Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
National Right to Life: The suicide advocacy group, Final Exit Network, was recently found guilty of violating Minnesota’s law against assisting suicide. The group has long been known to take brazen actions across the country promoting suicide, by promoting how-to guides for home suicides and sending “caring friends” to those who say they want to take their lives.
Associated Press: The national right-to-die group Final Exit Network Inc. was convicted Thursday of assisting in the suicide of a Minnesota woman who took her life in 2007 after years of suffering with chronic pain.
Minnesota House committee approves bills to ban taxpayer funded abortion, license abortion facilities
National Right to Life: Bills to license abortion facilities and end taxpayer funding of abortion passed a committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives on Wednesday. Both protective measures are strongly supported by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).
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.
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.
Christian News Network: A Minnesota high school sports league’s decision to allow male students who ‘identify’ as females to participate in girls’ sports has elicited concern from many parents and Christians.
Fox News: Minnesota’s governing body for high school sports passed rules on Thursday that one critic said could hypothetically put a future NFL linebacker at power forward on a girls basketball team.
The Daily Signal: Minnesota high schools may soon be affected by a proposed policy that would allow students to participate in sports based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
The Fire: Yesterday, FIRE and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) brief (PDF) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, arguing that a federal district court incorrectly dismissed former Central Lakes College (CLC) student Craig Keefe’s First Amendment lawsuit against the school.
The Daily Signal: Unfortunately for Hendricks, Wisconsin Family Action and Alliance Defending Freedom are being loud and clear in their message that such gender identity policies violate students’ right to bodily privacy and could cost taxpayers by opening up school districts to legal liabilities.
One News Now: ADF legal counsel Matt Sharp says it’s unfortunate that such incidents are happening nationwide.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom has delivered letters to the Minnesota State High School League, Wisconsin’s Sparta Area School District, and Rhode Island’s Westerly Public Schools that ask them to reject new rules that would require schools to allow children to use bathrooms and changing areas reserved for the opposite sex. ADF offers a suggested policy for school districts that addresses the concerns which prompted the problematic policies but do not require the sharing of bathrooms and locker rooms.
The Christian Post: Members of Minnesota Catholic Church are lamenting over the resignation of their music director of 17 years who was asked to leave his position after marrying his same-sex partner.
The Washington Times (AP): An ex-nurse who admitted going online and encouraging people to kill themselves was convicted Tuesday of assisting the suicide of an English man and attempting to assist in the suicide of a Canadian woman, following a legal battle that has spanned more than four years and led to the reversal of part of a Minnesota law that outlaws the practice.
Life News: Yet another Planned Parenthood abortion business has been caught telling a teenage girl to subject herself to violent sex at the hand of her partner. This time, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Minneapolis told an undercover investigator posing as a young teen to allow her partner to abuse her with “rope burns” and “markings” from “clamps.”
National Right to Life: Closing arguments were heard today in the case of a former Faribault nurse who went online and urged people to commit suicide while he watched.
Alliance Defending Freedom: “The government shouldn’t be spending taxpayer dollars unlawfully on medically unnecessary abortions. Regrettably, the Minnesota Supreme Court has left in place a ruling that allows the state to act contrary to the high court’s own 1995 decision that said it ‘will not permit any woman eligible for medical assistance to obtain an abortion ‘on demand.’ We will continue to look for opportunities to ensure that the hard-earned money of Minnesota taxpayers isn’t used to pay for unauthorized abortions and to ensure that taxpayer-funded abortions don’t disproportionately and tragically fall on the African-American community.” -ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit on behalf of two women who object to use of state funds for that purpose because a state Supreme Court decision earlier had forbidden it.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys asked the Minnesota Supreme Court Tuesday to reinstate a lawsuit that challenges the unauthorized use of state taxpayer funds to pay for abortions on demand.
The Christian Institute: Following the change of stance, ADF lawyer Jonathan Scruggs, commented: “We commend the school for doing the right thing and giving this student the same opportunity to express herself that other students are being given.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: A Minnesota high school will allow a student to include a Bible verse in her graduation speech after school officials received a letter from Alliance Defending Freedom that explained constitutional protections for religious speech. The school had originally told her she could not include a Bible verse at the end of her speech.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Sometimes, the bravest thing parents can do in America today is send their children off to school. Kindergarten, elementary school, high school, college – the realms of education are more and more hostile to families who honor faith, cherish freedom … or even just value common sense.
