Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
The Republic: The Republican party won the biggest political plum on Pennsylvania’s 2013 election ballot — an open seat on the Superior Court — but Democrats won more of the major local offices up for grabs.
Cheryl Wetzstein at Washington Times: Also, lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom are standing by to talk to anyone who is worried about repercussions from leaving a clinic job. In addition to criminal or civil issues, some clinic workers may fear their employers will pursue them over “imagined confidentiality agreements” or block unemployment compensation, said the alliance’s attorney Michael Norton, who is also a board member of Ms. Johnson’s group, And Then There Were None. In all of these cases, he said, Alliance Defending Freedom can offer pro bono legal support to make sure a worker’s information is “used in a cooperative way” with law enforcement officials. Its job is “keeping them out of harm’s way,” Mr. Norton said.
Pensylvania Independent: Even though Pennsylvania voters get a chance to vote against sitting Supreme Court justices once each decade, the races are rarely close and justices are usually retained by wide margins. But this year, Chief Justice Ron Castille and Justice Max Baer could be in for a close call.
FoxNews: An eastern Pennsylvania woman has been ordered to stand trial on charges accusing her of giving birth in a sports bar bathroom, wrapping the newborn in a plastic bag and hiding him in a toilet tank.
PennLive.com: Pennsylvania public school districts would be required to post “In God We Trust” in every school building under legislation that advanced out of a committee in the state House of Representatives this week.
PBS: Joining me now to outline what’s happening is David Crary. He reports on social issues and policies as a national writer at the Associated Press.
ABC27.com: Two Pennsylvania lawmakers are calling on Gov. Tom Corbett to follow the lead of New Jersey’s governor and end his opposition to same-sex marriage.
KGW.com (AP): Efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and New Jersey help illustrate similar situations happening across the country in the months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of a federal law that restricted the rights of gay couples. A sampling of efforts in key states . . .
No prayer allowed at Veterans Day ceremony at Wallenpaupack High: American Legion threatens not to show up
Pocono Record: American Legion Post 311 in Hawley is taking a stand: If prayer by its chaplain is not allowed, Legion members won’t be participating in the annual Veterans Day ceremony at Wallenpaupack Area High School on Nov. 11.
TribLive: South Connellsville resident Robert Ward believes a lawsuit brought against the Connellsville Area School District demanding a Ten Commandments monument be moved from the grounds of the Connellsville Junior High School is just “nonsense.”
AP: A Pennsylvania judge will be asked Thursday to dismiss an assisted suicide charge filed against a nurse in her 93-year-old father’s death while on hospice.
Bloomberg: The American Civil Liberties Union’s challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage may get a 2014 trial date, according to the judge weighing the schedule for the case filed on behalf of 10 gay couples.
Washington Times: In papers filed Monday, Mr. Corbett and Mr. Wolf argued that the entire case should be dismissed because the gay plaintiffs do not have a federal question that the court can address.
Pittsburgh Tribune: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh mounted a new legal challenge to the federal health care mandate on Tuesday, arguing that the Obama administration’s promise to accommodate objections from faith-based employers turned out to be “empty words.”
AP: In papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Gov. Tom Corbett’s legal team argued that the U.S. Constitution provides state officials immunity from being sued in federal court without their consent.
The Morning Call: An amendment eliminating benefits for same-sex couples is the first to roll out in response to a Lehigh County budget with a $10 million deficit. Commissioner Tom Creighton is sponsoring the only amendment to the 2014 budget so far, pushing back against County Executive Matt Croslis’ expansion of benefits to same-sex partners whose marriage is recognized in another state.
Philly.com: HOPING TO ride the wave of momentum nationally, two state lawmakers from Philadelphia will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
John Culhane at Slate: The most ingenious of the lot is a modest suit filed last week in Philadelphia. Palladino v. Corbett is the first case to attack a state law that declares a same-sex marriage from another state “void.” That challenge is quite likely to succeed. If it does, it will effectively tear down the whole edifice of refusing to recognize same-sex marriage, and serve as a model for attacks across the country.
