RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Past Newswire Headlines

RECENT ARTICLES ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

STUDY: SPAIN SPENDS THE LEAST ON FAMILY POLICY. A study found that Spain fared poorly on indirect aid such as education spending that “contributes to the well-being and future of children, as well as to the ability of parents to reconcile work and parenting.” Read more here.

 

‘PRO-PEDOPHILE’ ACTIVIST GROUP CELEBRATES AS GERMANY DECRIMINALIZES CHILD PORN POSSESSION. Germany’s Parliament removed a section of the Criminal Code that made the possession of child sexual abuse materials a felony crime, and the possession of child pornography will be reduced to a misdemeanor. Read more here.

 

MORE STATES MOVE TO MAKE PORN SITES VERIFY USERS’ AGES. One-third of states—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia—have enacted legislation to protect children from accessing pornography websites, and the state legislatures of Arizona and Alaska are in the process of passing similar legislation. Read more here.

 

NEW YORK COURT FORCES CHRISTIAN GROUPS TO FUND ABORTIONS. New York’s highest court upheld legislation requiring insurance companies to cover abortions, and the Catholic Diocese of Albany announced it will appeal the ruling which goes against religious freedom. Read more here.

 

MAJOR PHARMACY CHAIN SETTLES WITH CHRISTIAN NURSE OVER CONTRACEPTIVES CASE. CVS Health Corporation settled with Nurse Practitioner Robyn Strader who sued the company after it stopped providing religious accommodations regarding “pregnancy prevention services.” Read more here.

 

FAMILIES CHALLENGE CALIFORNIA BAN ON PUBLIC FUNDING FOR RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS. Families in California are challenging a state ban which prevents public school funding from going toward sectarian schools, arguing that it discriminates against religious families. Read more here.

 

WIN FOR CHURCH AUTONOMY IN MEXICO: COURT PROTECTS CATHOLIC BAPTISMAL RECORDS FROM GENDER IDEOLOGY. The Twenty-second Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Mexico has upheld the constitutional autonomy rights of the Querétaro Catholic Diocese in Mexico to reject a demand from the Mexican National Institute for Data Protection to alter church records according to a transgender-identifying individual’s self-identification. Read more here.

 

CATHOLIC SCHOOL CAN LEGALLY FIRE TEACHER IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, APPEALS COURT RULES. Charlotte Catholic High School, North Carolina, was within its legal rights to dismiss a substitute teacher because he was in a same-sex marriage, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. Read more here.

 

PROSECUTOR DISMISSES CASE AGAINST FRENCH PRIEST WHO SAID HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONS ARE A SIN. French priest Matthieu Raffray disclosed that the Paris prosecutor’s office has dismissed a case initiated against him for stating that homosexual relations are a sin and for calling homosexuality a “weakness.” Read more here.

 

SUPREME COURT’S HISTORIC DECISION IN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASE. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a postal worker requesting religious accommodation to not deliver packages on Sundays, which he observes as the Sabbath. Read more here.

 

BIBLICAL BELIEFS ON TRIAL: PÄIVI RÄSÄNEN ‘HATE SPEECH’ CASE APPEALED TO SUPREME COURT. Former Finnish Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, who has been tried for her biblical beliefs and unanimously acquitted by two courts, has had her free speech case appealed to the country’s Supreme Court, where she faces a charge that could punish her with tens of thousands in fines. Read more here.

 

CATHOLIC PRIEST IN SWITZERLAND FACES ‘HATE CRIME’ TRIAL OVER ARTICLE CRITICIZING HOMOSEXUAL CLERGY. Fr. Manfred Hauke, who teaches theology at the University of Lugano, Switzerland, is accused of violating a ban against “discrimination” and “inciting hatred” against homosexuals for publishing an article as the publisher of the magazine Theologisches. Read more here.

 

METALWORKER FIRED FOR OPPOSING COMPANY’S PRIDE SYMBOL. Daniel Snyder was fired from his job as a metalworker because he objected to his employer’s use of a rainbow to promote pride month, and he is suing his former employer, Arconic, for religious discrimination. Read more here.

 

OVER 100 ADVOCATES URGE SENATE TO DESIGNATE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM A ‘FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT.’ ADF International was among 113 religious freedom advocates and organizations under the International Religious Freedom Roundtable that signed onto a letter sent to U.S. Senate leaders urging them to pass the bipartisan Senate Resolution 569 “quickly.” Read more here.

 

CHRISTIAN STUDENT PUNISHED FOR WEARING ‘HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN’ T-SHIRT WINS SETTLEMENT FROM SCHOOL. A Christian student in Tennessee who was compelled to change out of a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Homosexuality is a Sin” or face leaving the school grounds in 2020 has won a settlement from the school district. Read more here.

 

FIRED BIOLOGY PROFESSOR FIGHTS BACK AND WINS. Dr. Johnson Varkey and his attorneys at First Liberty Institute announced he has won his adjunct professorial job back at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas after being fired in 2023 “for teaching standard principles about human biology and reproduction.” Read more here.

 

CANADIAN BILL WOULD REMOVE RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FROM ‘HATE SPEECH’ LAWS, CRITICS WARN. The proposed Bill C-367, currently under review in Canada’s House of Commons, would repeal “religious exemption” in Section 319 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which critics say could open up Christians and other religious groups to “hate speech” charges over any comments or criticisms of the LGBT movement. Read more here.

