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Supreme Court Appears Sympathetic To Christian Baker In LGBT Rights Dispute


Reported by Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter | 12:17 PM 12/05/2017

A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared sympathetic Tuesday with a Christian baker from Colorado who declined to create a custom wedding cake for an LGBT couple.

Several justices expressed concerns about the integrity of civil rights and public accommodations laws, and the Court generally struggled with the proposition that Phillips has a speech interest in his custom cakes. But Justice Anthony Kennedy and the conservative justices expressed concern about government hostility to religious believers, signaling a potential victory for the baker.

The case was occasioned when David Mullins and Charlie Craig, a gay couple, entered Jack Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo. After a short discussion with the prospective patrons, Phillips said he would not sell them a custom wedding cake due to his deeply-held religious beliefs. Mullins and Craig filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, prompting a lengthy legal battle culminating in an appeal to the high court.

Phillips says he has sold baked goods to LGBT persons in the past, and that he would similarly sell generic baked goods — including cakes — to Mullins and Craig. He refuses, however, to create a custom cake conveying a message respecting their nuptials, and argues the state cannot compel him to create speech with which he disagrees.

During Tuesday’s argument, several justices expressed concern about the line Phillips asked them to draw. Assuming that a cake is in fact speech, Justice Elena Kagan wondered which other proprietors could also decline to provide services for a same sex wedding. Kagan used the example of a makeup artist or a hairstylist, professionals who uses a highly-specialized skill set to create beauty. Kristen Waggoner, the lawyer representing Phillips, replied that hair and makeup is not expressive.

Kagan later expressed incredulity when Waggoner said a baker creates protected expression, but a chef does not.

Attempting to extricate her from Kagan’s withering hypotheticals, Justice Samuel Alito asked if architecture could be considered speech. Waggoner said no, since architecture is primarily functional. Justice Stephen Breyer noted it would be odd indeed if a cake was considered speech, but an architectural masterpiece by Mies or Michelangelo was not.

Breyer added that a poorly-tailored free-speech exemption for religious dissenters could compromise public accommodation laws, which require businesses to treat all customers equally.

“The reason we’re asking these questions is because obviously we want some kind of distinction that will not undermine every civil rights law from the year two,” he said.

Kagan revived her line of questioned when Solicitor General Noel Francisco stood to argue on behalf of the federal government, which supports Phillips. She asked if a renown chef at a tony restaurant could refuse service to a gay couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. Like Waggoner, Francisco said a chef’s work is not protected speech, since it is a generic, uncustomized product.

“So the baker is speech, but the great chef who is like ‘everything is perfect on the plate and it’s a work of art, it’s a masterpiece’ [isn’t]?” she said.

“My colleagues, I think, go to more elite restaurants than I do,” Alito quipped, to laughter.

All told, the Court struggled to navigate Phillips’ free speech argument. In something of a role reversal, Breyer appeared decidedly sympathetic to the baker’s religious convictions, while Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch acknowledged a ruling in his favor might create chaos in civil rights law. All nine justices appeared unable to find a sufficient remedy on free speech grounds.

The Court seemed less divided over the Commission’s conduct in adjudicating the matter. Kennedy suggested that Colorado has not been tolerant of Phillips’ religious beliefs while handling this controversy. At one juncture, he asked Colorado Solicitor General Frederick Yarger to disavow statements made by commissioners during a hearing, which suggest hostility to orthodox religion.

One statement, which he read in part from the bench, said religion has been used to justify slavery and the Holocaust.

“[R]eligion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust,” one commissioner said. “We can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use.”

“Tolerance is essential in a free society,” Kennedy said. “And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”

Seizing on this point, Alito claimed the Commission has not treated similarly-situated bakers equally. In a 2014 case, the Commission found that a Denver-area bakery which refused to create cakes promoting traditional marriage did not discriminate against a patron’s Christian religious beliefs. This, he said, was evidence that the Commission does not fairly enforce anti-discrimination law.

