Conservative members of the United Methodist Church have expressed disappointment over a bishop's refusal to punish a clergyman who violated church rules by officiating his son's gay wedding.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree, former dean of Yale Divinity School, officiated at the same-sex wedding of his son in 2012. A complaint was filed against him and a church trial was originally scheduled for March.
Bishop Martin D. McLee of the UMC New York Conference reached an "Agreement for a Just Resolution" where no trial will be held. Further, McLee called on a cessation of all church trials for UMC clergy who had presided over gay unions. more >>
A Louisiana man who spent close to 30 years on death row was allowed to walk free on Tuesday after new evidence surfaced supporting his innocence. Some have pointed out that 64-year-old Glenn Ford, who is black, was sentenced to death by an all-white jury.
"I was locked up almost 30 years for something I didn't do. It's resentment, not feeling bitter," Ford shared with CNN affiliate WAFB upon his release on Tuesday.
"We are very pleased to see Glenn Ford finally exonerated, and we are particularly grateful that the prosecution and the court moved ahead so decisively to set Mr. Ford free," said Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, attorneys for Ford from the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana. more >>
Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Kansas Supreme Court decision suspending his law license. His supporters argue he is the victim of "political persecution" for his investigations into abortion clinics in his state.
Kline's petition to the U.S. Supreme Court alleges that the state high court unfairly applied ethics rules because he was targeted for his political views and actions regarding abortion.
Kline was suspended from being able to practice law in Kansas in October based upon incidents that happened beginning in 2003, when he was attorney general for the state. Kline began investigating two abortion clinics in the state for possible abortion law violations and not reporting pregnancies of underage girls. That investigation began a long legal battle to obtain the records of the two clinics. The battle was still going when Kline lost his 2006 re-election contest. A successor would later drop all charges against the clinics. more >>
A Virginia congregation that left the Episcopal Church over theological differences has been denied an appeal before the United States Supreme Court regarding a property dispute with its former diocese.
After some delay, the highest Court in the land made their decision Monday to not hear the Falls Church Anglican's case over the historic church property they once oversaw.
In an email sent out to parishioners, Falls Church leadership acknowledged that the "long legal process" the congregation has been in with the Episcopal Church "has come to its end." more >>
A woman in Clarksville, Tennessee is being held for a psychological evaluation after being charged with the homicide of her 7-month-old daughter. Stefany Paige Johnson is accused of murdering daughter Astrid, but told police that "Jesus came down" and took the child to heaven.
Johnson was reportedly running naked, screaming in the road when authorities responded to the reports of her actions. When the authorities entered the home, they found Astrid unconscious on the couch. Johnson was "uncooperative and belligerent" when police arrived, according to the Clarksville Police report.
"Jesus came down and took Astrid to heaven," while she was bathing the girl, Johnson told police when asked what happened. That was the only explanation she gave, leading to authorities calling for a psychological evaluation. more >>
A former vice principal who says he was fired from his job for being gay is suing the Catholic high school that fired him and the local archdiocese in Seattle, Wash.
In the lawsuit, Mark Zmuda alleges that he was fired from Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Wash. in December 2013 after the school's administration learned he had recently married his same-sex partner. Zmuda is arguing for wrongful termination, violation of public policy, and violation of Washington's anti-discrimination laws. Both Eastside Catholic and the Archdiocese of Seattle are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
According to The Seattle Times, Zmuda's lawyers argue their client, as the vice principal at the school, served an administrative role that was not affiliated with the school's Catholic doctrine. This argument, as the local newspaper notes, works with a recent state Supreme Court ruling that says religious nonprofits cannot fire an employee based on religious beliefs if the employee's job was unrelated to religion. more >>