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One News Now: “The unfortunate thing is that instead of just allowing our client and his friends to continue to use the seminar time for prayer, they just canceled seminar altogether,” Jeremy Tedesco reports. “And by doing that they eliminated the ability of all students to use that time to build community and to hang out in groups.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: Opponents of traditional marriage have reassured us that redefining marriage to include same-sex couples won’t impact traditional marriage views or those who hold those beliefs. They propose that redefining marriage is simply about love, dignity, and equality.
The College Fix: “School districts, of all institutions, should understand that students benefit from the peaceful and thoughtful discussion of ideas,” rather than shutting down “all discussions” among students to retain a prayer ban, said legal counsel Matt Sharp.
School district reportedly banned teens from meeting to discuss God during the school day–but there’s a major update to the story
The Blaze: “While we commend the school district for recognizing that students have the right to pray and discuss religious topics during lunch, it could have shown greater respect both for the First Amendment freedoms of students and the educational process by simply allowing them to engage in religious conversations during the other free period in the day rather than silence the speech of all students by eliminating that period altogether,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement.
The Gazette: “The school did a complete 180,” Matt Sharp, an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, said. “Students now have a right to pray and gather together to discuss their faith during free time.”
KRDO: That ends a lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom against Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs on behalf of a student.
The Washington Times: “Sadly, rather than allow Chase and the other students to pray during Seminar time, the District chose to cancel Seminar for this coming school year,” said Matt Sharp, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal group that represented Mr. Windebank.
Christian News Network: “Public schools should encourage the free exchange of ideas rather than find ways to silence discussion,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
The Washington Post: “From day one, this case has been focused on the District’s decision to not only prevent Chase and the other students from praying together,” Matt Sharp of the ADF wrote in an e-mail, “but also the District’s position that students cannot gather for prayer at any time during the school day.”
ADF Media: A Colorado school district has dropped its ban on student religious discussion and expression during free time. In light of the change, Alliance Defending Freedom and the district’s attorneys have agreed to end the lawsuit that ADF filed last year on behalf of Pine Creek High School senior Chase Windebank.
The Daily Signal: Later this month The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on state marriage laws. Here are the three most important things you need to know about the case, and what to do after the Court rules.
Legatus Magazine: The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments inObergefell v. Hodges on April 28. As the arguments progressed, countless court watchers, politicos, lawyers, and others (myself included) were glued to their computer screens, eagerly awaiting live-blogged updates on the proceedings from inside the courtroom.
The New York Sun: Within hours of the United States Supreme Court declining on March 30 to review the Bronx Household of Faith case, a lawsuit challenging New York City’s ban on private worship services in empty school buildings, Mayor Bill de Blasio responded with what appears to be a decisive move of reconciliation.
Religion News Service: Evangelist Franklin Graham has taken to Facebook to plead for prayers on behalf of each U.S. Supreme Court justices as they prepare to rule on gay marriage.
Religion Clause: The American Humanist Association announced yesterday that it has filed a lawsuit against a Texas school district on behalf of a former student challenging the school board’s invocation policy.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Faith leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., today for the National Day of Prayer pointed out the stark contrast between the faith of the nation’s founders and our current leaders.
The White House: When women and men of all backgrounds and beliefs are free to practice their faiths without fear or coercion, it bolsters our religious communities and helps to lift up diverse and vibrant societies throughout our world.
Evangelicai.net (Translated via Google): The mayor’s decision was met with satisfaction from Alliance Defending Freedom, US organization of Christian lawyers, also in New York, who for many years he has been committed to the protection of religious freedom.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is asking you to join us in praying for the preservation and strengthening of marriage as oral arguments involving several cases on same-sex marriage are heard before the Supreme Court on April 28.
Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney Bryan Beauman: “Since this nation’s founding, public meetings have been opened with prayer. We commend the court’s decision to affirm this freedom as constitutional, as 6th Circuit did in this case in 2013 and as the U.S. Supreme Court so recently did in a similar case. A prayer offered according to the dictates of the giver’s conscience as part of a policy like Hamilton County’s is not an establishment of religion. Those who argue that it is are essentially arguing that America’s founders were violating the Constitution as they were writing it.”
Religion News Service: Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that a small town in Quebec may not open its council meetings with prayer.
CBC: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the municipal council in the Quebec town of Saguenay cannot open its meetings with a prayer.
NC Register: The mayor’s move to accommodate churches was welcomed by Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal organization that represented Bronx Household of Faith in its 20-year court battle against the city’s policy.
Should religious organizations be allowed to worship in schools? NYC mayor reconsiders city’s policy
The Daily Signal: “Any community group can meet in New York City’s school buildings during non-school hours for any purpose—except for religious groups meeting to worship God,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented Bronx Household of Faith for 20 years in itslegal battle against the city. “This policy is clearly nothing more than religious segregation—the kind of segregation the mayor has said he opposes.”
