A Sudanese court has ruled that there is enough evidence to move forward with the trial of two imprisoned South Sudanese Presbyterian pastors facing "trumped-up" espionage charges, which are punishable by death. The pastors' attorney will have only two weeks to prove their innocence without access to his clients.
In the sixth hearing in the case against pastors Yat Michael and Peter Reith in Khartoum, a judge ruled Thursday that there is sufficient evidence to "charge" the pastors with seven different crimes including criminal conspiracy, espionage, promoting hatred amongst the sects, blasphemy, undermining the constitutional system, obtaining official documents and disturbing the peace — two of which could be punishable by death.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice, the judge's Thursday ruling now means that the pressure is on the pastors' attorney, Mohaned Mustafa, to now prove the innocence of his two clients rather than their guilt having to be proven. more >>
A Montana polygamist who was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said earlier this week that he plans to file a lawsuit against the state if it denies his application for a marriage license with his second wife.
Nathan Collier, who once starred on TLC's "Sister Wives" alongside his two wives Victoria and Christine, applied for a marriage license at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday with hopes of legally marrying his second wife, Christine. His decision to do so came last week after Chief Justice John Roberts' dissent on gay marriage, which raised the issue of plural marriage following the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage.
On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared state-level gay marriage bans unconstitutional. more >>
After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last Friday that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to get married, Chief Justice John Roberts and many others have argued that the reasoning used by the court to justify the right to same-sex marriage gives "no reason" why plural unions should be banned.
Although the ideas of people legally marrying more than one partner and married couples adding other love interests to their state-recognized marriages might seem far-fetched, Roberts' gay marriage dissent makes the case that the majority's opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, all but sets a precedent that could lead the nation down the slippery slope to the legalization of polygamy, also known as polyamory.
"Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective 'two' in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not," Roberts wrote. "Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition,a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one." more >>
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice has been going to church while in prison and praying for an early release, according to excerpts from her diary.
The mother of four has been incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, since Jan. 5, after a judge sentenced her to serve 15 months in prison following a bankruptcy fraud conviction. In newly released excerpts from her prison diary, the Bravo TV stars opens up about life behind bars and says that she feels God's presence guiding her.
WASHINGTON — While composing the 30-page majority opinion in last Friday's U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 ruling that it's unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriages, Justice Anthony Kennedy ignored the rights of children to have both a mother and a father, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Ryan Anderson argued Tuesday.
Anderson, who authored a not-yet-released book in response to the court's decision titled Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, spoke on a Heritage Foundation panel and asserted that 78-year-old "swing vote" Kennedy overlooked the very reason states are involved in marriage in the first place — to ensure parental stability for children.
Anderson cited George Mason University law professor Helen Alvaré, who dissected Kennedy's opinion word-for-word, and stated that the words Kennedy used to justify his opinion had more to do with the rights of individuals to define who they are rather than the rights of children to benefit from the advantages of growing up in a traditional family setting. more >>
Sherri Shepherd was recently ordered to pay child support to her ex-husband, Lamar Sally, months after she was declared the legal mother of a surrogate baby she said she doesn't want. The ruling marks the end of a nearly year-long bitter divorce battle.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the former co-host of ABC's "The View," who is a devout Christian, must pay $4,100 per month in child support and this figure increases to $4,600 when 10-month-old baby Lamar Junior (L.J.) turns 13.
The exes previously agreed to have the baby boy via a surrogate while they were still married but their decision to separate last year complicated matters. Sally, 44, sued Shepherd, 48, for child support and won the case in April when a Pennsylvania judge ruled in his favor. The single mother is now listed as baby L.J.'s legal mother on his birth certificate even though she declared that she wants nothing to do with him. more >>