In an irony of ironies, during the week of Valentine's, two federal judges overturned the marriage protection amendments of Kentucky and Virginia, single-handedly redefining romance and marriage.
According to The Christian Post, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky's constitutional marriage protection amendment, which the state approved in 2004 "violates the United States Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law, even under the most deferential standard of review."
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled, "The court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry. Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country's cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family." Virginia approved its marriage protection amendment in 2006. more >>
A federal district court judge declared Virginia's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Areda Wright Allen declared the ban unconstitutional on the basis that it violates the plaintiffs' rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. She also issued a stay on the ruling, however, which prevents gay couples from marrying in the state until the case is resolved.
Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage was incorporated into the state's constitution in 2006. The ban is being challenged by a gay couple, Timothy Bostic and Tony London, who were denied a marriage license by the Norfolk Circuit Court last summer. Carol Schall and Mary Townley, a lesbian couple who married in California, later joined the case as plaintiffs with the hope that their marriage would be recognized by the state. more >>
An evangelical couple and two of their seven children are suing the city of Portland, Maine, regarding its ordinance that prevents protesters from gathering within 39 feet of the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. The family argues in the lawsuit that the ordinance violates their constitutional rights to free speech.
Daniel and Marguerite Fitzgerald of Shapleigh filed their lawsuit in the U.S. district court Wednesday, arguing that the city's buffer zone ordinance violates their First and Fourth Amendment rights found in the U.S. Constitution. The City Council voted late last year to pass the ordinance that would create a 39-foot bubble around the Planned Parenthood clinic on Congress Street after hearing testimony that pro-life protesters were harassing clinic visitors. The Fitzgerald family argues in its lawsuit, however, that their protests have been peaceful.
"[The Fitzgeralds] are faithful Evangelicals motivated to oppose the practice of abortion because of their religious beliefs that abortion is the deliberate destruction of innocent human life," the family's attorney, Stephen Whiting, wrote in the lawsuit, according to Bangor Daily News. more >>
A Texas congregation that was once the largest Presbyterian Church (USA) member church in the Lone Star State may be one step closer to securing its property.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas, a congregation with approximately 4,000 members, will hold a meeting with the PC (USA) regional body it was formerly under. Representatives from Highland Park Presbyterian and Grace Presbytery plan to meet on Feb. 21.
"Out of respect for the confidentiality that is crucial for a successful mediation process, there are not many details that we can comment on at this time," Zack House, communications director for Highland Park Presbyterian, told The Christian Post. more >>
An attorney with the Thomas More Society has stated that a Walgreens pharmacist reportedly fired for refusing to dispense Plan B pills was only trying to "stay true" to his beliefs.
Last August Dr. Philip Hall, a devout Baptist, was reportedly fired by the Walgreens Company for refusing to provide the controversial Plan B, aka "morning after pill."
Jocelyn Floyd, special counsel with the Thomas More Society who is representing Hall, told The Christian Post that "we all have the right to stay true to our religious beliefs." more >>
A judge ruled Wednesday to drop the assisted suicide charges against a Pennsylvania woman accused of handing her 93-year-old, terminally-ill father a bottle of morphine with the intention of ending his life.
Schuylkill County Judge Jacqueline L. Russell said in her 47-page opinion that the accusations against 57-year-old Barbara Mancini, a nurse, did not provide sufficient evidence to prove she helped in the death of her father.
The Pennsylvania attorney general's office accused Mancini of assisting her elderly father, Joseph Yourshaw, in ending his own life by handing him a nearly-full bottle of morphine at his home in Pottsville in February 2013. Yourshaw was admitted to a hospital after a hospice nurse dialed 911, and he died four days later. more >>