CBS: Two state lawmakers from Philadelphia say they will introduce legislation to sanction same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania . . . In the latest Franklin & Marshall College poll, 54 percent of Pennsylvania residents said they support same-sex marriage.
Fox News: But PIAA officials are now deciding whether to revisit the issue, as the association joined a couple from Pittsburgh who asked a judge to overturn the 38-year-old ruling, citing the competitive imbalance boys were causing in their daughters’ field hockey contests.
Daily Times (AP): Twenty-one same-sex couples filed suit Wednesday seeking to overturn the state’s gay-marriage ban on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional . . . All of the plaintiff couples in the state action were married with licenses from a Montgomery County court clerk who began issuing them after Democratic state Attorney General Kathleen Kane concluded the law was unconstitutional and refused to defend it in federal court.
AP: Cara Palladino and Isabelle Barker lived in Massachusetts when they got married in 2005. They later moved to the Philadelphia area to work at Bryn Mawr College.
World Magazine: It’s a message Christian students should take to heart as well, said Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) Jeremy Tedesco: “Christian students need to understand that they have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else.”
AP: Groups that volunteer to feed homeless people in Pennsylvania’s state capital are being banned from lots near the county courthouse and administration building because of complaints about public urination, defecation and other problems.
CBS: Reps. Brian Sims of Philadelphia and Gerald Mullery of Luzerne County said Tuesday they plan to introduce a bipartisan bill to bar gay “conversion” therapy for minors. Sen. Anthony Williams of Philadelphia recently introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
Philly.com: The fight over same-sex marriage licenses issued by Montgomery County is not over yet — despite last week’s court ruling that barred any further licenses to gay couples. County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes will appeal the Sept. 12 ruling, according to a statement from the county released Tuesday afternoon.
AP: A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday ordered a suburban Philadelphia clerk to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
PennLive on Tuesday sat down with Chester County attorney William Lamb, a former state Supreme Court justice who last week was appointed to defend the state in the federal lawsuit challenging the state’s marriage law.
The Patriot News: William H. Lamb, who was nominated to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by former Gov. Mark Schweiker and approved by the Senate during the Rendell Administration, will be part of the state’s defense team in the federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s marriage law.
PennLive.com: On Wednesday, a Commonwealth Court will consider a petition from the state seeking to stop him. The outcome of the argument – it’s technically not a hearing – will be limited in scope, and is not expected to rule on the validity of the licenses.
TribLive.com: The Thou Shall Not Move group plans to erect four new Ten Commandments monuments at upcoming dedication ceremonies while the Connellsville School District and the Freedom From Religion Foundation continue to wage a legal battle over a monument that has been located on school property for more than a half century.
AP: Marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the state are invalid because the couples were barred from marrying, just like 12-year-olds, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s attorneys said Wednesday.
AP: A child pornography victim from Pennsylvania is using a law that carries her name to seek at least $150,000 each from her father and 13 other jailed men.
Pro-lifers rally outside ‘House of Horrors’ clinic, demand release of Gosnell victims’ bodies | LifeSiteNews
LifeSiteNews: The coalition of pro-life groups include the Christian Defense Coalition, CEC for Life, Priests for Life, Stand True, Students for Life in America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Operation Rescue, and others.
NBC Philadelphia (Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer Catherine Foster appears in the video): A two-day demonstration in Philadelphia, related to the Dr. Kermit Gosnell case. Gosnell is serving a life sentence for killing three babies in illegal, late-term abortions. Now, pro-life groups are asking the city to give those babies and more than 40 fetuses a proper burial. NBC10′s Na’eem Douglas reports.
GOlackawanna (AP): Among those disputing that claim is Catherine Glenn Foster, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, of Scottsdale, Ariz., which is backing the anti-abortion groups. Foster cited the “FAQ” section of the medical examiner’s website, which says: “Anyone, including friends and neighbors, may claim a body three days after the date of pronouncement of death.” In an Aug. 5 reply to Foster, Chief Deputy City Solicitor Lynda H. Moore wrote that the groups did not “have legal standing to represent the citizens of Philadelphia.”