Life News: The Minnesota Court of Appeals Monday upheld the dismissal of a taxpayer lawsuit that challenges the unauthorized use of state funds to pay for abortions on demand.
ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM NEWS RELEASE May 5, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT ADF MEDIA RELATIONS: (480) 444-0020 or www.adfmedia.org/home/contact Taxpayers considering appeal after dismissal of challenge to Minn. abortion scheme Lawsuit seeks to stop unauthorized abortion funding ST. PAUL, …
James Arnold, Alliance Alert editor: A little less than a month ago, ADF sent a letter to the University of Minnesota–Morris after a professor encouraged students to trash all copies of an independent student publication because of the views it …
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Friday to the University of Minnesota–Morris after one of its professors encouraged students to trash all copies of an independent student publication because of the views it expressed. The following day, all the papers disappeared from their bins. Police say they are investigating.
Pioneer Press: “After nearly 12 hours of impassioned objections by Republicans, the DFL-controlled House sent an overhaul of Minnesota’s bullying-prevention law to Gov. Mark Dayton early Wednesday morning.”
Pioneer Press: “After considering 15 amendments and more than five hours of debate Thursday, state Senators approved a bill to strengthen bullying prevention in Minnesota schools. The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act was approved with a 36-31 vote, mostly along party lines. The measure greatly expands Minnesota anti-bullying law that is now just 37 words.”
Religion Clause: “In Wallace v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., (8th Cir., April 4, 2014), the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals took an unexpected route in deciding the appeal in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Hebrew National hot dogs.”
Associated Press: “The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed the convictions of a former nurse accused of encouraging two people whom he met online to kill themselves. The court ruled that the language in the state’s assisted-suicide law that pertains to ‘encouraging’ suicide is unconstitutional. However, it upheld the part of the law that bans ‘assisting’ suicide.” | The opinion is here.
Religion Clause: “In Stancek v. Stancek, (MN App., March 10, 2014), the Minnesota Court of Appeals resolved a child custody dispute between separated parents as to their three daughters.”
Washington Times: “The push to ban sexual-orientation “change” therapy for children is growing as lawmakers in at least eight states have introduced bills to outlaw the practice and gay-rights advocates expect at least a few to become law this year.”
Albert Lea Tribue (AP): “House members whose 2013 votes went against most in their party took in as much as quadruple the cash they raised in 2011. The influx of cash could be helpful if these lawmakers face strong challengers or backlash for their votes.”
MN CBS Local: In this season of giving, someone has taken part of the nativity scene from a Minnesota church. Mary and Joseph are among the figures stolen from a display outside the Church of St. Joseph, located in the town of St. Joseph.
City Pages: According to a release distributed by Change.org, Rep. Karen Clark, D-Minneapolis, plans to introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would make Minnesota the third state (following New Jersey and California) to ban the type of therapy Marcus Bachmann made famous — ex-gay therapy.
Religion Clause Blog: In State of Minnesota v. Wenthe, (MN Sup. Ct., Nov. 6, 2013), the Minnesota Supreme Court, in a 4-1 decision, upheld the state’s clergy-sexual-conduct statute against both facial and an as-applied Establishment Clause challenges.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: A bus driver for the Burnsville school district was fired last week for leading kids in Christian prayers on his bus, even after he was warned to stop — a move he considers a violation of his freedom of spee
TwinCities.com: Margorie Holland’s husband, Roger Holland, is charged with murder in both deaths. As he nears trial, scheduled for late October, his attorneys are making a novel argument: The death of the fetus was an abortion, not a murder, and the only person whose rights such an act could have violated — the mother — was already dead.
Minnesota Star Tribune: Minnesotans United PAC’s support for anti-abortion candidates is proving to be divisive with NOW chapter that helped in marriage push.
