Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
UPI: The suit was filed on her behalf by a group that opposes same-sex marriage, the Alliance Defending Freedom.
FRC Washington Update: After the ACLU filed a second lawsuit, Barronelle turned to our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Together, they’re countersuing Washington for violating her Christian beliefs. “Marriage has religious significance,” ADF argues, “apart from any civil significance. [Stutzman] believed that [servicing a gay marriage] would compel her to express a message with her creativity that violates God’s commands.”
The Advocate: “In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions. Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs,” said Dale Schowengerdt, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Stutzman.
Pink News: Attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom legal ministry, filed the new lawsuit on behalf of Stutzman on Thursday, at Benton County Superior Court, reports the Associated Press. Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt, released in a statement saying: ”Everyone knows that plenty of florists are willing to assist in same-sex ceremonies, so the state has no reason to force Barronelle to violate her deeply held beliefs.”
Christian Post: “Everyone knows that plenty of florists are willing to assist in same-sex ceremonies, so the state has no reason to force Barronelle to violate her deeply held beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt in a statement. “In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions. Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs. It is this very freedom that gives America its cherished diversity and protects citizens from state-mandated conformity.”
Wall Street Journal: What to make of the political scandals that are dominating the headlines and forcing the Obama administration into Nixonian damage control? Technology is finally doing to big government what it has done to big business, big media and other institutions that once could operate with nearly full control over information. The government is losing the ability to manipulate information to avoid accountability.
Baptist Press: A florist who was told by the state of Washington she must provide her services for a gay wedding is countersuing the state, saying she has served gay customers her entire career and is concerned the state’s position on gay weddings will harm religious freedom.
Think Progress: The suit claims that Stutzman is entitled to religious conscience protections that allow her to ignore nondiscrimination protections, as ADF attorney Dale Schowengerdt attempted to explain to WorldNetDaily . . .
Washington Florist Barronelle Stutzman Countersues State for Discriminating Against Her Religious Discrimination | Towerload
Towerload: “In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions,” said Alliance Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt. “Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs. It is this very freedom that gives America its cherished diversity and protects citizens from state-mandated conformity.
On Top Magazine: Dale Schowengerdt, senior legal counsel with the ADF, said Stutzman had a right to refuse service based on her religious convictions. “In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions,” he said. “Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs.”
Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty: The counter suit, filed by an anti-gay-marriage group called Alliance Defending Freedom, argues that Ferguson’s suit is attempting to force Barronelle Stutzman to act contrary to her religious convictions in violation of her freedoms under the state constitution.
Seattle Post Intelligencer: “In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions. Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs,” said Dale Schowengerdt, senior legal counsel with the Arizona-based group.
Seattle Times (AP): Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers claims the state is violating her religious beliefs. The Tri-City Herald reports that attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal ministry, filed the suit Thursday in Benton County Superior Court on behalf of Stutzman.
Gayopolis: Whenever there’s a lawsuit like this, scratch the surface and you’ll find the odious Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) behind it. One more thing to thank Arizona for.
Tri-CityHerald:“Everyone knows that plenty of florists are willing to assist in same-sex ceremonies, so the state has no reason to force Barronelle to violate her deeply held beliefs,” attorney Dale Schowengerdt with Alliance Defending Freedom said in a statement.
NW News Network: Her lead counsel, Dale Schowengerdt says, there is no reason to use the state’s anti-discrimination law to force her to provide flowers for this ceremony. In fact, he says her religious rights and freedom are rooted in the state’s constitution.
King5.com: “In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions,” said Alliance Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt. “Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs. It is this very freedom that gives America its cherished diversity and protects citizens from state-mandated conformity.”
Connie Friedersdorf at The Atlantic: The Pennsylvania Department of Health doesn’t make it impossible to report a “horror clinic” on its website, but it isn’t easy either.
LifeSiteNews: Responding to a groundswell of public opinion, the Supreme Court of India has asked the government to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) petition that seeks to ban online pornography.
