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Justices rule against sign code

Washington Times

June 23, 2015

In separate free-speech rulings Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled against an Arizona town's sign code, which was used to punish a small, local church. In the eight-year-long Arizona church sign case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Justice Clarence Thomas concluded that the town's signage code was "content based," which meant the code had to meet the highest constitutional test. Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel David Cortman, who represented Pastor Clyde Reed and Good News Community Church, said the unanimous ruling was a "victory for everyone's freedom of speech."

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Filed under: CourtsAlliance Defending FreedomFree speech

Lee, Labrador Introduce Bill Protecting Religious LIberty

Sen. Mike Lee

June 17, 2015

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), today reintroduced legislation to clarify and strengthen religious liberty protections in federal law, by safeguarding those individuals and institutions who promote traditional marriage from government retaliation. The First Amendment Defense Act  (S. 1598, H.R. 2802) would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. For example, the bill would prohibit the IRS from stripping a church of its tax exemption for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings. "There’s a reason the right to religious liberty appears first in our nation’s Bill of Rights,” said Senator Lee.

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Filed under: CongressMarriageLegislation

Court: Army Must Let Sikh Student Wear Beard in ROTC

The Becket Fund

June 15, 2015

A federal court ordered the Army to allow a Sikh college student to join his college's NROTC unit without having to shave his beard, cut his hair or remove his turban. "All this Sikh student wants to do is to serve his country," said Eric Baxter, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "The military cannot issue uniform exemptions for secular reasons but then refuse to issue them for religious reasons. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was written and passed nearly unanimously by Congress precisely to protect the rights of individuals such as Mr. Singh."

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomBecket Fund

Snyder signs law letting adoption agencies decline referrals that violate beliefs

FOX News

June 11, 2015

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law letting faith-based adoption agencies with state contracts decline to participate in referrals that violate their beliefs. The Republican governor told The Associated Press Thursday that the legislation codifies existing state practice for private agencies with contracts to place children and ensures as many organizations as possible are involved in helping kids be adopted

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Filed under: Religious freedomLegislationAdoption

Senator Lankford: Change Citizenship Language to Reflect Freedom of Religion

Sen. James Lankford

June 8, 2015

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today urged the Department of Homeland Security to change all United States Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization and citizenship materials to reflect our First Amendment right of the free exercise of religion, instead of simply the "freedom of worship." Currently, the naturalization test civics questions only reflect "freedom of worship."

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Filed under: Religious freedomCongress

Eyeing Supreme Court Gay Marriage Case, Mike Lee Unveils Bill Protecting Religious Schools

Daily Signal

June 4, 2015

To address the concern that religious institutions may lose their tax-exempt status if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage later this month, the Utah Republican plans to introduce legislation next week that would ban that from happening. "Discrimination by private parties against private parties-that's one issue," Lee told a small group of reporters today in a phone conference. "There is a different issue when the government is itself the discriminator ... that's a problem and that's what we're trying to protect here."

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Filed under: Religious freedomMarriageLegislation

Let My People Go: The War Against the Eradication of the Global Church

ACLJ blog

June 4, 2015

In Let My People Go: The War Against the Eradication of the Global Church, ACLJ Films shares the powerful stories of the persecuted and those fighting for their freedom. This documentary goes behind the scenes to tell the compelling stories of a number of Christians who have been targeted because of their faith. ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow and others provide a detailed look at what's behind this persecution - the rise of ISIS - the Islamic State.

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Filed under: VideosACLJPersecution

Two Noteworthy Supreme Court Decisions Announced Today

Family Research Council commentary by Travis Weber

June 4, 2015

In other words, the employer can't discriminate against the employee or prospective employee "because of" their religion, or on account of their religion, and can't make their religious practice "a factor" in employment decisions. This is a good result with regard to protecting the religious practices of employees. In the future, in other contexts where employers may seek to exclude Christians from the workplace, the employers won't be able to escape the law by claiming ignorance. The Court's ruling today means that the employer won't be able to escape liability by just claiming "the employee never told me they needed a religious accommodation."

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomFamily Research Council

Is your nonprofit ready?

World magazine

June 3, 2015

Attorney Jim Campbell, who handles various constitutional cases for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), has a working list written down at his office in Scottsdale, Ariz. The list details benefits religious nonprofits could lose if the Supreme Court makes gay marriage a constitutional right. When he arrived at work recently, he read it off: 501(c)3 status, tax benefits, government licensing, accreditation, and government contracts or grants, among others.

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Filed under: CourtsReligious freedomAlliance Defending Freedom

Rubio Warns of 'Clear, Present Danger' to Christianity

CBN News

June 1, 2015

"If you think about it, we are at the water's edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech," Rubio told CBN News. "Because today we've reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater. So what's the next step after that?" he asked. "After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there's a real and present danger," he warned.

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Filed under: Religious freedomMarriageHomosexuality

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