Supreme Court decision not to hear cases legalizes same-sex marriage in five states


From ScotusBlog.


In June 2013, in United States v. Windsor, a divided Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which until then had defined “marriage” – for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs – as a union between a man and a woman.

[…]But on the same day, the Court sidestepped a ruling on whether the Constitution includes a right to marry someone of the same sex.

[…]We all assumed that the issue would be back again at the Court before too long, and that expectation only increased as lower federal courts around the country started to rely on the Court’s decision in Windsor to strike down other states’ bans on same-sex marriage – in Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin.   All told, by last Monday the Court had before it seven different petitions asking the Court to…

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German Committee Claims Incest Is a ‘Fundamental Right’


German Committee Claims Incest Is a ‘Fundamental Right’.

Laws banning incest between brothers and sisters in Germany could be scrapped after a government ethics committee said that they were an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination.

“Criminal law is not the appropriate means to preserve a social taboo,” the German Ethics Council said in a statement. “The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination is to be weighed more heavily than the abstract idea of protection of the family.”

Their intervention follows a notorious case in which a brother and sister living as partners in Saxony had four children together. The couple had been raised separately and only met when the brother, identified only as Patrick S, was an adult, and his sister Susan K was 16.

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California Requires Insurance Companies, Faith-Based Employers to Cover Abortions

California Requires Insurance Companies, Faith-Based Employers to Cover Abortions.


SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Managed Health Care has issued a letter requiring insurance companies in the state to cover abortions, forcing all faith-based employers to likewise offer abortion coverage regardless of their religious beliefs.

“Abortion is a basic health care service,” director Michelle Rouillard wrote on Friday to seven insurance companies that refused to offer coverage.“All health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally.”

She asserted that abortion must be covered because the “California Constitution prohibits health plans from discriminating against women who choose to terminate a pregnancy,” and also cited a 1975 law surrounding “medically necessary” health care.

The directive is believed to come as a result of a decision made last year by two Roman Catholic/Jesuit universities in the state, Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University, to no longer pay for abortions, but that employees could buy coverage through a third party. Some faculty members objected to the announcement and called upon Gov. Jerry Brown to intervene.

Beth Parker, the chief counsel for Planned Parenthood, praised the directive by the directive issued by Rouillard, stating she was “thrilled that the state is complying with California law and ensuring that women of California have access to all reproductive health services.”

But Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Life Legal Defense Foundation assert that the department’s mandate violates federal law, and sent a rebuttal letter on Friday calling for a retraction under threat of a federal lawsuit.

“[F]ederal law prevents California from mandating that a health insurance plan include abortion coverage,” the letter to Roullard stated. “The DMHC’s action is a clear violation of the Weldon Amendment and, if not reversed, could trigger loss of funding to the entire state and its departments.”

“[I]f DMHC does not reverse its decision, we are prepared to file complaints with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services, which has promised to enforce and police the Weldon Amendment ‘to ensure that Department funds do not support coercive or discriminatory practices, or policies in violation of federal law,’” the groups vowed.

I hope they do launch a lawsuit, if it proves necessary.

Federal Judge Upholds New Jersey’s Ban on Conversion Therapy for Gay Minors


A federal judge upheld a New Jersey law that prohibits conversion therapy for minors.

U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson of the District of New Jersey rejected the second lawsuit against the law to be brought before the court.

Wolfson ruled last Wednesday in Doe v. Christie that the unnamed parents and their minor child who filed suit against the law did not have their rights violated by the therapy ban.

“Plaintiffs Jack and Jane Doe contend that their fundamental right to care for their son, John Doe, is infringed … because it prevents them from making decisions concerning their child’s mental, emotional and physical health,” wrote Wolfson.

“Plaintiffs provide no case law or other authority in support of the proposition that Jack and Jane Doe’s fundamental parental rights encompass the right to choose for their son any medical treatment they desire.”

State forbid that parents be allowed to decide what’s in the best interest for their own children!

