RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Past Newswire Headlines

Supreme Court of Canada Rules Limits on Religious Freedom “Reasonable.” Trinity Western University, an evangelical Christian university, lost its legal battle for accreditation of a planned law school because it requires students to abide by code of conduct that prohibits sex outside of heterosexual marriage. The ruling said the moral requirement would deter LGBT students from attending the proposed law school and would significantly harm those who did attend. Read more here.

 

Religious Freedom Bill Reintroduced in U.S. Senate. The “First Amendment Defense Act” was reintroduced by Sen. Mike Lee and would protect individuals and institutions from punitive action by the government for believing that marriage is between one man and one woman and for opposing sex outside of marriage. Read more here.

 

U.S. Federal Court Rules Religious Liberty No Basis for Transgender Policy. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that transgender individuals are protected by Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination. The court held that employers violate the federal anti-discrimination statute when they refuse to affirm the sexual identity claimed by a transgender employee, even if their refusal is based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Read more here.

 

Judge Rules in Favor of California Baker. Judge David Lampe ruled that baker Cathy Miller can continue to refuse to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples because of her religious beliefs. Lampe’s ruling relied heavily on the First Amendment. He wrote, “The right of freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment includes the right to speak, and the right to refrain from speaking. Sometimes the most profound protest is silence.” Read more here.

 

California Judge Rules in Favor of Christian Wedding Cake Baker. The judge denied a motion for a temporary restraining order against the woman who declined to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple because participating in a same-sex wedding was contrary to her religious beliefs. Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Major Religious Freedom/Homosexual Rights Case. In what may be the most significant case the court has heard since imposing same-sex marriage on the country two years ago, the court will decide if constitutional protections of the free exercise of religion apply to a Colorado baker who refused to bake a custom wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage on the grounds of his religious beliefs. He was sued over his refusal under Colorado law by the homosexual couple. The decision sets up a test of how far claimed “homosexual rights” actually extend in the U.S. Read more here.

 

Christian Couple Denied Adoption Because of Religious Beliefs. A Christian couple in Canada has reportedly been rejected as prospective adoptive parents due to their religious beliefs. Although the couple was initially approved and stated their intention to support any adoptive child with love and respect regardless of sexual orientation or behavior, Child and Family Services determined that their beliefs alone constituted a “rejection” of children identifying as LGBT. Read more here.

 

Mississippi Religious Freedom Law Enacted. The “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination” Act says the state government will “not discriminate” against businesses or individuals who refuse service or speak out according to their “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” that marriage is between a man and a woman, sex relations are reserved for such a marriage, and the terms “male” or “female” refer to the biological sex assigned at birth. Read more here.

 

Farmers Banned From Farmer’s Market Over Religious Beliefs Appear in Court.  Steve and Bridget Tennes were banned from selling their goods because of their religious beliefs about same-sex marriage.  Lawyers for the couple are seeking a temporary order that would allow them to sell their products at the farmer’s market while the case proceeds.  Read more here.

 

DOJ Files Brief On Behalf Of Baker Who Refused To Make A Wedding Cake For A Same-Sex Couple.  The U.S. Department of Justice filed the brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Colorado baker who declined to bake a wedding cake for the couple because of his religious beliefs.  Read more here.

 

Court Rules Photographer can Refuse to Take Photos at Same-Sex Weddings. A Wisconsin Circuit Court said Amy Lawson would not be prosecuted for refusing to photograph same-sex weddings because her business is online and doesn’t have a storefront. Read more here.

 

Lawyers Ask Supreme Court to Hear Second Religious Liberty/Same-Sex Marriage Case. The Supreme Court announced it would hear the case of Jack Phillips, a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding. Lawyers asked the court to combine that case with the case of Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. Both refusals were based in religious beliefs about traditional marriage. Read more here.

 

Report Finds Hostility to Christian Sexuality Beliefs in the U.S. has Increased. The report published by Family Research Council titled “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in the United States,” found a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations and a 114 percent increase in documented hostility toward Christian views on marriage and sexuality in the last three years. Read more here.

 

Couple Banned From Farmers Market Over Same-Sex Marriage Views Speaks Out. Steve and Bridget Tennes posted on Facebook that they wouldn’t host same-sex weddings on their family farm because of their religious beliefs about marriage. After the posting, city officials in East Lansing, Michigan banned the couple from selling produce at the local farmers market because of their views. This is a video of an interview of the couple sharing their experience. Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Case of Baker Refusing to Bake Cake for Same-Sex Wedding. The religious liberty case regards a Denver baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on religious grounds. Read more here.

