Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Life Site News: A HIV-positive man who took his life in hands during his successful fight for pro-life ObamaCare insurance in Rhode Island has, through his attorney at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) exclusively spoken with LifeSiteNews about his faith, his past, and his pro-life ministry.
This HIV-positive man would rather die than fund abortion. Now he’s won his court case against ObamaCare
Life Site News: Doe “is strongly opposed to paying for abortions,” said Doe’s attorney, Casey Mattox, of the Alliance Defending Freedom. “He has HIV, but he is someone who has devoted his life and his resources to opposing abortion, and works against it on a weekly basis.”
National Right to Life: Senate Bill Number 598, which seeks to legalize Assisted Suicide in Rhode Island, will be heard on Thursday, May 28, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing will be held in Room 313 of the State House and should begin sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Victory for Rhode Island pro-lifers: New rules requires abortion-excluding healthcare plans for 2016
Charlotte Lozier Institute: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) announced on May 18 that the change is a result of a lawsuit that the legal organization filed on behalf of an HIV-positive pro-life resident who was forced off his private insurance.
Providence Journal: “The state worked very hard in order to resolve this and I think came to a resolution that satisfied us and took care of our client and we we were happy to dismiss the complaint on Monday,” said Casey Mattox, senior counsel for the Alliance. “I think Rhode Island, in many ways, is a model for how other states should be approaching this.”
Life News: “Americans should be free to obtain health care without having to pay for elective abortions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “The Constitution and federal and state law protect individuals from this type of government coercion. We commend Rhode Island for revising its health insurance exchange so that the state’s citizens do not have to financially support abortion in order to obtain health care.”
The Global Dispatch: “Americans should be free to obtain health care without having to pay for elective abortions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “The Constitution and federal and state law protect individuals from this type of government coercion. We commend Rhode Island for revising its health insurance exchange so that the state’s citizens do not have to financially support abortion in order to obtain health care.”
ADF Media: The state of Rhode Island has revised its health insurance exchange by adding plans that don’t mandate a surcharge for other people’s elective abortions. The change is the result of an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit filed on behalf of an HIV-positive man who did not want to compromise his pro-life beliefs. In light of the state’s changes, ADF voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit, Doe v. Burwell, Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.
Providence Journal: In a break from tradition, the School Committee in June decided to have students and teachers come to school during the Jewish religious holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the Christian holiday of Good Friday.
Christian News Network: “No one actually discloses to you that you are paying this separate abortion fee because they just roll it into the general premium, but everyone in Vermont is being required to pay this separate abortion fee in order to enroll in a plan,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Casey Mattox told reporters.
One News Now: “It violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment,” Casey Mattox argues. “We’re hopeful that the court will see that this is an unnecessary burden on religious peoples’ right to deal with and enroll in ObamaCare plans and not have to actually violate their conscience to do it.”
Burlington Free Press: Alan Lyle Howe of Guilford is suing the Department of Vermont Health Access, commissioner Steven Constantino and a host of federal officials. Howe’s lawyer, Casey Mattox, has said that Howe is deeply religious and believes the use of his money for abortion is a violation of his religious freedom.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument Thursday before the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont in a legal challenge to an Obamacare surcharge that forces people to pay for elective abortion coverage.
Providence Journal: “That’s just not acceptable,” said Casey Mattox, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization based in Arizona. “You have plenty of options on the exchange if you don’t have that conviction. … People should demand more than that.”
Religion Clause: Plaintiff not only seeks an injunction against displaying the inscription, but also an injunction against the court’s continued distribution of an allegedly misleading publication that describes the quote’s history and Lord Coke’s relationship with Rhode Island’s founder Roger Williams.
Burlington Free Press: “When government is imposing burdens like that on people … that’s a violation of free exercise, and that’s essentially what’s happening here,” Mattox said.
Honoring pre-existing convictions: Lawsuits question abortion-only plans in Rhode Island and Vermont
Lozier Institute: Casey Mattox, Senior Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the group representing Howe and Doe, said, “Paying for elective abortions should never be a prerequisite for access to health care. Neither the Constitution nor federal and state law allow for this type of government coercion.” Yet, there is no viable alternative for these gentlemen, as evinced in Howe v. Burwell and Doe v. Burwell.
WND: “Americans should not have to pay a special fee for other people’s abortions in order to take care of their own family’s health,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox.
