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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 . . .
Washington Post: Three states made history Tuesday (Nov. 6) voting to approve same-sex marriage, and a fourth repudiated an attempt to ban it. Oregon, once known as a trailblazer for progressive causes, wasn’t among them. But that could change in 2014.
NY Daily News: Ted Clair was stabbed seven times in the abdomen and neck during a fight with Christopher Tolhurst, who had signs denouncing abortion and Planned Parenthood, officials said.
KBOI2.com (includes video): An Oregon couple says they were told their wedding wouldn’t be “a good fit” for a local venue because the couple is gay. The owner of the venue refused to comment on the issue, but the couple says everyone was fine with their wedding plans until they said they were lesbians . . . The ACLU’s legal director, Sarah Dunne, said businesses can’t pick and choose who they serve . . . According to the ACLU, Referendum-74 — the same-sex marriage law — has no bearing on this incident. The law would only allow clergy to opt out of performing marriages for religious reasons.
AP: The Vatican won a major victory Monday in an Oregon federal courtroom, where a judge ruled that the Holy See is not the employer of molester priests
Yahoo News: An Oregon judge ruled on Wednesday that stripping naked at the airport to protest the Transportation Security Administration is a protected form of free speech. In other words, if you’re protesting the TSA it’s OK to show a little T&A. | More information at Oregon Live.
Religion Clause Blog: In Dasmesh Darbar Sikh Temple v. Marion County Assessor, (OR Tax Ct., July 11, 2012), the Oregon Tax Court, Magistrate Division, held that a house provided as a residence for a Sikh temple’s three priests is entitled to a tax exemption.
Religion Clause Blog: Because of his religious belief in faith healing, defendant did not seek medical attention for his daughter who died of bacterial pneumonia and a blood infection associated with a large cystic mass that compromised her body’s immune defenses.
Americans United for Life Blog: Forced by a court order, Oregon taxpayers have paid for abortions for women receiving public assistance since 1984.[i] Millions of dollars have been lost to abortion. Since the court’s interference, Oregon has struggled to enact meaningful limitations on abortions, including funding restrictions supported by most taxpayers. One-third of all abortions in Oregon are paid for by taxpayers, according to the Oregon 2012 Petition Committee. From 2003 to 2009, that amounted to $11.1 million in state taxpayer dollars spent on 26,000 abortions. But Oregon taxpayers are fighting back.
Benjamin Bull at Townhall: Last week, the British Columbia Supreme Court emulated the state of Oregon’s assisted suicide law via a decision inCarter v. AG Canada, which “carves exceptions into the laws allowing Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in Canada.”
Elder Law Answers: Only two states have passed laws legalizing assisted suicide in certain limited circumstances. Under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, physicians can prescribe lethal medication that will allow terminally ill individuals to end their lives. There are very specific steps–including waiting periods and release forms–that must be followed before the medication can be prescribed. Washington has a similar law. The law in a third state, Montana, is less clear.
Ethics complaint against Ore. psychiatrist for practicing reparative therapy is part of new campaign
AP: Hirsh, 22, contends the Oregon psychiatrist was practicing “conversion therapy” to change his sexual orientation. His experience is the subject of an ethics complaint filed this month by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which plans to take the same action in other states as part of a national campaign to stop therapists from trying to make gay people straight. | Southern Poverty Law Center press release and complaint
OregonLive.com: Nonetheless, Richard Baldwin, Nena Cook and Timothy Sercombe each have tried to stand out in the race for one of Oregon’s most influential judicial seats.
LifeSiteNews: A homosexual activist group calling itself “Angry Queers” claimed responsibility for smashing nine windows in a church known for teaching traditional sexual morality early Tuesday morning.
Education News: In a move that is being described as “retaliatory” against a Christian school that was overcharged water and sewer fees for decades, an Oregon town has redefined “apartment” to include a dorm room so that it annually can collect tens of thousands of dollars in fees.
