In a decision that has sent gay rights advocates in a tizzy, a federal judge upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday handing opponents of such bans across the country their first defeat in a federal court since the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the U.S. government cannot withhold federal benefits to married gay couples.
"The State of Louisiana has a legitimate interest under a rational basis standard of review for addressing the meaning of marriage through the democratic process," Judge Martin L. C. Feldman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana wrote in his decision cited by Talking Points Memo.
Feldman, who was nominated to the federal bench in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, explained that the idea of same-sex marriage was "nonexistent and even inconceivable until very recently." He noted that: "Many states have democratically chosen to recognize same-sex marriage. But until recent years, it had no place at all in this nation's history and tradition." more >>
Jill and Jessa Duggar have both spoken about their plans for large families, keeping in line with their parents' decision to have as many children as God blessed them with.
"Whatever God's plan is, we'd be good with that!" Jessa told ABC News. "It's probably not possible for me to have 19 kids naturally, but we might adopt and get up to that number. We both love kids. We'll play it by ear as we go along. We'll see how it goes."
Jessa is currently engaged to Ben Seewald, who recently moved into the Duggar household and is staying in a guest house on their property. The couple hopes to be married by the end of the year, and will possibly begin having children as soon as they say "I do." more >>
After months of public speculation about the health of their marriage, reports revealed Friday that Anita Oyakhilome, wife of popular charismatic preacher Chris Oyakhilome who heads the Believers' Loveworld Ministries, also known as Christ Embassy Church headquartered in Nigeria, has filed for divorce from her husband citing "adultery" and "unreasonable behavior."
Pastor Oyakhilome founded Christ Embassy, a successful congregation with branches in Nigeria, South Africa, England, Canada and the United States, according to Forbes. The network has made him one of the richest pastors in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $30 to $50 million as of 2011. He is president of the Believers' Loveworld Ministries while his wife is vice-president.
Forbes notes that his publishing company, Loveworld Publications, publishes "Rhapsody of Realities," a monthly devotional he co-authors with Anita. It is reportedly the world's No. 1 daily devotional selling more than 2 million copies monthly at $1 a piece. Oyakhilome also owns television stations, newspapers, magazines, a hotel, a fast-food chain, and other holdings. His Facebook page, Pastor Chris Live, has nearly 1.5 million followers. more >>
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have had a whirlwind time lately, with getting engaged, married, and now expecting their first child. The couple took time to speak with The Christian Post about their plans for the future and what they want to pass on to their child.
They broke the news last week that they were expecting their first child just weeks after exchanging vows in front of friends and family. Both shared their excitement and overwhelming joy at learning of the pregnancy. Jill and Derick told CP what they hoped for their children.
"Well, ultimately, we want to be an example for them. For a daughter, I want to show her how a man should treat her, just like Jill's dad did for her," Derick said. "And just be the best dad I can be to both my sons and daughters and really purpose to teach them the Word of God early on and pray that they will come to the Lord early in life. And helping them be open, not afraid to come to us about anything." more >>
Country singer Carrie Underwood and husband Mike Fisher are expecting their first child; Underwood announced the news this weekend via Instagram.
"In honor of 'Labor' Day, Ace & Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn't be happier …" Underwood captioned a photo of her dogs wearing shirts reading "I'm going to be a big brother" and "I'm going to be a big sister."
The country singer has often spoken about her Christian faith and credits her husband with helping her grow stronger in it. more >>
The news of three different celebrity weddings dominated Labor Day Weekend this year, but none of the nuptials took place in the church.
First, former "The View" co-host Jenny McCarthy wed Donnie Wahlberg on Saturday, Aug. 30 in St. Charles, Illinois at Hotel Baker. According to reports, friends and family of the couple were spotted in St. Cloud on Saturday, including Wahlberg's brother Paul as well as his former New Kids on the Block band mates Jordan Knight and Danny Wood.
McCarthy was raised in a Catholic household and has even admitted early intentions to become a nun, but it is unknown if she still identifies with Catholicism. After the birth of her son Evan and his Autism diagnosis, McCarthy admitted to praying to a wide variety of Catholic saints. more >>