Steve West/WORLD

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Religious liberty gaining momentum in court?

PHOENIX, Ariz. (BP) -- The Arizona Supreme Court last week rebuked states and municipalities that overzealously enforce anti-discrimination laws. The state's highest court said the city of Phoenix cannot apply a nondiscrimination ordinance to the designers of custom wedding invitations. In a 5-3 decision, the court found Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush and Nib Studio, have the right to decline to create custom invitations for same-sex weddings. Justice Andrew Gould, writing for the majority, put forward a sweeping defense of free speech and religious liberty. See related Baptist Press story.

Settlement curbs religious expression in La. schools

BOSSIER CITY, La. (BP) -- In Bossier City, La., school board meetings regularly begin with prayer, yet school employees reportedly can't quietly pray or read a Bible within sight of students. That's because a settlement agreed to last week restricts religious expression in public schools in the Bossier Parish area outside Shreveport. In the agreement, filed Jan. 23, the parties agreed some of the school district's policies or practices violated the U.S. Constitution's ban on the establishment of religion by endorsing or promoting Christianity. A federal court is expected to approve the settlement.