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Stories tagged with: freedom

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  • Army chaplain fights charge of unlawful discrimination

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, April 18, 2018 (3 days ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptist chaplain Jerry Scott Squires is fighting a U.S. Army investigator's charge of unlawful discrimination for refusing to preside over a marriage retreat including same-sex couples.

    But Squires followed federal law and Army and Southern Baptist Convention chaplaincy protocol when he rescheduled a Feb. 9 Strong Bonds marriage retreat in order to involve a non-SBC chaplain, thereby accommodating the attendance of a lesbian couple, First Liberty Institute said in an April 17 letter to the Army in Squires' defense. Read More

  • Religious liberty ruled no basis for transgender policy

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, March 12, 2018 (one month ago)

    Google Maps photo
    CINCINNATI (BP) -- Religious freedom provides no legal basis to discipline transgender workers who violate workplace gender policies, a U.S. appeals court has ruled in a groundbreaking decision.

    The March 7 decision is the first to extend Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 to transgender individuals charging discrimination based on sexual identity, and reverses a lower court ruling that had protected the workplace under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Read More

  • Christian wedding cake baker wins Calif. court battle

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, February 06, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund photo
    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (BP) -- A California trial court has upheld a Christian baker's right to refuse to create a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, but the decision comes as a similar case is already pending in the nation's highest court.

    Tastries Bakery owner Cathy Miller's freedom of speech "outweighs" the state of California's interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace, Judge David R. Lampe said in his decision in the Superior Court of California in Kern County, one of the state's 58 trial courts. Read More

  • Housing allowance order stayed for now; appeals likely

    by Roy Hayhurst, posted Monday, December 18, 2017 (4 months ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    DALLAS (BP) -- A federal district court judge in Wisconsin, as expected, has entered a final order declaring the minister's housing allowance unconstitutional. The Dec. 13 order, however, has been stayed for 180 days after all appeals are exhausted, meaning it currently does not have any impact.

    Observers expect the government to appeal the order by Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin, who issued her ruling on Oct. 6 following a 2013 ruling she issued that was overturned. Read More

  • MOVIES: One film, 2 big themes

    by Phil Boatwright, posted Friday, September 15, 2017 (7 months ago)

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- "Because of Gracia" ventures into two challenging themes -- chastity and freedom of speech -- in a poignant teen drama featuring former "American Idol" contestant Moriah Peters.

    Set for a limited theatrical release by ArtAffects Entertainment on Sept. 15, the first scenario in Because of Gracia concerns a Christian high school student who finds herself in a debate class defending the right to teach creationism.

    The second plot involves her pledge to remain chaste until her wedding, while a fellow student loses her battle for virtue to a devious boyfriend. Read More

  • Tillerson's religious liberty stand draws praise

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, August 16, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Screen capture from Twitter
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptist and other religious freedom advocates praised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's defense of religious freedom -- especially his unequivocal labeling of the crimes of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as genocide -- upon the release of an annual report Tuesday (Aug. 15).

    In introducing the International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, Tillerson said he was removing "any ambiguity from previous statements or reports by the State Department." Read More

  • Court signals religious freedom victory for artist

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, August 03, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Alliance Defending Freedom photo
    MADISON, Wisc. (BP) -- A self-employed evangelical Christian photographer can reject job requests based on her religious beliefs against same-sex marriage, a Wisconsin county court and government officials have agreed.

    Judge Richard Niess of the Dane County Circuit Court agreed Monday (Aug. 1) to sign an order within coming weeks signifying that city and state public accommodation laws do not apply to photographer and blogger Amy Lynn Lawson, the sole owner of Amy Lynn Photography Studio in Madison, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Lawson works on commission and does not have a physical storefront. Read More

  • INDEPENDENCE DAY: 'We face another challenging hour'

    by Maj. Gen. Doug Carver (ret.), posted Monday, July 03, 2017 (9 months ago)

    Photo by Adam Covington
    Doug Carver recounts Southern Baptists' longstanding wartime ministry to members of the armed forces. And now, he points to another critical hour to remain "faithful stewards of the freedom we've been granted by the men and women who have, through their brave and sacrificial service, kept America the land of the free and the brave." Read More

  • Religious liberty law in Miss. upheld on appeal

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, June 23, 2017 (10 months ago)

    A law allowing Mississippians to refuse a variety of business transactions violating their religious beliefs was allowed to take effect by a federal appeals court June 22, but the court did not address the law's constitutionality. Read More

  • Gay marriage suit reinstated against Ky. county clerk

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, May 03, 2017 (one year ago)

    Screen capture from ABC News
    CINCINNATI (BP) -- A Cincinnati appeals court has reinstated a homosexual couple's lawsuit seeking damages from county clerk Kim Davis who refused to issue the couple a marriage license because of her religion.

    Davis spent five days in jail when she refused repeatedly to issue a marriage license to David Ermold and David Moore, days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation in June 2015. Read More