A federal appeals court has scheduled arguments on an appeal from a group of churches hoping to erect a temporary cross display on public property in Indiana.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided to hear arguments on an appeal regarding churches, including West Side Christian Church of Evansville, which wanted to create a display with multiple crosses on property in Evansville.
Arguments will be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 18 before the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. more >>
A judge has ruled that Oklahoma's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
While U.S. District Judge Terence Kern ruled Tuesday against the ban, the decision is stayed pending an appeal.
"Judge Kern has come to the conclusion that so many have before him – that the fundamental equality of lesbian and gay couples is guaranteed by the United States Constitution," said Chad Griffith, president of the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement. more >>
A New Jersey-based atheist organization has filed a lawsuit calling for the removal of a 2,000 pound Ten Commandments display from the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol in Oklahoma City.
American Atheists filed the suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against the Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission that placed the monument at the capitol in 2012.
"This action challenges the constitutionality, under federal law, of the state of Oklahoma's placement of a massive monument displaying an abridgement of a portion of religious text originating from a Hollywood movie director's rendition of one of many versions from the Bible," reads the suit in part. more >>
The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear Arizona's appeal against a lower court's ruling that determined its ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy was unconstitutional. The lower court's ruling thus remains and the state's ban on abortion after 20 weeks has been struck down.
The Supreme Court justices declined to provide a reason as to why they won't be reviewing the case. In May 2013, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that Arizona's ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy violated the legal precedents set by Roe v. Wade in 1973, and was therefore unconstitutional.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the 20-week abortion ban into law in 2012. The law has been considered to be one of the strictest pieces of pro-life legislation in the country, only allowing abortions after 20 weeks in the case of medical emergencies. Those who opposed the legislation argued it was stricter than other states with similar laws because the method for determining a gestation period barred abortions two weeks earlier than other states with 20-week abortion bans. more >>
The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear oral arguments challenging a 2007 Massachusetts law that prohibits pro-life advocates from approaching abortion clinic workers and potential clients past a regulated "buffer zone."
Currently, pro-life advocates are barred from standing within 35 feet of the front door of abortion clinics in Massachusetts. Outside some abortion facilities in the state, a painted yellow line clearly marks the parameters allocated for protesters who face potential arrest if they cross that barrier.
In the case, McCullen v. Coakley, the Court is being asked to decide whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit was right in upholding the state's law that makes it a crime for pro-life advocates to "enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk" within 35 feet of an entrance, exit or driveway to an abortion facility. more >>
An Indian court has said that controversial evangelist Benny Hinn will be allowed to visit the state of Karnataka despite protests and petitions from fundamentalist Hindi groups against him.
"India is a secular country. It has so many sects, languages, beliefs and religions as well as social and cultural groups. Tolerance is the need of the hour. We are shocked that the courts are used for these kinds of issues," said Karnataka's High Court, according to Asia News.
Hinn, who is scheduled to speak at a Christian Prayer Conference in Bangalore later this month, attracted protests from close to 2,000 Hindus who on Jan. 3 gathered in the city and called for officials to ban him from visiting. more >>