Religion News Service: A group of county commissioners in Florida is testing a recent Supreme Court decision by banning atheists from delivering an invocation before local public meetings.
The College Fix: Just three months after it started working with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education to revise policies, the University of Florida has earned the student rights’ group’s highest rating for free-speech protection on campus.
Miami Herald: Attorney General Pam Bondi said late Thursday that Florida should stop fighting the gay-marriage battle at the state level and wait until the U.S. Supreme Court settles the issue nationally, once and for all.
Three states file brief on behalf of Catholic TV station seeking exemption from HHS’ contraception mandate
The Christian Post: Three states have filed an amicus brief on behalf of an Alabama-based Catholic television station founded by nuns that is seeking an exemption from the Department of Health and Human Services’ “preventive services” mandate.
Orlando Sentinel: A state circuit judge in Broward County today made history, ordering the state of Florida to recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state.
Religion Clause: In Church of Our Savior v. City of Jacksonville,(MD FL, July 18, 2014), a Florida federal district court permitted a church to move ahead with its claims that denial of a conditional use permit to build a church on property in a residential area violates various provisions of RLUIPA, and that the city’s Land Development Code violates RLUIPA’s equal terms provision by allowing secular assemblies in residentially-zoned areas without a conditional use permit.
Miami Herald: Lawyers for two Monroe County men who won the right to marry asked an appeals court Monday to move the case directly to Florida’s Supreme Court.
National Review: Hellwege, with the aid of Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization that focuses on religious-freedom violations, has filed suit against the Tampa Family Health Centers, Inc. (TFHC), for violating both federal and state law.
The Washington Times: Attorneys for a Florida Keys same-sex couple turned Wednesday to a state appeals court to lift a judge’s order blocking them from getting married.
The Christian Post: A Florida judge who recently declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional has stayed the decision pending an appeal from the government.
Tampa Bay Times: A nurse-midwife fresh out of school has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against a chain of Tampa health centers, alleging she was refused a job because of her religious opposition to prescribing hormonal contraceptives, including abortion drugs. Her four attorneys work for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group that opposes abortion.