 

CONSERVATIVE LEADERS URGE LAWMAKERS TO BACK AMENDMENT PROTECTING TRADITIONAL VIEWS ON MARRIAGE. Conservative leaders urged House Republicans to protect religious freedom by prioritizing passage of the so-called Roy Marriage Amendment, named after Cong. Chip Roy, R-Texas. Read more here.

 

GEORGIA BILL AIMS TO PROTECT RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. OPPONENTS SAY IT’S A LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE. Georgia lawmakers are revisiting a nearly decade-old fight over whether the state needs to protect religious rights from being trampled by state and local governments. Read more here.

 

FIRE CHAPLAIN SAYS HE WAS FIRED FOR SHARING RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. Dr. Andrew Fox, an ordained minister in the Austin, Texas fire department, was terminated for expressing the view that males should not compete on female sports teams. Read more here.

 

TENNESSEE GOVERNOR SIGNS LAW ALLOWING PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO DECLINE TO PERFORM MARRIAGES THEY DISAGREE WITH. Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill allowing public officials to decline to perform marriages based on their “conscience or religious beliefs.” Read more here.

 

U.S. SUPREME COURT ISSUES DECISION IN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASE. The Court unanimously ruled in favor of a postal worker requesting religious accommodation to not deliver packages on Sundays, which he observes as the Sabbath. The Court rejected a previous 1977 standard that mandated employers must “reasonably accommodate” religious practices unless it poses an “undue hardship.” Read more here.

 

UTAH SENATE PRESIDENT APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PROTECTIONS. Utah could become the latest state to enshrine religious liberty protections in code, after the state Senate voted unanimously to advance a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Read more here.

 

CHRISTIAN BAKERS MELISSA & AARON KLEIN APPEAL TO OREGON COURT AGAIN. The former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa have once again made their case before the Oregon Court of Appeals to allow them to bake cakes without endorsing messages that violate their beliefs, less than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court vacated an earlier decision by the state court that had effectively forced them out of business. Read more here.

 

IOWA DOCTORS COULD REFUSE PATIENTS OVER RELIGIOUS BELIEFS UNDER NEW BILL Senate Study Bill 3006 would make health care workers immune from liability for damages if they do not wish to undertake or pay for treatments that would go against their conscience. Read more here.

 

INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SUMMIT UNITES DIVERSE VOICES AGAINST GLOBAL PERSECUTION. Religious freedom is under threat across cultures, nations, religions and political systems globally, and unexpected cases are emerging even in established democracies like Japan and Finland. Read more here.

 

CHRISTIAN BAKER CONTINUES LEGAL FIGHT OVER LESBIAN WEDDING CAKE. Cathy Miller, owner of the Bakersfield-based bakery Cathy’s Creations, does business as Tastries, has been battling litigation after she refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2017. Read more here.

 

CHURCH PRESCHOOL WON’T BE BARRED FROM GOV’T FOOD PROGRAM. A California church and its preschool program will be included in a federal program that helps feed the poor after initially being barred because of the church’s theologically conservative stance on LGBT issues. Read more here.

 

CRIMINAL PROSECUTION DRAGS ON FOR BRITISH ARMY VET WHO SILENTLY PRAYED NEAR UK ABORTION CLINIC. Army veteran Adam Smith-Connor was fined by English authorities for silently praying on a street for a son he lost to abortion last November, and Alliance Defending Freedom UK’s attempts to gain legal justice for him have been delayed for several months. Read more here.

 

RELIGIOUS AMERICANS’ LIVES POSSIBLY AT RISK IN 2024, NEW REPORT BY U.S. BISHOPS SAYS. The bishops said the coming year holds some significant threats to the rights of religious Americans that will likely be further exacerbated by the election year, most especially because of the emphasis on abortion, gender ideology and immigration. Read more here.

 

MOM FIGHTS OREGON AFTER STATE BANS HER FROM ADOPTING BECAUSE SHE’S CHRISTIAN. Jessica Bates, a single Christian mom attempted to apply with the state to adopt children in 2022, but Oregon officials denied her application because her Christian beliefs would not allow her to “respect, accept, and support … the sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression” of the children in her care as the department’s adoption regulations require. Read more here.

 

‘DEEPLY DISTURBING’: GOP SENATORS SLAM BIDEN ADMIN FOR USING SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER ON ‘DOMESTIC TERRORISM.’ “Since January 2021, the Biden administration has consistently attempted to weaponize the federal government against its political opponents,” Sen. Katie Britt (Rep-Ala.) said, adding it “would turn to the SPLC to do so is disturbing, but unfortunately not surprising, given their shared animosity towards religious freedom and parental rights.” Read more here.

 

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION DROPS PROTECTIONS FOR RELIGIOUS HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS. The Biden administration announced a new rule change Tuesday that experts are saying threatens the rights of religious doctors and health care providers to refuse to perform abortions and transgender surgeries. Read more here.

