Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
LifeNews: Since a Dec. 15, 1995, Minnesota Supreme Court ruling required taxpayers to fund abortions, more than 58,000 unborn babies have been killed in Minnesota with taxpayer funds, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS). The Doe v. Gomez ruling established the most extreme abortion-on-demand policy in the nation.
Judge Yanks Anti-christian Officials’ Chain: Blasts attempt to subvert court order against speech restrictions in public park | WND
WorldNetDaily: ADF reported today “people are once again free to peacefully share their faith at the ‘Bentleyville Tour of Lights’ event.” “The government cannot ban the First Amendment in a public park just because event officials don’t like the message that a person is sharing,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs, who is co-counsel in the case with Nate Kellum of the Center for Religious Expression. “The court has done the right thing in enforcing what the original order sought to protect: the constitutionally protected freedom of citizens to engage in non-disruptive speech in a public place.”
Religion Clause Blog: However, the court refused to hold defendants in contempt because of ambiguity in the language of the original preliminary injunction, instead issuing a new modified injunction to cover future Festivals. Alliance Defending Freedom issued a press release announcing the court’s decision. Duluth News Tribunereports on the decision.
Court: City of Duluth violated court order by reimposing First Amendment ban | Alliance Defending Freedom
People are once again free to peacefully share their faith at the “Bentleyville Tour of Lights” event in Duluth. A federal court ruled Wednesday that the city violated a court order when it reinstated a First Amendment ban at the event.
One News Now: “The reporting statistics don’t lie. The state is indisputably funding medically unnecessary abortions in violation of state law,” Aden reports. “40 percent of these abortions are being executed on African-Americans, even though they make up only five percent of the state’s population. This lawsuit intends to stop this from continuing.”
Steve Aden appeared on the The Flag with Scott Hennen to discuss this: Minn. taxpayers illegitimately charged for elective abortions. | MP3 audio 7:05 mins
MPR (includes audio): Same-sex marriage supporters in Minnesota gathered on Saturday to talk about the best ways to translate their defeat of the marriage amendment into ways of advancing their other goals, including making same-sex marriage legal. But there was disagreement on when and how best to proceed.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: In a lawsuit filed this week, the Alliance Defending Freedom said an analysis of abortions paid for by the state’s Medicaid program found that barely one in four gave a reason of medical necessity, even though the state is permitted to use taxpayer funds only for therapeutic abortions.
Crookston Times: Steven Aden, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the numbers cited in the lawsuit represent the “best assessment” the group could make based on the statistics available. He said a fuller picture of the “illegitimate public funding of elective abortions” will emerge as the case proceeds. Minnesota spends about $1.5 million annually on abortions for indigent women, the lawsuit says. “It’s a gross abuse of taxpayer dollars in the state of Minnesota and an unfortunate tragedy as well,” Aden said.
“Minnesota Anti-Choice Activists File Frivolous Lawsuit Against Medicaid-Funded Abortions” | Robin Marty at RH Reality Check
Robin Marty at RHReality Check: Attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense League) have filed a suit alleging that Minnesota has wrongfuly paid for as many as 37,000 abortions since the year 1999 that should not have been covered. According to their press release . . .
San Francisco Chronicle (AP): The Alliance Defending Freedom argues that state government is allowed to pay for abortions for indigent women only for “therapeutic reasons,” including when the life or health of the woman is in danger or in cases of rape or incest, under state laws and a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision . . . Steven Aden, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the numbers cited in the lawsuit represent the “best assessment” the group could make based on the statistics available. He said a fuller picture of the “illegitimate public funding of elective abortions” will emerge as the case proceeds.
LifeNews: “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 nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. “The reporting statistics are unambiguous,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden, who is co-counsel in the case. “The state is indisputably funding medically unnecessary abortions in violation of state law, and 40 percent of the abortions are being executed on African-Americans even though they make up only 5 percent of the state’s population. This lawsuit intends to stop this from continuing.”
First Amendment Center: But Jonathan Scruggs, attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom that is representing the preachers, disagreed.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys filed suit Tuesday on behalf of two African-American taxpayers in Minnesota who are challenging the unauthorized use of state funding for elective abortions.