 

Court Rules in Favor of Religious Liberty for Mississippi. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Mississippi First Amendment Defense Act that allows religious organizations and businesses to operate in accord with their religion’s teaching on marriage and sexuality can be enforced. Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Religious Liberty. The court ruled in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church’s case against the state of Missouri. The state discriminated against the church by withholding publicly funded grants that offset the cost of resurfacing playgrounds with recycled tires to improve safety for children. The church applied for the grant and would have qualified but was turned down solely because they were a church. Read more here.

 

Religious Freedom Efforts Being Pursued in Various States. The showdown between LGBT rights and religious freedom is taking place in numerous places in the United States. State lawmakers are pursuing legislation that would allow individuals to have the right to refuse services if it is a violation of their religious beliefs. Read more here.

 

Washington State Supreme Court Rules Against Florist in Same-Sex Marriage Case.The unanimous decision by the court claimed that discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Major Religious Freedom/Homosexual Rights Case. In what may be the most significant case the court has heard since imposing same-sex marriage on the country two years ago, the court will decide if constitutional protections of the free exercise of religion apply to a Colorado baker who refused to bake a custom wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage on the grounds of his religious beliefs. He was sued over his refusal under Colorado law by the homosexual couple. The decision sets up a test of how far claimed “homosexual rights” actually extend in the U.S. Read more here.

 

Christian Couple Denied Adoption Because of Religious Beliefs. A Christian couple in Canada has reportedly been rejected as prospective adoptive parents due to their religious beliefs. Although the couple was initially approved and stated their intention to support any adoptive child with love and respect regardless of sexual orientation or behavior, Child and Family Services determined that their beliefs alone constituted a “rejection” of children identifying as LGBT. Read more here.

 

Mississippi Religious Freedom Law Enacted. The “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination” Act says the state government will “not discriminate” against businesses or individuals who refuse service or speak out according to their “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” that marriage is between a man and a woman, sex relations are reserved for such a marriage, and the terms “male” or “female” refer to the biological sex assigned at birth. Read more here.

 

Farmers Banned From Farmer’s Market Over Religious Beliefs Appear in Court.  Steve and Bridget Tennes were banned from selling their goods because of their religious beliefs about same-sex marriage.  Lawyers for the couple are seeking a temporary order that would allow them to sell their products at the farmer’s market while the case proceeds.  Read more here.

 

DOJ Files Brief On Behalf Of Baker Who Refused To Make A Wedding Cake For A Same-Sex Couple.  The U.S. Department of Justice filed the brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Colorado baker who declined to bake a wedding cake for the couple because of his religious beliefs.  Read more here.

 

Court Rules Photographer can Refuse to Take Photos at Same-Sex Weddings. A Wisconsin Circuit Court said Amy Lawson would not be prosecuted for refusing to photograph same-sex weddings because her business is online and doesn’t have a storefront. Read more here.

 

Lawyers Ask Supreme Court to Hear Second Religious Liberty/Same-Sex Marriage Case. The Supreme Court announced it would hear the case of Jack Phillips, a baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding. Lawyers asked the court to combine that case with the case of Barronelle Stutzman, a florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. Both refusals were based in religious beliefs about traditional marriage. Read more here.

 

Report Finds Hostility to Christian Sexuality Beliefs in the U.S. has Increased. The report published by Family Research Council titled “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in the United States,” found a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations and a 114 percent increase in documented hostility toward Christian views on marriage and sexuality in the last three years. Read more here.

 

Couple Banned From Farmers Market Over Same-Sex Marriage Views Speaks Out.Steve and Bridget Tennes posted on Facebook that they wouldn’t host same-sex weddings on their family farm because of their religious beliefs about marriage. After the posting, city officials in East Lansing, Michigan banned the couple from selling produce at the local farmers market because of their views. This is a video of an interview of the couple sharing their experience. Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Case of Baker Refusing to Bake Cake for Same-Sex Wedding. The religious liberty case regards a Denver baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on religious grounds. Read more here.

 

Court Rules in Favor of Religious Liberty for Mississippi. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Mississippi First Amendment Defense Act that allows religious organizations and businesses to operate in accord with their religion’s teaching on marriage and sexuality can be enforced. Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Religious Liberty. The court ruled in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church’s case against the state of Missouri. The state discriminated against the church by withholding publicly funded grants that offset the cost of resurfacing playgrounds with recycled tires to improve safety for children. The church applied for the grant and would have qualified but was turned down solely because they were a church. Read more here.

