Marriage

Supreme Court's Decision in Obergefell Could Have Far-Reaching Implications

Marriage and Children

On April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether states can ban same-sex marriages, and if so, whether states that ban same-sex marriages must recognize same-sex marriages from states that perform them.

 
 

Understanding RFRA: Is Religious Freedom the New Bigotry?

Understanding RFRA: Is Religious Freedom the New Bigotry?

By Nicholas Miller – Is supporting religious freedom an act of bigotry? This question is seriously being asked in the wake of the recent media eruptions surrounding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills passed in Indiana and Arkansas. The firestorm surrounding these bills has brought the tension between religious freedom and gay rights to a new level of public scrutiny and focus.

 
 

Understanding RFRA: Does Indiana's New Law Allow Businesses to Discriminate?

Understanding RFRA:  Does Indiana's New Law Allow Businesses to Discriminate?

By Jason Hines – This week, Governor Mike Pence held a press conference in order to clarify the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act that has received so much criticism lately.

 
 

Supreme Court Plans to Make National Decision on Same-Sex Marriage – What it Means

Supreme Court Plans to Make National Decision on Same-Sex Marriage – What it Means

By Jason Hines, PhD – The Court will answer two questions. First, “does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” Second, “does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?” These questions create three possible outcomes.

 
 

Should ministers at for-profit wedding chapels be compelled to perform same-sex ceremonies?

iStockPhoto.com

Two ordained ministers, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, who operate a for-profit wedding chapel in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho were threatened with a misdemeanor charge for refusing to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. The Knapps responded by filing a lawsuit and a motion for a temporary restraining order against the city in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.

 
 

Americans Fear Religion is Losing Influence in U.S. Pew Study Finds

Americans Fear Religion is Losing Influence in U.S. Pew Study Finds

According to a survey released September 22, 2014 by Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans think that religion is losing its influence on American society while only 22% believe that it is increasing its influence. Of these, 56% believe that this loss of influence is a "bad thing." Of the 22% who believe that religion is gaining influence, 12% say that it is a "good thing" while 10% say that it is not.

 
 

7th Circuit Overturns Indiana and Wisconsin Bans on Same-Sex Marriage

7th Circuit Overturns Indiana and Wisconsin Bans on Same-Sex Marriage

A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last week unanimously struck down state bans on same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin. In a 40-page opinion (http://www.scribd.com/doc/238675754/14-2386-212#download), Judge Richard Posner blasted the two states for arguing that the reason why gay marriages were prohibited while heterosexual marriages were encouraged was that heterosexuals needed marriage to make couples take responsibility for their unplanned children. The states had argued that since homosexual couples could not accidentally conceive children, the state had no interest in them being married.

 
 

Why Did the U.S. Supreme Court Decide Not to Hear the New Mexico Photographer's Appeal?

Why Did the U.S. Supreme Court Decide Not to Hear the New Mexico Photographer's Appeal?

By Michael Peabody – Although the U.S. Supreme Court did not provide a reason for declining Huguenin's writ, it is probably not because the Court intends to lock in the New Mexico decision or that the Supreme Court is not interested in addressing this issue at a later date. It is most likely because the Court is looking for a better case, perhaps a combination of several cases which represent different results in different jurisdictions.

 
 

Arizona SB 1062 is a Bad Idea and Should Be Vetoed!

Arizona SB 1062 is a Bad Idea and Should Be Vetoed!

Arizona Bill SB 1062 is on Governor Jan Brewer's desk where she is expected to sign it, veto it, or ignore it and let it become law by default within the next few days. This bill modifies Arizona's 1999 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to permit business owners to deny service to gay customers, or potentially members of any other group, so long as they are doing it because of the religious beliefs of the owners. SB 1062 could potentially cause more harm than good.

 
 

Standing Firm For Faith While Seeking Mutually Acceptable Solutions – Is it Possible to Peacefully Resolve the Religious Wars in America's Marketplace?

Standing Firm For Faith While Seeking Mutually Acceptable Solutions – Is it Possible to Peacefully Resolve the Religious Wars in America's Marketplace?

By Michael Peabody – Parties to these kinds of disputes should be well-served if they cooperatively seek solutions by identifying and respecting those specific personal areas which are non-negotiable and cordoning them off, while respecting the freedom of the areas in between where both sides must intersect. Identifying and preserving these areas of respect and finding opportunities for accommodation is not an easy process in today's ideologically divided world, but the results will be much more profitable for both sides than engaging in perpetual conflict in the public arena. At the same time, the religious rights of the participants on both sides to belief and practice would be honored and protected.