 

AUSTRALIAN STATE GOVERNMENT BANS PRAYERS TALKING ABOUT AN LGBTQ PERSON’S ‘NEED TO REPENT.’ The Australian state of Victoria has trodden on the sacred space of one’s own inner prayers, all in the name of protecting people who identify as LGBTQ, by banning the “carrying out a religious practice, including but not limited to, a prayer-based practice, a deliverance practice or an exorcism.” Read more here.

 

CHRISTIAN PARENTS ASK SUPREME COURT TO HELP AFTER GENDER-CONFUSED TEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM. Two Indiana parents are seeking the intervention of the United States Supreme Court after the state’s Department of Child Services took their gender-confused child away from them due to their Biblical beliefs about sex and gender. Read more here.

 

IOWA REPUBLICANS LOOK TO BROADEN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Iowa’s Republican leaders say they are not planning to expand on the list of laws passed last year addressing conservative social issues and regulating gender and sexuality issues in schools, but lawmakers may revive a push for religious liberty protections — causing concerns among LGBTQ rights groups. Read more here.

 

GEORGIA POLICE OFFICER RESIGNS AFTER BEING PUT ON LEAVE FOR FACEBOOK POST ON TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE. Port Wentworth, Georgia police officer Jacob Kersey has resigned after he was told by superiors that he could not share his religious views on marriage in a private social media post. Read more here.

 

MICHIGAN CITY TO PAY SETTLEMENT WITH A FARMER AFTER BEING EXCLUDED FROM FARMER’S MARKET FOR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. The City of East Lansing the City of East Lansing violated Steve Tennes’s religious beliefs and his free exercise rights when they kicked him out of a farmer’s market because of what he believes about marriage. Read more here.

 

BIDEN LGBT FOSTER CARE RULE SPARKS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY CRITICISM. Public comment recently closed on a new Department of Health and Human Services rule requiring child welfare providers to undergo “affirmation” training for youths who identify as homosexual or transgender, which conservatives and religious liberty advocates say could threaten faith-based or religiously affiliated foster care and adoption organizations. Read more here.

 

MOM FIGHTS IN COURT AFTER STATE DENIES ADOPTION DUE TO HER CHRISTIAN BELIEFS. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are representing Oregon mom Jessica Bates, who was not allowed to adopt children because she refused to speak or act against her belief that boys and girls are biologically different and should cherish that difference, not reject it. Read more here.

 

HOW A FEDERAL AGENCY IS ATTEMPTING TO UNDERMINE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE WORKPLACE. It its newly proposed guidance, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission specifically refers to “abortion” as a “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition,” but it may also consider pro-life speech and other discussions about an individual’s decision to choose between life or abortion to be workplace harassment. Read more here.

 

VERMONT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SUES STATE AFTER BEING PUNISHED FOR BIBLICAL VIEWS ON SEXUALITY, GENDER. Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit religious rights law firm, is representing Mid Vermont Christian School and two families after Vermont’s Agency of Education and Vermont Principals’ Association allegedly discriminated against the school because it did not adopt the state’s view on sexuality and gender. Read more here.

 

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS HAVING A ‘PR CRISIS.’ EXPERTS SAY. WHAT CAN BE DONE? Thirty years since the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, religious liberty rights remain essential, but they’re increasingly devalued and misunderstood, according to Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma. Read more here.

 

FINNISH PARLIAMENTARIAN FOUND NOT GUILTY OF ‘HATE SPEECH’ FOR BIBLE TWEET, OTHER EXPRESSION. In a victory for free speech, the Helsinki Court of Appeal has dismissed all charges against Finnish Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola, who were both tried for “hate speech” in August after publicly expressing their Christian beliefs. Read more here.

 

VIRGINIA WON’T FORCE CHRISTIAN PHOTOGRAPHER TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR SAME-SEX WEDDINGS: SETTLEMENT. Bob Updegrove filed a lawsuit against Virginia over a law that expanded state anti-discrimination rules to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and the state attorney general and Virginia Office of Civil Rights will recognize his religious liberty for refusing to provide services for same-sex weddings. Read more here.

 

UK: ‘THOUGHT POLICE STILL AT IT’: WOMAN FINED FOR PRAYING IN HER HEAD. British police have again been accused of acting like “thought police” after they took action against Isabel Vaughan-Spruce for praying “in her head” near an abortion clinic, despite recent assurances from Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman that silent prayer near abortion providers is not a crime. Read more here.

 

FEDERAL COURT: COLORADO CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CAN GET STATE FUNDS, STILL HIRE BELIEVERS. Darren Patterson Christian Academy will be permitted to participate in Colorado’s universal preschool program while maintaining its religious beliefs even though the school is engaged in a legal battle with the state. Read more here.

 

5 YEARS AFTER A SUPREME COURT WIN, CHRISTIAN BAKER JACK PHILLIPS’ FIGHT IS FAR FROM OVER. For the second time, Colorado baker Jack Phillips is going to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend his religious liberty from a ruling by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that, this time, claims he violated the rights of a transgender person who wanted him to bake a cake to celebrate her “gender change.” Read more here.

 

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE OF JUDGE WHO REFUSED SAME-SEX WEDDINGS. The Texas Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case involving a Texas Judge who refuses to conduct same-sex marriages, citing her religious beliefs. Read more here.

