Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
The Tennessean: Women seeking an abortion in Tennessee will now have to make two trips to a clinic, waiting 48 hours after getting in-person counseling from a doctor before being able to return for the procedure, under a new measure signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday.
KNOE (AP): A contentious bill that thrusts Louisiana into a national debate over religious objections laws will finally get a hearing.
The Washington Times: Supporters of such therapy counter that it has helped many people successfully reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, and it’s wrong to trample people’s rights to seek the counseling of their choice.
Caffeinated Thoughts: Alliance Defending Freedom senior council Austin Nimocks affirmed that the law protects religious liberty in a released statement yesterday before the vote. “Nobody should be punished by the government for believing that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act forbids the government from revoking the tax-exempt status or professional license of any person or organization that affirms marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The government should not be empowered to force anyone to choose between embracing same-sex marriage and losing their livelihood or their ability to carry out their organization’s mission. The bill secures freedom by limiting government intrusions into the lives and minds of all Louisianans,” Nimocks stated.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks : “Nobody should be punished by the government for believing that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act forbids the government from revoking the tax-exempt status or professional license of any person or organization that affirms marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The government should not be empowered to force anyone to choose between embracing same-sex marriage and losing their livelihood or their ability to carry out their organization’s mission. The bill secures freedom by limiting government intrusions into the lives and minds of all Louisianans.”
National Right to Life: Ten days ago Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law requiring that all clinics performing more than 50 surgical abortions each year be regulated as outpatient surgery centers and inspected annually.
Missouri House passes, Senate fails to pass Women’s Protection Act requiring annual inspection of abortion facilities
National Right to Life: Missouri Right to Life (MRL) is profoundly disappointed that the Missouri Senate has failed to approve an important public safety measure to ensure the annual inspection of abortion facilities.
Aleteia: Pro-lifers have reason to celebrate, as the House has finally passed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, with a vote of 242-184. If the bill were to become law, it would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is when science has conclusively shown that preborn children are able to feel pain.
Daily Caller: North Carolina would do well to pass a religious freedom law similar to laws in numerous other states and the federal government.
Peach Pundit: We told you last week about the likelihood of dueling religious liberty resolutions that are expected to be proposed at the Georgia GOP convention that begins on Friday.
The Christian Institute: Spokesman for ADF Casey Mattox said: “Churches and other religious employers should not be coerced by the government into violating their fundamental beliefs by being party to elective abortion”.
WND: “Every innocent life deserves to be protected. We commend the House for putting the health and well-being of mothers and unborn children first,” said Steven H. Aden, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.
Life News: No sooner did the House of Representatives pass a bill to protect babies from late-term abortionsand ban them after 20 weeks than Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton fired off a statement slamming them for doing so.
First Things: As the dust from the recent explosion over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act begins to settle, one thing is clear: Republicans and Christians lost, Democrats and gay activists won. Republican leaders initially supported the legislation for what was likely a combination of strategic political reasons and the belief that religious freedom is a positive good.
US News (AP): Republicans finally won House approval Wednesday for a late-term abortion ban after dropping rape provisions that provoked a rebellion by female GOP lawmakers, forcing party leaders into an embarrassing retreat.
Life News: The House of Representatives today approved a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.
National Catholic Register: A battle is under way over conscience rights and health care in the Illinois Legislature that has pro-life groups on one side, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood on the other, and the Illinois Catholic Conference standing neutral on the sidelines.
Illinois Family: I understand that you are considering passing SB 1564, a bill to amend the existing laws of Illinois that protect freedom of conscience. I urge you not to do so, as SB 1564 fatally weakens the conscience rights of Illinois citizens.
National Law Journal (Subscription Required): As a number of state legislatures continue to push new restrictions on abortion clinics and providers, the U.S. Supreme Court soon will take a first look at two states’ efforts that failed in the lower courts.
Wisconsin Family Action: The House voted to PASS HR 36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act 36 242-184. The bill will now go to the Senate and, if passed, on to President Obama who has stated he will veto such a bill.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden: “Every innocent life deserves to be protected. We commend the House for putting the health and well-being of mothers and unborn children first. Not only does this law protect children in the womb who can experience horrific pain, it also protects mothers from the increased risk of physical harm and the tremendous psychological consequences that come with late-term abortions. The Senate, which will consider the bill next, can rest assured that this is good law.”
Scientific American: On the heels of new research that revealed more infants born at 22 weeks are able to survive than was previously thought, Republican leaders in the U.S House of Representatives have dusted off a late-term abortion bill for a vote, although chances of it becoming law seem distant.
AL: Legislation that protects students’ religious freedoms was signed into law by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley today on the National Day of Prayer.