LifeNews: The coalition of pro-life groups include the Christian Defense Coalition, CEC for Life, Priests for Life, Stand True, Students for Life in America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Operation Rescue, and others.
Tom Avril at Philadelphia Inquirer: Catherine Glenn Foster, a lawyer for the nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom, disputed the medical examiner’s reasoning in declining the groups’ request. She cited the city office’s website, which states: “Anyone, including friends and neighbors, may claim a body three days after the date of pronouncement of death.” “We will not forget the horror of that little brick building,” Foster said at the rally. “We will not forget Gosnell’s tiniest victims.”
Joseph A. Slobodzian at the Philadelphia Inquirer: That was disputed in a July 18 letter to Gulino from Catherine Glenn Foster, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, of Scottsdale, Ariz., which is backing the groups. Foster cited the “FAQ” section of the medical examiner’s website, which says: “Anyone, including friends and neighbors, may claim a body three days after the date of pronouncement of death.”
PennLive.com: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to jump into a dispute where a Snyder County mother was penalized for not ensuring that her twin daughters attended kindergarten.
CBS (Philadelphia): A state court has laid down the ground rules for upcoming oral arguments in the battle over same sex marriage licenses being issued in Montgomery County.
ACLU-PA: The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and the Women’s Law Project have filed a lawsuit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Bradley Ankney, a math teacher for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, over the AIU’s refusal to provide health insurance and other benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees while providing those benefits to employees’ spouses. Ankney, who is gay, claims that the AIU’s policy discriminates against employees on the basis of sexual orientation in violation of the Allegheny County Human Relations Act.
Religion Clause Blog: In Ambrose v. Gabay ENT & Associates, P.C., (ED PA, Aug. 15, 2013), a Pennsylvania federal district court allowed a former medical receptionist to proceed with her Title VII religious discrimination and retaliation claims against her former employers who insisted that she wear a name badge that contained a list of workplace rules under the heading “Our Ten Commandments.”
AP: A suburban Philadelphia county defying Pennsylvania’s marriage law issued its 100th same-sex license Friday, just weeks after opening the courthouse door to gay men and women.
Politico: Defending a divisive gay marriage ban is probably not the fight Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett would have chosen 15 months ahead of an election he’s widely expected to lose. A majority of Pennsylvanians now support same-sex marriage, a dramatic shift from just a few years ago.
Philly.com: The court has ordered the state to submit a brief by Monday, Aug. 12. The county will then have until Aug. 19 to submit an opposing argument.
AP: After years of litigation about students’ free speech rights, a full U.S. appeals court ruled Monday that a Pennsylvania school district cannot ban “I (heart) Boobies!” bracelets. | B.H. v. Easton Area School District, No. 11-2067 (3rd Cir. Aug. 5, 2013)
CBS: Lawyers asked a state court on Friday to throw out a lawsuit that seeks to stop a rogue county official from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, who cannot legally wed in Pennsylvania.
Phillyburbs: With state Attorney General Kathleen Kane refusing to take the case, Gov. Tom Corbett is stepping up to defend Pennsylvania against a lawsuit challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.
ABC27.com: Attorney General Kathleen Kane is firing back at Gov. Tom Corbett over the defense of Pennsylvania’s law that effectively bans same-sex marriage and says it isn’t the governor’s job to tell the attorney general what the office’s duties and obligations are.
Philly.com: U.S. Sen. Bob Casey stepped into the fray on two of Pennsylvania’s most contentious issues Tuesday, saying the state’s voter identification law was politically motivated and urging the state to move toward allowing same-sex marriage.
CNSNews: The state Health Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Commonwealth Court against D. Bruce Hanes. He oversees the granting of marriage licenses in Montgomery County, just outside Philadelphia.
Buzzfeed: A federal judge Monday ordered that a private company’s retirement plan be interpreted to include coverage for the same-sex wife of a woman who had worked for the company as the “surviving spouse” under the plan.