PJ Media: Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom argued that excluding worship services from “a broadly available public forum” discriminates against religion. The church, which has outgrown its own building, needs more space for special occasions and the nearby public school is the only place large enough that they can afford.
NYC mayor’s controversial move allows churches to use city schools for worship after US Supreme Court rejects appeal
The Christian Post: The church and its legal representative, the Alliance Defending Freedom, argued that it was the right of the congregation to have access to public school space during non-school hours.
Christian News Network: “Any community group can meet in New York City’s school buildings during non-school hours for any purpose— except for religious groups meeting to worship God. This policy is clearly nothing more than religious segregation–the kind of segregation the mayor has said he opposes,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence in a statement.
One News Now: “If the city uses this occasion to evict the churches, it will be harming only itself and the people who live in the neighborhoods,” says Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Jordan Lorence. “It will be throwing out the very groups that provide enormous and very needed help to the community, and even the schools themselves, as Mayor de Blasio has rightly acknowledged.”
The Washington Times (CNA): “Any community group can meet in New York City’s school buildings during non-school hours for any purpose – except for religious groups meeting to worship God,” Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) stated in reaction to the decision. ADF had petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case
ADF Media: Many eyes are turning to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to leave in place an appeals court ruling that upheld a city ban on worship services in public school buildings during non-school hours.
Alliance Defending Freedom: We are saddened that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear the Bronx Household of Faith case. The court passed by an opportunity to defend religious freedom and to give churches access to facilities that allow them to freely worship and serve their communities. Now it’s up to Mayor Bill de Blasio to decide whether these churches will be evicted from the neighborhoods they serve.
Bloomberg: Jordan Lorence, a lawyer with the Washington-based Alliance Defending Freedom who represented the church, said before the court acted that the group will consider additional litigation. One factor will be “whether Mayor de Blasio honors his repeated promises to change the policy and to allow religious groups to continue meeting in the schools for worship services.”
Religion News Service: “This policy is clearly nothing more than religious segregation — the kind of segregation the mayor has said he opposes,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented Bronx Household of Faith in its legal battle against the city’s policy.
De Blasio will revamp rules against worship in school after U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal from Bronx church
NY Daily News: “This is good news from the mayor’s office, but the policy banning worship services has to be changed,” said Jordan Lorence, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, which is handling the case for the Bronx church.
World Magazine: Ending 20 years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied the Bronx Household of Faith case about the right of churches to have after-hours access to New York public schools like every other nonprofit. The court, which needs only four justices’ votes to hear a case, issued no comment with its denial.
Christianity Today: “Any community group can meet in New York City’s school buildings during non-school hours for any purpose—except for religious groups meeting to worship God. This policy is clearly nothing more than religious segregation—the kind of segregation the mayor has said he opposes,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented Bronx Household for 20 years in its legal battle against the city’s policy.
Baptist News: Lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom argued that excluding worship services from “a broadly available public forum” discriminates against religion. The church, which has outgrown its own building, needs more space for special occasions and the nearby public school is the only place large enough that they can afford.
Christian Daily: “Any community group can meet in New York City’s school buildings during non-school hours for any purpose – except for religious groups meeting to worship God. This policy is clearly nothing more than religious segregation – the kind of segregation the mayor has said he opposes,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which has been representing Bronx Household of Faith.
National Law Journal (Access via Google): “If the city chooses to use this occasion to evict the churches, it will be shooting itself in the foot,” Jordan Lorence of Alliance Defending Freedom said in a statement. “It will be throwing out the very groups that provide enormous and very needed help to their communities and even the schools themselves, as Mayor de Blasio rightly has acknowledged.”
M Live: A civil rights group says a complaint it made to a Byron Center-area charter school stopped two adults from unlawfully leading students in Christian prayer on campus.
The Washington Post: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to expand public pre-kindergarten for all 4 year-olds depends in part on the participation of Jewish, Christian and Muslim schools, under a proposal that would permit religious instruction and prayers during midday breaks.
The Gospel Coalition: New York City churches are awaiting word from the U.S. Supreme Court about whether they can continue meeting for worship services in the city’s public school buildings outside of class time
Christian Today: A US city and its mayor have been fined $100,000 for refusing to allow an atheist “reason station” to be erected next to a Christian “prayer station” in its city hall.
WTHR (Kokomo Tribune): The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national membership association based in Wisconsin, submitted a letter Monday to Eastern Schools Superintendent Tracy Caddell, requesting the school district correct what the foundation considers constitutional violations that illegally promote religion in school.
The State (Greenville News): The proposed policy is based on one that the U.S. Supreme Court approved in a case involving the town of Greece, New York, that state Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a letter to the Pickens County School Board’s attorney provides “a road map” for the board to follow.