 

RELIGIOUS RIGHTS GROUP SAYS IT’S QUALIFIED TO TRAIN SOUTHWEST AIRLINES LAWYERS. The conservative Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom argued it is well qualified to instruct three lawyers at Southwest Airlines on religious liberty should an appeals court uphold a federal judge’s order mandating the training as a sanction. Read more here.

 

SUPREME COURT PREVIEW: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASES ON THE DOCKET. The U.S. Supreme Court during its new term will have the opportunity to reverse precedent that federal agencies have used to justify restrictions on religious liberty. Read more here.

 

RELIGION VS. LGBTQ+ RIGHTS: SUPREME COURT WEIGHS ‘CONVERSION THERAPY’ BANS FOR MINORS. The Supreme Court is being asked to weigh a ban on “conversion therapy” − the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity − in an appeal that tests the court’s appetite for engaging this term in the legal battle between religion and LGBTQ+ rights. Read more here.

 

COLORADO SUPREME COURT TAKES JACK PHILLIPS FREE SPEECH CASE. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Phillips and his cake shop appealed a Colorado Court of Appeals decision that would force him to express messages in support of “gender transition” that violate his beliefs. Read more here.

 

DIVERSE GROUPS UNITE TO SUPPORT FREEDOM OF SPEECH, RELIGION FOR OREGON EDUCATORS. A number of First Amendment advocates, a feminist group and medical professionals who care for children have united to protect freedom of speech and religion by filing friend-of-the-court briefs in support of two Oregon educators. Read more here.

 

UK HOME SECRETARY ANNOUNCES SILENT PRAYER NEAR ABORTION FACILITIES NOT A CRIME. Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman has announced that silent prayer near abortion providers is not a crime, a statement being hailed as a “real victory for free speech, and pro-life prayer, and for those who showed courage and resilience in standing up for both mothers and babies.” Read more here.

 

AMICUS BRIEF DEFENDS MARYLAND PARENTS’ CASE FOR OPT-OUT. An amicus brief filed in Mahmoud v. Montgomery County (MD) Board of Education claims the Montgomery County Public School system “underestimates” how much its mandatory gender and sexuality curriculum interferes with parents’ religious exercise.” Read more here.

 

FINNISH BIBLE TRIAL CONCLUDES WITH FINAL ATTEMPT TO CRIMINALIZE ‘INSULTING’ CHRISTIAN SPEECH.In the Finnish trial of former government minister Päivi Räsänen, accused of “hate speech” by quoting the Bible, the Helsinki Court of Appeal expects to deliver a verdict in late November. Read more here.

 

‘NOT A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT’: MARYLAND COURT STRIKES DOWN PARENTS’ REQUEST TO OPT KIDS OUT OF LGBT CURRICULUM. A Maryland district court denied parents’ appeal to reinstate an opt-out policy in Montgomery County Public Schools. The case hinged on whether the decision to rescind its opt-out policy for LGBT curricula violated parents’ right to direct the religious instruction of their children. Read more here.

 

FRUIT GROWER WHO OPPPOSES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE WINS RULING OVER ACCESS TO PUBLIC MARKET. The decision by East Lansing, Michigan to exclude Steve Tennes and Country Mill Farms from a marketplace “constituted a burden on plaintiffs’ religious beliefs,” U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said in applying a U.S. Supreme Court precedent to the case. Read more here.

 

JUDGE HALTS MANDATORY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TRAINING FOR SOUTHWEST AIRLINES LAWYERS. A judge placed a temporary hold on an earlier court order requiring lawyers at Southwest Airlines to undergo a training session on religious liberty issues in response to the company firing a woman for expressing pro-life views, after it lost a lawsuit by the flight attendant who refused to participate with the organization’s support for Planned Parenthood. Read more here.

 

FINNISH POLITICIAN ON TRIAL FOR TWEET TO ADDRESS PRESS CONFERENCE. The Helsinki Court of Appeal will soon hear the free speech case surrounding Finnish member of parliament Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola, both charged with “hate speech” for publicly sharing their faith-based beliefs. Read more here.

 

CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOLS SUE COLORADO OVER UNIVERSAL PRE-K PROGRAM. Multiple Christian preschools allege in a federal lawsuit that the state has excluded them from participating in the Colorado Universal Preschool Program Act because it would force them to hire people who do not uphold their religious teachings on sexuality and marriage. Read more here.

 

NJ SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS RELIGIOUS SCHOOL’S CHOICE TO HIRE TEACHERS THAT FOLLOW THEIR FAITH. The state’s high court ruled in favor of a Catholic school allowing it to make decisions to train students in the faith without the government’s interference. Read more here.

 

GEEK SQUAD EMPLOYEE SAYS BOSSES MANDATED LGBT INDOCTRINATION, BANNED CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS. A Christian employee of Geek Squad, the tech support arm of Best Buy, was reportedly rebuked and told that he couldn’t display evidence of his Christian beliefs after he objected to the LGBT flags and other paraphernalia adorning the office space. Read more here.

 

FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS SOUTHWEST AIRLINES ATTORNEYS TO ATTEND ‘RELIGIOUS-LIBERTY TRAINING’ FROM CONSERVATIVE GROUP. A federal judge in Texas ordered three attorneys for Southwest Airlines to attend “religious-liberty training” from a conservative legal advocacy group as punishment for allegedly violating his ruling in a religious discrimination case brought against the company by a fired flight attendant. Read more here.

