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Stories tagged with: religious liberty

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  • Air Force punishes colonel over marriage views

    by Bonnie Pritchett/WORLD News Service, posted Monday, October 16, 2017 (19 hours ago)

    First Liberty photo
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BP) -- U.S. Air Force officials have suspended a decorated officer and revoked his recommendation for promotion to brigadier general because he would not sign an unofficial document affirming a retiring subordinate's same-sex marriage.

    Col. Leland B.H. Bohannon, Air Force Inspection Agency commander at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., signed all the requisite documents for a senior noncommissioned service member's May retirement ceremony except for one: a letter of "spousal appreciation" for the gay serviceman's partner. Read More

  • Individual rights & sexuality aired at NOBTS forum

    by Gary D. Myers, posted Tuesday, October 10, 2017 (6 days ago)

    Photo by Gary D. Myers
    NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Advocates from several perspectives on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights discussed the emotionally and politically charged issues, which often pit the church against the prevailing culture, during a forum at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

    The "Rights and Sexuality: Where Individual Freedoms and Civil Rights Meet" event was sponsored by the seminary's Institute for Faith and the Public Square. Read More

  • Federal memo on religious freedom draws praise

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, October 09, 2017 (7 days ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptist and other religious freedom defenders have hailed the Trump administration's new guidelines to safeguard in federal law the free exercise of religion.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum Oct. 6 to executive branch departments and agencies that provides guidance on religious liberty protections. In introducing 20 principles of religious freedom, Sessions said, "[T]o the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably accommodated in all government activity, including employment, ... Read More

  • 'Bring Your Bible to School' Oct. 5, FOTF urges

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, October 04, 2017 (12 days ago)

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) -- An event encouraging students to take their Bibles to school Thursday (Oct. 5) is increasingly pertinent as the nation deals with natural disasters and man-made atrocities, event founder Candi Cushman told Baptist Press.

    Cushman, a Focus on the Family (FOTF) education advocate, founded the national "Bring Your Bible to School Day" in 2014 to advocate and preserve students' rights to share their faith at school. But the comfort the Bible offers is especially pertinent this year, she said, pointing to a flurry ... Read More

  • Pensacola cross sparks legal battle

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, September 28, 2017 (18 days ago)

    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty photo
    PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- The city of Pensacola, Fla., has appealed a federal judge's ruling that a 34-foot-tall cross in one of its public parks must be removed.

    The city, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, filed a 155-page brief in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 26 claiming those who filed suit lack legal standing to bring a complaint and that the cross does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban of government-established religion. Becket is a conservative, Washington-based nonprofit organization focused on defending religious liberty. Read More

  • Couple fights to limit videos to biblical marriage

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, September 22, 2017 (24 days ago)

    Photo from ADF
    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (BP) -- Christian filmmakers Carl and Angel Larsen are asking a district court to reinstate their challenge to a Minnesota law that could force them to produce media supporting same-sex marriage.

    The U.S. District Court in Minnesota dismissed the couple's lawsuit on Sept. 20 against the state over portions of the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), which bans sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations and contracting. Read More

  • Harvey-battered churches sue for FEMA funds

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, September 13, 2017 (one month ago)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Three small churches damaged in Hurricane Harvey's unprecedented Texas deluge are jointly suing a U.S. government agency for access to public recovery funds.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) religiously discriminates against churches by preventing them from seeking disaster recovery funding available to other nonprofits, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty alleges in the suit filed Sept. 5 in Houston federal court. Read More

  • Court urged to protect cake artist's religious freedom

    by Tom Strode, posted Monday, September 11, 2017 (one month ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Forcing an artist to create a cake for a same-sex wedding in contradiction to his beliefs is a "de facto religious test" that violates the First Amendment, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has told the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The ERLC -- joined by seven other organizations and an individual -- urged the high court to reverse a lower-court ruling against Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop in a friend-of-the-court brief filed Sept. 7. The justices agreed in June to accept the appeal and are expected to hear oral arguments ... Read More

  • Conflicting rulings on prayer may open door to SCOTUS

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, September 07, 2017 (one month ago)

    Screen capture from BoardDocs.com
    CINCINNATI, Ohio (BP) -- Two conflicting 2017 court rulings in cases challenging public prayer at government meetings increase the chance of a U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the issue, religious liberty advocate Ken Klukowski said today (Sept. 7).

    The Board of Commissioners in Jackson County, Mich., may legally open its meetings with sectarian prayers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said Sept. 6. The decision is contrary to a July 14 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which said the Rowan County (North Carolina) Board of Commissioners' similar practice was "unconstitutionally coercive." Read More

  • Coach Kennedy loses appeal to pray in public

    by Leigh Jones/WORLD News Service, posted Thursday, August 24, 2017 (one month ago)

    First Liberty Institute photo
    BREMERTON, Wash. (BP) -- Former high school football coach Joe Kennedy lost his appeal Wednesday (Aug. 23) at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled he did not have a right to pray at the 50-yard line after games.

    A three-judge panel of the court said Kennedy's prayers did not amount to constitutionally protected free speech because he was acting as a public employee when he offered them.

    "By kneeling and praying on the 50-yard line immediately after games while in ... Read More