WCPO: A Cincinnati man is suing LA Fitness after he said operators of the gym in Oakley told him he was not allowed to pray in the locker room after his workout.
The Washington Post: May the government exclude “religious worship services” when opening up school space after hours to a range of private community groups?That’s the question the Court has been asked to review in Bronx Household of Faith v. Bd. of Ed. of the City of New York. The court may decide Friday whether to hear the case (though it can always put off the decision for some weeks).
National Review: The justices really ought to take this one, both to slap down an intransigent Second Circuit and to vindicate a core constitutional principle: The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment does not in any way authorize, and the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses do not permit, direct government discrimination against religion, religious persons, religious groups, or religious expression in government programs, policies, benefits, or forums. Ever.
Christian Today: A humanist group in Greenville County, South Carolina is seeking summary judgment in its case against the use of prayers in public schools in the county.
Winston-Salem Journal: The group now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom crafted that policy several years ago, then Davida Martin updated it to include Beaty’s suggested clarifications.
WYFF4: A lawsuit challenging Greenville County Schools’ use of prayer could skip trial and go straight to judgement.
NYC Religion: “The Department did not need to open its facilities for after-hours nongovernmental uses, but it did. Now it must abide by constitutional rules forbidding express discrimination against religious expression and practices in otherwise permissible uses,” the Alliance reply brief explains.
Christian Examiner: Jordan Lorence with the Alliance Defending Freedom is leading the Bronx Household of Faith’s legal fight.
Christian Today: Bronx Household of Faith, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), filed a brief with the US Supreme Court on Monday after losing an appeal in the Second Circuit.
One News Now: Since 1995, ADF has been representing churches kicked out of public school facilities. ADF is asking the Supreme Court to review a 2-1 ruling from the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allows New York to kick churches out of schools that rent to other organizations such as the Boy Scouts. ADF attorney Jordan Lorence has taken the long-running case to the high court.
Christian News Network: Earlier this month, attorneys for the city filed a brief with the court again arguing that the policy was reasonable and non-discriminatory. “The department’s decision to make public schools available to religious organizations for a wide range of activities, but not for worship services or as a house of worship, is constitutional,” it read. “The policy does not prohibit, limit, or burden any religious practice; does not entangle the government in matters of religion; and does not impair petitioners’ ability to speak freely.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: What is this strange obsession so many in our nation have with silencing opinions they disagree with? It’s not like there aren’t other options – open and reasonable debate, the verdict of the ballot box, the simple option of ignoring those with whom one doesn’t see eye to eye.
Public Discourse: It isn’t too late for America’s noble experiment to succeed. But that depends on the courage and commitment of American people of faith. Adapted from a homily delivered on January 15, 2015, at the Red Mass of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.
Mayor de Blasio refuses to drop church worship ban in NYC public schools – but this congregation isn’t backing down
The Blaze: A Christian church is continuing its battle for the unfettered right to rent New York City public school buildings to host worship services during non-school hours, with a conservative legal firm filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that pushes back against the local government’s ban on such rentals.
Charisma News: “In New York City, any community group can meet in vacant school buildings for any purpose except for religious groups meeting to worship God. The city’s arguments in defense of this policy cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Monday that answers New York City’s arguments against high court scrutiny of its 20-year-old quest to ban worship services in empty public school buildings. In September of last year, ADF asked the high court to review a 2-1 ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that upheld a city policy prohibiting worship services in public school buildings during non-school hours. The panel’s ruling is on hold until the Supreme Court decides whether to take the case.
Life Site News: The National Memorial for the Pre-Born and their Mothers and Fathers was among the many related events occurring with the 42nd annual March for Life in Washington D.C.
Global News: “You will see a lot of people coming here from different faiths, cultures, and traditions, and they will offer prayers. A prayer for peace is the theme for this year for us,” said Gagan Deep Singh, the chairperson of Regina Multi-Faith Forum.
The Christian Institute: A Bill about councils’ “freedom to pray” has received support from the Government and the Labour Party.
Christian News Network: A professing Florida atheist who recently led an invocation to Mother Earth, Satan and other entities at a public meeting in Lake Worth has been denied his request to do the same at a commission meeting in Palm Beach County.
Missouri Family Policy Council: “Public schools should encourage the free exchange of ideas,” says Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel for ADF. “Instead, this school implemented an ill-conceived ban that singles out religious speech for censorship during free time.”
One News Now: The founder of Liberty Counsel says public schools aren’t prohibited by law from using religious facilities for events, despite the argument being made by a humanist group in a South Carolina lawsuit.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys continue their tireless efforts to convince school administrators nationwide that the rights guaranteed by our Constitution apply as much to our children and young people as they do to any other citizen in the land.