 

RED STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES UPDATED PARENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced a fourth edition of the “Indiana Parent’s Bill of Rights” to help parents understand how and when their children can freely exercise their religion in public schools. Read more here.

 

FIRED CHRISTIAN BIOLOGY PROFESSOR FILES RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT. For teaching that X and Y chromosomes determine human genders, Adjunct Professor Johnson Varkey was fired, and now he’s suing St. Phillips College for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Read more here.

 

SUPREME COURT SAYS WEB DESIGNER CAN DENY LGBTQ+ COUPLES. NY PHOTOGRAPHER SUIT RESURFACES. Emilee Carpenter, who specializes in wedding photography, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming New York’s requirement that because she photographs weddings between a man and a woman she must do likewise for same-sex couples, violating her religious beliefs and constitutional rights. Read more here.

 

MAJORITY OF GERMANS THINK A CHURCH DOES NOT HAVE TO FLY A RAINBOW FLAG. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents to a survey by Die Tagespost responded “no” to the question of whether or not churches should hang LGBT flags on their buildings to show tolerance and human rights. Read more here.

 

INDIANA MUSIC TEACHER’S RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CASE HEADS BACK TO DISTRICT COURT. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit vacated its previous opinion against the religious accommodation of high school music teacher John Kluge, who was terminated for declining to name students by their preferred pronouns. Read more here.

 

TEXAS NURSE WINS RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION ON ABORTION FOR VA EMPLOYEES. Stephanie Carter won a lawsuit against the Veterans Administration (VA) resulting in a nationwide policy protecting the religious liberty rights of all VA employees. Read more here.

 

UK MAN CLEARED FOR SILENT PRAYER AFTER HE WAS INITIALLY FINED. Authorities have ended legal action against Adam Smith-Connor, an army veteran and father who was issued a fine for praying silently within an abortion facility buffer zone. Read more here.

 

APPEALS COURT RULES CATHOLIC SCHOOL CAN FIRE COUNSELOR OVER HER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. The court’s decision justified Roncalli High School’s firing of guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald, who married a woman. Read more here.

 

‘MODERN-DAY INQUISITION’: GOVERNMENT POUNCING ON CHRISTIAN AGAIN FOR BELIEF. Paivi Rasanen, a Christian in Finland, was last year acquitted of hate speech charges and “ethnic agitation” but now is facing yet another legal assault for her faith. Read more here.

 

APPEALS COURT RULES CATHOLIC SCHOOL CAN FIRE COUNSELOR OVER HER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. The court’s decision justified Roncalli High School’s firing of guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald, who married a woman. Read more here.

 

TEXAS JUDGE STILL FIGHTING TO DENY WEDDING CEREMONIES TO SAME-SEX COUPLES. Waco judge Dianne Hensley received a public warning from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for refusing to perform same-sex marriages, but she hopes a recent U.S. Supreme Court victory by Alliance Defending Freedom will help preserve her religious freedom. Read more here.

 

QUEENSLAND UNITING CHURCH MINISTER OPPOSED TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LOSES UNFAIR DISMISSAL CLAIM. Hedley Wycliff Atunaisa Fihaki was inducted as a minister of the Mooloolaba Uniting church in 2013 but was dismissed after making statements against same-sex marriage in social and mainstream media between January 2019 and August 2021. Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court protects free speech for all. In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in 303 Creative v. Elenis that “the opportunity to think for ourselves and to express those thoughts freely is among our most cherished liberties and part of what keeps our Republic strong.” Read more here.

 

Texas, North Dakota pharmacy sue the Biden administration. The state of Texas and a Catholic-run pharmacy in North Dakota challenged the Biden administration’s mandate requiring pharmacies that serve patients on federal assistance to dispense abortion drugs. Read more here.

 

Groff v. DeJoy: What the Supreme Court’s decision means for you. The Supreme Court unanimously made it easier for employees to obtain religious accommodations at their workplace. Read more here.

 

UN anti-discrimination report leads to worries about religious freedom. The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) is worried that claims of discrimination against the LGBT community will lead to limits on religious freedom. Read more here.

 

Religious freedom wins in court case about trans medical procedures. Doctors, other medical personnel and hospitals with faith-based objections to transgender surgeries are celebrating a win against an Obamacare mandate as President Joe Biden declined to appeal a ruling to the Supreme Court. Read more here.

 

UN anti-discrimination report leads to worries about religious freedom. The National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) is worried that claims of discrimination against the LGBT community will lead to limits on religious freedom. Read more here.

 

Religious freedom wins in court case about trans medical procedures. Doctors, other medical personnel and hospitals with faith-based objections to transgender surgeries are celebrating a win against an Obamacare mandate as President Joe Biden declined to appeal a ruling to the Supreme Court. Read more here.

 

Top German court upholds freedom of assembly: prayer group may pray near abortion organization. In a new ruling, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig confirms that blanket bans against peaceful prayer gatherings near abortion organisations are impermissible. Read more here.