NOLA: Thirty-five Louisiana business owners so far have signed an open letter drafted by two Louisiana activist organizations asking the Legislature to reject the state’s proposed religious freedom law.
Christianity Today: Pro-life leaders are applauding the US House of Representatives for scheduling a vote this week on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
The Daily Signal: As Congress prepares to resume a debate over whether late-term abortions should be allowed in the U.S., a groundbreaking new study finds that infants are able to survive outside the womb earlier on in a pregnancy than the medical community once thought.
House will vote on bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks near anniversary of Kermit Gosnell conviction
Life News: Republicans in the House of Representatives will hold a vote on or around the anniversary of the murder conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell on a marquee bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because unborn children feel intense pain in abortions.
Baptist News: Joining the ELRC in the coalition were Alliance Defending Freedom, Americans United for Life, March for Life, Concerned Women for America and the Susan B. Anthony List. In February the ERLC joined the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in opposing both RHNDA and a new human rights amendment.
CNS News: Casey Mattox, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom – one of the eight groups that issued a statement Wednesday vowing to fight the law – called it “unnecessary and unconstitutional.”
BuzzFeed: The Alliance Defending Freedom suggested in a letter that the policy would invite legal action. “Forcing students into vulnerable interactions with opposite-sex students in secluded restrooms and locker rooms would violate [a] basic right,” the group added. “These scenarios create privacy and safety concerns that should be obvious.”
National Right to Life: When NARAL uses a piece of pro-life legislation to fundraise on, you can be sure it will act in exactly the negative manner it falsely attributes to pro-lifers. That is, the language will be inaccurate, intended to polarize, and wholly misleading.
National Right to Life: On Wednesday, the State Senate overwhelmingly approved on third reading Senate Bill 575 by Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) that reforms insurance coverage of abortion.
The Global Dispatch: “Schools have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp.
The Global Dispatch: “Pro-life organizations in our nation’s capital should not be forced to pay for abortions or hire those who oppose their pro-life beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): The House of Representatives passed a resolution last week that would have blocked a Washington, D.C., measure some say violates religious freedom. But with President Barack Obama’s promised veto of the resolution, pro-life organizations are preparing to continue fighting the law.
The Christian Post: “Pro-life organizations in our nation’s capital should not be forced to pay for abortions or hire those who oppose their pro-life beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox. “While the D.C. Council has retreated from this law’s original goal, which was to force pro-life organizations to pay for abortions in violation of their conscience, RHNDA remains an unnecessary and illegal attack on pro-life conscience that Congress must stop and that we will fight, if necessary, in the courts.”
National Right to Life: When reporting about The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, the mainstream media typically refuses to include the law’s definition of what is banned–“the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments [that], slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”
Barbwire: “Schools have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom sent Fairfax County Public Schools a letter Wednesday that explains the problems with a proposed policy that would eliminate the longstanding and common-sense policy of designating restroom facilities for use by one sex, thus allowing students to use restrooms and changing areas reserved for the opposite sex.
Baptist Press: The measure, ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox said, constitutes “an unnecessary and illegal attack on pro-life conscience” his organization will fight in court if needed.
Life News: “Despite the enactment of this unjust law, we will continue to hire employees who share our commitment to the dignity of every member of the human family,” reads the statement released by Alliance Defending Freedom, the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Americans United for Life and Americans United for Life Action, March for Life, Concerned Women for America, the Susan B. Anthony List, the Family Research Council and the Assoc. of Christian Schools International.
Christian News Network: “The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 prevents religious institutions, other faith-based employers, and pro-life advocacy organizations from making employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs or their moral and ethical views about the sanctity of human life,” the ADF letter stated.
National Catholic Register: As the pro-euthanasia lobby sets its sights on more than a dozen states, an unlikely coalition of socially conservative pro-lifers and liberal activists for the elderly and disabled in Connecticut has shown how to defeat the effort to legalize assisted suicide.
Red State: The D.C. law – the so-called “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA)” – is in fact, discriminatory. It’s pro-abortion tyranny, it’s anti-conscience, and it’s anti-free speech.
Michigan approves bills that allow adoption agencies to refuse service based on sexual orientation and religion
World Religion News: There are three bills heading toward the Governor’s desk passed through the House on party line votes. Prior to the votes, two hours of opposition and supporting testimonies were given by a wide range of people, including parents of varying sexual orientation who have adopted children into their homes.
The State News: Hours after U.S. Supreme Court heard the cases of same-sex married couples in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, state Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, testified in front of the state Senate Judiciary Committee to show support to Senate Bill 4, or the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Chron: A Democratic senator on Thursday successfully delayed debate on a controversial “religious freedom” bill that was fast-tracked through the upper chamber earlier this week without the knowledge of many lawmakers.
