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Alliance Defending Freedom: For 10 years, officials in “the city of big shoulders” (Carl Sandburg) has been giving the cold shoulder to World Outreach, a Christian ministry that asks only for the freedom – and the space – to serve the most hurting people of the city.
One News Now: World Outreach Center in Roseland, Illinois, on the south side of Chicago, wanted to use an old YMCA facility for part of its outreach to the impoverished neighborhood, but ran into problem after problem. Noel Sterrett is an attorney with the Chicago law firm Mauck and Baker as well as an allied attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom.
WND: “Using a city’s zoning restrictions to shut down ongoing religious and community services just because the city wants to use a building for other purposes is clearly illegal,” said Mauck & Baker partner John Mauck, one of more than 2,500 private attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom and lead counsel for World Outreach.
ADF Media : For the second time, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has ruled against the city of Chicago and in favor of an inner-city ministry. The nearly 10-year old case started in the fall of 2005 when the city prevented World Outreach Conference Center from occupying a former YMCA building.
Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski stands for life, and his party one day soon may leave him standing alone
World Magazine (Subscription required): Visitors to Congressman Dan Lipinski’s Capitol Hill office find an assortment of items. A BlackBerry phone sits amid papers on his desk. There’s also an apple, a container of Peter Pan peanut butter, a Diet Pepsi, and a small stack of books including Prayer by the late Daniel P. Coughlin, the first Roman Catholic chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives.
National Catholic Register: A battle is under way over conscience rights and health care in the Illinois Legislature that has pro-life groups on one side, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood on the other, and the Illinois Catholic Conference standing neutral on the sidelines.
Illinois Family: I understand that you are considering passing SB 1564, a bill to amend the existing laws of Illinois that protect freedom of conscience. I urge you not to do so, as SB 1564 fatally weakens the conscience rights of Illinois citizens.
Townhall: The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are pursuing a surprising new agenda in Illinois: banning women’s reproductive choices.
The Daily Herald (AP): Saline County State’s Attorney Michael Henshaw says he filed three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of intentional homicide of an unborn child.
Life Site News: Americans United for Life (AUL) is leading the national opposition to the change, along with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). An Illinois-based coalition of pregnancy help organizations is currently forming an informational website on the bill.
The Wall Street Journal (access via Google): In Illinois, our law firm recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of three Bible colleges, with the backing of the nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, against the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The IBHE claims that the Bible colleges do not meet the state’s curriculum requirements, and therefore cannot issue degrees.
ADF Media: The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that people who are not legal parents cannot use arguments that they are “psychologically” connected to a child in order to obtain some form of custody.
Religion Clause: In Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School v. City of Evanston, (IL App., March 6, 2015), an Illinois appellate court rejected a RLUIPA challenge brought by an Orthodox Jewish elementary school after Evanston City Council refused zoning modifications that would allow the construction of a school on property in an industrial zone that plaintiff had purchased.
Chicago Tribune publishes major story on abortion clinic that refuses to pay fine following woman’s death
Pro-Life Action League: Today’s CHICAGO TRIBUNE has a major front-page article on the Women’s Aid facility, whose owner, Larisa Rozansky, still has not paid the $36,000 fine assessed by the State of Illinois in 2011.
The Washington Post: This is the standard rationale used in many campus speech codes aimed at restricting supposed “hate speech.”
The Christian Post: Last January, Wayne Lela and John McCartney sent an application to Waubonsee Community College seeking permission to pass out leaflets on its campus promoting their Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, a group organized by Lela that advocates that homosexuality is immoral. After submitting the required details about the leaflets to the administration, the administration sent them back a letter denying their request later that month.
The Global Dispatch: Scudder added that the lawsuit was being funded partially by the Scottsdale, Arizona–based firm the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The Christian Post: Two states that had previously rejected bans on a controversial therapy practice that aims to change sexual orientation are again considering measures to prohibit the practice on minors.
One News Now: A group of Christian colleges and Bible schools has been pushed too far and wants the government of Illinois to butt out of its business. So they have gone to court to try to see that happen.
Christian News Network: The Illinois Bible Colleges Association has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Higher Education (IBHE) in an effort to obtain the right to issue degrees to students.
Chicago Tribune: Bible colleges in Illinois have filed a federal lawsuit against state education regulators, seeking the unencumbered right to award degrees to students who complete their programs.
