A lawsuit is moving forward against a Washington State florist who refused to supply floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding ceremony based on her religious objection, which could put her at risk of serious financial loss and the loss of her business.
Baronelle Stutzman, who owns and operates Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, is being sued by the Washington State attorney general's office for refusing to supply flowers for a same-sex couple's wedding ceremony. Instead, she referred the couple to another nearby florist who could supply flowers for their wedding.
The attorney general's office filed its lawsuit against Stutzman in 2013, and after the judge who was presiding over the case joined the federal bench, another judge has been appointed to the case and began hearing arguments on the case last week. Judge Alex Ekstrom is expected to set the start of the trial for sometime in the Spring. more >>
To bring awareness to the sexual exploitation of women and minors in the porn industry and illegal sex trafficking business, a coalition of national organizations joined Morality in Media Tuesday for its annual national day of prayer to bring comfort and healing to all who are impacted by these sex industries.
Hysen Sisco, a spokesperson with Morality in Media, told The Christian Post that the "National Day of Prayer to Strengthen the Fight Against Pornography and Sexual Exploitation," asks "those concerned with the pervasive influences of pornography and other forms of sexual exploitation to pray for those involved in the fight and those struggling with the damaging affects."
"Last year, we saw an overwhelming outpouring of support from thousands around the country. Many wonderful events and opportunities occurred, we feel, because of these efforts," Sisco told CP. "We hope to get the same results so we can further our mission to defend human dignity and confront sexual exploitation." more >>
WASHINGTON —The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty announced on Tuesday the launch of a new coalition uniting human rights organizations, religious groups, and pro-liberty advocacy groups to pressure state governments to put an end to capital punishment.
The coalition, which has up to 15 national partnering organizations, is named the "90 Million Strong" campaign, which signifies the 33 percent of Americans, according to Gallup polls, who say they oppose the death penalty.
With only 28 states and the District of Columbia not currently using the death penalty, and seven states carrying out the death penalty in 2014, the coalition aims to fully mobilize the "90 million" Americans to lobby state-by-state to get the other states that still actively use the death penalty to halt what they claim are "unfair" and immoral practices. more >>
The widow of a South African aid worker killed during a failed U.S. rescue raid in Yemen has spoken out and said that she forgives the troops who botched his release as well as his captors.
"Today, we choose to forgive," Yolande Korkie told the press on Sunday. "We choose to love. We choose to rejoice in the memories of Pierre and keep him alive in our hearts. Even though the pain is overwhelming us right now, we choose to believe that this too shall pass. Although we were separated in the flesh after 228 days when I was released, I remained with him in spirit until the end."
Yolande and Pierre were kidnapped from the city of Taiz in May 2013. A charity known as Gift of the Givers managed to arrange for Yolande to be released after paying a ransom. The same charity was working again to free Pierre and had secured a deal when Navy SEALs raided the compound in an effort to free Pierre and American Luke Somers. more >>
As protests continue in Berkeley, California, reports of police action and possible offenses have come to light. One of those allegedly injured by police includes intern minister Cindy Pincus, who showed she had a split head after being hit by a police baton.
"The police began walking forward and in 2-3 seconds were pressed up against us with their batons held parallel between them and us," Pincus told the Berkeley Side. "I shouted, 'Be calm, be calm, we're peaceful!' And they kept walking forward. I looked to the left and a police officer had begun jabbing a protestor with the end of his baton. I turned around to retreat and passed a woman who had fallen and was being trampled. I bent down to pick her up under one armpit while another woman grabbed her other arm."
"As we were lifting her backwards I saw an officer raise his baton over my shoulder and was struck on the back of the head as I was bent forward. My vision momentarily blacked out and I saw stars. I put my hand to the back of my head and started running. I felt a welt rise immediately and blood ran down my neck and covered my hand," Pincus added. more >>
In what activists are claiming is a clear use of excessive police force and a violation of civil liberty, an eighth grader at a Texas middle school was arrested and slammed face-first in the ground by a police officer during a school football game after the student refused to remove his spiritually beloved rosary beads from his neck.
Jacob Herrera, an eighth grade student at Sam Houston Middle School in in Amarillo, Texas, was arrested and detained overnight by local police in late October after he argued with an officer over his right to wear rosary beads on school grounds. The rosary was given to him by his now-deceased brother and has religious and sentimental value to him.
While the Amarillo Police Department holds that rosary beads are symbolism for association with gang violence and asks that students in the Amarillo Independent School District not wear them on school property, Herrera had acquired prior approval from the school's principal that allowed him to wear rosary beads underneath his clothing while in school. more >>