Providence Journal: The case was filed by lawyers from Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization that filed a similar case in Vermont on the same day. It’s supported by the Rhode Island Right to Life Committee, whose executive director, Barth Bracy, sued Connecticut’s exchange last May. Six months later, that exchange offered health plans that don’t offer enhanced abortion services.
Ledger-Enquirer (AP): The case was filed by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Providence Journal: The man, whose identity is being kept secret because he allegedly is HIV-positive, is being represented by lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom. The case is Doe v. Burwell. He is described as a Christian anti-abortion advocate.
Life News: “Paying for elective abortions should never be a prerequisite for access to health care,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “Neither the Constitution nor federal and state law allow for this type of government coercion. The Obama administration may not value constitutionally protected freedoms, but both federal and state law do. We are asking the court to stop Obamacare officials from running roughshod over these individuals’ rights.”
ADF Media: An HIV-positive man in Rhode Island and another pro-life advocate in Vermont have filed suit in federal court because Obamacare forces them to pay for other people’s elective abortions in order to obtain health care through their state exchanges.
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.
Huffington Post (AP): The leader of Rhode Island’s Catholics is suggesting that voters could write in Mother Teresa’s name or sit out the Nov. 4 election because the candidates aren’t “terribly promising” on the abortion issue.
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.
Rhode Island will host a “Day of Reason” on May 1st. Governor Lincoln Chafee declared that the “Day of Reason” will happen on the same day as the Day of Prayer, thanks to lobbying from unnamed atheist groups.
Providence Journal: “The Humanists of RI and The Secular Coalition for RI say Chafee signed the proclamation at their request to help ‘raise awareness throughout the State of Rhode Island of the importance of Reason as a guiding principle of our secular democracy.’ Chafee spokeswoman Faye Zuckerman did not dispute this characterization on Monday.”
Catholic school principal apologizes for comments about divorce, homosexuality made by guest speaker
Providence Journal: “The principal of the Prout School has publicly apologized for bringing in an inflammatory speaker whose opinions about divorce and homosexuality offended students, parents and faculty.”
Associated Press: “Rhode Island lawmakers are taking a look at legislation that would require abortion providers to show a woman an ultrasound of the fetus before performing the procedure.”
Religion Clause: “In Devaney v. Kilmartin, (D RI, Feb. 6, 2014), a Rhode Island federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a Narragansett, Rhode Island resident’s complaint about constantly ringing church bells.”
Fox News: In a Yuletide turnaround, Gov. Lincoln Chafee is now calling this year’s Statehouse spruce a Christmas tree, saying his past practice of calling it a holiday tree generated too much anger.
ABC6.com: House Speaker Gordon Fox married his long time partner Marcus Lafond Tuesday evening at the State house. The two tied the knot in a private ceremony in the speaker’s office.
Prayer Banner Quietly Replaced With Secular Mural at RI High School 2 years After Teen Atheist Won Lawsuit
Christian Post: Nearly two years after atheist student Jessica Ahlquist won a lawsuit against her high school for its auditorium’s prayer banner, which had stood in place for nearly 50 years, the school has finally replaced the empty wall space with a large secular mural that removes any reference to God or religion.
Religion Clause Blog: The Providence Journal reported last week on a pro se federal lawsuit filed by a Narragansett, Rhode Island man, John Devaney, who objects to the noise from the bells of St. Thomas More Catholic Parish directly across from his home, as well as those of an Episcopal Church nearby.
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.
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.”
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.
Religion Clause Blog: Plaintiff argued that the law will violate the state constitution’s religious freedom protections by forcing people to accept in public spheres, such as schools, a practice that they oppose on religious grounds.
AP: Rhode Island’s governor has vetoed legislation to authorize a “Choose Life” license plate that would have raised money for a Christian crisis pregnancy center that opposes abortion.
Josh Israel at Think Progress: The Losing Arguments Of Anti-LGBT ‘Alliance Defending Freedom’
ADF testimony in Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington all failed to sway legislators. Asked whether ADF believes its tact has been effective or swayed any lawmakers’ votes, legal counsel Jim Campbell told ThinkProgress: “First Amendment-protected freedoms are vital to the continued flourishing of our constitutional republic. They should not be ignored by state legislators who vote to redefine marriage. The failure to respect freedoms long-enshrined in our Constitution will lead to needless litigation. Sadly, even when those rights are eventually vindicated in court, the legal process will take a significant toll on innocent citizens who are simply trying to live in accordance with their conscience. Alliance Defending Freedom will be at the forefront of defending those Americans.”