Tech Dirt: Free speech and higher education seem to be at odds. The notion of expanding minds, exposing prejudices and encouraging critical thinking has taken a backseat to a bizarre “offense-free” ideal in recent years, something that can partially be traced back to our own government’s insertion into the (stunted) conversation. Tying federal funding to sexual harassment policies is definitely part of the problem. The other part appears to be a misguided thought process that equates inclusion with the elimination of any speech that might negatively affect someone. Rather than actually deal with speech issues on a case-by-case basis, universities have instead enacted broadly-written bans on campus speech.
Exclusive: Report finds vast majority of Illinois abortion facilities weren’t inspected for 10+ years
Life Site News: The state of Illinois did not inspect the vast majority of surgical abortion facilities in the state for a decade, failed to inspect some abortion offices for up to 17 years at a time, and made no efforts to alert women when abortionists were guilty of serious health violations that could have exposed them to HIV. Those explosive charges are contained in a new report from Illinois Right to Life made available exclusively to LifeSiteNews.
Atheist group erects 11 billboards across Chicago; argues that kindness ‘comes from altruism,’ not from ‘seeking divine reward’
The Christian Post: The Freedom From Religion Foundation, one of the largest secular groups in America, announced it is erecting 11 different billboards across Chicago this week with various messages. Some of the ads ask people to “think for (themselves),” while others argue that kindness “comes from altruism” and not from “seeking divine reward.”
World Magazine: Three months ago Wheaton College, one of America’s leading evangelical undergraduate institutions, hired Julie Rodgers to provide spiritual care for students. Not surprising in some ways: She has a master’s degree in English, has mentored inner-city youth, and speaks at Christian churches and conferences. One surprise: She openly identifies as homosexual.
The Washington Times (AP): The longtime music director of a suburban Chicago parish has filed human rights complaints after he was fired earlier this year following his engagement to his same-sex partner.
Life News: The abortionist that was responsible for the late-term abortion death of Tonya Reaves has shut down her All Women’s Health abortion facility in Chicago, the Pro-Life Action League has confirmed.
The Washington Times (AP): U.S. Attorney James Santelle says the federal government is behind same-sex couples who are suing to have the right to marry.
Life News: Yesterday, the Thomas More Society filed an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to hear a case involving “Choose Life” license plates, in order to resolve disputes among lower courts over how to treat specialty license plates.
Christian News Network: Northwestern University, a public institution in Illinois, has announced that it will offer ‘gender open’ restrooms to its students beginning this fall in order to be more accommodating to ‘transgender’ students.
Christian News Network: A public university in Illinois is raising concern over a recently published online how-to guide that instructs health and social service providers how to assist residents in obtaining an abortion.
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Conn suggests that Wheaton and other religious colleges are “intellectually compromised institutions” that betray the intellectual standards that should mark accredited institutions of higher education. Colleges like ours, he argues, “systematically undermine the most fundamental purposes of higher education,” a serious charge that deserves consideration. Let’s think about those fundamental purposes.
Christian colleges like Wheaton should not get accredited because they undermine purpose of higher ed, says UPenn Professor
The Christian Post: Charging that they “undermine the most fundamental purposes of higher education,” Peter Conn, a professor of English and education at the University of Pennsylvania, says Christian colleges like Wheaton in Illinois should not be legitimized through accreditation, which gives their students access to federal funding.
Chicago Tribune: The U.S. Supreme Court has granted Wheaton College a temporary stay in its fight against the federal health care law’s contraception mandate and will hear arguments Wednesday from lawyers representing the school and the White House about whether the injunction should continue.
The Christian Post: A 70-year-old convent of Catholic nuns in Stone Park, Illinois, has filed a lawsuit against a strip club that became their neighbor a year ago, claiming that throbbing music from the club is preventing them from praying in peace.
One News Now: A suburb of Chicago will soon have to explain the legality of its decision to permit a topless joint. “What they have done is to allow a strip club to operate immediately next to a convent of religious sisters who have been serving that community for over 70 years, educating children, serving the poor and others.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster: “Patient safety should be the number one concern of the medical profession.”
Pro-marriage Illinois politicians replaced after opposing Pat Brady’s support for the redefinition of marriage
Lambda Legal: “Yesterday, in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Urbana Division, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit on behalf of Naya Taylor, a transgender woman denied medical care after she requested hormone replacement therapy.”
