A bill introduced to the Georgia legislature regarding religious freedom has apparently been derailed due to a controversy over a similar bill in Arizona.
House Bill 1023, also called the "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act," would essentially provide citizens of Georgia with the same religious freedom protections provided by the federal Religious Freedom Protection Act. RFRA was passed in 1993 with a unanimous vote in the House and a 97-3 vote in the Senate and was signed by President Bill Clinton.
RFRA says that for the government to deny religious freedom, the government must show that it has a good reason for doing so and there is no way to avoid doing so. Plus, laws that are generally applicable (apply to all faiths) must provide religious exemptions when that can be done without placing too great a burden on the state. The Supreme Court ruled, however, that RFRA does not apply to state law, so many states have passed their own RFRA laws. H.B. 1023 would do that for Georgia. more >>
A Roman Catholic Church cardinal has criticized the Ugandan anti-gay law that expanded punishment for gay people and threatened life in prison for certain offenders, arguing that gay people "are not criminals."
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the comments Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia, during a church and human rights conference, according to CatholicHearald.co.uk. He urged the international community, however, to keep sending much needed aid to Uganda, which is now facing cuts and sanctions because of the law.
Uganda's decision to expand the legal punishment for homosexuality has been criticized by some world leaders, though the nation's political and church leaders have insisted that it is their right to manage the country according to their ways. more >>
A group of former and current Republicans are filing an amicus brief, encouraging a federal court of appeals to overturn same-sex marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. They argue that the conservative values of freedom and liberty fall in line with gay marriage support.
It remains unclear which current Republican lawmakers have signed the 30-page argument but The Associated Press, which received a draft of the brief, named former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who has been known to be socially liberal and once described himself as a "RINO," or "Republic In Name Only," as part of the group. Simpson has also stated his support for same-sex marriage, telling MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2011, ahead of the GOP presidential primaries, that he wouldn't stand behind pro-traditional marriage candidates like Rick Santorum "who are homophobic."
Another Republican named on Tuesday's brief is former Rep. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, who changed her opposition to same-sex marriage last year. more >>
An LGBT advocacy group has expressed its concern that several "Duck Dynasty" cast members will attend the Iowa State Fair later this summer.
Willie, Korie and Si Robertson are scheduled to speak about their television show and family on Aug. 10. However, despite the fact that family patriarch, Phil Robertson, who was criticized in December for his remarks about homosexuality and temporarily suspended from the show, has not been invited, an LGBT activist group said it was "disheartened" with the fair organizers' decision.
"At this time, however, Willie, Korie, and Si Robertson are the only scheduled presenters," Donna Red Wing, the executive director of One Iowa said in a statement. "Patriarch Phil Robertson was quoted in an interview with GQ for his hurtful remarks regarding LGBT people, in addition to comments made about the Jim Crow South." more >>
In the debate over Arizona's S.B. 1062, a bill that would have modified the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, some opponents of the bill characterized the bill and others like it as "Jim Crow for gays." Those who used this analogy, though, either do not understand RFRA, do not understand Jim Crow, or both.
The opponents claimed it would have allowed business owners to deny gays access to public accommodations. A Christian Post analysis of the bill concluded that was not true. In a letter sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) before she vetoed the bill, 11 law professors, some liberal, some conservative and all experts in religious freedom, came to the same conclusion.
But even if the Arizona law would have done what opponents claimed, the law would still not be analogous to a Jim Crow law. Here are three reasons why: more >>
Twelve years ago, Rick Warren released his book The Purpose Driven Life. People were told every person in every church should read this book. Everyone needs to know why we are here on earth, and this book provided the answers. More than 32 million copies were sold.
Today we're living in a different time, and there is need for a different resource so that once again, millions can be helped but in a much different way. May tens of millions respond because time really is running out-yet it's not too late.
Last week a video was released entitled, Is Gay Okay? 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know. I submit to you that this is a video every person in every church needs to view. Everyone needs to know the most important issue Christians face today and the answers to the questions surrounding it. more >>