 

U.S. Congress Members Push for Religious Liberty Executive Order. Dozens of lawmakers are asking President Trump to make good on a campaign promise to protect religious liberty. Trump has stated that he does not support discrimination against the LGBTQ community, but he believes there should be policies in place to protect people with strongly held religious beliefs. Read more here.

 

Religious Freedom Efforts Being Pursued in Various States. The showdown between LGBT rights and religious freedom is taking place in numerous places in the United States. State lawmakers are pursuing legislation that would allow individuals to have the right to refuse services if it is a violation of their religious beliefs. Read more here.

 

South Dakota Governor Signs Religious Adoption Protections.  South Dakota joined three other states that have enacted laws giving broad legal protections to faith-based organizations that refuse based on their religious beliefs to place children in certain households.  Read more here.

 

Over 100 Conservative Leaders Urge Trump to Sign Religious Freedom Executive Order.  A letter sent to President Trump by members of the Council for National Policy urged him to sign an order that will protect the rights of businesses and individuals to act in accordance with their religious convictions on marriage without government backlash. Read more here.

 

Washington State Supreme Court Rules Against Florist in Same-Sex Marriage Case. The unanimous decision by the court claimed that discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read more here.

 

Canadian Court Rules in Favor of Christian University.  The Appeal Court of British Columbia ruled that Trinity Western University’s policy that bans its students from having sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage should not prevent the university from accreditation of its proposed law school.  Efforts by B.C.’s law society to deny accreditation to the school’s future lawyers was deemed unreasonable by the court.  Read more here.

 

Northern Ireland Bakers Lose Appeal in Lawsuit Against Them for Refusing to Bake a Cake in Support of Same-Sex Marriage.  The owners of Ashers Bakery are opposed to same-sex marriage on religious grounds and feel the ruling is a violation of religious freedom and free speech.  Read more here.

 

U.S. Commission Report Says the Terms “Religious Liberty” and “Religious Freedom” are Code Words for Intolerance, Homophobia, and “Christian Supremacy.”  The report by the United States Commission on Civil Rights says that “religious liberty” arguments are just a way to discriminate against others who don’t share the same beliefs.  However, two of the six commissioners objected to the findings stating that a very complex subject was oversimplified.  Read more here.

 

Oregon Bakers’ Legal Battle Continues.  Aaron and Melissa Klein, who refused to make a cake for the wedding of a lesbian couple, have filed a new brief in the case.  The new brief challenges the argument that the government can force citizens to create art and engage in speech that goes against their religious beliefs.  Read more here.

 

Alberta Government Bullies Christian Schools that Won’t Comply with Homosexual, Transgender Mandate.  Education Minister David Eggen says he will strip two Christian schools of their public funding if they don’t abandon their Christian principles and allow clubs promoting homosexuality and also allow transgender students in the bathrooms of their gender identity.  Read more here.

 

Victory for Religious Freedom at California Christian Universities.  The lawmaker who is sponsoring the bill that would have prevented Christian universities from operating according to their beliefs has removed a provision from the legislation that would have provided special protection for LGBT students.  Read more here.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Scores Well on Religious Freedom Unless Sexual Freedom is Involved. According to speakers at the Brigham Young University Religious Freedom Annual Review, religious liberty proponents have won 12 of 15 cases argued before the Supreme Court since 2006.  Read more here.

 

Religious Freedom Bill Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives.   Rep. Raúl Labrador from Idaho said “No American should be threatened or intimidated because of their belief in traditional marriage.”  The bill would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract or license to any person or business based on their beliefs regarding marriage.  Read more here.

 

Teens Today Smoke Less, Drink Less, And Have Sex Less Than Any Teens on U.S. Record. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of teenagers who say they’re sexually active is at an all-time low.  Read more here.

 

Study Finds Soft-Core P0rn Users Unlikely to Hold Positive Attitudes Toward Women.  According to researchers from the University of Nottingham in England those desensitized to soft-core p0rnographic images are more likely to endorse rape myths.  Read more here.

 

Orlando Chick-Fil-A Restaurants Give Free Food to Blood Donors.  Several Chick-fil-A restaurants in the Orlando area that are closed on Sunday opened up and delivered free sandwiches and beverages to people donating blood following the nightclub massacre in the city.  Chick-Fil-A  was boycotted several years ago by homosexual activists when the owners came out in favor of preserving marriage as only between a man and a woman.  Read more here.