 

Norway “conversion” ban will not affect religious intercession. The Norwegian Bar Association has reassured Norway’s pastors that the likely ban on “conversion” therapy will not prohibit clergy from praying for individuals who experience same-sex attraction. Read more here.

 

UN attempts to impose LGBT orthodoxy on all religions. Religious freedom ends where LGBT rights begin according to the conclusion of a new UN report on the right to freedom of religion and belief submitted by the UN independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz. Read more here.

 

New York Wedding Photographer Won’t Share Her Beliefs About Marriage Because Speaking Out Could Put Her in Jail. Emilee Carpenter, a Christian wedding photographer, filed a lawsuit challenging New York law forcing commercial photographers to photograph same-sex weddings. Read more here.

 

UK Christian Teacher Who ‘Misgendered’ Student Banned From Profession. Christian teacher Joshua Sutcliffe is banned from teaching in England after he accidentally misgendered a student and was honest about his thoughts on same-sex marriage when a student asked. Read more here.

 

Parents Sue Maryland School District for Prohibiting Opt Outs of LGBT Lessons. Parents in Montgomery County, Maryland have sued their school district over a policy that prohibits parents from opting their children out of lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation, even for religious reasons. Read more here.

 

California Officials to Pay Churches Over Abortion Healthcare Mandate. California officials are reportedly preparing to pay out $1.4 million to four churches after attempting to force them to provide abortion health care coverage for their employees. Read more here.

 

German Christian School Takes Case Against Homeschool Ban to High Court. The Association for Decentralized Learning, a Christian hybrid school provider in Germany, filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights after government officials refused to grant the entity approval to open new schools. Read more here.

 

U.S. HHS Abandons Catholic Hospital Accreditation Threat. The Department of Health and Human Services has dropped its accreditation ultimatum to a Catholic hospital after the medical center threatened legal action. Read more here.

 

Irish Citizens Could Soon Be Jailed for ‘Possessing Material Likely to Incite Violence.’ A bill under consideration by the Irish government could jail citizens for merely possessing religious and other materials that criticize certain protected characteristics, including gender identity and sexual orientation. Read more here.

 

U.S. HHS Threatens Medicare Accreditation of Catholic Hospital. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is requiring Saint Francis Health System in Oklahoma to either extinguish the sanctuary candle in its chapel or risk losing the ability to serve Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP patients. Read more here.

 

USCIRF Releases Annual Religious Freedom Report. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released its annual report on violations of religious freedom, noting that the state of religious freedom around the world is “very grim.” Read more here.

 

UK Mom Pledges Appeal After Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over Child Forced to Attend ‘Pride March.’ A Christian mother in the UK who sued after claiming her 4-year-old son was forced to participate in an LGBT “pride march” at his school without her consent is appealing after a court dismissed her case. Read more here.

 

Jack Phillips Appeals Transgender Cake Case to Colorado Supreme Court. Colorado baker Jack Phillips has appealed to the state supreme court after a lower court ruled that the devout Christian violated discrimination law by refusing to create a cake celebrating a “gender transition.” Read more here.

 

Quebec Education Minister Wants to Ban Prayer in Classrooms. Quebec Education Minister Bernard Drainville intends to forbid prayer in the province’s classrooms and will send a directive to school boards outlining his decision. Read more here.

 

School’s Transgender Policy Trumped Teacher’s Religious Rights, U.S. Court Rules. An Indiana high school did not break the law by allegedly forcing a music teacher to quit after he refused on religious grounds to use transgender-identifying students’ preferred names, a U.S. appeals court ruled. Read more here.

 

Lawyers Demand Virginia School District Allow Teacher to Quote Bible Verse in Email. A high school teacher in Virginia was allegedly told to remove Bible verses from her work email signature, prompting a demand letter from her lawyers alleging violation of her First Amendment rights. Read more here.

 

Christian Mother Sues Oregon for Denying Adoption Over Her Gender Beliefs. An Oregon mother of five claims her religious beliefs on gender barred her from adopting a pair of siblings in her state, and now she’s taking to the courts to fight for her First Amendment rights. Read more here.

 

U.S. State AGs Back Christian College’s Lawsuit Against Biden Admin Ban on Single-Sex Dorms. Nineteen states have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court backing the College of the Ozarks’ lawsuit against the Biden administration’s rule banning single-sex dorms. Read more here.

 

Church Sues Maine for Requiring Schools to Adhere to LGBT Policy to Be Eligible for Tuition Program. Crosspoint Church in Maine is challenging a state law prohibiting religious private schools from receiving funds from a tuition program unless they adhere to a state LGBT antidiscrimination policy. Read more here.

 

Virginia Gov Signs Bill Protecting Churches From Discrimination During Emergencies. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill that ensures churches are allowed to remain open during a state of emergency on the same or better terms as other businesses and services. Read more here.

 

UK School Worker Fights Firing Over Objecting to Grade School Transgender Lessons. A UK woman who was allegedly fired from a Church of England primary school for raising concerns about compulsory sex education and lessons about transgenderism had her appeal heard before an employment tribunal. Read more here.

 

Christian Man Facing Jail for Ex-LGBT Testimony Reported to Police by EU Equality Official. A police report accusing a Christian man in Malta of illegally advertising “conversion therapy” by recounting how he left a homosexual lifestyle was reportedly filed by a top equality official in the European Union. Read more here.

