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Wisconsin Upholds Ban on Gay Marriage

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld 7–0 the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions, reports and other sources. The court rejected a lawsuit by a voter that claimed the amendment violated a rule that limits referendum questions to a single subject. It argued that gay marriage and civil unions were two different subjects. Justice Michael Gableman said that both sentences “carry out the same general purpose of preserving the legal status of marriage in Wisconsin as between only one man and one woman.”

Other news

  • After intense debate, a judge has ruled that an evangelist has the right to hand out Bibles, as he did at the Twin Cities Pride Festival in Minneapolis’s Loring Park, reports Judge John Tunheim ruled that the First Amendment gives Brian Johnson the right to evangelize as long as he is not disruptive. Tunheim wrote that although organizers paid $36,000 for a permit to use the park, that did not afford them the right to restrict the speech of those in the park.
  • The wife of a U.S. Supreme Court judge is going public against President Obama, reports WorldNetDaily. Virginia Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, says that she has “felt called to the front lines for our nation as President Obama was moving the country so far away from the founding principles.” Thomas found the Sept. 12 march last year on Washington to be a “life-changing experience. . . . I saw all of those real, ordinary Americans . . . come at their own expense—people who were there said it changed their lives.” Thomas has had previous experience in politics. She worked as a congressional aide and legislative director for former Rep. Hal Daub (R.-Neb.) in the 1980s, earned a law degree from Creighton University Law School, and joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a labor attorney from 1985 to 1989. She also worked as deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor and for former Republican Rep. Dick Armey (R.-Tex.). In addition, she served as director of executive-branch relations for the Heritage Foundation during the George W. Bush administration. Heritage is a research and educational institution that advocates limited government and individual freedom. The Thomases are devoted to each other. They enjoy traveling together in their family mobile home and have traveled to 26 states thus far.
  • A Chicago elementary school, Nettelhorst, tried last year to deny they were marching in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade, but not this year, reports the Illinois Family Institute. “With unadulterated pride, they announce[d] their participation on the school website, extending an invitation to the entire school community to attend this shameful event. What despicable exploitation of children,” wrote IFI. IFI also reports that “much to the chagrin of Bible-believing Americans, President Barack Obama officially proclaimed June ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.’ ” IFI notes, too, that Obama in his official White House Proclamation recognized “two-daddy” homes: “Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian.” Obama, says IFI, also used the cherished American holiday honoring fathers to make a statement showing his refusal to acknowledge that life begins at conception. Instead he said that the father-child bond commences “from the first moments of life.” IFI noted that he thus does not acknowledge the fact that millions of fathers view their unborn children in ultrasound pictures well before they are born.
  • A survey in England, reports Daily Mail, has found that more than 80 percent of teens ages 14 to 16 regularly access hardcore photographs and footage on their home computers or mobile phones. Further, one-third of children have accessed online pornography by the age of 10. The report states that parents appear to be unaware of the risk to their children and in many cases are unable to keep up with their computer-literate kids. Friday Church News Notes says, “The truth is that parents today are so often addicted to pornography themselves and are so hardened by sin that they don’t care what is happening to the children.”
  • Pope Benedict recently exalted Mary in divine terms, saying there is no Pentecost without Mary and claimed that “she is in all places and times.” Friday Church News Notes remarked, “This blasphemous statement attributes omnipresence to a mere creature.” The pope also prayed the Queen of Heaven, asking God to grant “that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life.”
  • Ted Haggard, who resigned as head of the National Association of Evangelicals due to his homosexual involvement, is starting a new church called St. James, reports the Denver Post.
  • Sweden has banned homeschooling and will be forcing all schools to teach the same government curriculum, reports Parliament approved the new 1,500-page law last week, amid strong opposition and criticism. It will go into effect next year, and then there will be no difference between “private” schools and government schools. But the fight will continue. “The Swedish political authorities have deeply underestimated the convictions of Swedish homeschoolers,” said Jonas Himmelstrand, president of the Swedish Association of Home Education, who with others are eyeing a Parliamentary election coming up in September. Meanwhile, attorneys with the Home School Legal Defense Association and the Alliance Defense Fund in the U.S. have filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights, asking it to hear the case of a seven-year-old boy seized by Swedish authorities because his parents homeschool, reports the HSLDA. “We are gravely concerned about this case because of the threat it represents to other homeschooling families,” said Mike Donnelly, staff attorney for the HSLDA and one of nearly 1,700 attorneys in the ADF alliance. “In response to our inquiries, Swedish authorities have cited the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child to explain and defend their actions. If the U.S. were to ever ratify this treaty, as the White House and some members of Congress desire, then this sort of thing could occur here,” noted Donnelly.
