Walker said the outrage for the law was coming from people who hadn’t really looked at what the law really is and were just looking for a reason to be upset. “I just think this is people who are chronically looking for ways to be upset about things instead of really looking what it is. I believe in protecting religious freedoms. It’s inherent in our state’s constitution. Heck, it’s inherent in our U.S. Constitution, and again, Wisconsin, we’ve done it, and we’re stronger for it.” Asked about what would happen to a baker who did wanting to provide services to a same-sex wedding in the state, Walker didn’t address the scenario, but said Wisconsin’s law strikes “a healthy balance.” “Again, if you look at the constitution there is both a combination of religious freedoms protecting the constitution and back in the ’80s, long, long ago when I was still a kid, there were also provisions there that would protect against discrimination including a gay or lesbian individual out there,” he said. “So there is a healthy balance of someone can’t be discriminated, say, in the workplace and that — but for someone who has a conscientious objection, based on their religious
Story About First Business to ‘Publicly Vow to Reject Gay Weddings’ Was Fabricated Out of NothingThe Huffington Post headline screams: Indiana’s Memories Pizza Reportedly Becomes First Business To Reject Catering Gay Weddings Memories Pizza is a nine-year-old shop in downtown Walkerton, Indiana, just a few blocks from John Glenn High School. It’s owned by an openly-Christian couple, the O’Connors, who decorate their shop with mementos of their faith in Christ. So how does a small business in a small town wind up making headlines around the world as the new avatar of Christian bigotry?
I’m pleased to pass along word from the Alliance Defending Freedom, counsel for five Houston pastors, that Houston mayor Annise Parker has—finally—entirely withdrawn the harassing subpoenas that the City unjustifiably inflicted on the pastors.
I’ll repeat what I said in my first post on this matter: The law firm of Susman Godfrey, which is representing the City “pro bono” in the litigation, deserves to share in the ample blame for this fiasco. In particular, Geoffrey L. Harrison, Alex Kaplan, and Kristen Schlemmer of that law firm seem not to have given a moment of careful thought to the First Amendment implications in this case of the sort of bullying discovery that they and other lawyers routinely engage in.
The Alliance Defending Freedom issued the following statement:
“The mayor really had no choice but to withdraw these subpoenas, which should never have been served in the first place. The entire nation--voices from every point of the spectrum left to right--recognize the city's action as a gross abuse of power. We are gratified that the First Amendment rights of the pastors have triumphed over government overreach and intimidation. The First Amendment protects the right of pastors to be free from government intimidation and coercion of this sort. But the subpoenas were only one element of this disgraceful episode. The scandal began with another abuse of power when the city of Houston arbitrarily threw out the valid signatures of thousands of voters. The city did this all because it is bent on pushing through its deeply unpopular ordinance at any cost.The subpoena threat has been withdrawn but the mayor and the city should now do the right thing and allow the people of the Houston to decide whether to repeal the ordinance.”
Following a bitter battle over an overreaching city ordinance, Bayou City clergy and the city of Houston weren't on the best of terms. The ordinance, dubbed "HERO," allows transgendered persons to sue businesses that prohibit their use of their preferred bathroom.
All speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.Churches qualify for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status and can lose that status by engaging in electioneering or elicit candidate endorsement, just the same as any other 501(c)(3) organization; but none of the subpoenaed material falls within that category.
It’s very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.Politifact rates Clinton's statement as Mostly False. The WaPo's fact-checker gave it 2 Pinocchios. But although both articles say Clinton is dissembling to a certain extent, they both give Clinton's statement a more generous interpretation than it deserves, with the WaPo even insinuating that her error might have been inadvertent. Absurd; as I said, Clinton is a razor-sharp lawyer when she wants to be. She should have gotten the maximum number of Pinocchios and then some.
The application for an injunction having been submitted to JUSTICE KAGAN and by her referred to the Court, the Court orders: If the applicant informs the Secretary of Health and Human Services in writing that it is a nonprofit organization that holds itself out as religious and has religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services, the respondents are enjoined from enforcing against the applicant the challenged provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations pending final disposition of appellate review. To meet the condition for injunction pending appeal, the applicant need not use the form prescribed by the Government, EBSA Form 700, and need not send copies to health insurance issuers or third-party administrators.Note that this really is not substantive, it's a matter of paperwork, as AP explains:
A divided Supreme Court on Thursday allowed, at least for now, an evangelical college in Illinois that objects to paying for contraceptives in its health plan to avoid filling out a government document that the college says would violate its religious beliefs. The justices said that Wheaton College does not have to fill out the contested form while its case is on appeal but can instead write the Department of Health and Human Services declaring that it is a religious nonprofit organization and making its objection to emergency contraception. The college does provide coverage for other birth control. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said they would have denied Wheaton's request and made the college fill out a form that enables their insurers or third-party administrators to take on the responsibility of paying for the birth control.Yes, heads exploding:
Through the activist group Virginia Student Power Network, GetEQUAL found two UVA students willing to take up the cause of calling out Laycock: rising fourth-year Greg Lewis and now-alum Stephanie Montenegro. Last week, the pair sent an open letter to Laycock asking him to consider the “real-world consequences that [his] work is having.” They also submitted a Freedom of Information Act request seeking e-mails between Laycock and various right-wing and religious liberty groups. Lewis said they’re not trying to smear Laycock, and they’re not trying to undermine academic freedom. They just want a dialogue, he said.Bullshit. You don't start a dialogue with FOIA requests. This is a blatant effort at deterring public participation by anyone who does not hew 100% to the most radical version of the gay rights movement.
To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the court that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech, a rule that would involve government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice of neither editing or approving prayers in advance nor criticizing their content after the fact... Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy.Because the plaintiffs in this case only wanted the Christian-specific aspect of the prayer removed from the town council, the above line of reasoning was invoked to buoy the more basic "tradition" argument also employed by the majority. But what about a constitutional challenge seeking a ban of prayer altogether? That would alleviate the need to inquire into the content of the prayer, thus freeing courts and governments from entangling themselves in the process of picking and choosing deities and faiths to pray to.
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