Red State: “We determined that our web filters recently detected malware at the SBC website, which resulted in the block for some service members,” Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said in a prepared statement. “The department has verified that the Southern Baptist Convention website no longer contains malware that may pose a threat to our networks and will be unblocked today.”
FRC‘: In a chilling new Federal Bureau of Investigation interrogation video just released, Floyd Lee Corkins, who stormed the Family Research Council’s (FRC) headquarters on August 15, 2012 and started firing, says that he picked his target from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) website.
Tech Crunch: Governments, even democracies, are not always fans of transparency. According to Google’s brand new transparency report, “government attempts to censor content on Google services has grown”, doubling since the second half of 2012 (1,054 requests vs. 2,285). Brazil took the gold medal of the censorship olympics, with 697 requests, while the United States took 2nd place, with 321 requests.
Religion Clause Blog: The court imposed a 10 month suspended sentence on Say, indicating that he would be imprisoned only if he commits a similar crime again within the next 5 years.
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: A Florida bill would ban “knowingly transmit[ting] or post[ing]” to any web site, a “photograph or video that depicts nudity of another person” coupled with “personal identification information” of that other person, “for the purpose of harassing the depicted person or causing others to harass the depicted person.” “Harass” is defined as “to engage in conduct directed at a specific person that is intended to cause substantial emotional distress to such person and serves no legitimate purpose.”
Digital Journal: Police in Bangladesh say they have arrested four atheist bloggers for “defaming” Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. The police action follows calls from Islamic fundamentalist groups for a crackdown on secular bloggers.
Findlaw: The appellate court, however, agreed with the First and Tenth Circuits that downloading images and videos containing child pornography from a peer-to-peer computer network and storing them in a shared folder accessible to other users on the network amounts to distribution under federal law. | U.S. v. Richardson IV
ZeeNews.com: Dhaka: Three atheist bloggers in Bangladesh were today arrested here on charges of defaming Islam, as the government set up the country’s first cyber crime tribunal to prevent exploitation of religion on the Internet.
NBCNews: The U.S. government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans Internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure.
Reuters: A federal appeals court rebuked a Connecticut judge on Tuesday for allowing his views on Facebook and the growth of child pornography to influence the sentence he handed a woman in a case unrelated to the Internet.
allAfrica.com: The Media Monitoring Committee together with the Communication Commission of Kenya are working to have a law that will require internet service providers to install ISP addresses to all computers to help in monitoring the origin of inappropriate messages.
Religion Clause Blog: In a consent order in Hunter v. Board of Trustees, Salem Public Library, (ED MO March 5, 2013), a Missouri federal district court ordered the Salem, Missouri public library to refrain from reactivating on its public computers filters that blocked websites relating to the categories “occult” or “criminal skills.”
Bloomberg: The Feb. 28 Virginia ruling is the first appellate decision addressing the application of the First Amendment to lawyer blogging, according to Bloomberg BNA Law Reports. The question of when and how attorneys may market themselves via blogs and websites has become a hot topic in legal circles. | Hunter v. Va. State Bar
Albert Mohler: The moral effects of pornography are, by now, well attested. The scourge of pornography has brought ruin and harm into the lives of millions of our friends and neighbors, destroying marriages, distorting sexuality, and poisoning minds. Even so, the pornography industrial complex continues to grow, representing one of the most lucrative segments of the Internet economy.
ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Pennsylvania have sent a letter requesting that school officials at Governor Mifflin School District in Berks County stop using Internet filters that violate students’ First Amendment free speech rights. The district uses a “sexuality” filter that blocks sites that express support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and an “intolerance” filter that blocks political advocacy sites that are labeled as intolerant.
National Post: Canada’s controversial 20-year-old legal definition of hatred is set to be updated or even overturned on Wednesday, as the Supreme Court of Canada rules in the case of William Whatcott, a born-again anti-gay pamphleteer who ran afoul of Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Code.
