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June 20, 2012

Chaplain Alliance Condemns Pentagon’s Plans to Celebrate Gay Pride Month

A national chaplain alliance group "strongly condemns" the U.S. Department of Defense's decision to celebrate Gay Pride Month and says it is concerned that the Pentagon's next step will be to grant marriage benefits to same-sex couples within the military. "I find it interesting that in the same week that the decision was announced to no longer allow Bibles to be published using military insignia, the Pentagon announced the celebration of homosexuality – something the Scriptures clearly condemns," said Chaplain (Col.) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.

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June 19, 2012

Key Catholic Group Changes Mind About ‘Compromise’ for Religious Employers

A Catholic organization that went against bishops’ recommendations last year has changed its mind about a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate for religious employers. The Catholic Health Association (CHA) wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday that making insurance companies — rather than religious business owners — foot the bill for sterilization surgeries, possible abortifacient drugs and contraceptives for female employees is “unlikely to adequately meet the religious liberty concerns? of its 2,000 members.

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June 15, 2012

China Forced Abortion Case: Beijing Suspends 3 Officials In Controversial Case Of Feng Jianmei

BEIJING — China suspended three officials and apologized to a woman who was forced to undergo an abortion seven months into her pregnancy in a case that sparked an uproar after graphic photos of the mother and her dead baby were circulated online. The moves appeared to be aimed at allaying public anger over a case that has triggered renewed criticism of China's widely hated one-child limit. Designed to control the country's exploding population, the policy has led to often violently imposed forced abortions and sterilizations as local authorities try to meet birth quotas set by Beijing.

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June 15, 2012

Living in fear

Chinese authorities released a woman facing a forced abortion in China’s northern Hunan province on Sunday after human rights activists and at least one U.S. official called for her freedom. Cao Ruyi—a mother in her fifth month of pregnancy—still faces outrageous fines for allegedly violating China’s one-child policy, and said that she and her husband can’t afford to pay a “social burden compensation fee? that exceeds $25,000. She fears that authorities may return and attempt a forced abortion again.

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June 15, 2012

Anglican, Roman Catholic Churches in UK Issue Defense of Traditional Marriage

Anglican and Roman Catholic authorities in Britain issued on Tuesday official declarations stating their firm opposition to government plans to change the legal definition of marriage, saying that despite reassurances claiming otherwise, clergy may very well be forced to perform same-sex marriages. "The uniqueness of the institution of marriage is based on the fact that the human person exists as both male and female and that their union for the purpose of procreation, mutual support and love has, over the centuries of human history, formed a stable unit which we call the family," said the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in a statement.

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June 15, 2012

Pentagon to Celebrate Pride Month Nearly a Year After Repealing Ban on Gays

The Pentagon will host its first ever celebration of gays and lesbians in the military this month, which was recently proclaimed by President Barack Obama as LGBT Pride Month. The Pentagon's celebration comes nearly a year after the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" banning open homosexuals from the military. U.S. officials said on Thursday that "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta feels it's important to recognize the service of gays in the armed forces," The Associated Press reported, although no further details of the planned event were revealed. The celebrations will be a part of other ceremonies marking the contribution of racial and ethic groups.

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June 15, 2012

School Allows Pro-Life Displays

A school district in Springfield, Mo., has agreed to allow students to display pro-life materials along with other forms of student speech, settling a four-month-old lawsuit. In February, Dixon High School administrators took down student posters advertising the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity, but allowed others to remain — including promotions for the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network’s Annual Day of Silence, political posters, anti-drug messages, and photos of students dressed as zombies.

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June 14, 2012

Declining to Photograph a Same-Sex Ceremony: Is It Legal to Refuse a Gay Client?