BuzzFeed: “Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn this past week ordered the state’s national guard to recognize any marriages of same-sex couples performed in the state, BuzzFeed has learned.”
Chicago Sun-Times: “The measure, proposed by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, lost on a 44-51 roll call despite her plea to colleagues to stop gay, bisexual and transgender teens 17 and under from being ‘horribly and humiliatingly abused.’”
Cardinal Newman Society: “Dr. Howell asked friends for their advice, and one of them suggested that he contact Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Once ADF got involved and contacted the University, Dr. Howell was reinstated to teach during the next school year.”
RLUIPA Defense: “In an important decision for municipal officials across the country, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in American Islamic Center v. City of Des Plaines, No. 13-C-6594 (N.D. Ill. 2014), ruled that city council members alleged to have discriminated against an Islamic organization in its application to rezone certain property are entitled to absolute legislative immunity.”
Religion Clause: “In Ivanov v. Notzkov, 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 577 (IL App., March 25, 2014), an Illinois Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s reliance on the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine in dismissing a lawsuit between two factions of St. John of Rila Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church.”
Washington Post: “When the Illinois state House passed a bill to legalize gay marriage last fall, just three out of 47 Republicans voted for it. On Tuesday, none of them lost.”
Chicago Tribune: “Marriage licenses for same-sex couples will not be issued in Kane County before June 1, despite urging by the state’s attorney general on Tuesday for clerks statewide to issue licenses earlier, the county clerk said today.”
Cardinal Newman Society: “In light of the Illinois law legalizing same-sex marriage which is scheduled to go into effect in June of this year, Loyola University Chicago announced that it has changed its policies to allow only Catholic weddings on campus.”
Reuters: “Same-sex couples in Illinois’ Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, can wed immediately and do not have to wait to tie the knot until a new state law legalizing gay marriage takes effect in June, a federal judge ruled on Friday.” | Decision is here.
OneNewsNow: “Noel Sterrett, one of nearly 2,300 allied attorneys with ADF, explains the issue. ‘Pregnant women are better served when they are fully informed,’ he says. ‘We hope that the court’s opinion last year, which expressly recognizes a woman’s right to choose life and be fully informed about her pregnancy, is a rational ruling that everyone can support regardless of their opinion on abortion.’”
Paxton Record: “After the passage of Senate Bill 10 legalizing same-sex marriage, effective June 1, 2014, there were protections put in place for churches but not for other facilities associated with the church. Harms said his legislation, House Bill 4263, is necessary to ensure that religious organizations are not statutorily forced to go against their faith.”
“A legal settlement finalized Wednesday ensures that a mobile pregnancy center can operate freely within the city of Elgin. A federal court found a city zoning code unconstitutional in August of last year after city officials used it to shut down access to free pregnancy information and services offered to young women through the mobile ultrasound facility.”
The News-Gazette: “For almost two years, Jim Walder has not allowed civil-union ceremonies at his bed-and-breakfast near Paxton. And come June, same-sex weddings will be next on the list of activities to be legally recognized in Illinois, yet banned at the TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast.”
Dave Ross at MyNorthwest.com: But his students supported him, he appealed his dismissal as a violation of free speech, and after a lawsuit threat from the Alliance Defense Fund, the university reinstated him. And he wasn’t alone – there have been several cases of educators being fired for appearing to be critical of homosexual behavior.
Illinois Family Action: An Associated Press report claiming that the challenge to Illinois House incumbents who voted for marriage redefinition has fizzled is utterly misleading.
“Lambda Legal And ACLU Of Illinois Expedite Marriage For Same-sex Couples Facing Urgent Medical Circumstances”
Lambda Legal: Today, a federal court ordered the Cook County Clerk’s office to immediately issue marriage licenses to all Illinois same-sex couples who, because of a life-threatening illness, cannot wait until next summer to get married.
Thomas More Society: At noon on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee (SNSC) will unveil its annual display depicting the newborn Christ Child, lying in a manger inside a handcrafted wooden stable. For the sixth year in a row, the crèche will stand in the center of the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda, next to the Governor’s “Holiday Tree.”
KRCU.org: Seven months before Illinois’ same-sex marriage law goes into effect, a judge ruled Monday that two Chicago women can marry immediately because one of them has terminal cancer.
