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Becket Defends Christian Printer Ordered to Print Shirts for Gay Pride Festival

Becket Fund news release

November 1, 2015

"Americans disagree about sex and religion. That's nothing new. But this case is about whether the government will allow people who disagree to live side-by-side in peace, or whether the government will instead pick one ‘correct' moral view and force everyone to conform," said Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "Fortunately, the Supreme Court has already resolved this question and held that the government can't force people to promote views they disagree with."

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Filed under: CourtsBecket FundHomosexuality

Football Coach 'Devastated' After Being Suspended for Post-Game Prayer

The Daily Signal commentary by Leah Jessen

November 1, 2015

Washington state high school football coach Joe Kennedy, inspired by the Christian faith-based film "Facing the Giants," walks to the 50-yard line after games to thank God for the players he has the opportunity to coach. As of Wednesday, Kennedy has been suspended and is no longer able to participate in football program activities because of his post-game prayers. "We tried to meet with the school officials in-person but they refused to meet," Hiram Sasser, deputy chief counsel for Liberty Institute, said in a statement. "We were only able to have a brief hour and a half call with their lawyer, and the result was a letter banning private prayer just a few hours before last Friday's game. It is unfortunate this school district is choosing litigation instead of a simple meeting."

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Filed under: Religious freedomHeritage FoundationLiberty Institute

Free to Serve: Protecting the Religious Freedom of Faith Based Organizations

Book by Stanley Carlson-Thies and Stephen Monsma

October 26, 2015

What do Hobby Lobby, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Wheaton College, World Vision, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the University of Notre Dame have in common? All are faith-based organizations that have faced pressure to act in ways contrary to their religious beliefs. In this book, two policy experts show how faith-based groups--those active in the educational, healthcare, international aid and development, and social service fields--can defend their ability to follow their religiously based beliefs without having to jettison the very faith and faith-based practices that led them to provide services to those in need.

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Filed under: Religious freedomInstitutional Religious Freedom Alliance

Protecting Religious Freedoms Will Strengthen Our Global Economy

Forbes commentary by Brian Walsh and Brian Grimm

October 21, 2015

According to a new study released today by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (of which one of us, Brian Grim, is president), the globe's growing religious diversity is likely to be one of the 21st century's most important developments for businesses and policymakers around the world. Burgeoning religious populations with greater wealth will have greater political influence, and this has the potential to either undermine or enhance social stability and economic strength. To navigate this new economic landscape well-and to ensure continued economic growth-it will be vital that national and business leaders emphasize the protection of minority groups' human rights, especially the rights and liberties of all religious groups.

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Filed under: Religious freedomCivil Rights Research Center

Ryan Anderson's powerful case for marriage

The Catholic Thing commentary by Hadley Arkes

October 20, 2015

Could we invoke a plea for religious tolerance? Chai Feldblum, a gay activist, descended from a line of rabbis, brushes away with a breezy contempt the claim for religious tolerance here, for it would stand in opposition to things she regards as commandingly rightful. This argument can be met then only by an argument showing why it cannot be wrongful to confine marriage to a man and a woman. It can be met, that is, only by an argument that takes up precisely the question of "What is Marriage?," the question that Anderson has pursued in this book, and in his book of that title with Robert George and Sherif Girgis.

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Filed under: CourtsCommentariesMarriage

Law Firm for the Little Sisters Asks Supreme Court to Hear Its Obamacare Case

Daily Signal

October 15, 2015

The Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who provide shelter and health care for the elderly poor, have filed a class action lawsuit against the Obama administration in order to be exempt from an Obamacare provision that requires employers to pay for abortifacient drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives in their employee health plans. Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel for The Becket Fund, said the government is making the "odd" and "dangerous" argument that the Little Sisters "aren't religious enough" to qualify for the exemption. "It's hard to be more religious than the Little Sisters," Blomberg said. "The federal government has drawn a discriminatory line between the Little Sisters and the church they serve."


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Filed under: CourtsContraceptionBecket Fund

21 Questions With Washington Florist Who Refused to Serve Gay Wedding

Daily Signal commentary by Kelsey Harkness

October 5, 2015

A judge in Washington state ruled this week that a 70-year-old florist who declined to make flower arrangements for a gay couple's wedding violated the state's anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. In a phone interview with The Daily Signal, Barronelle Stutzman said the decision-and its accompanying fines-will put her flower shop out of business, or worse. After the fines and legal fees, "There won't be anything left," Stutzman said. "They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet."

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomHomosexuality

Clinton will cut off funding to faith-based adoption groups that "discriminate against LGBT people"

International Religious Freedom Alliance

October 3, 2015

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has promised, if she becomes President, to use her influence to cut off federal funding for adoption and foster care agencies that "discriminate against LGBT people." Clinton said: "As president, I would push to cut off federal funding for any child welfare agency that discriminates against LGBT people. For me, there is no excuse - none - for hurting children and families like this."

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Filed under: Religious freedomInstitutional Religious Freedom AllianceAdoption

Taxing Churches Would Marry Church And State

The Federalist - commentary by Paul DeHart and Kevin Stuart

October 1, 2015

To tax someone or something is to exercise sovereign power over that person or thing. But then, quite obviously, any state or federal taxation of churches or religious organizations would constitute an exercise of sovereignty by the state over the church-that is, over religion. To maintain that government has the power to tax religious organizations is to affirm the sovereignty of state over church. To affirm that proposition is to reject any meaningful distinction-much less separation-between church and state. In short, those who advocate the right of the state to tax religious organizations are abandoning the separation of church and state.

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Filed under: Religious freedomCharitiesTax

The Next Religious Freedom Fight?

US News & World Report

October 1, 2015

A court battle in the Pacific Northwest has opened another front in the fight over religious liberty, raising questions over whether pharmacies are legally obligated to provide patients with emergency contraception despite moral objections. "The opponents to religious liberty keep escalating their demands," says Douglas Laycock, a law and religious studies professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. "People who are offended by religious opposition to emergency contraception may bring political pressure to enact such rules despite the lack of any need for them."

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomContraception

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