The High Court of Australia has ruled against legislation that allowed 27 same-sex couples to marry in the Australian Capital Territory, noting that the country's federal laws only allow heterosexual marriage.
"The Court held that the object of the ACT Act is to provide for marriage equality for same sex couples and not for some form of legally recognized relationship which is relevantly different from the relationship of marriage which federal law provides for and recognizes," the high court wrote on Thursday.
"Accordingly, the ACT Act cannot operate concurrently with the federal Act." more >>
A Christmas party in Arizona turned deadly when a neighbor tried to crash the party. However, when he was asked to leave he went home and later returned to the party dressed in camouflage carrying a gun - he opened fire at partygoers in what is being described as a horrifying incident. Daniel Taylor, 18, was later arrested after a standoff with police and later charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault.
"He was not invited, but he thought he could just come in anyway," Sgt. Michael Pooley said on Monday. "They asked him to leave. He came back about an hour later; this time he was wearing a suit coat, slacks, and a nice shirt."
When partygoers recognized Taylor and asked him to leave, "he came back about 20 minutes later back in camouflage and had a gun." He "reached into the patio area and just started firing rounds, six to eight rounds. Unfortunately, one of those did strike Jeff Ward in the neck" and killed him instantly. more >>
Allen Nicklasson, the man convicted of murdering a Good Samaritan in 1994, was put to death in the state of Missouri last night after a judge denied his appeal for clemency. This makes the second execution in the state in the three weeks, which is a radical change given that Missouri previously had not executed anyone for three years.
Nicklasson had a troubled upbringing that led him to rehab, where he met Dennis Skillicorn and later, Tim DeGraffenreid. The three men decided to make the trip from Kansas City to St. Louis to purchase drugs but had car trouble. While the car was being repaired the first time, the three men burglarized a home and took guns and money. Then they proceeded with their trip.
When the car broke down again, Richard Drummond stopped to offer his assistance. Nicklasson took advantage of the situation, loaded the men's stolen goods into Drummond's vehicle, put a gun to his head and ordered him to drive. Sometime later, Nicklasson pulled off the road in Layfayette County, ordered Drummond out of the vehicle and shot him twice in the head. more >>
Republican Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have voiced their support for a group of high school cheerleaders in Texas who are currently involved in a lawsuit over painting Bible verses on banners prior to school football games. A judge had previously ruled the religious banners were constitutional after the school initially banned them, and the case is currently before the Ninth District Court of Appeals.
Cruz and Cornyn submitted a joint amicus brief in the court case Kountze Independent School District v. Cotti Matthews last week. The court case is between the Kountze Independent School District and parents of students at Kountze High School in East Texas.
Last year, the school district ordered cheerleaders at the high school to stop painting Bible passages on large paper banners, which football players would run through at the start of each football game. The school district had banned the banners after receiving a threatening letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and parents filed a lawsuit against the district arguing that because the banners were created by the cheerleaders, they were not endorsed by the public school and therefore were not in violation of the Establishment Clause. more >>
A congregation that was once the largest Presbyterian Church (USA) church in Texas has been encouraged by its new affiliation with a more conservative body.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas, which terminated its voluntary affiliation with PC (USA) earlier this year over theological differences, decided to join the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, (ECO), a recently created and more theologically conservative Reform body.
The Rev. Joe Rightmyer, Highland Park's interim senior pastor, told The Christian Post that the relationship between his congregation and ECO has been going strong. more >>
The Supreme Court of India ruled on Wednesday to reinstate a ban on gay sexual relations, threatening violators with up to 10 years in jail.
The Supreme Court decided to overturn a 2009 Delhi High Court decision which ruled as unconstitutional a section of the penal code dating back to 1860 that prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal," Reuters reported. The judges decided that only the parliament can change this certain section.
"It's a black day for us," said Anjali Gopalan, the executive director of the Naz Foundation, in support of gay rights. "I feel exhausted right now, thinking that we have been set back by 100 years." more >>