The U.S. Supreme Court struck down four state constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman in a landmark decision.
After years of refusing to take up the matter, the highest court in the land ruled 5-4 Friday in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level gay marriage bans are unconstitutional, concluding that 14th Amendment requires a state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, reversing the ruling in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled such bans constitutional. more >>
A U.K. politician has asked why some Christian pastors are being prosecuted at court for condemning Islam and calling it "satanic," such as the case of Belfast preacher James McConnell, while atheist author Richard Dawkins can make "horrific remarks" about children with Down syndrome without consequence.
"Professor Richard Dawkins made a horrendous remark about children with Down's syndrome and the Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle is notorious for his offensiveness. Yet there is no suggestion of legal action against either Dawkins, or Boyle," wrote Nelson McCausland, a member of the Legislative Assembly for Northern Ireland, in an article for The Belfast Telegraph.
While McCausland did not specify which of Dawkins' remarks he finds "horrific," the evolutionary biologist attracted a high level of controversy when he suggested in August 2014 that it would be "immoral" not to abort unborn children with Down syndrome. more >>
The family of late singer Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, has filed a lawsuit against her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, who they claim physically and emotionally abused the actress and stole from her prior to her being found unresponsive in a bathtub on Jan. 31. On Wednesday, Brown's aunt announced that she has been taken off life support and is under hospice care.
Bedelia Hargrove, Brown's court-appointed conservator, filed a civil complaint against Gordon in Georgia's Fulton County Superior Court yesterday.
Conservative members of the United Methodist Church have expressed doubt that a recently approved petition from a local state body of the denomination will influence a change in the Church's position against homosexuality.
During the weekend, a majority of the delegates at the UMC Virginia Annual Conference voted in favor of a petition calling for the denomination to change its position on homosexuality.
Known as Petition 14, the measure called for the striking of language in the UMC Book of Discipline that describes homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching." more >>
Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II has said that the disputed "Gospel of Barnabas," a document that claims that Judas Iscariot was crucified in the place of Jesus, and that Christ predicted the coming of the prophet Muhammad, is a "fake" and the work of a "forger."
Fides News Agency reported on Friday that Tawadros said that the text, written in Syriac on animal hide, is "a book full of historical and geographical errors, the work of a forger."
Turkish authorities discovered the text in May 2012 in the building of Justice in Ankara, and claimed that it is 1,500-2,000 years old and was written by St. Barnabas, a disciple who became a Christian after Pentecost. more >>
A new Public Religion Research Institute/Religion News Survey poll has found that while the majority of Americans believe that God has granted the U.S. a "special role" in human history, there's a large disagreement among age groups on whether being a Christian is important for national identity.
The survey found that six in 10, or 62 percent of respondents, believe in American exceptionalism, while 33 percent disagree. Support for such a view mostly came from conservatives, at 80 percent, while only 45 percent of liberals agreed.
The survey also asked Americans what characteristics they find important for U.S. national identity. While 77 percent of the 65+ age group said believing in God is very or somewhat important, only 52 percent of the 18-29 group agreed. When the question specifically asked whether being Christian is important, 66 percent of the 65+ group agreed, but only 35 percent of the 18-29 year-olds said the same. more >>