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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • Christian wedding cake baker wins Calif. court battle

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, February 06, 2018 (4 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

  • ERLC agenda focuses on life, liberty, family

    by Tom Strode, posted Thursday, February 01, 2018 (4 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's legislative and policy priorities for 2018 include the protection of human life, the preservation of freedom of conscience and the flourishing of families.

    The ERLC released its new Legislative Agenda Wednesday (Jan. 31) after a year that featured several important victories among its 2017 priorities.

    Those successes included: Read More

  • Brownback confirmed on Pence tie-breaker

    by Tom Strode, posted Thursday, January 25, 2018 (5 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The United States once again has an ambassador at large for religious freedom but only by the slimmest of margins.

    The Senate confirmed Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to the post Wednesday (Jan. 24) by virtue of Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote. As the presiding officer of the chamber, Pence cast the deciding vote to snap a 49-49 tie along party lines.

    All the votes against confirmation came from Democrats, even though Brownback was a colleague to some of them during his 14 years in the Senate. Two Republicans -- Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John McCain of Arizona -- were absent, resulting in the opportunity for a tie-breaker by Pence. Read More

  • University ordered to readmit campus Christian group

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, January 24, 2018 (5 months ago)

    University of Iowa photo
    DAVENPORT, Iowa (BP) -- A state university must temporarily restore registered status to a Christian student group kicked off campus for allegedly violating the school's human rights policy, a U.S. district court ruled Jan. 23.

    The University of Iowa (UI) in Iowa City must restore registered status for 90 days to Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC), which the school accused of violating the human rights of an applicant because he identified as a homosexual. The Davenport, Iowa court decision allows BLinC to participate in a campus membership recruitment event today (Jan. 24) that BLinC said is crucial to its growth. Read More

  • HHS: Religious liberty to be 'vigorously' enforced

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, January 18, 2018 (5 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Trump administration's creation of an office to safeguard health care professionals' religious liberty has drawn praise from evangelicals and derision from advocates of so-called abortion and transgender rights.

    Meanwhile, Arkansas physician Steve Goss, who serves on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said new federal safeguards for religious freedom are not likely to change the practices of Christian health care providers or imperil the availability of medical services. Read More

  • University of Iowa, religious liberty in spotlight

    by Leigh Jones/WORLD News Service, posted Thursday, January 18, 2018 (5 months ago)

    University of Iowa photo
    IOWA CITY, Iowa (BP) -- A Christian student group at the University of Iowa has filed suit against the school after losing its status as an official on-campus organization because it requires leaders to hold Biblical beliefs about sexuality.

    Oral argument took place earlier today (Jan. 18) in federal district court in Davenport. A decision is expected sometime next week.

    Business Leaders in Christ launched in 2015 and has about 10 members. In February, the group denied member Marcus Miller a leadership role after he revealed he was gay. Miller filed a complaint with university administrators, who decided in November the group had violated the school's nondiscrimination policy. Read More

  • Lankford, Moore amplify separation of church & state

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, January 17, 2018 (5 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Two Southern Baptists -- one a U.S. senator and the other a convention entity head -- said on Religious Freedom Day the idea of "separation of church and state" entails freedom -- rather than limitations -- to Americans in the practice of their faith.

    Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, co-wrote "The Real Meaning of the Separation of Church and State" for the celebration Tuesday (Jan. 16) of the country's heritage of religious freedom. Time magazine published the article online. Read More

  • Are conservative voices being silenced by Twitter?

    by Grace Thornton, posted Friday, January 12, 2018 (5 months ago)

    Screen capture from YouTube
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- Social media platform Twitter may be trying to reshape the online narrative by editing out conservative voices, a new undercover video released by Project Veritas alleges.

    The video, released Thursday (Jan. 11), appears to show current and former Twitter engineers explaining how they "downrank" some users and make others totally invisible if they don't like what they are saying. Baptist leaders shared different views on the significance of the undercover video -- with one saying the report shouldn’t prompt concern, while another called the video "deeply troubling." Read More

  • High court permits conscience law to stand in Miss.

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, January 10, 2018 (5 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has left in effect a Mississippi law that protects the religious freedom of those who object to participating in a gay marriage or sex-reassignment surgery.

    The justices announced Jan. 8 without comment they would not review a lower court decision that permitted the law to go into effect. In June, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled those who sued did not have a legal basis -- known as "standing" -- to challenge the law. As a result, the appeals court lifted a federal judge's injunction that had prevented the law from taking effect.

    Religious freedom advocates applauded the high court's action. Read More

  • World's worst religious freedom violators evaluated

    by Tom Strode, posted Friday, January 05, 2018 (5 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Trump administration's first designation of the world's worst violators of religious freedom received the same evaluation as the last list under President Obama -- good but not good enough.

    The State Department announced Thursday (Jan. 4) the re-designation of the same "countries of particular concern" (CPCs) announced in April 2016 by the Obama administration. In a Dec. 22 action, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson kept Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the list, according to a department spokesperson. Read More