AP: In the age of instant information, globe-spanning viral videos and the World Wide Web, can a thoroughly wired country become a porn-free zone? Authorities in Iceland want to find out.
LifeNews: On January 28, in my capacity as social media manager for a coalition of national black pro-life leaders, I set up accounts on Facebook and Twitter to promote our upcoming demonstration in Los Angeles of the NAACP Image Awards on February 1.
Christian Post: Neil Clark Warren, Christian co-founder and CEO of the popular online dating site eHarmony, recently spoke on how he believes the same-sex marriage debate has “damaged his company,” and that he hopes America can “be more harmonious” on the issue.
Telegraph: Iceland could become the first Western democracy to attempt censorship of the internet under radical proposals to block online pornography.
Forbes: What’s the big deal, right? Just like Skype! Or ooVoo or any number of other video chat apps for the desktop. Except there’s no intermediary! This demonstration uses a relatively new protocol called WebRTC that promises to change the way we all use the internet.
Christian Institute: Parents need to protect children from the “porn” version of sexuality that has “saturated” the online world, a Daily Telegraph columnist has warned
LifeNews: A coalition of African-American pro-life activists have had their Twitter account suspended after firing off Tweets challenging the NAACP over its position favoring abortion.
Rebecca Hagelin at Townhall: A recent New York Times article, “The End of Courtship,” portrays Millennials as a group bent on “subverting the rules of courtship.” Style columnist Alex Williams begins his article with this real-life scenario: a guy asks a girl out on what she assumes is a date – but instead of showing up, the guy texts her at 10:30pm asking her to come hang out with him–and his friends–at a nearby pub. The article characterizes this typical, laid-back behavior as, “one step below a date, and one step above a high-five.”
AP: Britain’s media watchdog has fined Playboy 100,000 pounds ($160,000) for failing to protect children from accessing two of its U.K.-based pornographic websites.
Aaron Greenspan: Most lawyers turn to outrageously priced, subscription information services such as LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law to get their case information. Those services simply compile data from PACER and mark up the cost, which ultimately gets passed on to clients, who pay even more. In other words, most lawyers love PACER because it helps them make money—or they just don’t care either way. Meanwhile, the public is harmed as the cost of litigation soars, and key legal arguments are priced out of reach (especially for pro se plaintiffs who represent themselves).
New legal services site launched to protect religious organizations from ‘dark legal clouds gathering across our nation’
God Discussion: At Alliance Defending Freedom, we see the dark legal clouds gathering across our nation, threatening your religious freedom. That’s why we created SpeakUpFreedom.org. . .
Pittsburgh Tribune; The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said the organization might sue over the filing of “sexting” charges against two Greensburg Salem Middle School students.
RT.com: Only recently has the Pentagon been willing to let lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans openly serve in the military, but it seems the Defense Department still isn’t too keen on the LGBT community. AmericaBlog, a self-described progressive journal of news and opinion, has published an article discussing how the US Department of Defense has blocked internal computers from accessing a number of websites that are categorizes as “LGBT.”
FTC Strengthens Kids’ Privacy, Gives Parents Greater Control Over Their Information By Amending Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule
FTC: The Federal Trade Commission adopted final amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule that strengthen kids’ privacy protections and give parents greater control over the personal information that websites and online services may collect from children under 13.
Public Discourse: Young adult men’s support for redefining marriage may not be entirely the product of ideals about expansive freedoms, rights, liberties, and fairness. It may be, in part, a byproduct of regular exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts.
LA Times: People who post offensive messages on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter should face criminal charges only if their comments are harassing or threatening and not simply in bad taste, according to new legal guidelines in Britain that follow a spate of controversial prosecutions.
Inside Higher Ed: The six-month lifespan of Queer at Patrick Henry College, a blog focusing on the struggles of gay students at the evangelical Christian college in Virginia, has been turbulent, to say the least.
