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February 23, 2012

Va. Senate Passes ‘Conscience Clause’ Restricting Gay Adoption

The Virginia State Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill allowing private adoption agencies to consider religious and moral beliefs as a determining factor in placing children with adoptive parents. Gov. Bob McDonnell has indicated he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk. Pro-family groups who wanted private adoption agencies to have the authority to consider moral, religious and lifestyle choices of couples when considering their worthiness as adoptive parents, praised the legislation. The bill protects faith-based adoption agencies that refuse to place a child with gay parents.

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February 23, 2012

Christian Clubs Told to ‘Stop Whining,’ Meet in Homes Like in Communist China

NASHVILLE – An Americans United for the Separation of Church and State official told Vanderbilt University Christians to "stop whining" about the institution's all-comers policy and hold their meetings in private homes like Christians in communist China. During the 2012 National Religious Broadcasters Convention's public policy debate on Tuesday, AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn defended Vanderbilt's right as a private institution to impose a campus-wide nondiscrimination policy that could potentially drive religious student organizations off campus.

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February 23, 2012

Christian Apologetics Student Group Gains Ground at Universities

The popularity of a college student group primarily focused on defending their faith in Jesus on university campuses throughout the U.S. and world has increased dramatically in the last year. While operating in the mostly secular environment of college academia, including students and professors, a Christian apologetics alliance known as Ratio Christi (Latin for "reason of Christ" or the "rationality of Christ") is aggressively seeking and placing apologists on campuses to lead student chapters.

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February 23, 2012

Kansas Board Seeks Revocation of Abortionist’s License

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts is recommending that an abortionist who referred girls as young as 10 to the late Dr. George Tiller for late-term abortions have her medical license revoked. A judge said Tuesday that Neuhaus — who was the only doctor Tiller used to provide second opinions before performing late-term abortions in Wichita in 2003 — was guilty of negligence and “unprofessional conduct? in all 11 of the counts against her.

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February 23, 2012

Protestant Colleges Consider Dropping Student Health Insurance

Catholic business owners aren’t the only ones who will be hit hard if the Obama administration doesn’t rescind a mandate for employers to provide contraception and possible abortifacient drugs in their insurance plans: Protestant groups will be in the same boat. While the Catholic outcry has been substantial, as many as 120 mostly Protestant colleges and universities are considering dropping insurance coverage for students, rather than violate their faith.

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February 23, 2012

New Jersey Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban

New Jersey Superior Court judge said Tuesday that a group of same-sex couples could sue the state for violating their constitutional rights when it passed a law creating civil unions rather than same-sex marriage. Judge Linda Feinberg based her opinion partly on the Feb. 7 ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declaring the California marriage amendment unconstitutional. Seven same-sex couples and a gay-activist group filed the lawsuit last June, but Feinberg dismissed all but one count in November — the question of whether they were provided equal protection under the state constitution.

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February 22, 2012

Georgia Democrats Seek Vasectomy Ban In Response To Abortion Bill

A group of female Democratic legislators in the Georgia House of Representatives has proposed a bill that would ban men from seeking vasectomies. "Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies," said bill author Yasmin Neal in a statement. "It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such maters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women's ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States."

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February 22, 2012

Pro-lifers ‘Could Care Less’ About Black Babies After They Are Born, Says Planned Parenthood Rep

(CNSNews.com) – Pro-lifers including lawmakers seeking to outlaw abortions at 20 weeks or later in the District of Columbia voice concern for black babies while in the womb, but “could care less? about them after they are born, a senior Planned Parenthood official charged Tuesday. Ludwig Gaines, the African American leadership and engagement director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was replying to a question about abortion’s disproportionate affect on black women.

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February 22, 2012

Vanderbilt Says It Respects Religious Tolerance With ‘All-Comers’ Policy

Vanderbilt University, which stirred controversy over deciding to adopt an "all-comers" policy to membership and leadership in campus student organizations, maintains that it shows tolerance for religious organizations. In a statement given to The Christian Post by Vanderbilt Senior Public Affairs Officer Amy Wolf, the university does not believe its policy infringes on religious organizations' rights.