CNSNews: Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Catholic diocese of Providence, said the “gay marriage” bill signed into law in Rhode Island by its governor, Lincoln Chafee, constituted a “new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered.”
PolicyMic: Opponents to Delaware’s bill cite concerns over religious liberties — worried that business owners who refuse marriage-related services for gay and lesbian couples could be hit with discrimination charges. “If there’s an exemption for right of conscience,” said Jordan Lorence, attorney of the conservative religious liberties group Alliance Defending Freedom, “I don’t see it.”
Boston Globe (AP): Phone banks, an army of volunteers and alliances with organized labor, business leaders and religious clergy propelled gay marriage to victory in Rhode Island this week, a savvy and coordinated strategy that relied on growing public support and old-fashioned bare-knuckle politics.
Providence Journal: The state Senate voted 26 to 12 Wednesday to allow same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island as early as August 1.
Boston Globe: The Rhode Island Senate is poised to hold a landmark vote Wednesday on gay marriage legislation, the culmination of years of efforts by supporters who want to see the state join the rest of New England in allowing gays and lesbians to wed.
AP: The five Republicans in the Rhode Island Senate are backing gay marriage as a legislative committee prepares for a pivotal vote on the issue.
Providence Journal: The Providence Chamber of Commerce’s board chairman and two other business leaders said Monday legalizing same-sex marriage would remove one hurdle that makes it hard for R.I. businesses to compete.
Brown Daily Herald: The House approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in January that is slated for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
Boston Globe: Gay marriage could be the first big debate after the General Assembly reconvenes April 23. The session began with a bang in January, with the House easily passing legislation that would allow gay couples to wed. A Senate vote is expected within a few weeks.
Providence Journal: As the debate over same-sex marriage moves closer to a vote in the Rhode Island Senate, lawmakers are wrestling with a key question: If legislators approve same-sex marriage, how will the rights of same-sex couples interact with the rights of people who oppose it?
Washington Blade: Kelly Frederick [Fiedorek] of the Alliance Defending Freedom said marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples in Massachusetts, D.C. and Illinois “forced” Catholic Charities in the three jurisdictions “out of the adoption business because of their religious beliefs.”
Brown Daily Herald: The Senate Judiciary committee will meet Thursday to hear two same-sex marriage bills, including one that would legalize same-sex marriage — the Senate version of the bill that passed the House in January.
Providence Journal: Ciccone’s bill calls for a statewide vote on a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would say: “Marriage is the legally-recognized union of two people. The right of the people to marry shall not be denied on the basis of the gender of the parties.”
Boston Globe: Valente and Bond hope Rhode Island joins the rest of New England this year in allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. But they are concerned that the treatment they received may still be allowed if lawmakers insert a broad exemption allowing religious organizations like churches, hospitals, and schools — or private businesses — to ignore the law and decide for themselves whether to extend benefits and rights to married gay couples.
WPRI.com: Same-sex marriage has been a national and state battle for years, and the latest poll by Brown University shows 60.4% of Rhode Islander’s are in favor of giving the right to marry to gay and lesbian couples.
“In DOMA Supreme Court Case, 15 States Say Not Recognizing Gay Marriage Is Unconstitutional” | Huffington Post
Huffington Post: New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley plan to file a friend-of-the-court brief on Friday, their offices said. Officials in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, will join the amicus brief.
Providence Journal: Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island has announced its support for legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island.
Star Tribune: Freedom to Marry plans to spend cash in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island as well as Minnesota.
Florist Sued For Discrimination After Refusing To Deliver Flowers To Winning Establishment Clause Plaintiff
Religion Clause Blog: Following up on a right-to-sue letter it obtained from the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (see prior related posting), the Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a state court lawsuit against a florist who refused to deliver flowers ordered by FFRF for a successful plaintiff in an Establishment Clause case.
Providence Journal: The Democrats who lead Rhode Island’s Senate say they’re in no rush to take up a bill legalizing same-sex marriage despite the House of Representatives’ overwhelming vote in favor of the measure Thursday.