All 33 counties in New Mexico filed a joint petition in the state's Supreme Court this week seeking clarification on the legality of same-sex marriage in the state. Since a rogue clerk began issuing same-sex marriage licenses two weeks ago, the state has become embroiled in multiple lawsuits, some of which have resulted in county clerks being court-ordered to distribute marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The lawsuit filed Thursday by the New Mexico Association of Counties is seeking to stop independent lawsuits regarding same-sex marriage from popping up throughout the state, as well as requesting that the five justices temporarily halt pending district court lawsuits regarding same-sex marriage until the Supreme Court case is resolved and a statewide, uniform decision is made. The state's Supreme Court has not yet indicated if it will take the case or not, but in the past it has refused to consolidate or halt pending lawsuits regarding to same-sex marriage.
"The bottom line is we're looking for a uniform answer," Steve Kopelman, general counsel for the coalition of counties, told the Associated Press of the lawsuit. "There's a controversy here. This is not a simple issue legally. But we're not weighing in on the moral issue. We're weighing in on the law," he added. more >>
The Australian pastor who called out Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for his support of gay marriage at a Q&A session earlier this week has said that he has been "overwhelmed by support" for his stance, which has thrust him in the national spotlight.
"I have been overwhelmed with emails of support! 95% Positive! I've had them from all over Oz, NZ, USA, Canada etc. The clip with Kevin on Q & A has had over 900,000 views," Pastor Matt Prater of New Hope Church in Brisbane revealed in a Facebook post on Thursday.
On Monday, during a televised Q&A session on Australia's ABC News channel, Prater stood up and asked why Rudd, a Christian, has changed his position on gay marriage ahead of seeking re-election. more >>
Focus on the Family is launching a new $5 million documentary film and curriculum project to bolster families across the world and address social ills like homelessness, gang violence and assault.
"In America, there is one divorce every 13 seconds," according to a video released by Focus on the Family (FOTF) announcing the organization's new initiative, aptly named "The Family Project."
The promotional video flashes through news headlines that report on increasing rates of divorce and the effect fatherlessness has on children – higher risk of suicide, teen pregnancy and gang membership. more >>
Already in April, 2009, an article in The Washington Post documented how, "Faith organizations and individuals who view homosexuality as sinful and refuse to provide services to gay people are losing a growing number of legal battles that they say are costing them their religious freedom."
This was confirmed by Georgetown Law Professor Chai Feldblum, appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and herself an out and proud lesbian, when she remarked that when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, "I'm having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win."
Recent court cases have further confirmed Feldblum's views, and it is now the Attorneys General in different states who are leading the charge against Christian-owned businesses that refuse to provide floral arrangements or bake cakes or do photography for same-sex wedding ceremonies because of their religious convictions. (Bear in mind that these companies always served the LGBT community, and some of them had LGBT employees; their issue was providing services for a ceremony that violated their consciences and religious beliefs.) more >>
The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention issued guidelines last week for military chaplains that prohibits them from officiating or attending same-sex marriage ceremonies, or participating in marriage retreats for same-sex couples.
NAMB-endorsed chaplains account for the largest number of chaplains serving in the U.S. military – second only to Catholics – with more than 1,400 (or 18 percent), affiliated with the Southern Baptist denomination. Each chaplain is assigned to serve between 500 and 700 troops.
Chaplains who violate NAMB's restrictions to not participate in or conduct counseling, civil ceremonies or retreats for same-sex couples would be at risk of losing their endorsement from the SBC. more >>
As multiple federal government entities look towards expanding their benefits programs to include same-sex spouses, estimates as to the cost of such expansions have not been calculated.
According to multiple sources The Christian Post has queried, no estimates exist for how much expanding federal government and military benefits to same-sex spouses will cost financially. This is the case even though certain benchmarks for implementation of the new policies for benefits have come and gone.
In June, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which disallowed federal benefits to married same-sex couples, was unconstitutional. Known as United States v. Windsor, the decision ruled that the key DOMA provision violated the Fifth Amendment and interfered with state power to define marriage. more >>