By: Emily Conley
We have some catching up to do, since last Friday we kicked off a series of posts exploring important topics in The Giver film. As a result, this week’s round-up of religious freedom news features a story or two from last week that we still think you should know.
1. Navy Keeps First Amendment Afloat
Last week, the Navy began removing Bibles from hotels and guest rooms on Navy bases after The Freedom from Religion Foundation complained that allowing groups like Gideons International, a Christian organization, to place Bibles in guest rooms on Navy bases violates the First Amendment. We countered this claim in a letter to the Navy explaining that allowing the Bibles does not violate the Constitution. “Chaplains on Navy bases and ships aren’t illegal, and neither are Bibles in Navy guest rooms,” said ADF Legal Counsel Joseph E. La Rue. “They are in no way a government promotion of religion.” In response to the public outcry from veterans and civilians alike, the Navy agreed to reinstate the Bibles while it examines its policy.
2. Seeking Justice for Murdered Christians
Local ADF attorneys and allied attorneys in Orissa approach the Supreme Court of India seeking the setting up of special investigation teams to investigate the murders of over 38 Christians in the 2008 violence in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. While local rights groups claimed nearly 100 people were killed because of their religious beliefs, the courts have only pronounced convictions in two cases, 28 other cases have resulted in acquittals. Victims groups have approached the Supreme Court seeking reopening of these cases. You can learn more about our efforts in India here.
3. Planned Parenthood Tempe Sex Ed Curriculum
Planned Parenthood influencing Tempe children? from ADF Media Relations on Vimeo. Last Wednesday, the Tempe Union High School District’s Governing Board planned to vote on proposed sex education curriculum that was based on curriculum lobbied for by Planned Parenthood. Originally, the district provided only one hard copy of the 652 page curriculum for concerned parents and citizens to peruse. We asked that the Board delay the vote and extend the review period to give parents a chance to see it, and apparently in response to our letter and the concerns of others, Tempe Union High School District made the curriculum available online. This week the Board agreed to delay voting on the curriculum.
4. Another Victory over Obamacare
Since it was founded in 1906, Louisiana College has been a Christian school. As such, they objected to the Obamacare HHS mandate requiring them to facilitate access to life-ending drugs, and have fought the mandate since 2012. But August 13, a federal judge ruled that the mandate violates the Christian college’s freedom of religion. That brings our ADF Obamacare scorecard to 20-0! Find out why Obamacare is worse than you think.
5. Supreme Court Puts Virginia Marriage Decision on Hold
The media speculated that same-sex weddings could begin in Virginia this week, after an appellate-court ruling declared invalid the Commonwealth’s voter-approved constitutional amendment affirming marriage as a man-woman union. But attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, on behalf of our client, asked the Supreme Court step in and maintain the current marriage laws until the high court has an opportunity to review the case.
On August 20, the Supreme Court did just that. “Virginians deserve an orderly and fair resolution to the question of whether they will remain free to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws. By granting our request to place a hold on the 4th Circuit’s decision, the Supreme Court is making clear, as it already did in the Utah marriage case, that it believes a dignified process is better than disorder,” said ADF Senior Counsel Byron Babione.
Learn more about Bostic v. Schafer here.
Any stories I should include in my next round up? Suggest them to me on Twitter at @Emily_ADF.
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