Wisc. school drops appeal, transgender fight continues
KENOSHA, Wisconsin (BP) -- For two years, the U.S. Supreme Court has been able to avoid the inevitable, but the justices will be asked, most likely this year, to define the meaning of "sex" in Title IX. Transgender schoolchildren and their attorneys argue gender identity is a protected class under the federal education nondiscrimination law, and judges mostly have agreed. A confluence of cases is headed to appeals courts across the country, pitting transgender students' demands for access to the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice against schools' attempts to maintain privacy for all students.
Air Force punishes colonel over marriage views
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BP) -- U.S. Air Force officials have suspended a decorated officer and revoked his recommendation for promotion to brigadier general because he would not sign an unofficial document affirming a retiring subordinate's same-sex marriage. Col. Leland B.H. Bohannon, Air Force Inspection Agency commander at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M., signed all the requisite documents for a senior noncommissioned service member's May retirement ceremony except for one: a letter of "spousal appreciation" for the gay serviceman's partner.
ACLU fights faith-based child placement agencies
LANSING, Michigan (BP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is challenging a Michigan law that allows faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to operate according to their biblical convictions. The lawsuit, filed against the state Sept. 20 in federal court, could jeopardize similar laws across the nation and force faith-based agencies to close. The lawsuit names Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Charities, which are not defendants, as foster care and adoption agencies that turned away two married lesbian couples trying to adopt children.
Ministry sues over ‘hate group’ label
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP) -- One Christian ministry has apparently had enough of the Southern Poverty Law Center's disparaging "hate group" characterization. D. James Kennedy Ministries filed a lawsuit Aug. 23 in an Alabama federal court alleging the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) "trafficked in false and misleading descriptions" of the ministry and that other entities also named in the suit perpetuated the libel.
Massachusetts churches sue over ‘anti-bias’ law
BOSTON (BP) -- Four Massachusetts churches and their pastors filed a pre-emptive lawsuit in October in an attempt to halt application of a newly amended state law requiring pastors to temper their speech and churches to allow transgender persons to use the bathroom of their choice. In July, Massachusetts legislators amended General Law 272, known as "Crimes against Chastity, Morality, Decency and Good Order," to add gender identity to the list of protected classes. Neither the law nor the amendment offer religious exemptions from compliance or name religious institutions as places of public ...
Christian school sues for right to pregame prayer
ORLANDO, Fla. (BP) -- When Cambridge Christian and University Christian high schools met for the Florida Class 2A championship football game last December, announcers used the Camping World Stadium public address system to introduce the players, make announcements, advertise sponsors, and play music for the cheerleading squads. But one form of speech -- prayer -- was banned from the PA system.
Suits in Ohio, Minn. join list of Title IX challenges
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP)-- Lawsuits recently filed in Ohio and Minnesota have joined the burgeoning docket of cases challenging the Obama administration's Title IX guidance on gender identity and restroom use in public schools. The suits illustrate the issue's divisiveness -- the Ohio school district refuses to accept the federal government's demands, while the Minnesota district accepted the redefinition of "sex," prompting parents to sue. Families in Virginia also are challenging a local school district's decision to adopt new definitions of gender and sex, and last week the state supreme court agreed ...
Same-sex marriage advocates work to oust small-town judge
WYOMING (BP) -- In what could be the nation's first religious litmus test for holding a judicial post, the Wyoming Supreme Court is being asked to dismiss a small-town municipal court judge because of her biblical views about marriage. Attorneys for Judge Ruth Neely, along with a growing list of supporters, argue the efforts of an unelected state commission to remove her from office are rooted in religious bias and misinterpretation of the law.
Ill. inn owners ordered to host same-sex wedding
PAXTON, Ill. (BP) -- An Illinois administrative judge has given the owners of a bed and breakfast one year to provide their facility to a gay couple "for an event celebrating their civil union." The order, part of a decision handed down March 22 in a discrimination case filed by the two men, also includes an $80,000 fine. In September, Illinois Human Rights Commission Judge Michael Robinson declared Jim and Beth Walder, owners of Timber ...
Angel Tree adopts new statement of faith policy
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- In a move that could cost the ministry an untold number of volunteers, Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree program is requiring its coordinators to affirm its statement of faith. The requirement, which became official Jan. 1, is an effort to ensure theological alignment between volunteers and the program that, for 33 years, has delivered gifts and the Gospel to inmates and their children.