Court Demands Southwest Airlines Reinstate Flight Attendant Fired over Religious Beliefs

A federal judge has awarded a former Southwest Airlines flight attendant the maximum amount in damages allowed under federal law and issued an injunction against the airline and its union from discriminating against flight attendants because of their religious beliefs.

Judge Brantley Starr, ruling for the U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, last week ordered Southwest to pay Carter back pay and other forms of relief that the jury awarded when she won her lawsuit in July.

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Sen. Mike Lee’s Amendment to Safeguard Religious Liberty for Americans Who Hold to Traditional Marriage Fails By One Vote

Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) religious liberty amendment to the Democrats’ same-sex marriage bill failed by just one vote, 48-49, an outcome that, if the legislation is signed into law, could give a green light to the federal government’s retaliation against nonprofit faith organizations, such as schools and businesses, whose religious beliefs are incompatible with gay marriage.

Senate Democrats voted Tuesday, 61-36, to codify same-sex marriage into federal law with the help of 12 Republicans, as the Senate Press Gallery noted.

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Senate Passes Respect for Marriage Act

The Senate on Tuesday evening passed the Respect for Marriage Act to require that states recognize lawful marriages from other states while providing protections for religious liberty.

The bill passed with crossover support from Republicans, allowing it to clear the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold. It will now move to the House of Representatives, which previously passed a similar package. The final count was 61-36.

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Senator Sounds Alarm for Same-Sex Marriage Bill as It Clears Another Hurdle with GOP Support, ‘Without Sufficient Protections for Religious Liberty’

A bill that would enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law progressed further in the Senate Monday evening with significant Republican support, but without sufficient religious liberty protections, and is now headed to a vote on Tuesday.

The Senate voted, 61-35, with four senators not voting, to end debate on the House-passed bill, dubbed the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA), that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage in federal law as between one man and one woman.

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Poll: Voters in Five Key States Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Bill over Religious Liberty Concerns

Voters in five Republican-leaning states oppose a same-sex marriage bill under consideration by the U.S. Senate on the grounds that it undermines religious liberty and punishes people of faith.

The survey of 2,000 likely voters in Indiana, Iowa, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming puts support for the deceptively named Respect for Marriage Act at just 41% compared to 47% who oppose the bill. The opposition is even higher among Republicans (70%) and conservatives (73%).

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Senate Advances Bill Enshrining Same-Sex Marriage Agenda in Federal Law with Significant Republican Support

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) moved for a procedural vote Wednesday on legislation that would enshrine same-sex marriage in federal law and block any states refusing to recognize such marriages.

The bill also would provide federal protection for interracial marriage.

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Commentary: Religious Liberty Beyond Red and Blue Divides

Many American voters head into midterm elections wearied by political polarization. Subjects that might have merely led to an uncomfortable dinner table conversation yesterday are more likely to be relationship-ending today. 

It’s often assumed that political positions come with a Democrat or Republican party label. But beneath many of the most divisive issues of our time – think the COVID-19 pandemic response, the 2020 election, and the overturning of Roe v. Wade – lies an issue that is neither red nor blue. Would you believe me if I said religious liberty is not actually a partisan issue? 

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Teachers’ Unions Condemn Supreme Court Decision Upholding Religious Freedom and School Choice

National and state teachers’ unions condemned the Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday that held a Maine tuition assistance program that bars families from using the taxpayer funds for religious schools is in violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Union officials denounced the ruling as one that “attacks public schools,” “erodes democracy,” “harms students,” and undermines “the separation of church and state.”

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Supreme Court Rules Maine Law Excluding Religious Schools from Tuition Assistance Is Unconstitutional

In a major decision for religious freedom and school choice, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a Maine law that barred taxpayer tuition assistance funds from families choosing religious schools.

The Court ruled, 6-3, in Carson v. Makin, the Maine law that governs its tuition program’s exclusion of religious schools, while accepting other private schools, is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and is, therefore, unconstitutional.

