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 Roman Catholic Archdiocese plans to release its files on priests under its jurisdiction reported to have committed sexual abuse.
In a January edition of the Chicago Archdiocese's newspaper Catholic New World, Cardinal Francis George wrote that the files on 30 priests will be released as part of a legal settlement.
"All these incidents were reported over the years to the civil authorities and claims have been mediated civilly. Almost all of the incidents happened decades ago, perpetrated by priests whom neither I nor many younger clergy have ever met or talked to," wrote George. "Nevertheless, the publication puts the actions of these men and the archdiocese itself in the spotlight. Painful though publicly reviewing the past can be, it is part of the accountability and transparency to which the archdiocese is committed." more >>
Jodi Ferris, a homeschooling mom who had her newborn baby seized by Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, spoke about her ordeal for Home School Legal Defense Association's podcast, "Home School Heartbeat."
"The first few minutes at the hospital we were in the same room, but they wouldn't let me see her," Ferris recalled. "And when they took her out of the room, they wouldn't tell me where they were taking her."
Ferris was interviewed by Michael Farris, HSLDA founder and chairman. HSLDA is representing Ferris in a civil lawsuit against the hospital. more >>
A small group of Muslim students from the Commonwealth of Virginia have created a petition on a White House website calling for public schools to recognize Muslim holidays.
Posted on the White House's "We the People" site last month, as of Tuesday morning the petition has garnered over 28,000 signatories from across the United States.
"With the growing population of Muslims in the United States of America…we believe it is high time that Muslim holidays are recognized by schools throughout this nation," reads the petition in part. 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 >>
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the world-famous weapons constructor who built the AK-47, expressed his guilt over his invention in a letter to the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church half a year before his death in December.
"My soul aches, it is unbearable, I face the same unsolvable question: if my gun killed people, then I, Mikhailo Kalashnikov, ninety three years old, a peasant's son, a Christian and Orthodox believer, is guilty in people's death, even if they were enemies," read Kalashnikov's letter to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Russia, which was published in the Russian-language Izvestia paper on Monday, and translated by Interfax.
The assault rifle, which has been in service since 1949 in the Soviet Union, has become a widely-used gun throughout the world, with a Washington Post article noting some estimates claim that over 100 million such rifles have been produced. more >>