  • The Washington State Supreme Court voted 6–3 in favor of  the North Central Regional Library when the ACLU sued the library for installing Internet filters to prevent access to pornography, reports The court wrote, “A public library has never been required to include all constitutionally protected speech in its collection and has traditionally had the authority, for example, to legitimately decline adult-oriented material such as pornography in its collection. The same discretion continues to exist with respect to Internet materials.”
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. circuit reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit that contends the Obama administration’s embryonic stem cell research policy violates federal law, according to The Christian Post. The courts found that the plaintiffs have “competitive standing” to sue. Many pro-life groups equate embryonic stem cell research with abortion because the process of harvesting the stem cells necessitates the destruction of the embryo. Last March, Obama changed the policy concerning embryonic stem cell research to allow public funding.
  • Three judges on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are beginning to review a case that alleges that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president and may not even be an American, reports WorldNetDaily. The federal court case, brought by attorney Mario Apuzzo on behalf of plaintiffs Charles Kerchner and others, had been dismissed at the district court level. The U.S. Constitution requires that the president be a natural born citizen of the U.S. The case was filed even before Obama became president.
  • More than 100 impressive and intact 3,500-year-old cultic vessels have been found in lower Galilee, announced the Israel Government Tourist Office, who termed the find “extremely rare.” Inside the pit, whole intact vessels were found piled one atop the other. Among the finds were a vessel that was used for burning incense, a sculpted face of a woman that was part of a cup used in dedicating a libation to a god, goblets and bowl with high bases, and tableware that was intended for eating and drinking. Some vessels that were found originated in Mycenae in Greece, evidence of the ancient trade relations that existed with Greece. According to Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists Uzi Ad and Dr. Edwin van den Brink, this is the oldest collection of these types of vessels ever discovered. The finds were said to be in good preservation.
  • Singer Andrea Bocelli has come out publicly thanking his mother for not aborting him, reports In a YouTube video posted by an American pro-life group, Bocelli was playing the piano at a charity performance for Haiti. He told the story about how a young pregnant woman went to the hospital with appendicitis, and doctors later suggested she have an abortion. “That woman was my mother, and I was the child,” recounted Bocelli.
  • A California public school teacher, Bradley Johnson, was ordered by the school principal to take down a poster with the official motto of the U.S. on it (“In God We Trust”), while the principal allowed other teachers to hang Buddhist, Islamic, and Tibetan prayer messages on their classroom walls, reports Johnson sued, claiming his constitutional rights were violated. Johnson won, sending a stinging rebuke to the school. While teachers in the Unified Poway School District “encourage students to celebrate diversity and value thinking for one’s self, [they] apparently fear their students are incapable of dealing with diverse viewpoints that include God’s place in American history and culture,” said the judge in his reprimand to the school.
  • A new poll based on responses from leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals, including representatives from member denominations, indicates that 40 percent of these leaders drink alcohol.
  • Ken Ham, in Answers Update, sees deception and atheism in a recent Smithsonian exhibit, noting that the national museum is funded by donations and tax money. To build the exhibit, called the Hall of Human Origins, the Smithsonian spent almost as much as Answers in Genesis did in building the 70,000-square-foot, high-tech Creation Museum near Cincinnati. A report on the exhibit, with the headline, “Devoid of References to God,” states, “The stages of human development also are highlighted, but visitors will not find any references to God, creationism, or pre-natal existence. The exhibit’s Web site says fossils ‘provide evidence that modern humans evolved from earlier humans.’ ” Ham went on to point out other fallacies of the exhibit, including a statement by one of the exhibit’s officials: “There’s no Adam and Eve here.” Ham also told in his latest newsletter that a conservative evangelical seminary founded by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy (who supported Answers in Genesis) “has just hired someone who has warned that Christians who deny scientific facts [by this he means Darwinian evolution] are in danger of becoming a ‘cult.’ “  This commentary by a professor at Eastern Nazarene College appeared in USA Today.