The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently ruled against a photography company that said it refused to photograph a same-sex marriage ceremony. On May 31, the court upheld a ruling by the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission against Elane Photography for violating the state's prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2006, Vanessa Willock asked Elane Photography in Albuquerque to photograph her same-sex commitment ceremony. Elane declined because it photographs only traditional weddings, not same-sex weddings. Willock filed and won a claim with the commission, alleging that she was discriminated against based on her sexual orientation. We collected the arguments over specific issues below:

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June 14, 2012

Gay Marriage Issue to Go Before Wash. State Voters

The Washington Secretary of State's office announced on Tuesday that Referendum 74, an initiative to ban same-sex marriage in the state, will go before voters in November. The measure seeks to overturn a state law passed earlier this year by the legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire legalizing gay marriage. Preserve Marriage Washington turned in 247,331 signatures, far more than the 120,577 required, to qualify for the ballot. Christopher Plante, the group's deputy campaign director, estimated they would spend around $4 million to encourage voters to pass the measure and that they would also activate churches and use various grassroots tactics as well.

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June 14, 2012

Illinois School Board Chooses Parents Over GLSEN School Curriculum

A school board in Erie, Ill., is sending ripple effects nationwide after daring to listen to local parents rather than yielding to pressure from national gay activist groups. Responding to parental concerns, the board of Erie Community Unit School District 1 voted 5-2 not to use materials from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in its elementary school, which goes from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade.

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June 14, 2012

Australia Awards Infanticide Guru Highest Civic Award

This is a disgrace: Peter Singer has won Australia’s highest civic award. From the Princeton press release: Peter Singer, the Decamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, has been awarded Australia’s highest civic honor. He was appointed Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for eminent service to philosophy and bioethics as a leader of public debate and communicator of ideas in the areas of global poverty, animal welfare and the human condition.?

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June 13, 2012

Senators File Brief in DOMA Case

Ten current and former U.S. senators on Monday filed a brief in a federal court case over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), telling justices who ruled part of the law unconstitutional that their reasoning was deeply flawed. In February, a U.S. District judge ruled that DOMA should not prevent a federal worker’s same-sex partner from receiving employer-provided benefits, because the law was based on “animus toward gay men and lesbians.? The case has been appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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June 12, 2012

Pro-Gay Groups Dispute Study Revealing That Kids Fare Worse in Same-Sex Households

A new study analyzing how children who grew up in same-sex parent households have fared as adults is being disputed by some pro-gay groups as questionable, while pro-family groups say it reveals what they have known all along -- children tend to fare best when raised in heterosexual households. The New Family Structures Study, overseen by Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults from ages 18 to 39 and was published in the July issue of Social Science Research journal. Of the respondents, 73 shared that their father had engaged in a same-sex relationship and 163 reported that their mother had done the same. The research organization also concluded that based on their findings, differences have been observed between outcomes of children in same-sex-based intact families and children in cohabiting, divorced, step-, and single-parent families in the large, representative sample.

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June 12, 2012

149 Religious Leaders to HHS Secretary: Stop 2-Class Religion Scheme

A letter signed by 149 religious leaders was sent to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Monday expressing concern over a two-class concept of religious organizations created by her department and other federal agencies. Churches and faith-based religious organizations should be provided the same religious freedom protections, the letter states. Signers include both Catholics and Protestants, who are "united in opposition to the creation in federal law of two classes of religious organizations: churches -- considered sufficiently focused inwardly to merit an exemption and thus full protection from the mandate; and faith-based service organizations -- outwardly oriented and given a lesser degree of protection."

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June 12, 2012

Study: Children of Parents in Same-Sex Relationships Face Greater Risks

A pair of studies published today in the journal Social Science Research turns the widely accepted notion that kids raised by parents in same-sex relationships grow up to become well-adjusted adults on its ear. Acording to data from the New Family Structures Study, led by Mark Regnerus at the University of Texas at Austin, children raised by homosexual parents are dramatically more likely than peers raised by married heterosexual parents to suffer from a host of social problems. Among them are strong tendencies, as adults, to exhibit poor impulse control; suffer from depression and thoughts of suicide; need mental health therapy; identify themselves as homosexual; choose cohabitation; be unfaithful to partners; contract sexually transmitted diseases; be sexually molested; have lower income levels; drink to get drunk; and smoke tobacco and marijuana.

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