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Aleteia: The Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice says it strives to “eliminate bias, bigotry and racism in our state by promoting respect and understanding among all races, religions and cultures.”
News OK: A federal judge is being asked to decide whether an American Indian student can wear a sacred eagle feather on her cap at her high school graduation ceremony Saturday.
Mayor signs ordinance to protect housing rights for LGBT Tulsans, cites support for state religious liberty law
Tulsa World: Mayor Dewey Bartlett signed an ordinance last week that would include gender identity in the city’s list of protected classes under the fair-housing policy.
News OK (AP): The Oklahoma House has passed a resolution calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to reaffirm the nation’s commitments to protecting religious freedom and condemning the deaths of Christians around the world.
The Christian Institute: Women in the US state of Oklahoma who are seeking an abortion will now have 72 hours to reflect on their decision, following the approval of new legislation.
The College Fix: “Courts upheld chaplain programs in a variety of contexts where citizens are removed from their congregations due to their government services,” alliance legal counsel Travis Barham told The College Fix in a phone interview.
Oklahoma legislature passes two bills protecting clergy, judges, and churches that object to same-sex marriage
Religion Clause: The Oklahoma legislature this week gave final passage to HB 1007 (full text) protecting clergy and religious organizations that object to same-sex marriage. The bill provides that clergy shall not be required to solemnize marriages that violate their conscience or religious beliefs. Religious organizations shall not be required to provide religious-based services designed for engaged or married couples or couples where the services are directly related to solemnizing, celebrating, strengthening or promoting a marriage, such as religious counseling programs, courses, retreats and workshops, if doing so would violate the conscience or religious beliefs of an official of the organization. Clergy and officials of religious organizations are immunized from civil liability for refusing to solemnize or furnish services for such marriages.
One News Now: “This is simply a way for these public universities to accommodate the needs of their religious student athletes,” Travis Barham of Alliance Defending Freedom says. “And public universities have tremendous leeway under the First Amendment to accommodate the needs of their students, including the religious needs of their students.”
The Global Dispatch: Alliance Defending Freedom sent letters to six public universities after they received complaints from Freedom From Religion Foundation wrongly stating that having basketball team chaplains is unconstitutional.
Raw Story: An Oklahoma school system has promised that its employees would no longer be allowed to hand out Bibles to students after an atheist group threatened to take legal action.
Oklahoma Government: Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Tuesday announced a new initiative designed to defend religious freedom and provide support to Oklahoma schools facing intimidation. The assistance includes creating a statewide training program to equip superintendents, teachers, parents, school board members, and others to know their rights.
The College Fix: The Alliance Defending Freedom is fighting back against a campaign by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to get public universities to drop their basketball chaplains, who also serve as “character coaches,” calling them unconstitutional.
Atheists’ latest move to strike God from public universities has one legal firm hitting back against ‘shameful’ ‘distortion’ of the First Amendment
The Blaze: The Alliance Defending Freedom is pushing back after the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist group, sent complaints to six public universities last month, claiming that the presence of team chaplains is unconstitutional.
Christian Examiner: In similar cases, Christian legal groups like Alliance Defending Freedom have offered something of a different view about the constitutionality of allowing religious materials in schools than what is articulated by groups like AHA and the ACLU. But, the ADF does acknowledge some restrictions.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom sent letters to six public universities after they received complaints from Freedom From Religion Foundation wrongly stating that having basketball team chaplains is unconstitutional.
PortalAZ (Translated via Google): Already the Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization formed by a group of lawyers, claims that prohibit religious groups to distribute literature in public schools is clearly prohibited by the law of Freedom of Expression and the First Amendment of the United States. Duncan’s education department said it would review the case.
Christian News Network: Despite warnings from atheists, other legal groups have expressed support for Gideon Bible distributions in public schools. In a letter from Alliance Defending Freedom, a group of legal experts argued that, contrary to atheists’ claims, “banning only religious community groups from distributing literature at public schools is clearly forbidden by the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.”
Reuters: Oklahoma’s conservative lawmakers, angered at being ordered by U.S. courts to allow same-sex marriage in the state, have come up with a new, religious tactic to block same-sex weddings by mandating that clergy conduct almost all ceremonies.
Tulsa World: Preventive efforts matter — and can save money. An Institute for American Values study shows that even a 1 percent increase in family stability saves the state $43 million.