AP: The licenses issued Wednesday in Montgomery County are believed to be the first to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania, the only northeastern state without same-sex marriages or civil unions. State law also says same-sex marriages, even ones entered legally elsewhere, are void in Pennsylvania.
The Mercury: At least one parent has complained, anonymously, to The Mercury about two of Ziegler’s broadcasts, the first in which he referred to the “polluted” environment in public schools.
Gina Passarella at Legal Intelligencer (registration required): A Philadelphia judge has thrown out the loss of consortium claims raised by a same-sex couple in a medical malpractice case against Temple University Health System . . . The judge’s one-page order in Wolf v. Associates of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery . . . Since plaintiffs herein were not married at any relevant time, and a marriage between persons of the same sex is not recognized in Pennsylvania, Tammy Wolf’s loss of consortium claim must be dismissed with prejudice as noncognizable under Pennsylvania law,” Temple Health said in its filing.
Mainlinemedianews: The county Register of Wills was poised to issue the first-ever same-sex marriage license Tuesday in Pennsylvania history, when its office yanked the decision last minute, citing the would-be newlyweds’ concern for a pending lawsuit against the state.
Catholic Sun: Alliance Defending Freedom, a group aligned with Priests for Life on this issue, said in a statement that “proper burial is the right thing to do, for the human dignity of the babies themselves, for the healing of post-abortive women, and for the future and conscience of Philadelphia and the nation. This is what a civilized society does with its dead.”
CNSNews: The speakers, including Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Students for Life’s Kristan Hawkins, Christian Defense Coalition’s Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Stand True Ministries’ Bryan Kemper, and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Catherine Foster, endured the sweltering heat to deliver a letter requesting information about the remains. (includes video)
The Philly Post: The speakers, including Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Students for Life’s Kristan Hawkins, Christian Defense Coalition’s Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Stand True Ministries’ Bryan Kemper, and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Catherine Foster, endured the sweltering heat to deliver a letter requesting information about the remains. The Medical Examiner’s Office, which agreed to meet with them just hours before, locked its doors and called the police as they approached.
Newsbusters (video embedded): The speakers, including Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Students for Life’s Kristan Hawkins, Christian Defense Coalition’s Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Stand True Ministries’ Bryan Kemper, and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Catherine Foster, endured the sweltering heat to deliver a letter requesting information about the remains. The Medical Examiner’s Office, which agreed to meet with them just hours before, locked its doors and called the police as they approached.
TribLive.com: The Freedom from Religion organization is representing an atheist and student who want a half-century monument removed from the school grounds of Connellsville Junior High, explained the Rev. Ewing Marietta, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church of Uniontown and a Connellsville resident who is an organizer with Thou Shall Not Move.
Phil. Medical Examiner locks out pro-life activists demanding bodies of Gosnell victims for burial | LifeSiteNews
LifeSiteNews: The letter, penned by an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, said, “[T]he public must be told where the bodies currently are. This is particularly relevant where the unclaimed victims are related to such a public, notorious criminal prosecution, followed closely by the media in all respects.” “Proper burial is the right thing to do, for the human dignity of the babies themselves, for the healing of post-abortive women,” the letter said, “and for the future and conscience of Philadelphia and the nation…This is what a civilized society does with its dead.”
LifeNews: In anticipation of the public prayer vigil that Priests for Life will hold in front of the Medical Examiner’s office tomorrow morning, a letter is being sent this morning to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner by an attorney representing the Alliance Defending Freedom. [letter excerpts quoted]
Life News: The prayer vigil coalition of Alliance Defending Freedom, Christian Defense Coalition, Stand True, Priests for Life and Students for Life went into the Medical Examiner’s Office beforehand to tell them we were doing a prayer vigil and then would be bringing five people to deliver a legal letter – no cameras, no protest signs in the building. They told us only grieving family and friends could come in . . . We then went and held the prayer vigil and returned with Fr. Frank Pavone from Priests for Life, Rev. Pat Mahoney from Christian Defense Coalition, Bryan Kemper from Stand True Ministries, and Catherine Foster from Alliance Defending Freedom.