LifeNews: One such state is Oregon, which has paid for abortions for women receiving public assistance pursuant to court order since 1984.[i] According to the Oregon 2012 Petition Committee, one third of all abortions in Oregon are funded by taxpayers.
LifeNews: A couple in Oregon has been awarded $2.9 million because they would have aborted their little girl had they known she had Down Syndrome. Deborah and Ariel Levy told an Oregon court that prenatal testing they received said little Kalanit did not have Down Syndrome
NPR (includes audio): One of the first physicians to voice support for Oregon’s controversial assisted suicide legislation in the early 1990s has used the state’s Death with Dignity Act to end his own life.
Volokh Conspiracy: D accused father of physically abusing her, and is now in foster care. The father says “D was lying about the physical abuse and was an ‘out of control’ teenager.” The father is awaiting trial on the physical abuse charges.
Statesman Journal : Five Oregon state workers have asked a federal court to block a new health insurance program that requires them to fill out an online risk assessment survey or pay a monthly penalty: $20 for individuals, $35 for couples.
FIRE – The Moral Liberal: Under the new policies, which were put into place after pressure from the Alliance Defense Fund, students may still reserve the table in the free speech zone, but may also speak elsewhere on campus spontaneously and without prior approval. The college also eliminated a speech code that banned “offensive” or “derogatory” speech.
Free speech now allowed campus-wide (OneNewsNow.com): ADF legal counsel David Hacker says that was reasonable . . . “Universities across the country are censoring Christian and pro-life speech on really a rapid scale,” he laments. “But we’re really pleased that Chemeketa was willing to work with us and change its policies to open up the campus to more speech.” [more]
LifeNews.com: “Pro-life students shouldn’t have to get a permission slip to share their beliefs on campus,” said ADF Legal Counsel David Hacker. “Making free speech the exception rather than the norm and then corralling it to a limited area is unconstitutional and contrary to the ‘marketplace of ideas’ that a university is supposed to be. We appreciate the college’s efforts in working with us to revise its policies and rectify this problem.”
“Oregon Gay Activist Opposes Boy Scout Tree Program” | Fox News: A Portland gay rights activist is urging his neighbors to boycott the Boy Scout Christmas tree recycling program.
KBND.com: Prineville’s Nativity Scene is still creating controversy in the small town. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is complaining the display is not inclusive.
Wesley Smith at Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog: This letter to the editor from a physician about the failure of Oregon’s doctor-prescribed suicide guidelines to protect a vulnerable patient is poignant, but ultimately, irrelevant. All that matters is a desire to die by the patient coupled (for now) with a terminal diagnosis.
Sally Satel at WSJ.com (full access via Google): In October of 2009, Kumud Majumder, the father of an 11-year-old son with advanced leukemia, joined a lawsuit challenging the federal ban on compensating bone-marrow donors. He wanted to save his son’s life. Last week Mr. Majumder and his co-plaintiffs enjoyed a victory. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the majority of bone-marrow donors may lawfully be compensated.
OregonLive.com: Cornilles said that, contrary to Right to Life, he supports allowing abortion in cases of rape and incest. His campaign manager, Mary Anne Ostrom, said Cornilles also parts way with Right to Life on two other controversial issues. She said he supports in vitro fertilization and embryonic stem cell research, both of which have been opposed by Right to Life because it leads to the destruction of embryos.
The Denver Post: Denver-based anti-abortion group that sponsored an unsuccessful personhood amendment in Mississippi — declaring fertilization the starting point of life — is mobilizing again to push a fortified measure in Colorado, Oregon and Montana.
OregonLive.com: After a three-year campaign to build support for legalizing same-sex marriage, Oregon’s largest gay rights group has decided against putting the issue up for a vote in 2012
Statesman Journal: It will mark the first time in almost 25 years that two justices will retire and leave their seats to be filled by election rather than appointment by the governor.
Register Guard: Basic Rights Oregon’s board will soon make a decision on whether to put forward a ballot measure for the November 2012 election to overturn Oregon’s 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Christian Post: The protesters took issue with the church’s stance on homosexuality, and carried banners and shouted obscenities at those in attendance as they exited the church. Then, after a request by a police officer, the protesters moved across the street from the church.