Reuters: A U.S. judge dismissed a case on Tuesday filed by an atheist group that was seeking to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Oklahoma State Capitol grounds, saying the plaintiffs failed to show standing to bring the suit.
The Oklahoman: Sparked by controversy over same-sex marriages, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would abolish government-issued Oklahoma marriage licenses.
Christian News Network: A prominent atheist activist organization has sent letters to school districts throughout Oklahoma in an effort to stop Bible distributions in public schools.
Tulsa World: The reported distribution of Bibles in several Oklahoma public schools has sparked letters of complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Reuters: Oklahoma state representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to advance a bill that would provide immunity from lawsuits to clergy who refuse to conduct marriages for same-sex couples.
Jill Stanek: Bloomberg journalist Esme E. Deprez was tasked with informing readers about the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act, which last month was introduced in both Kansas and Oklahoma.
Washington Post story on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma is long on emotion, short on religious insight
Get Religion: I guess I hoped the Post would go below the surface and not rely on easy stereotypes to characterize the beliefs and attitudes of my fellow Oklahomans.
Christian Today: Oklahoma Senator Kyle Loveless plans to present a bill that would allow the state’s oft-debated public school Bible classes to become a reality.
Christian News Network: A proposed bill in Oklahoma aims to protect public schools in the state from legal action should they decide to offer Bible courses as electives for students.
Bible classes in Oklahoma public schools would be protected from lawsuits under proposed legislation
The Christian Post: A new bill being proposed by an Oklahoma senator will shield public schools in the state from being hit with lawsuits for teaching non-sectarian classes on the Bible.
The Bellingham Herald: “The court should uphold the freedom of Americans to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” said Jim Campbell, an attorney with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which has fought against same-sex unions in four states.
Independent: “The court should uphold the freedom of Americans to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” said Jim Campbell, an attorney with the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which has fought against same-sex unions in four states.
The Daily Herald: “It appears now, with the Sixth Circuit, the Supreme Court will take up one of these cases and decide whether to affirm states’ rights to define marriage between a man and a woman,” said Jim Campbell, a senior attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which opposes same-sex marriage. “The courts are working through the question.”
Aleteia: A high-profile abortionist in Oklahoma with a checkered history was arrested after he allegedly gave abortion-inducing drugs to three undercover agents who were not pregnant, according to the state’s attorney general.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Greg Baylor, who made the arguments, says the mandate forces religious organizations to give up their fundamental beliefs.
WXOW (AP): In the latest religious challenge to the federal health care law, faith-based organizations that object to covering birth control in their employee health plans argued in federal appeals court Monday that the government hasn’t gone far enough to ensure they don’t have to violate their beliefs.
Christian News Network: An Oklahoma school board has dropped its plans to offer an elective Bible course proposed by the president of the popular craft chain Hobby Lobby following objection from a self-proclaimed atheist organization and a church-state separation group.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument Monday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on behalf of four Christian universities in Oklahoma, which filed suit in 2013 against the Obama administration’s abortion-pill mandate.
AP: Thomas offered a peek Thursday at what happened behind the scenes when the court turned away appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin on Oct. 6.
The Guardian (AP): A man suspected of driving a car into a Ten Commandments monument outside the Oklahoma state Capitol is under mental evaluation, according to the highway patrol.
Casey Mattox discusses Houston subpoenas and the SCOTUS same-sex marriage issue with Matthew Hawkins and Andrew Walker (audio)
News on 6: After an Oklahoma couple sued Tulsa County Court Clerk, Sally Howe-Smith, over her refusal to issue same-sex marriage license, lawyers with the Alliance Defending Freedom stepped in to represent Howe-Smith.
The Christian Institute: Kellie Fiedorek, an ADF lawyer, commented: “No one in America should be forced to choose between following their conscience and serving his or her employer”.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom issued legal memos Friday that advise Virginia and Oklahoma clerks responsible for issuing marriage licenses that they do not have to issue certain licenses where doing so conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs.
DFW Catholic (CNA Daily News): “Justice Kennedy’s order further demonstrates that the Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the marriage cases earlier this week is far from the final answer on this important issue,” said Kellie Fiedorek of the legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom.
The New York Times: “The marriage battle will continue,” said Jim Campbell, a senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group that has defended marriage restrictions in several states.