Volokh Conspiracy: So holds the Minnesota Court of Appeals in today’s In the Matter of the Welfare of J.J.M. A. (surprisingly, an opinion labeled by the court as nonprecedential). J.J.M.A. was arrested for, among other things, possession of a glass pipe used for smoking marijuana, which was covered by the state ban on possessing drug paraphernelia
“MN: Political action committees continue same-sex marriage fight, groups on both sides working to re-elect or unseat legislators”
Twin Cities Daily Planet: Newly formed political action committees and campaigns are gearing up to help re-elect — or unseat — state representatives who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in May. Minnesotans United for All Families and Minnesota for Marriage, the key players in the state’s same-sex marriage debate, are both kicking off fundraising efforts this fall to either support or oust up to 75 state representatives who voted “yes” on the same-sex marriage legislation last session.
Minnesota taxpayers should not be forced to pay for medically unnecessary abortions, especially when state law has not authorized it. The Minnesota Supreme Court’s 1995 decision that expanded abortion funding nonetheless made clear that its decision ‘will not permit any woman eligible for medical assistance to obtain an abortion “on demand” . . .
8th Cir: Minneapolis Park Board was too restrictive to man distributing Bibles at Twin Cities Pride Festival
StarTribune: In a 2-1 decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday that too many restrictions were placed on a man who has been trying to distribute free Bibles at the annual Twin Cities Pride Festival. | Johnson v. Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, No. 12-2419 (8th Cir. Sept. 11, 2013)
Beth Hawkins at MinnPost: Minnesota businesses — and in particular those that employ people throughout the country — are scrambling to figure out how to comply with the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to begin recognizing all legal same-sex marriages starting Sept. 16, regardless of where a couple lives. “The [Obama] administration is sending the message that from a federal law perspective, marriage equality now exists,” said Sarah Riskin, a labor and employment attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis. “Which is really kind of huge.”
MNPR: Legalizing same sex marriage has raised a host of questions for Minnesota officials — from the relatively simple, like how to replace the words “husband” and “wife” on forms, to the more complicated, such as whether two incarcerated people can marry. The state’s answer to that second question is “no.”
Minn. Public Radio: Same-sex couples received nearly 1 in 3 marriage licenses issued in Minnesota since they were allowed to wed, The Associated Press found in a statewide survey of the first month’s impact of the new gay marriage law.
Lambda Legal: Today, the Supreme Court of Minnesota upheld the decision of an intermediate appellate court overturning the conviction of Daniel James Rick, who is HIV positive, for the alleged criminal transmission of a communicable disease.
Minn. school concedes pro-life speech cannot be censored after all | Matt Sharp on the “Way with Paul Ridgway”
Matt Sharp appeared on “The Way with Paul Ridgway” to discuss: Minn. school concedes pro-life speech cannot be censored after all. | MP3 audio 20:29 mins
Buffalo News (AP): A Washington, D.C.-based group opposed to gay marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom, advised municipal clerks they could ask a colleague to issue licenses to same-sex couples if they were opposed. There were no reports of that happening in either state.
Catholic Online : Alliance Defending Freedom, a Washington, D.C.-based group which defends marriage as between one man and one woman and opposes redefining the word to compel States to give a legal equivalency to gay couples who cohabit, advised municipal clerks they could ask a colleague to issue licenses to same-sex couples if they were opposed. There were no reports of that happening in either state.
“Gay Marriage In Minnesota And Rhode Island Legalized, Weddings Start At Midnight” | Huffington Post (AP)
David Klepper And Patrick Condon at Huffington Post (AP): A Washington, D.C.-based group opposed to gay marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom, advised municipal clerks they could ask a colleague to issue licenses to same-sex couples if they were opposed. There were no reports of that happening in either state.
“Gay couples begin marrying in Minn. and RI, as more than quarter of US states now allow it” | Newser
Newser: A Washington D.C.-based group opposed to gay marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom, advised municipal clerks they could ask a colleague to issue licenses to same-sex couples if they were opposed. There were no reports of that happening in either state.
Nicholas Zinos at Pioneer Press: I turned to Alliance Defending Freedom for legal counsel. They acknowledged that my interpretation of the law was the correct one and offered to represent my daughter in the lawsuit A.Z. v. Nova Classical Academy in order to vindicate her important First Amendment freedoms. For their help I am immensely grateful.
