Church for Single Mormons Comes with Pressure to Marry (Washington Post)

EXCERPT: It's Tuesday night Bible study, which at this Crystal City Mormon chapel looks a bit like a mixer. Pews are filled with people in jeans and flip-flops, many texting. The night begins with a prayer before segueing quickly into an ice-breaker trivia game and a pizza social. Not surprising for a church made up exclusively of singles – 800 […]


Proposal to Ban Circumcision Draws Strong Criticism (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty)

EXCERPT: At Religion Clause, Howard Friedman notes that Santa Monica could become the second California city to place on the 2012 ballot a ban on circumcision. A similar measure will be up for public referendum in San Francisco, prompting fierce opposition by many religious liberty advocates and others. Here's a sample: The SF Chronicle's editorial board urges voters to turn […]


Judge Rules Against Plaintiffs Claiming Murfreesboro Mosque Violated Their Rights (The Republic)

EXCERPT: A judge has ruled that the construction of a new mosque in Rutherford County does not harm the residents who sued the county over it, but allowed them to move forward on claims the county violated an open meetings law. Plaintiffs' attorney Joe Brandon Jr. had argued that the mosque violated his clients' constitutional rights, claiming that the Islamic […]


San Francisco Mulls Circumcision Ban (CBS News)

EXCERPT: Has the time come to cut out circumcision? Pro-foreskin forces say so, and some in San Francisco say they've collected enough signatures to put a proposal to ban circumcision before voters. The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to perform circumcision on a male under the age of 18 within the city. Anyone who ignored the ban would face […]


Virginia Board Votes Against Proposed Same-Sex Adoption Rules (Washington Post)

EXCERPT: The Virgina State Board of Social Services has voted overwhelmingly against new adoption rules that some say would allow same-sex couples to adopt in the state for the first time. In a 7-2 vote Wednesday afternoon, the board opted against the new rules, first proposed by former governor Tim Kaine. In Virginia, only married couples and single men and […]


Lifting The Veil: Muslim Women Explain Their Choice (NPR)

EXCERPT: For centuries, Islamic scholars have said that Muslim women must cover their hair. But many Muslim women don't. There are about 1 million Muslim women in America; 43 percent of them wear headscarves all the time, according to the Pew Research Center. About 48 percent – or half a million women – don't cover their hair, in fact the […]


Polygamy law doesn't breach religious freedom guarantee, lawyer argues – Vancouver Sun


Obama Administration Changes Its Approach to the Defense of Marriage Act

Obama Administration Changes Its Approach to the Defense of Marriage Act

During the brief window between the California Supreme Court's decision finding a ban on same-sex marriage in violation of the California Constitution on May 15, 2008 and the ballot-initiative amending said constitution on November 5, 2008, Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer got married.

While same-sex marriages during this window period have been recognized in California since they were presumably “constitutional,” the newlyweds filed a case against the federal government in state court that was transferred upon motion of the federal government into federal court alleging that “the refusal of all states and jurisdictions” to recognize the validity of their marriage resulted in the denial of their marriage status by other states, and federal rights and benefits that other married couples received so long as they were of the opposite sex.


The End of the Community Action Program?

By Monte Sahlin – One of the items on the hit list of the new majority in the House of Representatives to "balance the budget" is the Community Action Program (CAP) or what is currently labeled Community Service Block Grants. This is a program begun in the 1960s in the Lyndon Johnson administration. It is a nearly unique program in […]


Analysis: Obama Administration Declines to Defend Part of the Defense of Marriage Act

Today Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Administration announced that the Justice Department will no longer attempt to defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) (which defines “marriage” as between one man and one woman and “spouse” as a member of the opposite sex) from challenges in states that recognize gay marriage.