 

Scottish Catholic Student Group Blocked for Encouraging ‘Prayer for the Unborn.’ Stirling University’s Roman Catholic society has been suspended for encouraging students to join a prayer gathering for the unborn outside a Glasgow hospital. Read more here.

 

NY Employee Fired for Skipping LGBT Training on Religious Grounds Loses Appeal. A federal appeals court rejected the case of a former account clerk in New York who alleged he was fired for refusing to attend a required LGBT training session in 2018. Read more here.

 

West Virginia Gov Signs Religious Freedom Bill. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed the “Equal Protection for Religion Act,” a law which stipulates the government cannot “substantially burden” someone’s constitutional right to freedom of religion. Read more here.

 

Christian Ministry Sues Rhode Island District for Blocking After School Meetings. Good News Club, a longtime elementary school ministry, has filed a lawsuit against a Rhode Island school district for prohibiting the student group from meeting on equal terms as secular clubs. Read more here.

 

UK Street Preacher Reported as Terrorist for ‘Misgendering’ Wins Appeal. A Christian who was the first street preacher to be prosecuted and reported to a UK counterterrorism watchdog for allegedly “misgendering” a transgender-identifying person won his appeal. Read more here.

 

Students Demand DePaul ‘Eliminate’ Christian Group From Campus Over LGBT Views. Students at DePaul University, a private Catholic university in Illinois, are circulating a petition demanding the elimination of a Christian group after it posted a Q&A on social media denouncing LGBTQ lifestyles. Read more here.

 

UK Woman Arrested Again for Praying Silently Outside Abortion Clinic. A pro-life activist was arrested for the second time for the “offense” of silently praying in her head near an abortion facility in Birmingham, England. Read more here.

 

NY to Pay Settlement After Trying for Years to Shut Down Faith-Based Adoption Agency. New York state officials have agreed to pay $250,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs after trying to shut down New Hope Family Services adoption agency because of its religious beliefs. Read more here.

 

Twenty-One States Unite in Support of Kentucky Photographer’s Religious Freedom. Twenty-one states filed amicus briefs with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Chelsey Nelson, a Kentucky photographer who successfully challenged a city law that required her to create photographs and write blogs expressing a view of marriage that contradicted her beliefs. Read more here.

 

Missouri Christian College Asks SCOTUS to Uphold Its Freedom to Have Sex-Specific Dorms. College of the Ozarks asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision refusing to block a Biden administration directive that requires the college to open its dormitories, including shared shower spaces, to members of the opposite sex. Read more here.

 

Washington Homeless Shelter Sues State Officials Preventing It From Hiring Christian Employees. Yakima Union Gospel Mission, a Christian homeless shelter, filed a lawsuit against Washington state officials alleging that the state’s anti-discrimination law prevents the shelter from only hiring employees that agree with their faith-based worldview. Read more here.

 

Michigan Muslim Group Warns State That LGBTQ Bill Might Be Unconstitutional. The Council of American Islamic Relations has objected to the Michigan Senate’s passage of an expanded version of state human rights law protecting LGBTQ groups, on the grounds that it might be unconstitutional and could undermine religious freedom. Read more here.

 

NYC Threatens Yeshiva University Funds for Failure to Make ‘Supportive Space’ for LGBT Students. Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish university, is at risk of losing public funding if they don’t recognize an LGBT club, according to a letter sent to school officials by the city’s Comptroller Brad Lander. Read more here.

 

West Virginia Passes Bill Aimed at Protecting Religious Liberty. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed the West Virginia Senate and will now head to the governor’s desk in a bid to protect religious Americans from being discriminated against by the government. Read more here.

 

UK Chaplain Reported as Terrorist for Questioning LGBT Activists Digs in for Legal Battle. A school chaplain in the United Kingdom who claims he was left unemployable after he was fired and reported as a terrorist for questioning LGBTQ activists is set to appeal a legal ruling against him. Read more here.

 

Oklahoma AG Says Faith-Based Charter Schools Violate Constitution. Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond rescinded his predecessor’s decision to allow publicly funded religious charter schools, claiming they are unconstitutional. Read more here.

 

City’s Law Illegally Forces Catholic Bookstore to Violate Religious Beliefs, Lawsuit Alleges. A Catholic bookstore filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville, Florida for a law that allegedly prevents the business from expressing religious views on traditional marriage and gender. Read more here.

 

Biden Admin Looking to Remove Religious Student Groups’ Protections on Campus. The Department of Education announced a proposal rescinding a policy that prohibits universities from receiving federal funding if they restrict religious student group activities. Read more here.

 

British Woman, Priest Acquitted of Charges for Praying Outside Abortion Clinic. A British woman and a local priest, both arrested for praying silently outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham, have been formally acquitted of all criminal charges. Read more here.

 

Whistleblower: FBI Has Found a Gateway to Declare Christians as Criminals. An internal document from the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia field office allegedly vowed to spy on “radical traditionalist Catholics and their ideology,” a move one whistleblower says is a gateway to declaring Christians as criminals. Read more here.