The Badger Herald: In a statement following the Court’s refusal, attorney Byron Babione said, “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue.” Babione is the senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an advocacy group that represented two Virginia clerks in their appeal. “The people should decide this issue, not the courts.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: One thing we just don’t seem to ever run out of at Alliance Defending Freedom are opportunities to stand for the freedom of students at taxpayer-funded colleges and universities to speak and live out their faith on campus.
EWTN: Kellie Fiedorek discusses the Supreme Court’s recent marriage decision.
The Daily Signal: Monday’s action from the Supreme Court is, as I noted, a setback for sound constitutional self-government and a setback for a healthy marriage culture.
Politico: Sen. Ted Cruz has slammed the Supreme Court’s decision to not to take up gay marriage cases in several states, calling the move “tragic and indefensible.”
Aleteia: Supreme Court decision comes, coincidentally, at the beginning of an important meeting in Rome.
One News Now: David Hacker, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, says Cameron, faced with the lawsuit, has dropped its requirement that students pre-register their speeches and comply with vague speech codes.
National Law Journal: However, Byron Babione, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, defending bans in Virginia and Oklahoma, vowed that the marriage battle would continue.
Catholic World Report (CNA/EWTN News): “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” explained Byron Babione, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, in an Oct. 6 statement. “Several federal courts – including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th circuits – still have cases working their way to the Supreme Court.”
WND: “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Byron Babione.
Alaska Dispatch News (The Christian Science Monitor): “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” said Byron Babione, a lawyer with ADF.
Idaho Statesmen (McClatchy Washington Bureau): “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” noted Byron Babione, senior counsel for the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, stressing that there are still “cases working their way to the Supreme Court.”
The Day (The Washington Post): “There is no way to know why the court did what it did,” said Jim Campbell, a senior attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom.
Northwest Georgia News (AP): The conservative Alliance Defending Freedom emphasized that the high court had not ruled squarely on the issue. The “decision not to take up the issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” said the group’s senior counsel, Byron Babione. “The people should decide this issue, not the courts.”
Deseret News: Until state lawmakers address religious freedom protections under nondiscrimination or same-sex marriage laws, Christiana Holcomb, litigation counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom in Phoenix, said both religiously affiliated organizations and business owners can best protect themselves by “highlighting their religious identity and beliefs.”
The New York Times: “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” said Byron Babione, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom. “The people should decide this issue, not the courts.”
Christian Concern: Byron Babione, Senior Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, whose attorneys filed petitions in defense of Oklahoma’s and Virginia’s laws upholding marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue. Several federal courts – including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th circuits – still have cases working their way to the Supreme Court.
Digital Journal: Opponents to same-sex marriage also hope that SCOTUS will take on the issue, still hoping for a decision that will be in their favor. “The people should decide this issue, not the courts,” said Byron Babione, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a right-wing activist group.
China Topix: “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” stated Byron Babione, an attorney working with the group Alliance Defending Freedom.
PressTV: Byron Babione, a lawyer with the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, has said it is the people who should make decisions on the issue, not the courts.
PBS: Why did the Supreme Court refuse to hear appeals on same-sex marriage, and what does it mean for the future of this issue? Gwen Ifill sits down with Marcia Coyle of The National Law Journal for closer look at the court’s surprise decision, plus debate on its significance from Austin Nimocks of Alliance Defending Freedom and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry.
PBS: “There are still a lot of cases pending across the nation in the state and federal court. They will continue to be debated and litigated and rulings will happen from both state and federal courts and they will be appealed and the great debate on gay marriage will continue.” -Austin Nimocks
The Oklahoman: Byron Babione, senior counsel for the group, said, “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue. Several federal courts — including those in the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th circuits — still have cases working their way to the Supreme Court. (Alliance Defending Freedom) will continue to remain a leader in the critical effort for the freedom of the people. The people should decide this issue, not the courts.”
AZ Central: “States have said the right to marry means a man and a woman coming together to form and raise the children that result from their union,” attorney Caleb Dalton has said.
The Daily Signal: The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible.
SCOTUS Blog: This morning the Court issued additional orders from its September 29 Conference. Most notably, the Court denied review of all seven of the petitions arising from challenges to state marriage laws and amendments.
The New York Times: Defenders of traditional marriage vowed to continue their fight, noting that several federal appeals courts are yet to be heard from. “The court’s decision not to take up this issue now means that the marriage battle will continue,” said Byron Babione, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom. “The people should decide this issue, not the courts.”