Christian Post: “No American should have to choose between their conscience and their job in America,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “The First Amendment protects Americans from being coerced to give up their careers to maintain their religious freedom. Religious freedom is guaranteed to every American, including those issuing marriage licenses.”
CBS: Police in Maple Grove, near Minneapolis-St. Paul, are looking for a man in a wheelchair caught on tape throwing eggs at a church – a case of vandalism police believe likely stems from the church’s support for gay marriage, CBS Minnesota reported.
First Amendment protects RI, Minn. officials from violating their faith | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom is advising officials responsible for issuing marriage licenses in Rhode Island and Minnesota that they do not have to violate their faith or conscience by personally issuing licenses to applicants who are of the same sex.
MPR (includes audio): Minnesota’s new marriage law goes into effect Aug. 1, creating new urgency for many faith communities about whether they will perform such weddings, particularly those that have been wrestling with how to address sexual orientation for decades.
Patheos: The Alliance Defending Freedom took our case and we just settled for a very good policy that was completely on our terms. The kicker is, and I didn’t fully see that this would happen – many Catholics were not in our corner. This is what I’d specifically like to hear a post from you about. This is the new normal for the Catholic, the Christian, the Jew and the Muslim. If you believe, and publicly witness to that belief, you are going to suffer at the hands of the new liberal authorities.
Rory Gray at Christian Post: A recent blog post details the story of A.Z., a middle school student at Nova Classical Academy in Minnesota who attempted to distribute pro-life materials to classmates during lunch. She was banned from doing so because her principal thought others might find her defense of the unborn “offensive.”
Rory Gray at Alliance Defending Freedom: Viewpoint discrimination is unfortunately quite common at public schools. And, even more unfortunately, it is often directed at Christian students.
MyFox9.com (includes video): With legal help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, Pham ultimately settled with the city without going to court. In fact, Pham was so excited he even had the settlement agreement bronzed to confirm the statue will stay for years to come. “My reaction was, ‘Thank God,’” he said. “Here in the free country — no matter how big you are, how small I am, how rich you are, how poor I am — we have equal treatment.”
Sixth Grader Wins Right to Share Pro-Life Literature With Classmates Following Federal Lawsuit | ChristianNews.net
Christian News:“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” remarked ADF legal counsel Matt Sharp in a statement announcing the settlement. “The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs. The law on that point is extremely clear: free speech cannot be censored simply because it expresses a certain viewpoint that administrators don’t favor.”
WorldNetDaily: “Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Matt Sharp, a legal counsel for the ADF. “The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs. The law on that point is extremely clear: free speech cannot be censored simply because it expresses a certain viewpoint that administrators don’t favor.”
Life News: “Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs. The law on that point is extremely clear: free speech cannot be censored simply because it expresses a certain viewpoint that administrators don’t favor.”
Pioneer Press: The lawsuit, filed with help from the Arizona-based conservative legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, deemed that rule a violation of students’ First Amendment rights.
What Is a Mother to Do? Questions for Same-Sex Marriage Advocates | Deborah Savage at Public Discourse
Deborah Savage at Public Discourse: To demand that we recognize same-sex romantic relationships as marriages, and teach our children so, is to prevent them from discovering reality.
MPR: County recorders have an annual statewide meeting this month, where they plan to discuss the wording for marriage applications and licenses for same-sex couples, particularly the section where applications read “bride” and “groom.”
Life News: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys filed an appeal Monday on behalf of two African-American taxpayers in Minnesota who are challenging the unauthorized use of state funding for elective abortions. In May, a trial judge dismissed the lawsuit. “The critical taxpayer dollars of Minnesotans should not be used for medically unnecessary abortions, nor should such funding be used to take the lives of more African-American babies than other babies,” said lead counsel Chuck Shreffler, one of more than 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. “The Minnesota Supreme Court was clear in ruling that taxpayers should not be stuck with the bill for abortions ‘on demand.’”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys filed an appeal Monday on behalf of two African-American taxpayers in Minnesota who are challenging the unauthorized use of state funding for elective abortions. In May, a trial judge dismissed the lawsuit.