State-Journal Register: “A lot of business owners are asserting their constitutional rights,” said James Campbell, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law group . . . “This isn’t about hate. I don’t know any Christian who does,” said attorney Jason Craddock who represents the owners of Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast in Paxton. “We don’t want to cause anyone pain. It’s about our faith and it’s out of love too, but we don’t believe that giving into something that our faith tells us is wrong.”
LifeNews: But four Republican lawmakers haven’t co-sponsored the bill either. They include: Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), Sen. Dean Heller (Nevada), Sen. Mark Kirk (Illinois), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
USCCB Subcommittee Chairman Decries Marriage Redefinition And Misuse Of Pope Francis’ Words In Illinois
USCCB: Calls redefining marriage a serious injustice. Decries manipulation of Pope Francis’s words. Says every child deserves a mother and a father.
Illinois Review: Governor Pat Quinn plans to sign Illinois gay marriage into law on President Abraham Lincoln’s law office desk Wednesday afternoon in Chicago. Word is taxpayers are shipping the historical piece from Springfield to Chicago at the governor’s request.
Cheryl Wetzstein at Washington Times (includes video): s Illinois becomes the 16th state to approve gay marriage at a public signing ceremony set for Wednesday, the political trench warfare over same-sex unions may be facing a watershed moment: Illinois is the last state where gay-marriage advocates have an advantage in both the governor’s office and statehouse, and defenders of traditional marriage say the political playing field will be far more level in the remaining 34 states in the years ahead.
BND.com: “A lot of business owners are asserting their constitutional rights,” said James Campbell, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law group. Currently in Illinois, a complaint over civil unions — which Illinois allowed in 2011 — is pending before the Illinois Human Rights Coalition. The owners of a central Illinois bed and breakfast refused to perform a civil union for a same-sex couple that same year. “This isn’t about hate. I don’t know any Christian who does,” said attorney Jason Craddock who represents the owners of Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast in Paxton. “We don’t want to cause anyone pain. It’s about our faith and it’s out of love too, but we don’t believe that giving into something that our faith tells us is wrong.” Craddock has argued that the owners don’t have the ability to perform civil unions for any couple and that such events aren’t a public accommodation and would violate the owners’ religious rights under the First Amendment and a state religious freedom act.
LifeSiteNews: “It is scandalous that so many Catholic politicians are responsible for enabling the passage of this legislation and even twisting the words of the pope to rationalize their actions despite the clear teaching of the church,” he said. “All politicians now have the moral obligation to work for the repeal of this sinful and objectionable legislation. We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church.”
LifeSiteNews: Public libraries are taxpayer-funded areas where families can bring their children to read, socialize, and sometimes use the library’s computers. But according to local mom Megan Fox, in Orland Park, Illinois, the public library is also a haven for sex offenders and pornography users.
Religion Clause Blog: The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and The Episcopal Church last week filed a state court lawsuit claiming that property held by or for parishes and missions of the break-away Anglican Diocese of Quincy may only be used for the benefit of The Episcopal Church. (Press release). The complaint (full text) in The Episcopal Church v. Morales . . .
Real Clear Religionhttp://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2013/11/06/the_end_of_religious_liberty.html: It’s all good, lawmakers assured faith groups and religious organizations. Your religious freedom is secure. Where have we heard that before? How about three years ago, when Illinois lawmakers promised during floor debate on civil unions legislation that no faith-based social service organizations would be affected. But within six months of civil unions becoming law, all Catholic Charities in the state were pushed out of their longtime mission of caring for abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
Religion Clause Blog: The House vote, after adding one amendment to the Senate bill, was 61-54 with 2 abstentions. The Senate then quickly approved the bill as amended by a vote of 32-21. Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will sign the bill.
St. Louis Today: The Illinois House has passed passed a measure legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. The bill now returns to the Senate to concur with amendments. The Senate has already passed the measure once, in February, and is expected to pass it again. Senate leadership announced in an email it will take up the bill at 5 p.m. today.
Chicago Tribune: The bill will need 60 votes to pass the Illinois House. A test vote involving an amendment to the bill got 59 votes this afternoon. The vote is expected to be close.
USA Today: In a joint release DePauw University and Wabash College said they have joined Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan grassroots coalition working to defeat the ban scheduled to be considered in the Indiana General Assembly early next year.