The city of Duluth is ignoring a court order that prevents it from enforcing a First Amendment ban on people desiring to share their faith at a public park during the “Bentleyville Tour of Lights” event. The violation of the order prompted Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys to file an emergency motion Tuesday that asks the court to enforce its injunction and hold the city in contempt.
Politico: Advocates have identified Oregon, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and New Jersey as states where they believe that as early as 2014 they’ll see gay marriage legalized through ballot measures, court decisions or state legislative action.
“Report: MN bishop says pro-gay marriage teen can be confirmed when he publicly repudiates position”
Catholic Culture: “The mother did say that Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston informed her that if Lennon stood before the church and denounced his support of same-sex marriage claims, he could be confirmed,” the Fargo Forum added.
MinnPost: In recent weeks yet another chapter has been opened in the controversy over the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s handling of bullying. A group of parents and students is petitioning school board Chair Tom Heidemann to remove a vocal anti-gay activist from a district anti-bullying task force.
NY Times: They are also preparing for what they hope will be another milestone: the electoral reversal of a constitutional amendment defining marriage . . . campaigners see the potential for legislative gains in Delaware; Hawaii; Illinois; Rhode Island; Minnesota, where they beat back a restrictive amendment last Tuesday; and New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in February . . .
How Did Marriage Fare in the 2012 Election? | Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew Walker at Heritage Foundation
Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew Walker at the Heritage Foundation: But a little perspective on the setback is in order. The results were close, and marriage did better in these deep blue states than Mitt Romney did. Of the four states that had marriage questions on the ballot, traditional marriage outperformed the presidential candidate in each and every one:
Dale Carpenter at the Volokh Conspiracy: The message fused conservative and libertarian themes and was honed from the experience of many losses and much research by groups like Freedom to Marry and Third Way. The socially conservative idea was that marriage enhances and cements the shared social values of love, commitment, and strong families. The libertarian argument was that government has no business limiting the freedom of gays and lesbians to make that commitment. We took the issue of gay marriage head-on. We didn’t avoid religion, but instead agued that the religious beliefs of many faiths were being attacked by the proposed ban.
Country Still Opposes Marriage Redefinition: Losses in Deep Blue States with Huge Spending Disparities were Narrow
FRC Action: But contrary to what the Left will say, the narrow margin for victory in these four states offers plenty of evidence that a solid majority of Americans still opposes same-sex “marriage.” Despite being outspent 8-to-1 in some of the most liberal states in the country, we witnessed record-setting petition efforts that crossed every racial, party, and socioeconomic divide. And while homosexuals may be celebrating an end to our movement’s perfect record, they still have a long way to go to match the 32 states where Americans voted overwhelmingly to protect the union of a man and woman. And that includes North Carolina, where President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex “marriage” likely cost him the state’s electoral votes.
WorldNetDaily: Tea-party advocate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was declared the winner by the Associated Press with 98 percent of precincts reporting. She led Democratic Farm Labor Party millionaire Jim Graves, by just over 3,000 votes out of nearly 350,000 votes . . .
Wall Street Journal: Americans for the first time approved gay marriage at the ballot box on Tuesday, pointing to changing attitudes on the divisive issue.
Geoffrey Fowler at the Wall Street Journal: Americans weighed in on gay marriage in four states Tuesday, in a test of whether attitudes have changed on the divisive issue. In Maine, Maryland and Washington state, voters decided whether to begin allowing same-sex unions. A vote to permit gay marriage would mark a first for a cause that previously has been rejected by voters in 32 states.
Religion Clause Blog: While the Presidential contest obviously looms largest at the polls tomorrow, those interested in church-state and religious liberty issues are watching a number of down-ballot issues and contests . . .