 

UN to Push Religious Communities to ‘Fully Comply’ With Human Rights Law to Empower LGBT People. The UN will release a report regarding “perceived contradictions” between freedom of religion and LGBT rights, through which they aim to push governments to “fully comply” with international human rights law to “protect and empower” the participation of LGBT+ people in religious communities. Read more here.

 

Arizona Library That Banned Christian Story Hour Backs Down After Legal Challenge. A Pinal County, Arizona library that censored a local resident from hosting a Christian book reading is backing down after a religious liberty law firm’s demand letter. Read more here.

 

Charges Dropped Against British Woman Arrested for Praying Outside Abortion Clinic. Charges have been dropped against a British woman who was arrested for silently praying outside an abortion clinic in England, though she has decided to pursue a verdict in court to clear her name. Read more here.

 

Dutch Court Rules Banning ‘Conversion Therapy’ Violates Religious Freedom. According to the formal opinion of the Dutch Council of State, a total ban on so-called “gay conversion therapy” would violate the constitutional right to religious freedom. Read more here.

 

Catholic School Students Kicked Out of Smithsonian Museum for Pro-Life Caps. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum kicked out a dozen Catholic high school students and their chaperones for wearing beanies inscribed with pro-life messages. Read more here.

 

UK Mom Sues After Child Was Forced to Participate in LGBT ‘Pride March.’ A Christian mother in the UK is having her case heard in London after she took legal action when her 4-year-old son was allegedly compelled to participate in his school’s LGBT “pride march” against her will. Read more here.

 

Masterpiece Cakeshop Baker Loses Appeal Over ‘Gender Transition’ Cake. Christian baker Jack Phillips lost his appeal in a case that stemmed from his refusal to make a cake for an individual’s “gender transition.” Read more here.

 

UK PM Warned That ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban Likely to Criminalize Church Leaders. Church leaders have called on the UK government to drop its plans to ban “conversion therapy,” claiming the ban is likely to “criminalize innocent parents, teachers and church leaders.” Read more here.

 

Christian Charity Worker in Malta Prosecuted for Speaking Against Homosexuality. A Christian charity worker in Malta is facing prosecution for sharing his personal testimony about rejecting homosexual activity on the radio. Read more here.

 

Alabama Gov Adds Another Layer of Protection to Religious Freedom. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed an executive order to ensure the enforcement of the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment. Read more here.

 

Georgia Police Officer Resigns After Superiors Suspend Him for Traditional Marriage Beliefs. A police officer in Georgia resigned from the Port Wentworth Police Department after he said superiors attempted to suppress him from sharing his religious beliefs on social media. Read more here.

 

UK Man Fined for Silently Praying Outside Abortion Clinic. A UK man was reportedly fined after he admitted he was praying in front of an abortion clinic in Bournemouth, England. Read more here.

 

Yeshiva University Pushes LGBT Club Dispute to New York’s Highest Court. Yeshiva University is one step closer to getting its case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the school appealed a lower court ruling that it must recognize an LGBT club on campus to New York’s highest court. Read more here.

 

Christian NHL Player Refuses to Wear LGBT ‘Pride’ Jersey, Citing His Faith. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov declined to wear the team’s LGBT warmup jersey for “Pride Night,” citing his desire to stay true to his Russian Orthodox faith. Read more here.

 

Attempt to Amend UK Online Safety Bill Could Threaten Work of Churches. A UK MP has introduced an amendment to the Online Safety Bill which would brand as harmful any content promoting so-called “conversion therapy,” a move which could threaten the ability of churches to reach out to those with sexual identity concerns. Read more here.

 

In Courts Across America, Religious Liberty Is on the Docket in 2023. Religious liberty is set to be a hot-button issue in American courts in 2023, with several cases in particular that could set important precedent for the rights of religious Americans in the future. Read more here.

 

U.S. Judge Rules Christian Colleges With Biblical Views on Sexuality Can Receive Title IX Funds. A federal court ruled that Christian colleges and universities with traditional views on sexuality and marriage can continue to receive funding through Title IX, rejecting LGBT students’ efforts to strike down a religious exemption to federal discrimination law. Read more here.

 

Minnesota Poised to Ban Christians, Muslims, and Jews From Teaching in Public Schools. Minnesota will soon ban faithful Christians, Muslims, and Jews from teaching in public schools by requiring that every state-certified teacher “fosters an environment that ensures student identities such as … gender identity … are … affirmed.” Read more here.

 

U.S. Catholic Charity Fights Court Ruling Challenging Its Status as a Religious Organization. The Catholic Charities Bureau of the Diocese of Superior filed a petition for review with the Wisconsin Supreme Court after it was unable to obtain religious exemption status for unemployment benefits due to an appeals court ruling the charity wasn’t “religious enough.” Read more here.

 

U.S. Faith-Based Schools Should Be ‘Very Concerned’ About Biden Accreditation Plans. A former Department of Education official is concerned that a new regulatory agenda released by the Biden administration could have adverse effects on religious colleges and universities that participate in the federal student loan program. Read more here.

 

Catholic Hospital Can’t Refuse to Remove Uterus From Transgender-Identified Patient, Judge Rules. A federal court ruled the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center broke the law by refusing to remove the uterus of a transgender-identified patient due to the religious beliefs of the institution. Read more here.