BBC: A public consultation found 35% of parents wanted an automatic bar while 15% wanted some content filtered, and an option to block other material.
AP: The U.S. and more than 20 other countries refused to ratify the accord by the 193-nation International Telecommunications Union. Here is a look at Internet restrictions and availability at selected countries and regions around the world:
The Hill: The United States said Thursday that it will not sign a United Nations telecommunications treaty that U.S. technology companies warn would disrupt governance of the Internet and open the door to online censorship.
Heritage Foundation: The United Nations—of course—has an agency that oversees international telecommunications. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was founded in 1865, when the telegraph was its main concern. Now it’s trying to expand its influence over modern-day communications.
Journal Star: An anti-abortion group wants Nebraska lawmakers to pass legislation that requires four-dimensional ultrasound images of human fetuses to be posted on a state website.
Weekly Standard: Next week the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union will meet in Dubai to figure out how to control the Internet. Representatives from 193 nations will attend the nearly two week long meeting, according to news reports.
CNET.com: Proposed law scheduled for a vote next week originally increased Americans’ e-mail privacy. Then law enforcement complained. Now it increases government access to e-mail and other digital files.
Alan Sears at the American Thinker: Following the passage of California’s Proposition 35 on Nov. 6, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit to stop the measure against child predators from taking force. The section of Prop. 35 against which the ACLU took issue is that which “requires registered sex offenders to give authorities a list of their Internet providers and screen names.”
WebProNews: I can’t vouch for how accurate the Chinese translation is, but it’s already incredibly impressive. The software is able to output the spoken Chinese word in the speaker’s voice as if they were the one saying it.
U.N. Plotting Takeover Of Internet: ‘Several nations are set on asserting intergovernmental control’
Steve Elwart at WorldNetDaily: The hope of several countries is that they can expand the ITU’s jurisdiction to the Internet, replacing the current governing system with one that is controlled by a U.N. bureaucracy. The member nations will also consider an “Internet tax” designed to collect money from more affluent nations and redistribute it to poorer nations to improve their Internet infrastructure. ITRs do not currently include regulation of the Internet within their jurisdiction, since they have not been revised since the beginning of the Internet communications era.
Washington Post: Google and many of its most popular subdomains, including Google e-mail, have been blocked by a “DNS poison” in China, according to Chinese Web monitoring site GreatFire.org, an extraordinary step in Web censorship even for the Chinese government.
AP: A federal judge has blocked part of a voter-approved ballot initiative related to human trafficking, until a court hearing can be held later this month. The decision temporarily halts a provision of Proposition 35 that requires registered sex offenders to give authorities a list of their Internet providers and screen names. The initiative, passed Tuesday with 81 percent support, toughens penalties on those convicted of human trafficking.
MyFoxDC.com: Egypt’s top prosecutor ordered government ministries on Wednesday to enforce a ban on pornographic websites, three years after a court denounced the sites as “venomous and vile.”
Blog of the Legal Times: The technological restraints imposed against Legg, convicted in an online child exploitation sting, are at the center of a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Legg is serving a 30-month prison. His lawyer today urged the appeals court to find that the restrictions go too far.
Doe v. Reed, No. 11-35854 ( Before: Harry Pregerson, A. Wallace Tashima, and N. Randy Smith, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Tashima; Concurrence by Judge N.R. Smith)
Plaintiffs Protect Marriage Washington (“PMW”), John Doe #1, and John Doe #2 (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) seek to enjoin Defendants, the Secretary of State and Public Records Officer of the State of Washington, from releasing the names of people who signed petitions supporting a Washington referendum. These petitions are already widely available on the internet. We dismiss this case as moot because we cannot grant Plaintiffs effective relief.
CBS: The vast majority of homemade pornography and private images on personal computers ends up on public websites called “parasites.”
Telegraph (includes video): A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices of Google in London today is just the first in an orchestrated attempt to force the company to remove an anti-Islamic film from website YouTube in Britain.