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15th Annual Easter Sunrise Celebration on Government Property at Chicago’s Daley Plaza

Sunday will mark the 15th annual celebration of Easter on Chicago’s Daley Plaza – government property – including a sunrise service on Easter Sunday itself, to honor the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This sacred observance of Easter begins at Daley Plaza on Holy Thursday, 7:30 p.m. CDT, when a giant 19-foot-high cross is erected at 50 West Washington Street.

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New York Can Force Photographer to Take Pictures for Same-Sex Weddings, Court Rules

A federal district court ruled that the state of New York can force a photographer to take pictures depicting same-sex weddings.

In the decision issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. dismissed the First Amendment claims of Emilee Carpenter, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Geraci was appointed to the federal bench in 2012 by former President Barack Obama.

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Catholic School in Michigan Argues Mask Mandates Hide ‘God’s Image,’ Violate Religious Liberty

Resurrection School Mask Lawsuit

A court of appeals in Michigan will hear a case from a Catholic school arguing mask mandates violate religious liberty because they cover “God’s image and likeness.”

“Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity and because God created us in His image, we are masking that image,” the institution – the Resurrection School, in Lansing – told The Washington Post.

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Churches Sue Governor Walz, State Attorney General and County Attorneys for Violating Religious Liberties

Three churches are suing the governor and his constituents for executive orders that violate their religious liberties. Defendants in the case are Governor Tim Walz, State Attorney General Keith Ellison, and county attorneys Chad Larson, Tom Kelly, and Donald Ryan. The Thomas More Society filed on behalf of the churches.

The lawsuit cites Article I, Section 16 of Minnesota’s Constitution as state precedent protecting the right to worship: “the right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed.” The lawsuit also cites Christian adherence to the Bible’s commandment for believers to worship together.

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Commentary: Bloomberg Isn’t a ‘Moderate’ on Abortion, Religious Liberty and Guns

As soon as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg entered the race for President as a “moderate” Democrat he began to abandon any pretense of being a moderate, even going so far as to disavow his one apparent success; continuing his predecessor Rudy Giuliani’s stop and frisk crime prevention program.

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Nessel, Ellison Praise Judge for Blocking Trump Admin Religious Liberty Rule

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel praised a district court for its decision to block a Trump Administration rule that would have allowed health care workers to refuse certain services on religious liberty grounds.

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Commentary: Washington State May Have Triggered the Next Major Religious Liberty Case

by John Bursch   One year ago last week, in a major religious liberty case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Christian cake artist Jack Phillips. Yet just one year later, a floral artist in Washington state now finds herself in similar circumstances to Jack. Her case could prompt…

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Todd Starnes Commentary: Eight Republicans Join Democrats to Pass All-Out Assault on Faith

by Todd Starnes   If Democrats get their way religious hospitals would be forced to perform abortions, Christian churches would be forced to host events that are contrary to the Bible’s teachings and Christian schools would be required to accommodate the preferences of transgender students regarding athletic teams and bathrooms.…

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A Little-Noticed Opinion Portends Big Changes for Religious Liberty at the Supreme Court

by Kevin Daley   The Supreme Court’s conservative bloc released a short, little-noticed statement on Jan. 22 that portends far-reaching changes for religious liberty. The statement — which Justice Samuel Alito authored and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh joined — criticized the 1990 Employment Division v. Smith decision, a landmark…

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Promoting Religious Liberty Affirms ‘Human Dignity,’ Pompeo Tells Values Voter Summit

by Fred Lucas   Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed Friday that the Trump administration is committed to religious liberty, both at home and abroad. Speaking at the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, Pompeo said that more than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries that place…

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Trump Initiative Protects Religious Rights, Faith Groups’ Equal Access to Federal Dollars

by Fred Lucas   President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday focusing on protecting freedom of religion and exploring new ways faith-based agencies can partner with government to effectively provide services. “We condemn all crimes against people of faith, and today we are launching another historic action to promote…

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