National Right to Life: The National Right to Life Committee, the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to vote in favor of H. J. Res. 43, a resolution introduced by Congresswoman Black to nullify the so-called “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act” (RHNDA) in the District of Columbia. NRLC intends to include the roll call on H. J. Res. 43 in our scorecard of key pro-life votes of the 114th Congress.
The Denver Post: A week before the legislative term ends, Republican lawmakers are pushing forward a far-reaching anti-abortion bill in the Senate to require an ultrasound and a 24-hour waiting period, a move that promises to finish the session on a bitter political note.
Red State: Today, Congress will take up House Joint Resolution 43 to disapprove of the D.C. Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Amendment Act. Under the Constitution, the Congress has authority to govern the District. And under the Home Rule Act, the federal government retains the authority to effectively veto any act of the DC Council. While Congress has historically shown deference to the District, rarely disapproving its laws, the Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Amendment Act betrays Congress’s patience and challenges Congress’s authority over the District. Congress should intervene and disapprove of this egregiously illegal law.
National Right to Life: A special event took place in Kansas today. Gov. Sam Brownback traveled to four cities for ceremonial signings of SB 95, The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.
The News & Observer: “It simply provides protection for one of our most basic human rights, which is the freedom to live and to work according to our beliefs,” said Kellie Fiedorek, litigation staff counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which describes itself as a Christian legal advocacy group.
NC Political News: “RFRA protects every person’s ability – regardless of who they are or what they believe – to have a fair day in court if the government tries to force them to violate their beliefs,” said Kellie Fiedorek, Alliance Defending Freedom litigation staff counsel. “It creates fairness and balance when a citizen’s constitutionally protected freedoms and government action conflict. It doesn’t pre-determine winners and losers, but deals with each case and its unique facts.”
The Washington Post: The Manassas City Council and mayor voted 4 to 3 Monday evening in favor of sweeping changes to the city’s zoning code — changes that opponents said could threaten the survival of the city’s sole abortion clinic.
One News Now: Jeremy Tedesco of Alliance Defending Freedom says the bill did not violate Title IX regulations as some argued.
Michigan adoption agencies may soon be allowed to refuse some applicants applicants on religious grounds
Christian Today: House Bill 4188 provides that adoption agencies can refuse to provide any services “under circumstances that conflict with the child placing agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs contained in a written policy, statement of faith, or other document adhered to by the child placing agency.”
House Committee passes resolution disapproving local act threatening religious freedom in the nation’s capital
Catholic Standard: The bill is a resolution of disapproval pertaining to the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA). RHNDA, passed and enacted by the D.C. government, would force religious institutions and other organizations to hire or retain employees who publicly act in defiance of the mission of their employer.
Religion Clause: San Antonio, Texas chef Joan Cheever was cited by police earlier this month for feeding the homeless in the city’s Maverick Park. According to a report last week by My San Antonio, Cheever has been serving restaurant quality food to the city’s homeless for the last ten years. She has a food permit for her non-profit mobile food truck known as Chow Train, but police cited her for transporting and serving the food from another vehicle. The ticket carries a potential fine of $2000. At her June 23 court hearing, Cheever will argue that her activity is protected by the 1999 Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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.
Breitbart: Pastors from all over Texas are descending upon the Texas Capitol today to support a Texas House Bill that protects the rights of certain religious organizations and individuals when refusing to perform or to recognize a gay marriage.
The Hill: Small businesses are split on whether they would support an initiative similar to Indiana’s controversial religious freedom law, according to a new Manta poll.
Alliance Defending Freedom: After the uproar over religious freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas, some states may be wondering whether Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA) are such a good idea.
Christian Today: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he will veto a religious freedom bill in his state if it fails to include an expansion of the Elliott-Carter Civil Rights Act.
The Telegraph (AP): Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, said Monday that 11 of Georgia’s 14 Republican district conventions voted over the weekend to urge the 2016 General Assembly to pass his Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which failed in the legislative session that ended April 2.
The Washington Post: The Senate passed legislation on Wednesday aimed at combating sex trafficking, ending a delay that stretched more than six weeks amid partisan sparring about abortion restrictions embedded in the bill.
Acton Institute: The recent human trafficking bill, officially known as theJustice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, was originally introduced in in the Senate on January 2015 by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). The bill had 34 cosponsors in the Senate, 13 Democrats and 21 Republicans (Sen. Barbara Boxer initially signed on as a cosponsor but withdrew her support a day later.) However, after initially supporting the bill, Democrats launched a filibuster because of language in the bill related to abortion.