Religion Clause: In Oregon City, Oregon last week, Dale and Shannon Hickman were convicted of second degree manslaughter in the death of their seriously ill infant son for whom they prayed and who they anointed with olive oil instead of seeking medical help.
News from The Associated Press: When the FBI notified police in Oregon that a Springfield man had purchased a mail-order suicide kit, officers went to his home and kicked down his door to make sure he was OK.
OregonLive.com: Wording that essentially condemned same-sex marriage and civil unions, and that stated such couples were unfit to be parents, was removed from the official party platform during a weekend convention in Bend.
Statesman Journal | statesmanjournal.com (includes video): The group plans to begin collecting signatures in October for a possible 2012 ballot campaign, said Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon.
Religion Clause: On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 64-35, confirmed the nomination of Michael Simon as federal district judge for the district of Oregon.
OPB News: Oregon lawmakers want to stop companies from selling home suicide kits. The bill passed this week doesn’t affect existing “manslaughter” laws.
Christian Faith-Healing Parents on Trial for Refusing Medical Attention: An Oregon couple has been accused of medically neglecting their baby daughter after refusing medical treatment for a large tumor that developed over her left eye. Opening statements were heard Friday at the Clackamas County Courthouse, and the trial will resume today. Timothy and Rebecca Wyland . . .
Washington Post: Oregon lawmakers have given approval to a bill that would drop faith healing as a legal defense in murder or manslaughter cases.
AP: Oregon senators voted Monday to impose a crackdown on companies that sell so-called “suicide kits,” which contain hoods or other items intended to help a person end his or her life.
Oregonian: In response to a Oregon Supreme Court ruling this year, the Oregon Senate voted today to make it a crime to view child pornography online for free. | Oregon v. Barger, No. CA A138678 (Ore. Jan 6, 2011) | Senate Bill 803
Pacific Justice Institute: A public high school that reportedly suppressed student speech on last year’s “Day of Silence” opted to change its approach after facing the threat of legal action from Pacific Justice Institute.
LifeNews: Representative Tim Freeman (R-Roseburg) held a press conference today announcing the House Judiciary Committee hearing of a bill that would ban abortion in Oregon after the fifth month of pregnancy except to save the life of the mother. HB 3512 . . .
Religion Clause Blog: In State of Oregon v. Brumwell, (OR Sup. Ct. March 25, 2011), the Oregon Supreme Court, in reviewing the murder conviction and death sentence imposed on defendant, rejected defendant’s argument that evidence of Satanism introduced at the penalty phase of his trial violated his free exercise rights.
Religion Clause Blog: “In Hendricks v. Marist Catholic High School, (D OR, March 16, 2011), an Oregon federal district court refused to apply the ministerial exception to prevent a Catholic high school teacher from bringing an age discrimination claim after his teaching contract was terminated.”
OregonFaithReport.com: “At the February 22, 2011, Damascus City council meeting, officials took public comment on whether to include an invocation at the beginning of each meeting. About 20 residents offered opinions from both sides of the issue . . . ”
Oregon Live: “Only one, House Bill 3512, has been scheduled for committee action. It would make abortions illegal in Oregon after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in medical emergencies.”
KGW.com: “Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would keep picketers a certain distance away from funerals . . . In Oregon, HB 3241 would create 300-foot and one-hour buffer zones between picketers and memorial services.”
Beaverton Valley Times: “A pair of resolutions introduced to the Oregon Legislature would alter the state constitution to allow local governments to more easily regulate where adult entertainment businesses can locate. Oregon’s Constitution includes a strong protection for freedom of expression — stronger than the federal First Amendment protections — language that has been repeatedly interpreted to protect the rights of adult businesses in zoning fights with cities and counties.”
Seattle PI: “The Supreme Court has refused to toss out a defamation award to a fired pastor, despite claims by the church that dismissed him that its actions are protected by the Constitution’s religious freedom guarantees.”
