The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings July 20 on a possible repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 15-year-old law that defines marriage in federal matters as between a man and a woman, and allows states the option of not recognizing the same-sex marriage laws of other states. The hearings highlighted the stark difference between the views of homosexual activists, who testified that the foundations of marriage are personal happiness and financial security, and those of pro-family advocates, who explained that traditional marriage is crucial to the stability and survival of society. Over the past months, President Obama has subtly taken the lead on dismantling DOMA, passed in 1996 by his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton. On July 19, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that Obama is “proud” to support the Respect for Marriage Act, the legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) that would effect the repeal of DOMA. “This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples,” explained Carney. As reported by The New American, in February the President called DOMA unconstitutional and ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending the law in federal court.
A conservative legal advocacy group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of high school students in Roswell, New Mexico, charging that the Roswell Independent School district retaliated against members of a Christian club after they distributed doughnuts with Bible verses to members of the faculty. According to a press release by Liberty Counsel, in addition to giving away doughnuts to teachers, members of the Christian group Relentless in Roswell had, in the past, distributed chicken salad, hot chocolate, and candy canes to both faculty and students. In an effort to use their faith to reach out to others the club had been involved in such projects as assisting teachers with trash in their classrooms, helping fellow students with their trays during lunch, and distributing rocks with encouraging messages such as “U are wonderful” painted on one side and the Bible reference “Psalm 139” on the other.
But members of the group had also made bold statements about their moral and pro-life beliefs by “distributing abstinence wristbands and plastic models of babies at 12 weeks gestation, bringing attention to the life of the unborn,” noted Liberty Counsel. Those actions prompted school officials to give some of the students school suspensions, and to bully other students into toning back their witness, the press release related.
Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), a mainstay of Christian outreach ministries at universities across the U.S. for the past 60 years, is changing its iconic name because “the word ‘crusade’ has negative associations with the bloody Christian conquests of the 11th to 13th centuries,” reported the New York Times. In a press release, the organization itself explained that it was changing its name to simply “Cru” in an effort to “overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name.”
CCC’s late founder, Bill Bright, was aware of the perceived problems inherent in the group’s original brand and, said his wife Vonette Bright, “actually considered changing the name 20 or 25 years ago.” She added that with the new name the group hoped “to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived — Jesus Christ.”
As New York prepares to usher in legalized homosexual marriage, a new twist has developed over whether town clerks in New York State will be required to facilitate same-sex couples coming to them for licenses and ceremonies. As reported by The New American, Laura Fotusky, clerk in the central New York town of Barker, submitted her resignation on July 11, explaining that her Christian beliefs would prevent her from issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples.
On July 15 Rosemary Centi, clerk for the town of Guilderland in Albany County, offered her own resignation of sorts, informing her town supervisor that she would no longer be serving as the community’s official marriage officer, explaining that her Catholic faith would prevent her from officiating at marriage ceremonies for homosexual couples.
The atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFR) has filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Rick Perry in an attempt to halt the planned day of fasting and prayer he has called for on August 6th at Reliant Stadium in Houston. In a press release, the group said that it was joining five of its members in “asking the federal court to declare unconstitutional Perry’s initiation, organization, promotion, and participation in the Aug. 6 prayer event.” The group said that it planned to file a restraining order to block “Perry’s continuing involvement in the prayer rally….”
As reported by The New American, Perry has invited government officials, as well as individuals from around the country, to the event, called The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis. Noting that America has been “besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters,” Perry advised that as a nation “we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.”
Totalitarians cannot tolerate the free exercise of religion. As so many disillusioned communists in the last century observed, communism, to its disciples, is a religion and a god. One well known book, a collection of the writings of a number of former communists, is called simply The God That Failed. Anyone who has attempted to discuss a subject intelligently with a communist quickly grasps that he is talking to a follower of a secular religion.
Sometimes communism has entered into a truce with faith or has loosened the chains on religious people for tactical reasons. During the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, for example, the churches opened again and allowed people to worship without duress. That limited freedom disappeared after the Nazis were defeated. The Soviets also pretended to respect the rights of Jews to worship, although in actual practice Judaism was suppressed (Hebrew, for example, was forbidden while Yiddish, a secular language, was encouraged).
A federal judge has blocked enforcement of a new ordinance in New York City requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to posts signs announcing that they do not perform abortions or make referrals to abortion providers. U.S. District Judge William Pauley made his ruling on July 13, a day before the new law was to go into effect. As reported by the Associated Press, the law was designed “to stop some pregnancy centers from what the City Council concluded were deceptive practices meant to delay women from getting abortion services and emergency contraception.”
Abortion proponents accused the pro-life pregnancy centers of opening offices near abortion clinics and deceiving women into assuming they would refer them to abortion providers. As written, the law would require the centers to inform clients that they do not provide abortions or abortion referrals, nor do they dispense such “emergency contraception” as RU-486, the drug also known as the “abortion pill” because of its ability to cause abortion by preventing the implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall after conception.
An Ohio lesbian has lost her legal battle to share custody of the child to which her former same-sex partner gave birth in 2006. The decision by the Ohio Supreme Court highlights the legal nightmare that appears to be evolving as homosexual “families” begin to fracture.
By a four-to-three margin the state high court ruled that the biological mother, Kelly Mullen, could retain sole custody of the child, name Lucy, who is now five years old. Until their split in 2007 Mullen had shared parenting and financial responsibility for the girl with her lesbian partner, Michele Hobbs.
As the 17-year military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is coming to an end, homosexual military service members are now planning to take on another controversial issue — same sex marriages in the military. According to Fox News, “In the eyes of the military, [same-sex] marriage will not be recognized,” and same-sex married couples “will still be denied most of the benefits the Defense Department gives to heterosexual couples to ease the costs of medical care, travel, housing and other living expenses.”
The Pentagon asserts that the authority to not recognize homosexual marriages in the military is derived from the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Yesterday, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial bill requiring all public schools in the state to include a social studies curriculum on the contributions of gays and lesbians. The bill has unsurprisingly drawn criticism from a number of groups, including SaveCalifornia.com.
Senate Bill 48, proposed by Democrat Senator Mark Leno, passed the California Senate by a vote of 23-14, then moved on to the Assembly, where it passed on a 49 to 25 vote.
According to The Blaze: