North Dakota's highest court upheld a state law that restricts the usage of medication abortions, reversing a lower court ruling.
The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that House Bill 1297 did not violate the state constitution, an allegation made by North Dakota's lone abortion clinic.
While three of the five justices concluded that the law was unconstitutional, at least four justices must concur for a law to be struck down as unconstitutional, according to North Dakota's constitution. more >>
A 21-year-old college student has been charged with first-degree murder after allegedly trying to decapitate a friend who he believed to be practicing witchcraft.
Isaiah Zoar Marin was taken into custody in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Thursday and charged with first-degree murder in the near-decapitation death of Jacob Crockett, 19. Marin reportedly called police and admitted to killing someone. Court documents obtained by Tulsa World stated that he began "rambling" about sacrificing a person and then told a different dispatcher that he "hacked them to death with a machete."
Marin has been described as a "religious zealot" who was a "heavy drug user" by the victim's brother, who arrived at the crime scene later on Wednesday, after the murder. more >>
Conservative groups believe there's still much to be done in Houston after Mayor Annise Parker dropped her controversial subpoenas against five pastors who had spoken against homosexuality and the city's Equal Rights Ordinance.
"Mayor Parker claims she withdrew the subpoenas not because she was wrong to issue them in the first place, but because they were not 'serving Houston,'" said the conservative American Family Association, which noted that while Parker's decision was a success, the matter "was far from over."
"In reality, what they were not serving is the foundation of our nation: religious liberty and the right of conscience." more >>
A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit voted to review a case that claims police officers in a Michigan town failed to protect the freedom of speech for 12 evangelizing Christian street preachers who were pelted with stones and water bottles by a crowd of Muslims while preaching at an Arab festival in 2012.
Although the same court voted 2-1 in August that police officers in the town of Dearborn did not violate the free speech of the the preaching group that calls itself the Bible Believers, the court voted in favor of a review, which is a rare occurrence and, according to 6th circuit rules, "intended to bring to the attention of the entire court a precedent setting error of exceptional public importance."
Ruben Israel, a Los Angeles based street preacher who organized the Bible Believers' mission to Dearborn and filed the initial lawsuit against Wayne County, said that the fact the appeals court is reviewing the case is a sign that they will help "set the record straight" when it comes to protecting the rights of "unpopular" speech in America. more >>
Singapore has upheld its 76-year-old ban on sexual relations between men, explaining that the law has final say on such matters. The ruling has prompted a number of LGBT activist groups to call the decision discriminatory.
"Whilst we understand the deeply held personal feelings of the appellants, there's nothing that this court can do to assist them," the judges wrote in their ruling, according to Bloomberg News. "Their remedy lies, if at all, in the legislative sphere."
The ruling went against three men trying to overturn the law, known as Section 377A, which prohibits sexual relations between men. more >>
A 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision could play a role in the outcome of a lawsuit over Houston Mayor Annise Parker's denial of a petition to revoke the city's new Equal Rights Ordinance.
Around 55,000 signatures were gathered to add to the November ballot a question on whether to repeal the ERO. Since "gender identity" is included in the list of categories that cannot be discriminated against for public accommodations, critics have dubbed the law the "bathroom bill," because males who identify as female would be allowed to use women's bathrooms and females who identify as male would be allowed to use men's bathrooms.
Even though the city secretary, Anna Russell, certified the signatures, Parker refused to add the issue to next week's ballot, arguing that most of the signatures were invalid. more >>