One of the more interesting aspects of the gay marriage debate that the arguments of the last two days have highlighted is how different the discussion of marriage is from the religious to the legal realm. Religion was not mentioned one time over the course of the two days and neither should it have been. The issues of the extension of civil marriage are not issues of theology or spirituality (and they still won’t be if same-sex marriage became legal nationwide tomorrow).
By Jason Hines – Today was a landmark day for the Supreme Court, as it heard arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8. I have written about this case at every level (on the state level and at the 9th Cir.) so it only seems right that I talk about the arguments that took place earlier today. However, it doesn’t make sense to give a straight up and down summary or even a major analysis (there are plenty of people who did a good job of that, including this article by Adam Serwer), but there are some things that I want to highlight. Some will be important, some won’t, but these are the things that came to mind as I listened to the oral arguments –
Once again making the same tactical mistakes that were made in the lower courts, the Proposition 8 advocate failed to make an argument that would pass the muster of the “rational basis” test required before rights can be denied, and lost any ability to frame the debate.
On Friday, March 22, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (D) vetoed a religious freedom Bill (HB 279) claiming that the bill would “cause serious unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care, and individuals’ civil rights.” The legislature is expected to override the veto.
Courtesy Spectrum Magazine – Juan Perla, Christensen & Hymas and Michael Peabody discuss two Supreme Court cases that challenge accident laws: Proposition 8 and the Defense of Personal injury Act. The panel is moderated by Alexander Carpenter. Download MP3
In response to a state Supreme Court decision upholding incarceration of an Amish group for refusing for religious reasons to install orange triangles on their buggies, the Kentucky Legislature has, by a veto proof margin, passed a measure (HB 279) which is designed to prevent the government from substantially burdening an individual’s freedom of religion.
Residents of a Christian community in eastern Pakistan, among them Seventh-day Adventists, are reeling after a mob torched their homes and businesses in response to alleged insults against Muhammad.
New Hungarian legislation will limit religious freedom by giving parliament the sole right to decide which religious organizations are considered ‘churches’ for the purpose of domestic legislation. (Human Rights Watch)
By Stephen N. Allred – As I mingle with Christians these days I’m hearing a lot of hateful speech toward those on the “other side.” Angry, demeaning and sometimes untrue words are spoken, yet all is considered acceptable since it’s ostensibly done for the cause of righteousness.
Legislative Roundup This year a number of state bills are being introduced that involve religious liberty. Here are a few highlights with more to come in following weeks. Alabama On February 19, by a margin of 67 to 28, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the Religious Liberty Act, HB 108, sponsored by Lynn Greer (R…