Wall Street Journal: “News of the case spread through this state capital, sparking outrage. Yet one subset of the community sprang to the Kozlovs’ defense, holding demonstrations, filling the gallery at court hearings and flooding state officials with letters. Many of these supporters, Russian-born Christians like the Kozlovs themselves, believed the parents were disciplining their children according to Biblical law. In their view, the government was out to ‘destroy the family because of their faith,’ says Tatyana I. Bondarchuk, a counselor who helped brief authorities about the group.”
Religion Clause: “In McGuire v. Clackamas County Counsel, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5521 (D OR, Jan. 19, 2011), an Oregon federal district court adopted a magistrate’s recommendations (2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140026, Nov. 10, 2010), and dismissed a free exercise challenge to the zoning laws of Clackamas County, Oregon.”
KBND: “More than one hundred Prineville residents showed up at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to let them know they don’t want the City’s nativity scene to go away.”
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, Dawson produced circumstantial evidence of retaliatory discharge and sexual orientation hostile work environment, such that resolution of this action by summary judgment was error. We reverse and remand.
The Oregonian: “Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announced today that he will draft legislation that will make it illegal under state law to look at child pornography on the Internet . . . [the] announcement comes one day after the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that state law doesn’t make it a crime to look at child pornography while surfing the Internet if the viewer doesn’t purposefully download the images, print them out or pay for them.”
The Columbian: “Catholic Community Services of Lane County will stop accepting money from United Way because the organization gives money to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon.”
Mail Tribune: “Ashland public schools can display a decorated pine tree if it is surrounded by symbols from other religious holidays, but in order to remain religiously neutral they should not display a Christmas tree alone, Superintendent Juli Di Chiro told the School Board Monday.”
KPTV: “The state labor commissioner and the state school superintendent have teamed up to create a model policy for religious clothing in Oregon schools.” | OR Dept. of Ed. Press Release and Model Policy
Associated Press: “Patrols around mosques and other Islamic sites in Portland have been stepped up as Muslim leaders expressed fears of retribution, days after a Somali-American man was accused of trying to blow up a van full of explosives during the city’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony.”
The Douglas County News-Review: “A federal jury is scheduled to decide in the spring whether a Douglas County clerk was wrongly fired after she objected on religious grounds to registering same-sex couples as domestic partners. Kathy Slater, who worked for the county for more than a decade before she was dismissed in February 2008, is seeking unspecified damages and attorney fees.”
Statesman-Journal: “An Eastern Oregon congregation that left the United Methodist Church has been sued over its finances. The Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church lawsuit alleges that members of the independent Ontario Community Church took property, funds and documents held in trust for the Methodist mission and ministry.”
The ABA Journal: “A jury agreed and awarded Tubra $355,000 in damages after it found officials falsely accused him of stealing from the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Vernonia, Ore.The judge differed with the jurors, though, and threw out the award. Following overwhelming precedent, he ruled that the First Amendment deprived the court of jurisdiction over the church and Tubra’s defamation claim against it.” John Elwood comments at the Volokh Conspiracy on Cook v. Tubra.
Religion Clause: “On Friday, a petition for certiorari (full text) to the U.S. Supreme Court was filed in Cooke v. Tubra. In the case, an Oregon state appellate court held that jurisdiction over an interim pastor’s defamation claim against his former church and two of its officers is not necessarily barred by the First Amendment.”
OR: Student-teacher ousted over same-sex “marriage” discussion with 4th grader is back in the classroom
The Oregonian: “The Beaverton School District and Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education leaders announced this afternoon that they jointly agreed to return Stambaugh to his original student teaching placement in Beaverton starting late next week, according to a press release from both schools . . . In September, Stambaugh told a fourth-grader who asked whether he was married that he was not. When the student asked why, Stambaugh replied it was not legal for him to get married because he would choose a man.” | Related: Student-teacher ousted over same-sex “marriage” discussion with 4th grader