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February 22, 2012

States Seek to Expand Exemptions to Secular Employers

Some states are taking measures to protect employers from having to comply with a recent federal mandate that forces them to pay for possible abortifacient drugs against their moral or religious objections. Arizona, Idaho and Missouri have introduced bills that would affirm and protect employers who have religious or moral objections to offering health care plans that cover drugs — like Plan B and ella — that may cause an early abortion.

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February 22, 2012

California Marriage Amendment Appealed to Full 9th Circuit

ProtectMarriage.com, the legal team defending the California marriage amendment known as Prop. 8, announced this afternoon that they are appealing the case to a retinue of judges at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, rather than going straight to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Feb. 7, a three-judge panel from the 9th struck Prop. 8 down, reasoning that since the California Supreme Court had previously extended marriage to same-sex couples in the state, the 2008 voter initiative to keep the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman unconstitutionally revoked a “right.?

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February 22, 2012

Debate over conscience in the workplace intensifies

Can a state require a pharmacy to stock and dispense emergency contraception - even when the owner considers the drug immoral? That's the question at the heart of a long-running legal battle in Washington state, expected to be decided Wednesday with a ruling from U.S. District Court in Seattle.

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February 21, 2012

Colleges in court

Two more evangelical Christian colleges are suing the federal government over the contraceptive coverage mandate included in the new national healthcare law, a requirement administrators from both schools say violates their constitutional rights. Louisiana College, in Pineville, La., filed its suit on Saturday, while Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, Pa., will file its suit Tuesday. Attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) will represent both schools. (Editor’s note: See an update at the end of this article about another college filing suit this week.)

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February 21, 2012

New York City Churches Still Out In the Cold

New York City churches still have to find new places to hold worship services, according to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Some 60 churches thought they’d secured a 10-day reprieve from being evicted from the public school buildings where they’d been meeting, after a federal district judge issued a temporary restraining order last Thursday. But late Friday, the 2nd Circuit limited the order to one church — the Bronx Household of Faith.

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February 21, 2012

New Jersey Governor Vetoes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

As promised, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a same-sex marriage bill Friday, shortly after it was sent to him by the Legislature. But just a few hours later in Maryland, another same-sex marriage bill cleared its only major hurdle, the House of Delegates, with one vote more than it needed. The Maryland bill will now move on to the state Senate, which passed a similar measure last year. Gov. Martin O’Malley has promised to sign it into law as soon as he receives it. Marriage advocates already are gearing up for a petition drive to put a referendum on the ballot.

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February 21, 2012

Justice Department Won’t Defend DOMA for the Military

The Obama administration did an about-face concerning military policy and the federal Defense of Marriage Act on Friday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed Congress the Department of Justice will not stand in the way of any service members’ same-sex spouses suing the military for spousal benefits. Holder wrote that he has determined that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — the federal law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman — violates the equal protection clause of the First Amendment.

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February 20, 2012

100% of Catholic Bishops Oppose Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate

(CNSNews.com) -- All 181 Catholic bishops in the United States oppose and have publicly denounced a regulation issued by the Obama administration that would require every health insurer to offer contraceptives, including those that induce abortion, free of charge. The bishops oppose the mandate because, they argue, it is a violation of religious liberty under the First Amendment – in this case, the federal government forcing individual Catholics to subsidize products and services that are contrary to their religious beliefs.

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February 20, 2012

Sex-Changing Treatment for Kids: It’s on The Rise

CHICAGO (AP) — A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics. It's an issue that raises ethical questions, and some experts urge caution in treating children with puberty-blocking drugs and hormones.

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February 20, 2012

British Official Draws Ire for Letting Faith Schools Condemn Homosexuality

Britain's Education Secretary Michael Gove is under fire for his stance that the sex education curriculum of schools run by religious groups does not come under the purview of the country's equality laws that prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The U.K.'s Trades Union Congress, an influential federation of trade unions, is accusing Gove, a lawmaker from the Conservative Party, of not doing his duty by saying that the Equality Act 2010 does not extend to the school curriculum, The Guardian reported this weekend.

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February 20, 2012

States Plan Lawsuit Over Contraceptive/Abortion Mandate

If the Obama administration does not rescind a rule forcing faith-based groups to buy health insurance for employees that covers sterilization, contraception and possible abortion-causing drugs, it could soon find itself the target of a lawsuit from at least 12 states. That’s how many signed a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently saying they will “vigorously oppose it in court.?

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