Alan Sears at the Alliance Defending Freedom Blog: Ruth Sweats is a resident of that senior living complex in the Minneapolis area. Not long ago, she met quietly with one of her neighbors in the commons area of the complex to read the Bible, pray, and share a private conversation about her faith. Soon, a social worker employed at the property saw what she was doing, came over, and told her she would have to stop. The social worker said that Osborne Apartments receives tax-payer support from the Department of Housing and Urban Development – and, as a government agency, cannot allow its residents to have religious discussions in a public area
Matt Sharp at Townhall: In a new low by those suffering from the belief that all things religious are like asbestos in the ceiling tiles of society, a senior living complex has denied an elderly widow the freedom to pray and talk about her faith in a common area. Why? Because the complex accepts U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds. This is a wrongheaded view of “separation of church and state” on steroids. The Constitution does not create a separation of church and home.
Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal: The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors said Tuesday it opposes the proposed change to the Minnesota constitution that would define recognized marriage as only between opposite-sex couples.
San Francisco Chronicle: The two principal campaigns battling over Minnesota’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage have raised more than $16 million combined, with opponents of the ban outraising supporters by nearly two-to-one.
LifeSiteNews: They used to call them “swingers.” Not anymore. These days, like most “alternative lifestyle” groups, they’ve adopted a new, more clinical-sounding description – polyamorist – and incorporated it into the names of a small but growing number of advocacy and social networking organizations.
Daniel Christensen, Kathleen Albrecht, Bruce Minor And Bill Clapp at the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Four major mental-health professional associations — the Minnesota Psychological Association; the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; the Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and the Minnesota Psychiatric Society — oppose amending our state Constitution to exclude same-sex couples from legal marriage . . . Far from “redefining marriage,” the research shows that same-sex couples who seek to wed one another are hoping to participate fully in the same traditional definitions of marriage their other family members embrace, and for the same reasons.
MinnPost: Minnesota is one of four states where voters next month will be asked to decide ballot questions related to same-sex marriage. This is the only state where voters will be asked to outlaw, not approve, gay marriage.
Wall Street Journal: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he’ll spend $500,000 of his personal fortune on gay marriage campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state to help them raise an equal amount.
Christian Post: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has sent a letter in protest against a Minnesota apartment complex that allegedly would not allow a tenant to openly express her religious beliefs. In their remarks, the ADF cautioned Osborne Apartments of Spring Lake Park on Friday about their apparent ban on religious expression in the commons area of their facilities.
Family Research Council Washington Update: If I told you the story of a faithful citizen who punished for praying in an upstairs room, you’d probably think I was reading from the Book of Daniel. Try Fox News. That’s where Todd Starnes shares a shocking report of religious hostility–not in an oppressive foreign country, but in quiet Spring Lake Park, Minnesota . . . Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? Fortunately for Ruth, our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom have. Attorneys for ADF set to work almost immediately, debunking the myth that residents have to forfeit their religious rights to live in a HUD development. In a letter it fired off to Osbourne Apartments, ADF explains that “[The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] does not prohibit discussion about religion in the facilities to which it provides funding… simply because the government provides a benefit with public funds does not mean that all ‘mention of religion or prayers’ must be whitewashed from the use of the benefit.”
The Church Report: Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Friday to a Minneapolis-area senior living complex that banned a widow from praying, reading her Bible, and discussing her faith in private conversations with other residents in the commons area. The complex wrongly claims that it cannot allow the senior or any other resident to engage in private religious expression because it accepts government funds.
Maryland – The pro-marriage campaign asks you to vote “AGAINST” Question 6. Church resources are here: http://www.marylandmarriagealliance.org/church-resources/ Minnesota – The pro-marriage campaign asks you to vote “YES” for the marriage amendment. Church resources are here: http://www.mnpastorsformarriage.com/ Maine – The pro-marriage campaign …
MinnesotaforMarriage.com: “This kind of disrespect is a perfect example of what Minnesotans, who simply believe marriage is between one man and one woman, can expect if marriage is redefined,” said John Helmberger, Chairman of Minnesota for Marriage.
Boston Globe (AP): The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a former nurse convicted of searching out suicidal people in online chat rooms and encouraging them to commit suicide. | Related Wikipedia entry
Advocate.com: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is launching a super PAC with plans to spend between $10 and $15 million this election cycle to advance issues including marriage equality and candidates who show a commitment to solving problems over partisanship.
