Pro-homosexual groups have targeted a Minnesota school district just outside of Minneapolis for its unwillingness to discuss homosexuality in the classroom. The groups point to seven suicides within two years at the school district as proof that the subject should be addressed by the schools, since parents and friends say that four of those students were either "gay," perceived to be "gay," or questioning their own sexuality. A number of groups have filed a lawsuit against the school district, and the federal government has indicated it will perform a formal investigation into the district’s policy.
In 2009, the Anoka-Hennepin School District adopted a policy that indicates staff must “remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation” and that “such matters are best addressed within individual family homes, churches, or community organizations.”
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a Kansas law that bans funding of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Court Judge J. Thomas Marten was “incredulous” at the state’s insistence that the law prohibiting abortion funding did not target Planned Parenthood specifically, ruling that the law was intended to punish the abortion provider and would eventually be overturned.
In its lawsuit Planned Parenthood argued that the Kansas measure is part of a national effort by pro-life organizations to cut off federal funding of the group. Similar laws to either partially or completely cut off abortion funding have been passed in Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. But in late June a federal judge granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary injunction against the measure in Indiana, opening the door to challenges in other states.
A federal Judge in Ohio ruled on Monday that a former Democratic Congressman is permitted to proceed with a lawsuit against a pro-life group that he claims defamed him during his campaign. Analysts say the case may test the bounds of free speech.
According to former Rep. Steve Driehaus, the Susan B. Anthony List contributed to his election loss because they “disseminated lies” about him regarding his record on abortion issues. He claims they caused him “reputational” and “economic” harm.
Driehaus’ complaint focuses on statements and advertisements that argued Driehaus was not a pro-life lawmaker, since he voted for taxpayer-funded abortion as part of the healthcare overhaul.
The Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force advocates that North Carolina provide reparations to surviving victims of the state’s past sterilization program. The program, which spanned from 1929 to 1974 — most popular during the 1930s — subjected 7,600 residents to forced sterilization, of whom analysts estimate 1,500 to 2,000 are still alive today.
Former Gov. Mike Easley apologized to the sterilization victims in 2002, but no compensation was ever agreed upon. Although about half a dozen states have issued public apologies for their own sterilization programs, North Carolina is the first to mull over a concrete reparation plan.
A federal judge ruled July 27 that the U.S. government can continue funding embryonic stem-cell research. Royce Lamberth, chief judge of the District of Columbia District Court, threw out a 2009 lawsuit by researchers Dr. James Sherley and Theresa Deisher, of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute, that challenged President Obama’s expansion of funding for the research which pro-life leaders point out destroys human embryos. The funding had been severely limited under the Bush administration.
As reported by Baptist Press News, Lamberth issued the ruling “less than a year after suspending federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR).” Lamberth’s latest decision came “after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals removed his preliminary injunction on such grants.” In his opinion Lamberth said the appeals court decision “constrains this court,” compelling him to dismiss the challenge.
A recent Gallup poll on abortion laws passed in state legislatures across the nation found that, for the most part, Americans favor measures that make various restrictions on the procedure. But the survey also found that a majority of Americans do not necessarily favor laws that allow healthcare providers to opt out of providing abortion medication or procedures or laws that bar government funding for abortion providers.
Most significantly, the Gallup pollsters found that 87 percent of Americans would favor a law “requiring doctors to inform patients about certain possible risks of abortion before performing the procedure.” Similarly, the survey found that:
A conservative religious group has filed suit against the state of New York for its new legislation legalizing homosexual “marriage,” which Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law on June 24.
The group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms says the law, known as the Marriage Equality Act, was passed illegally because the negotiations leading up to Cuomo’s effort to overturn the definition of marriage trespassed several open meetings laws.
After the law was passed, at least two town clerks quit their jobs rather than sign same-sex marriage licenses.
World renowned evangelical Christian leader John R.W. Stott died July 27 at his home in London. He was 90 years old. “Stott, considered one of the greatest evangelical thinkers of the 20th century, led an evangelical resurgence in England in the 1960s and 1970s,” reported CBN News. “He influenced Christians worldwide through his preaching and writings,” including authoring 50 books on a variety of topics of interest to evangelicals and the church at large.
While he was ordained by the Church of England in 1945 and served All Souls Church in London for more than 60 years, the impact of his thinking and leadership were felt widely throughout evangelical Christendom. “He was an intellectual pioneer who in the years following World War II spearheaded an evangelical revival in England at a time when evangelical Christians had almost no influence and were often derided as uneducated,” reported the Associated Press. “Stott, who studied at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, took a rigorous approach to Scripture that moved beyond the largely emotional appeals commonly used by preachers of his era.”
Some family friends of ours had quite a bit of excitement recently: They adopted a baby boy! Their new boy is the joy of joys for them because, though they desperately wanted children, they had been languishing on adoption waiting lists for years, without much hope of getting a child. They were ideal prospective parents: Both the husband and the wife are college educated; the couple is financially stable; they could produce an almost endless supply of character references; and their marriage vows remain solidly intact after nearly 20 years together. In other words, they could provide a stable, loving, traditional home for a child.
But there were no children to be had. Fortunately for them, an adoption agency in Wisconsin recommended that they apply at an agency in Florida where it might be possible to get a child.
It’s a few months early, but the ACLU is already beginning its annual attack on America’s beloved Christmas holiday. The Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper reported that the Broward County branch of the ACLU has warned the community of Plantation not to put up its annual display of Christian and Jewish symbols in Liberty Tree Park this holiday season, calling the display “inappropriate.”
In a letter to city officials, the ACLU argued that “displaying a Nativity scene and menorah violates the separation of church and state,” reported the paper. “The problem, the rights group said, is that the city is advocating for two religions while ignoring all the others.”
The ACLU’s Barry Butin said his group thinks Plantation’s holiday spirit is “a violation of the First Amendment and an endorsement of religion. If they were really neutral and didn’t favor one over the other, they’d have a more inclusive display: Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist.”