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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • Cake baker's 7-2 SCOTUS win affirms religious liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, June 04, 2018 (16 days ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court delivered an important, if not wide-ranging, victory for religious liberty Monday (June 4) in its continuing faceoff with sexual liberty.

    In a 7-2 opinion, a high court majority that included conservatives and liberals ruled the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the religious free exercise clause of the First Amendment by penalizing Jack Phillips for declining to design and decorate a cake for the wedding of two men. The commission demonstrated "religious hostility" toward Phillips in its action, the justices said in a decision on one of multiple court ... Read More

  • Free speech fight returns to the University of Mich.

    by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD , posted Thursday, May 17, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo from
    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (BP) -- A new student organization stepping into the college campus free speech fight has sued the University of Michigan over its speech code. In a lawsuit filed May 8, Speech First alleges the University of Michigan's "vaguely worded" speech code protects hearers' sensibilities at the expense of speakers' constitutional right to free speech.

    The lawsuit marks the first in what could be a series of legal battles brought by the group against offending campuses, Speech First president Nicole Neily said. Read More

  • 'Constitution allows' cross in public park, city says

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, May 17, 2018 (one month ago)

    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty photo
    PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- A 77-year-old cross in a Pensacola, Fla., public park was defended May 16 when city officials appealed a court ruling that the monument be torn down.

    In a two-year legal battle pitting the city against secular humanists and self-proclaimed "nontheists," Pensacola presented its case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

    "Religious symbols aren't like graffiti that the government should erase as soon as someone complains," attorney Luke Goodrich said in a press release after the court hearing. "The Constitution allows the government to recognize the significant role of religion in our nation's history and culture." Read More

  • Okla., Kan. adoption bills guard religious liberty

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 (one month ago)

    OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) -- Legislation passed in Oklahoma and Kansas to protect the religious liberty of adoption agencies has drawn praise from Baptist leaders in those states and criticism from homosexual activist groups.

    In Oklahoma, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1140 on May 11. The measure protects private organizations from being required to take part in the placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the action would violate their "written religious or moral convictions or policies." The law permits faith-based adoption agencies to abide by their religious convictions in refusing to place children with same-sex couples. Read More

  • ERLC: Make religious freedom a priority in Africa

    by Tom Strode, posted Thursday, May 10, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo courtesy of U.S. House of Representatives
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Religious freedom should be a priority for U.S. relations with autocratic regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa, a Southern Baptist policy specialist told members of Congress Wednesday (May 9).

    Steven Harris, a policy director for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called for the focus on religious liberty during his testimony to a House of Representatives subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The hearing addressed the federal government's response to the increasing restrictions on religious groups, journalists and other sectors of civil society in countries such as Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Read More

  • Calif. bill already impacting religious expression

    by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD, posted Wednesday, May 09, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo courtesy of
    LOS ANGELES Calif. (BP) -- The California state legislature's latest effort to outlaw biblical views on sex, marriage and gender identity appears to have claimed its first casualty. Citing concerns over possible legal repercussions from a pending bill, Colorado-based Summit Ministries has canceled a summer conference at Biola University in the Los Angeles area.

    "The vagueness of the bill has opened up threats to religious communities that the author did not intend," Biola communications director Brenda Velasco said. Read More

  • 'Hate group' status blocks ADF from Amazon charity

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, May 07, 2018 (one month ago) photo
    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BP) -- A nonprofit Christian legal defense organization cannot receive donations through an Amazon charity program because the law firm is erroneously labeled a "hate group."

    The faith-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is blocked as an Amazon Smile recipient because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists ADF as a hate group with an anti-LGBT agenda. Another Christian organization, D. James Kennedy Ministries, currently is waging a federal lawsuit against Amazon and SPLC over its exclusion from Amazon Smile. Read More

  • Korea summit: historic, but human rights talk 'absent'

    by David Roach, posted Friday, April 27, 2018 (one month ago)

    Screen capture from The Washington Post
    PANMUNJOM, South Korea (BP) -- A historic meeting today (April 27) between the leaders of North and South Korea left religious liberty advocates optimistic about peace on the Korean Peninsula but pessimistic about the advance of human rights in the North.

    Paul Kim, Asian American advisor to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said the prospect of peace between the two Koreas is "like a dream" and what many South Koreans have prayed for daily through several decades -- though human rights violations in North Korea continue to be a ... Read More

  • Calif. bill could bar Bible's teaching on sexuality

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (one month ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptists and other religious conservatives are warning a bill making its way through the California legislature would violate free speech and religious freedom protections by prohibiting biblical teaching on sexuality.

    The California Assembly passed in a 50-18 vote April 19 an amendment that adds "sexual orientation change efforts" to the categories of activities barred by the state's consumer protection law. The proposal, Assembly Bill (AB) 2943, still needs to gain approval in the Senate before it goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. Read More

  • GOP exodus raises questions about life, liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Tuesday, April 24, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo from
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The record number of Republicans leaving Congress not only raises questions about control of the House of Representatives after November's elections but the fate of such issues as the sanctity of human life and religious freedom.

    When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, 48, announced April 11 he would retire at the end of this term, his decision brought to 38 the number of GOP members who have said they will not run for re-election, according to the Pew Research Center. The Senate's April 19 confirmation of Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma increases that total to 39. More Republicans could still announce their retirements. In addition, the seats of two other GOP members who resigned this term will be filled by special election before November, Pew reported. Read More