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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • Calif. OKs third gender, protects religious liberty

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, October 18, 2017 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- Pro-family advocates are lamenting California Gov. Jerry Brown's approval Oct. 15 of a bill expanding rights for individuals identifying as transgender but celebrating his veto the same day of a measure that threatened religious liberty.

    Brown, a Democrat, signed Senate Bill 179, which adds a third gender option on official state identification documents for those who reject the designation of male or female and opt instead to be considered "nonbinary." Among his vetoes, meanwhile, was Assembly Bill 569, which would have made it illegal for religious organizations to prohibit their employees from having abortions or engaging in sex outside marriage. Read More

  • Ten Commandments monument case declined by SCOTUS

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, October 17, 2017 (one month ago)

    Facebook photo
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined an opportunity to revisit whether the display of religion-related monuments on government property is against the law.

    The court declined without explanation Monday (Oct. 16) to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling against a Ten Commandments monument outside the Bloomfield, N.M., City Hall. In lower courts, two Wiccans represented by the American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged the five-foot monument, complaining that it constitutes the government's establishment of religion. Read More

  • Air Force punishes colonel over marriage views

    by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD News Service, posted Monday, October 16, 2017 (one month ago)

    First Liberty photo
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BP) -- U.S. Air Force officials have suspended a decorated officer and revoked his recommendation for promotion to brigadier general because he would not sign an unofficial document affirming a retiring subordinate's same-sex marriage.

    Col. Leland B.H. Bohannon, Air Force Inspection Agency commander at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., signed all the requisite documents for a senior noncommissioned service member's May retirement ceremony except for one: a letter of "spousal appreciation" for the gay serviceman's partner. Read More

  • Individual rights & sexuality aired at NOBTS forum

    by Gary D. Myers, posted Tuesday, October 10, 2017 (one month ago)

    Photo by Gary D. Myers
    NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Advocates from several perspectives on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights discussed the emotionally and politically charged issues, which often pit the church against the prevailing culture, during a forum at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

    The "Rights and Sexuality: Where Individual Freedoms and Civil Rights Meet" event was sponsored by the seminary's Institute for Faith and the Public Square. Read More

  • Federal memo on religious freedom draws praise

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, October 09, 2017 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptist and other religious freedom defenders have hailed the Trump administration's new guidelines to safeguard in federal law the free exercise of religion.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum Oct. 6 to executive branch departments and agencies that provides guidance on religious liberty protections. In introducing 20 principles of religious freedom, Sessions said, "[T]o the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, ... Read More

  • 'Bring Your Bible to School' Oct. 5, FOTF urges

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, October 04, 2017 (one month ago)

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) -- An event encouraging students to take their Bibles to school Thursday (Oct. 5) is increasingly pertinent as the nation deals with natural disasters and man-made atrocities, event founder Candi Cushman told Baptist Press.

    Cushman, a Focus on the Family (FOTF) education advocate, founded the national "Bring Your Bible to School Day" in 2014 to advocate and preserve students' rights to share their faith at school. But the comfort the Bible offers is especially pertinent this year, she said, pointing to a flurry ... Read More

  • Pensacola cross sparks legal battle

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, September 28, 2017 (one month ago)

    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty photo
    PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- The city of Pensacola, Fla., has appealed a federal judge's ruling that a 34-foot-tall cross in one of its public parks must be removed.

    The city, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, filed a 155-page brief in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 26 claiming those who filed suit lack legal standing to bring a complaint and that the cross does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban of government-established religion. Becket is a conservative, Washington-based nonprofit organization focused on defending religious liberty. Read More

  • Couple fights to limit videos to biblical marriage

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, September 22, 2017 (one month ago)

    Photo from ADF
    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (BP) -- Christian filmmakers Carl and Angel Larsen are asking a district court to reinstate their challenge to a Minnesota law that could force them to produce media supporting same-sex marriage.

    The U.S. District Court in Minnesota dismissed the couple's lawsuit on Sept. 20 against the state over portions of the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), which bans sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations and contracting. Read More

  • Harvey-battered churches sue for FEMA funds

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, September 13, 2017 (2 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Three small churches damaged in Hurricane Harvey's unprecedented Texas deluge are jointly suing a U.S. government agency for access to public recovery funds.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) religiously discriminates against churches by preventing them from seeking disaster recovery funding available to other nonprofits, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty alleges in the suit filed Sept. 5 in Houston federal court. Read More

  • Court urged to protect cake artist's religious freedom

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, September 11, 2017 (2 months ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Forcing an artist to create a cake for a same-sex wedding in contradiction to his beliefs is a "de facto religious test" that violates the First Amendment, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has told the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The ERLC -- joined by seven other organizations and an individual -- urged the high court to reverse a lower-court ruling against Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Sept. 7. The justices agreed in June to accept the appeal and are expected to hear oral arguments ... Read More