A federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the right of states to ban same-sex marriage by a 2-to-1 vote on Thursday. The ruling overturns lower-court decisions in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that found such restrictions unconstitutional.
Observers say the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruling will most likely force the Supreme Court to make a decision on same-sex marriage for the nation.
"This circuit split means that the Supreme Court's ignoring of this issue will not be able to continue," said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. "The people of the states have the right to recognize marriage the way virtually every human culture has, as the union of a man and a woman. The Supreme Court should affirm this right, for all 50 states." more >>
Missouri became the latest state to have marriage redefined Wednesday when a state judge ruled that the state constitution's definition of marriage violated the U.S. Constitution and ordered state registrars to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
A day after a federal court officially struck down the gay marriage ban in neighboring Kansas, Missouri Judge Rex Burlison, of the St. Louis Circuit Court, issued a written ruling stating that the state's recognition of marriage as "only between a man and a woman" violates the equal protection and due process rights granted by the 14th Amendment of the the U.S. Constitution.
"The Court Finds and declares that any same-sex couple that satisfies all the requirements for marriage and under Missouri law, other than being of different sexes, is legally entitled to a marriage license," Burlison wrote. more >>
Arnold Abbott, the 90-year-old man who was arrested for feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale was re-arrested 24 hours later for the same offense.
"I am both enthused and humbled," Abbott told local10.com after being arrested the first time on Tueday. "The good news is that there is pressure being put on the city of Fort Lauderdale to do something about a law that is not only unfair, it's repressive. We've heard from every continent. The last I heard was from Kenya and Moscow. I've heard from South America, any number of people from Canada, three newspapers from the United Kingdom."
Abbott and two pastors were all arrested on Tuesday for violating a new law that went into effect last week, preventing people from feeding the homeless. All three men face fines of $500 and up to 60 days in jail for their charitable work. And while Abbott has received a lot of support from people around the world, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler is not a fan. more >>
Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, successfully raised the $7.8 million the congregation was required to pay Presbyterian Church (USA) by Monday's deadline to keep its property.
In October 2013, a supermajority of the congregation voted to end their affiliation with PCUSA and join the smaller, more conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
"The funds for the settlement were raised entirely by the generous giving of the congregation of Highland Park Presbyterian Church. HPPC did not take on any debt to pay the settlement," Zack House, a spokesman for the church, told The Christian Post. more >>
As sons and daughters of God, we are called to honor and respect authority and to be people of obedience rather than people of rebellion. But that means when the earthly authorities tell us to disobey God, we respectfully say, "We must obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29).
This was a major theme at the "I Stand Sunday" rally in Houston, where thousands gathered together to pledge their obedience to God and His Word, regardless of cost or consequences.
In doing so, they were standing firmly on biblical principles, following in the footsteps of the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1, Daniel and his compatriots in Daniel 3 and 6, the wise men of Matthew 2, and the apostles in Acts 4 and 5. more >>
The highest court in the state of New York unanimously voted last week to approve the marriage between a half-uncle and his half niece, ruling that the marriage did not violate the state's statute against incestuous marriages.
The New York Court of Appeals voted, 6-0, last Tuesday to approve of a marriage between a Vietnamese woman and her uncle. In 2000, a 19-year-old immigrant, Huyen Nguyen, married her mother's half brother, 24-year-old uncle Vu Truong, who is an American citizen, in order for her to gain permanent United States citizenship.
After getting married, Nguyen was given temporary citizenship. After six years of marriage, Nguyen applied for her permanent citizenship in 2006. But when the Department of Homeland Security found that that the marriage between Nguyen and Truong was incestuous, the department began the process for Nguyen's deportation. An immigration judge agreed that their marriage in Rochester was invalid due to incest. The New York Appeals court overturned that decision, though, arguing that state's marriage statute did not specify incest to include the union of half-uncles and half-nieces. more >>