The city council in Greenville, South Carolina, has agreed to mount a plaque that reads "In God We Trust" on its chamber walls, despite possible lawsuits over the religious statement.
The city council voted unanimously to display the religious message on the walls of its Council Chambers, located at County Square. City councilman Fred Payne told The Greenville News that he proposed the idea of having the words inscribed in their chamber after receiving an email from In God We Trust America, an organization that seeks to have local governments across the country display the message on their chamber walls.
According to the In God We Trust America website, the mission statement of the nonprofit organization is to "[promote] patriotism by encouraging elected officials to legally display our national motto 'In God We Trust' in every city and county chamber in America, keep God's name in America and show a commitment to the values our country was founded upon." more >>
After reaching a lawsuit settlement, the Port Authority of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $20,000 plus $40,000 in legal fees to an atheist group that wanted to advertise one of its affiliates on local buses, but was banned from doing so.
According to federal court documents made public on Wednesday, the Port Authority of Allegheny agreed to pay the $60,000 the Washington, D.C.-based United Coalition of Reason. The atheist group had filed a U.S. district court lawsuit against the Port Authority last November, alleging the mass transit agency had violated the group's constitutional rights to free speech when they refused to carry bus advertisements that read: "Don't believe in God? You are not alone." The advertisements were meant to promote the newly-founded Pittsburg Coalition of Reason.
In their lawsuit, the atheist group, with the help of the American Humanist Association's legal arm, argued that the Port Authority had violated their First Amendment rights to free speech by denying the bus advertisements. According to the Tribune Review, the Port Authority had cited its 1998 policy that prohibited noncommercial advertisements from being shown on its buses, but the plaintiffs argued that the bus had previously allowed advertisements for churches, public issue groups and hospitals soliciting volunteers. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a group suing California for its recently passed state ban on sexual orientation change therapy for youth struggling with same-sex attraction.
America's highest court decided Monday to not review an appeal by a non-profit legal group, letting stand a lower court decision upholding the California law, known as Senate Bill 1172.
A petition demanding that personnel in the United States Armed Forces respect the religious freedom of their cadets garnered over 100,000 signatures and was sent to the Air Force Academy in Colorado earlier this week.
Organized by the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, the petition calls for restoring "military religious freedom" and asks supporters to "speak up for the Air Force cadets."
The petition, created in light of reports of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy, was delivered to the military installation on Wednesday and addressed to Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. more >>
A magistrate judge has ruled that a New York public school's removal of Christian items from a science teacher's classroom was legal. The teacher, Joelle Silver, had multiple Bible verses on display, as well as a painting that included three crosses on a hill, and a prayer request box on her desk that was placed there by the school's Bible Study Club, which she served as a faculty monitor.
The decision given Tuesday by a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York dismissed part of the motion given by the Christian teacher.
Judge Leslie G. Foschio argued that Silver's lawsuit against Cheektowaga Central School District, its Superintendent Dennis Kane and its Board of Education President Brian J. Gould could not proceed on the basis of her rights being violated when they removed the Christian items. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a law in Massachusetts creating abortion clinic buffer zones for pro-life demonstrators was unconstitutional.
In a unanimous decision, the high court ruled Thursday morning that Massachusetts could not force pro-life demonstrators into "buffer zones" to prevent them from being located near an abortion clinic's entrance and exits.
According to SCOTUSBlog, the main focus of the decision stemmed from the buffer zone ordinance including public ways and sidewalks. more >>