An appeals court has ruled against a Catholic order of nuns in their lawsuit against the Obama administration's birth control mandate.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday against the Little Sisters of the Poor, concluding that having to fill out a form requesting that an another party provide insurance for contraceptives does not violate the order's religious liberty.
"Although we recognize and respect the sincerity of Plaintiffs' beliefs and arguments, we conclude the accommodation scheme relieves Plaintiffs of their obligations under the Mandate and does not substantially burden their religious exercise under RFRA or infringe upon their First Amendment rights," read the Tenth Circuit's decision. more >>
Conservative organizations remain concerned about the religious liberty implications of the Department of Health and Human Services' birth control mandate following the release of the mandate final rules.
The Family Research Council, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., denounced the final rules immediately following their release last Friday.
FRC Legislative Assistant Jamie Dangers stated that the HHS "is offering a variation of an old accounting gimmick which still mandates that the Little Sisters of the Poor, Notre Dame, and many other religious non-profits offer coverage with objectionable benefits." more >>
Two Christian colleges located in states that had their same-sex marriage bans struck down by the United States Supreme Court's June 26 decision that nationally legalized same-sex marriage are offering employment benefits to legally recognized same-sex spouses of school employees.
The employment practices of Hope College, a small Reformed liberal arts school in Holland, Michigan, and the nondenominational Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, will both comply with their states' new legal definitions on marriage after the high court's ruling.
On Monday, Hope College President John Knapp sent an email to the Hope community explaining that while Hope will continue to offer benefits to spouses of employees recognized by the state, the Supreme Court's ruling has effectively changed the definition of marriages recognized by the state of Michigan to include same-sex couples. more >>
Republicans in Virginia's legislature are considering measures meant to protect religious groups and individuals from having to perform gay weddings due to the Supreme Court's recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
While the beginning of the next session of the General Assembly is still months away, GOP legislators are mulling various possible religious liberty measures.
"Republicans have not specified what proposals they plan to offer, but House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, has asked Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, deputy majority leader and a former prosecutor, to review what other states have done before they decide what action to take in Virginia," reported Jenna Portnoy of The Washington Post. more >>
More than $210,000 has been raised in support of the Oregon Christian bakers who are being forced by the state to pay $135,000 in "emotional damages" to a lesbian couple for declining to bake them a wedding cake in 2013, an act that would have violated their deeply-held religious convictions.
Although an online fundraiser established on GoFundMe.com to support Melissa and Aaron Klein, the owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, raised over $100,009 in nine hours in April, the campaign was taken off the website because the Kleins had been "formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law."
After removing the Kleins' fundraiser, GoFundMe later revised its user policy to state that the site can't be used to raise money in "defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts." The website additionally shut down the fundraiser for Barronelle Stutzman, a Washington florist who's also facing heavy fines for not working a gay wedding. more >>
South Carolina's House has passed the bill that will remove the Confederate battle flag from its capitol grounds following an emotional speech by a descendent of Jefferson Davis.
Legislators voted Tuesday evening to pass the bill following the remarks of Republican Representative Jenny Horne, whose district includes Charleston.