 

Philippine President Proposes Three-Child Policy.  President-elect Rodrigo Duterte says he will defy the Catholic Church and will seek to control overpopulation in the country by limiting families to three children.  The country is about 80 percent Catholic.  Read more here.

P0rnography Website Launches Explicit Audio for the Visually Impaired.  P0rnhub now has a “described video” category that contains audio of professional voice actors explaining what’s going on in the scene.  One goal of the organization is to make p0rnography available to everyone.  Read more here.

 

Report Shows 40% of Babies Born in the U.S. are Born to Unmarried Women. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of the 3,977,745 babies born in the United States of America in 2015, 1,600,208 of them—or 40.2 percent—were born to unmarried mothers. This is the 8th straight year this has been the case. Read more here.

 

Students Given Sexually Graphic Surveys Without Parents’ Knowledge.  The survey given to students across America is the “Youth Risk Behavior Survey.”  The survey can be modified by local entities.  In Massachusetts, students in middle school were asked if they had engaged in specific, high-risk sexual behaviors.  Read more here.

 

Oregon Bakers Who Support Man/Woman Marriage Continue Legal Fight.  The husband and wife who were ordered to pay $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding filed a brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals on Monday, arguing the ruling against them was biased and violates both the Oregon and U.S. Constitutions.  Read more here.

 

Colorado Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Cake Baker’s Case.  The baker, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, was told he could not cite his religious beliefs in refusing service to the couple.  Read more here.

 

Christian Bakers in Ireland Appeal Discrimination Decision.  The owners of Ashers Baking Company had declined to bake a cake in support of redefining marriage, which would have been a violation of their conscience and of their freedom of speech.  The owners were taken to court and fined for “injury to feelings.”  Read more here.

 

Writer Suggests Solution to Seeming Conflicts of Church and State.  Author Kevin Seamus Hasson suggests governments acknowledge the philosophers’ existence of God as the source of rights in a non-religious way.  Read more here.

 

European Commission Establishes Special Envoy to Address Religious Freedom.  The decision was issued by the president of the European Commission.  Freedom of conscience, religion and belief are being threatened throughout the world.  Read more here.

 

Report Shows Religious Freedom Deteriorating Around the World.  According to the annual report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom there is a “serious and sustained assault” on religious freedom in most countries.  Read more here.

 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant Signs the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.”  The law guarantees religious freedom in the wake of last year’s activist Supreme Court decision redefining marriage for the country.  Sports bodies, big business and other state governments have threatened to boycott the state and relocate events.  Read more here.

 

New York Governor Bans Travel to Mississippi After Passage of Religious Liberty Bill.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned all non-essential travel to Mississippi in an executive order after the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” was signed into law by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.  The measure protects against the discrimination of individuals, religious organizations and certain businesses which have “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions” that marriage “should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”  Read more here.

 

Georgia Governor Vetoes Religious Liberty Bill.  Governor Nathan Deal vetoed House Bill 757 that would have protected clergymen from performing same-sex weddings and would have protected faith-based groups from being forced to provide facilities for events for people or groups to which they might object and in hiring employees whose beliefs run counter to the organization’s.  Read more here.

 

Magistrate in Britain Fired for Opposition to Homosexual Adoption. In an interview with the BBC, Richard Page expressed his opinion opposing the adoption of children by same-sex couples. Page’s firing was authorized by Justice Secretary Michael Grove. Page has stated he will file a lawsuit against Grove. Read more here.

 

School District Won’t Back Down to Atheist Group. The Chino Valley Unified School Board plans to fight a judge’s ruling that bans prayers before meetings. The board voted 3-2 to appeal the ruling in the lawsuit filed by the atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Supreme Court has ruled that city council meetings can begin with a prayer.  Read more here.

 

Georgia Passes Religious Freedom Bill. The legislation protects clergymen from performing same-sex weddings. It also will protect faith-based groups from being forced to provide facilities for events for people or groups to which they might object and in hiring employees whose beliefs run counter to the organization’s. The bill must be signed by Georgia’s governor. Read more here.

 

NFL Threatens to Deprive Atlanta of Hosting Super Bowl Over Religious Liberty Bill. The National Football League issued a statement that Georgia House Bill 757 runs counter to the league’s values of “tolerance” and “inclusivity.” The bill protects “social, educational or charitable services that violate such faith-based organization’s sincerely held religious belief, from prosecution by the government for discrimination.” The bill was passed by state lawmakers and just needs a signature from the governor to become law in Georgia.  Read more here.