Reuters: Maine will give the issue a second vote in three years, after rejecting same-sex marriage in a referendum in 2009 by 53 to 47 percent. In Washington and Maryland, where the state legislatures passed laws expanding marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples earlier this year, citizens will vote on whether to let the laws stand. Meanwhile, defenders of traditional marriage hope Minnesota will become the latest state to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman – effectively banning same-sex marriages.
Steven Douglas at MinnPost: The argument over same-sex marriage does not start in the political realm but in the philosophical. Many of the proponents of same-sex marriage with whom I speak assume that we agree on who we are on a basic level and therefore the way we should plot our political course forward. That’s where they’re wrong. Many Christians still hold to the truth of Scripture, often called inerrancy, and believe that God created humanity in his image (Genesis 1:27). These Christians reject the theory of macro evolution as an explanation of human origins. We see the role of image-bearing, generally called imago Dei, to be what defines us.
Star Tribune (AP): New Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina Wright was set Tuesday to take her oath and a spot on the seven-member panel. Wright is blazing a path as the first black woman to serve on the court.
Minn. Public Radio: Groups on both sides of the marriage amendment debate are getting a last minute infusion of cash from groups outside of Minnesota.
LifeSiteNews: “You are summoned to a tribunal where you cannot have a defense lawyer and you cannot record the proceedings nor have a witness present. The people judging and prosecuting you have no legal qualifications. The accusation is ambiguous, having to do with ideas the state does not like. The penalties could include fines equal to several thousands of dollars, public recanting, and rehabilitation classes. You are a bishop. This is not China. This is Canada. The offense: explaining why homosexual relations are a sin.”
Star Tribune (includes video): The fight over the marriage amendment intensified Monday, as the lead group pushing the measure brought in advocates from Canada who say that legalizing same-sex marriage has radically transformed the country over the past decade
PostBulletin.com: Marriage amendment supporters told a crowd of 200 on Monday night it’s time for them to talk to their friends and neighbors about the importance of protecting traditional marriage. “This is a social justice issue because it is about the spiritual well-being of our children. This is about their care and their needs and this is about what God has designed,” said the Rev. Randal Kasel, of St. Michael Catholic Church in Pine Island and St. Paul Catholic Church in Zumbrota.
The Baltimore Sun (video embedded): n the wake of Ravens special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo taking a strong public stance supporting same-sex marriage, one of his teammates has expressed an opposing view on this high-profile political topic.
NY Times: No state has ever legalized same-sex marriage through a referendum—an invaluable fact for marriage-equality opponents, who argue that judges and lawmakers have imposed a radical redefinition of a traditional institution on an unwilling population.
MPR: Minnesota for Marriage, a group working to pass the constitutional amendment which would effectively ban same-sex marriage, reported raising $1.195 million between Jan. 1 and Sept. 25. The group has raised a total of $2 million this election cycle.
Guardian: Four states have ballot measures on gay marriage this election, and polling suggests handsome wins in at least three . . .
Marriage amendment has nothing to do with ‘separation of church and state’ | Jordan Lorence at MinnPost
Jordan Lorence at MinnPost: In his Sept. 11 Community Voices commentary, “Separating church from state on the marriage amendment,” Jonathan Eisenberg of Americans United for Separation of Church and State offers a slick but analytically deficient claim that passing the marriage amendment would unconstitutionally codify “conservative” religious doctrine into Minnesota’s Constitution . . . The problem is that religious groups come down on both sides of the marriage amendment, some supporting it and some opposing it, as Eisenberg acknowledges. So either passing or defeating the marriage amendment would “impose one specific religious view on all citizens” as Eisenberg fears. Therefore, the concept of “separation of church and state” doesn’t advance the debate one way or the other because the argument of “imposing religion” cancels out on both sides of the equation like a factor in an algebra problem.
Star Tribune (video embedded): Twin Cities Roman Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt and several other faith leaders gathered Tuesday on the steps of the State Capitol to encourage Minnesota voters to support the proposed amendment on the November ballot that would limit marriage to only between a man and a woman . . . After his brief statement, other Christian leaders from area evangelical churches spoke . . .
