Hans Christian Anderson's famous story, The Emperor's New Clothes, teaches that we should strive to discern and declare truth in the face of mounting political pressure. This vitally important lesson was exhibited last week by district court Judge Martin Feldman in his remarkable and courageous ruling upholding the Louisiana constitutional provision that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Contrary to popular belief, traditional marriage is not dead (or at least not yet). In last year's much ballyhooed decision of U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court did not strike down the traditional meaning of marriage. Though this nuclear option was squarely before the Court, and strenuously sought, the Court opted to go in another direction. Justice Kennedy, speaking on behalf of the majority, held deference ought to be afforded states in the realm of marriage, allowing states to define marriage for themselves and their citizens an opportunity to participate in the democratic process on this important social issue.
But following this decision, akin to Anderson's tale of swindlers selling imaginary clothes to the Emperor, same-sex marriage activists developed a clever plan to fool judges and everyone else. They put together talking points boasting of a new right for same-sex couples to marry, though none in truth exists. Coupling this fictional guarantee with the on-going, slick marketing campaign that links their cause to the virtue of equality, these activists trumpeted the Windsor decision as precedent triggering a massive overhaul of the marriage institution. more >>
Pennsylvania mother Ann Whalen has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for giving her 16-year-old daughter pills to cause a miscarriage.
Whalen's daughter became pregnant in 2012 and decided that she did not want the baby; Whalen told police that she could not find a local abortion clinic and did not want to take her daughter out of the state to have the procedure, which would have been 74 miles away, according to Reuters. Instead, she went online and ordered the pills from a company abroad.
Unfortunately, after taking the pills, the girl (now 18), experienced extreme abdominal pain and bleeding and was hospitalized with an "incomplete abortion and a urinary tract infection," records state. The hospital informed police of the situation, which led to Whalen's arrest. She was charged with giving her daughter pills to induce abortion – Pennsylvania law requires that a physician be present for the procedure. more >>
The attorneys general of 17 states, led by Colorado, have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the U.S. Constitution includes a right to same-sex marriage. The Mormon church and a few Christian groups have also filed a friend-of-the-court brief.
"There are scores of cases requiring thousands of hours to litigate the same legal question presented in this petition," the filing by 17 states reads, asking the high court to take up the cases challenging gay marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah, noting that 89 ongoing cases across the country challenge traditional marriage laws.
"These cases are divisive and costly, not only in terms of money and manpower, but in terms of respect for the democratic process and deliberation undertaken by millions of voters where the nature of marriage has recently been debated," adds the brief, filed Thursday. "Once resolved, the legal issues presented in the Utah and Oklahoma petitions are well positioned to provide the necessary guidance to the other states with traditional marriage laws." more >>
A pro-life student organization with chapters across the country has filed a complaint against the University of South Alabama over its "solicitation policy."
Students for Life USA filed a complaint arguing that South Alabama's policy restricted their right to hold an event known as the "cemetery of innocents."
The student organization is being legally represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, which sent an amended complaint to South Alabama last month. more >>
United Methodism's highest church court may reaffirm the defrocking of a pastor who officiated his gay son's same-sex wedding come October.
The United Methodist Judicial Council will hear an appeal for a church trial case in which Frank Schaefer had his clergy credentials returned after being defrocked for violating church law on gay marriage.
The Judicial Council will hold the oral hearing on the Schaefer appeal on Wednesday, October 22, which is the first day of their three-day session. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court in Early October will rule on a Muslim prisoner's lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Correction claiming that when prison guards forced the inmate to shave his beard, they had violated his freedom of religious practice. Four Christian organizations have come to the defense of the inmate's religious liberties.
Inmate Gregory Holt, who also goes by Abdul Maalik Muhammad, is in jail on a life sentence after being convicted of burglary and domestic battery and is looking to maintain a beard of at least a half inch in length to fulfill what he believes to be a religious obligation. However, Arkansas' prison regulations only allow for inmates with dermatologic conditions to grow a beard of a quarter inch in length.
Holt filed a handwritten petition to the Supreme Court after his prior cases in Federal District Court and its ensuing appeal ruled in favor of the Arkansas DOC's claims that regulations are preventive safety measures in case inmates try to hide contraband or weapons in their beards. Holt is being represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which also recently successfully defended the religious freedom of the owners of Hobby Lobby before the Supreme Court, and by personal lawyers. more >>