U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is receiving criticism after saying state attorneys general do not have to defend their state laws banning same-sex marriage if they find those laws to be discriminatory.
The Coalition of African American Pastors and the Republican Attorneys General Association have both denounced Holder's comments, which were made Tuesday at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. At the meeting, Holder said state attorneys general must focus on upholding the values "that all are created equal and entitled to equal opportunity."
"Any decisions – at any level – not to defend individual laws must be exceedingly rare," Holder said. "They must be reserved only for exceptional circumstances. And they must never stem merely from policy or political disagreements – hinging instead on firm constitutional grounds. But in general, I believe we must be suspicious of legal classifications based solely on sexual orientation." more >>
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma rejected a proposal to allow religious groups with state contracts to make hiring decisions based upon religion.
The proposal, which was placed into a property tax bill, S.B. 367, would have allowed religious groups with state contracts to use religion as a basis for employment decisions. A Muslim organization with a state contract, for instance, could decide to only hire Muslims, or a Christian college could decide to only hire Christians.
The provision was intended to address a contract issue with Indiana Wesleyan University. The language was added to the bill by Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero), who thought the measure would be noncontroversial. more >>
An atheist attacked the Ten Commandments as an abrogation of freedom, declaring that America's laws are not based on this Judeo-Christian source. He made these comments denouncing a bill to support public appearances of the Ten Commandments, which passed the Alabama State House last week.
"The Ten Commandments deny freedom of religious expression," Dan Barker, co-president of The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday. Barker declared that "the first four commandments basically reject our First Amendment."
Representative Duwayne Bridges, author of H.B. 45, the bill to support the Ten Commandments, argued that "the laws of this country were founded on the Ten Commandments." He wrote the bill in order to awaken people to their right for religious expression, Bridges told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday. more >>
The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee denounced on Monday Arizona's S.B. 1062, a bill that clarifies an existing state law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects the religious freedom of its citizens. Opponents of the bill claim it was passed by anti-gay bigots with the intent of denying public accommodations for gays.
"We share the NFL's core values which embrace tolerance, diversity, inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination. In addition, a key part of the mission for the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee is to promote the economic vitality of Arizona. On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state's economic growth potential. We do not support this legislation. Instead, we look forward to continuing to promote the NFL's values while focusing on the economic momentum apparent in Arizona and capturing the positive worldwide attention associated with hosting Super Bowl XLIX," the Committee said in a statement.
S.B. 1062 makes some changes to RFRA that primarily does three things: it clarifies that Arizonan's religious freedom is still protected when they become part of a partnership, association, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, or business organization; it clarifies that the government does not have to be a party in the suit to bring an RFRA claim; and it requires that those who sue under RFRA show that it is based upon an actual religious belief, that they hold strongly to that religious faith, and that a state action burdened their religious belief. more >>
After watching their country erupt into months of angry anti-government protests, Christians in Ukraine praised a peace deal that ended the protests as well as the appointment of Baptist pastor Dr. Oleksandr Turchynov as their interim president.
The Ukrainian parliament voted to impeach President Viktor Yanukovych after he fled the country during deadly protests. Oleksandr Turchynov, a pastor and right hand man to politician Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently released from a two-year stint in prison, was elected interim president until May 25 when the country is expected to hold a presidential election.
"Joy and sadness overfills our hearts as we celebrate the news of birth of a New Ukraine and grieve for the young men, students and husbands who died for this to happen," said the European Baptist Federation in a statement Sunday. more >>
A conservative LGBT organization will be part of this year's Conservative Political Action Conference event in Washington, DC after long being banned from the event.
GOProud, a pro-gay group that holds several politically conservative views, will participate in CPAC next month as a guest organization.