Burnsville Patch: According to the KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll, support for the measure sits at about 50 percent, and opposition against the amendment at about 43 percent. The remaining eight percent or so are undecided, the station said.
MN Public Radio: You can add Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to the mix of organizations working to defeat two constitutional amendments on the ballot this fall. The group has created two political funds it will use to work against the marriage amendment, which seeks to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and the voter ID amendment, which would require voters to show photo identification at the polls . . .
KSTP.com: According to our exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, 50 percent of Minnesotans favor an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, 43 percent oppose the amendment and 8 percent are undecided.
Pioneer Press (AP): The Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced the drive Thursday. They are looking for volunteers willing to spend a full week in one of the four states, or just a weekend.
“Minnesota Board Exempts Catholic Organization Employee’s Pro-Gay Marriage Contribution From Disclosure”
Religion Clause Blog: In an interesting decision last month in In re Application of John Doe, (MN Campg. Fin. & Pub. Discl. Bd., Aug. 7, 2012), the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board granted an exemption to an employee of a Catholic organization who had contributed $600 to an organization that opposes theMarriage Amendment that will appear on the November ballot.
LifeSiteNews: The Duluth News Tribune reported Sunday that Rev. Peter Lambert of St. Louis Catholic Church in Floodwood had donated $1,000 to Minnesotans United for Families, the group fighting a constitutional marriage amendment, in March.
One News Now: A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling that upheld the removal of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) from a Minnesota public school.
Alan E. Sears at the Alliance Defending Freedom Blog: August was a wonderful month for your liberty at Alliance Defending Freedom, in which God has reminded us time and again, across a spectrum of important cases, how much He is blessing your good prayers and generous support for the work of defending religious freedom across our nation. Some highlights . . .
Dale Carpenter at the Volokh Conspiracy: In Minnesota, pro- and anti-gay marriage activists are fighting over political campaign disclosure laws, though this time the usual roles are reversed. On August 17, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ruled that the group working to defeat a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage does not have to disclose the name of a Catholic contributor to the “No” campaign. ”John Doe,” who works for a Catholic organization in Minnesota, gave $600 to Minnesotans United for All Families, the main group opposing the amendment.
Religion Clause Blog: In Nyaboga v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, (MN App., Aug. 27, 2012), a Minnesota appellate court held that it is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause to deny unemployment compensation benefits to a nurse who was terminated from her position because of her absence for religious reasons.
Carrie Severino at National Review: In both cases, the majority relied heavily on relevant texts and the original meaning of those texts, precedent, and fidelity to the concept that judges play an important and structurally defined role with respect to the actions of the other branches of government. Governor Pawlenty’s campaign for the Oval Office was short-lived, but, as these cases demonstrate, his impact on the Minnesota Supreme Court will not be.
Bob Unruh at WorldNetDaily: “Minnesotans deserve to have free and fair elections, and they deserve to know precisely what they are voting for,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which argued the case on behalf of the Legislature’s title. “Because the Legislature wrote a ballot title for the marriage amendment, no official in the executive branch has any authority to replace or modify that title – especially not with one that incorrectly describes the amendment’s effect,” he said. “Voters have the right to know that the amendment is designed to protect the ‘recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman,’ as the Legislature accurately specified. The court has done the right thing in restoring that language to the ballot,” Lorence said.
The ballot question on a proposed constitutional amendment implementing a photographic identification requirement for Minnesota voters is not so unreasonable and misleading as to be a palpable evasion of the constitutional requirement in Minn. Const. art. IX, § 1, that constitutional amendments shall be submitted to a popular vote.
AP: A Minnesota football coach accused of taking pornographic videos of his children is offering a simple explanation: The images are nothing more than innocent family antics, unfairly misinterpreted by authorities as having the darkest possible motive.
Waves From Shock Prayer Still Rocking Boats: Minister’s recognition of Jesus comes up at town-hall meeting
WorldNetDaily: More than a year ago, preacher Bradlee Dean of the You Can Run But You Can’t Hide International ministry rocked Minnesota – and much of the nation – with a “non-denominational prayer” at the Minnesota state House that ended “in Jesus’ name.”