Uganda Court Declares Anti-‘Gay-Rights’ Law ‘Null and Void’

No doubt under foreign pressure…

A court in Uganda on Friday declared an anti-gay bill “null and void.” Pastor Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church and several human rights groups had condemned the bill as draconian. Supporters of the law blamed the ruling on pressure from U.S. President Barack Obama.

A panel of five judges at Uganda’s Constitutional Court invalidated the bill on Friday, saying the parliamentary at the time of its passing lacked a quorum, according to The Associated Press.

The measure passed the parliament in December after a death penalty clause was dropped, but it criminalized the promotion of homosexuality and required citizens to denounce to the police anyone suspected of being gay. It was signed into law earlier this year.

The speaker of parliament could not have allowed a vote on the measure as there were at least three objections, one of which came from the country’s prime minister, over a lack of a quorum when the bill was passed Dec. 20, the court pointed out.

“The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was a quorum,” the ruling said. “We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the court’s decision a “victory for the rule of law.”

“He pays tribute to all those who contributed to this step forward, particularly the human rights activists in Uganda who spoke out at great personal risk,” a UN statement said, referring to Ki-moon.

The state may appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court, or lawmakers can still bring in another anti-gay bill.

Those in favor of the anti-gay legislation alleged that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni may be behind the court’s ruling.

Museveni will lead a delegation to the United States, which was against the bill, next week.

“This ruling has got nothing to do with the will of the people,” Martin Ssempa, a prominent Ugandan cleric, was quoted as saying. “Unfortunately, it has everything to do with pressure from Barack Obama and the homosexuals of Europe.”

Pastor Warren earlier released a video he sent to Uganda’s pastors amid rumors that he supported the law.

“While we can never deny or water down what God’s Word clearly teaches about sexuality, at the same time the church must stand to protect the dignity of all individuals — as Jesus did and commanded all of us to do,” Warren said in the video.

“Jesus reaffirmed what Moses wrote that marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman committed to each other for life,” Warren said, and then added, “Jesus also taught us that the greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

I want to know, why is Rick Warren bothering to take a stance on what Uganda does, instead of ignoring it?

And why is he siding with Obama in this?

Again, he could just have said nothing…

B.C. lawyers vote to deny accreditation to conservative Trinity Western University law school over anti-gay-sex stance

Fortunately, not binding; just symbolic of their bigoted anti-Christian progressive attitudes…

VANCOUVER – In what may well have been the largest gathering of lawyers in B.C. history, members of the Law Society of B.C. decisively voted Tuesday to stop Trinity Western University — a Christian school that condemns gay sex — from being able to hand out law degrees.

But while gay rights advocates praised the vote as a hard-earned victory, the ultimate fate of TWU’s proposed law school still rests with the Law Society’s 31 governing benchers.

As the society noted in a handout, Tuesday’s resolution is “only an expression of the members of the Law Society, and is not binding on the Benchers.”

According to early results, 3210 to 968 of B.C. lawyers sided with a resolution calling for TWU’s soon-to-be-opened law school to be denied Law Society of B.C. accreditation.

Trinity Western blasts N.S., Ontario law societies

(See also here.)

Will S.' Anarcho-Tyranny Blog

Decisions send ‘chilling message’ about religious freedom, B.C. university says.

Trinity Western University says law societies in Nova Scotia and Ontario sent a “chilling message” about religious freedom in Canada by restricting or rejecting accreditation for its proposed law school.

“We are very disappointed,” said president Bob Kuhn in a news release Friday. “These decisions impact all Canadians and people of faith everywhere. They send the chilling message that you cannot hold religious values and also participate fully in public society.”

At issue was Trinity Western’s requirement that its 3,600 students sign a community covenant forbidding intimacy outside heterosexual marriage, which has been criticized as discriminatory against gays and lesbians.

Nova Scotia’s bar society voted Friday to conditionally approve the law school from the Christian liberal arts institution, which plans to open the law school in 2016.

The conditional acceptance means the Nova Scotia’s Barristers Society will only accept articling students from…

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