Roberts elsewhere feared that anti-discrimination laws like Colorado’s could be weaponized against religious groups. He asked Yarger if the state could force a religious pro-bono law group like Catholic Legal Services to represent a gay couple in a lawsuit relating to their wedding plans. After a lengthy exchange, Yarger said they could.

At the argument’s conclusion, it appeared possible that the Court will side with Phillips given the Commission’s alleged failure to enforce anti-discrimination law fairly, while avoiding a sweeping decision about the rights of religious dissenters.

The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, will be decided by June 2018.

American Bar Association Gives Neil Gorsuch Highest Possible Rating For SCOTUS


Reported by Photo of Peter Hasson Peter Hasson | Reporter, Associate Editor | 7:06 PM 03/09/2017

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary voted unanimously to rate Neil Gorsuch as “well qualified” to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. “Well qualified” is the best possible rating a Supreme Court nominee can receive from the ABA.

President Trump and Neil Gorsuch smile as Trump nominated Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court at the White House. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Trump and Neil Gorsuch smile as Trump nominated Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court at the White House. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The ABA announced the vote Thursday in a letter to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, respectively. Grassley celebrated the letter on Twitter, saying Gorsuch is “well on his way to [the] Supreme Court.”

“The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has completed its evaluation of the professional qualifications of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, whom the President has nominated to the United States Supreme Court. As you know, the Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial demeanor,” the letter states. “After an exhaustive evaluation process, the Committee has determined by unanimous vote that Judge Gorsuch is ‘Well Qualified’ for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”

Trump nominated Gorsuch on January 31 to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has already indicated he will drag out the confirmation process for Gorsuch.

President Trump previously urged Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the nuclear option to prevent a filibuster of Gorsuch’s nomination if needed.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Trump Meets With Leading Supreme Court Contender


waving flagAuthored by Photo of Kevin Daley Kevin Daley / Legal Affairs Reporter / 01/15/2017

URL of the original posting site: http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/15/trump-meets-with-a-leading-supreme-court-contender/

President-elect Donald Trump met with Judge William Pryor of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a lead contender for his first appointment to the Supreme Court, at Trump Tower late Saturday.

Above the Law’s David Lat broke news of the Pryor meeting.

Judge William Pryor speaks to a Federalist Society chapter. YouTube screen grab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIsCetOnzdc

Judge William Pryor speaks to a Federalist Society chapter. YouTube screen grab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIsCetOnzdc

 

Trump told reporters Wednesday that he expects to name a nominee to the high court in late January, during the second week of his administration. He also confirmed he has met with a number of candidates from the list of potential nominees he released during the campaign. Given that timeframe, and the fact Pryor is widely considered a frontrunner for the appointment, the Saturday meeting suggests Trump is in the final stages of the selection process.

Pryor’s strident conservatism made his appointment to the bench by President George W. Bush a years-long battle. During his career in Alabama politics, Pryor referred to the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade as an “abomination,” and authored an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to affirm the constitutionality of a Texas anti-sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas. Senate Democrats successfully blocked a floor vote on his nomination until he was installed to the 11th Circuit by recess appointment in 2004. The full Senate voted to confirm him in 2005. (RELATED: Trump Could Dramatically Reshape The Federal Courts)

The 53-45 vote saw several Republicans defect and vote against his confirmation, including GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is still serving in the Senate. As Collins’ 2005 “no” vote may preclude her from supporting Pryor now, the White House will have a slim majority to work with, assuming they are unable to solicit support from Democrats for his confirmation.

Lat also reports Trump was prepared to offer the seat to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Supreme Court clerk who argued 10 cases at the high court during his tenure as Texas Solicitor General. Cruz declined the appointment.

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Obama Administration Makes Desperate Play To Save Transgender Bathrooms


waving flagAuthored by Photo of Kevin Daley Kevin Daley / Legal Affairs Reporter / 01/09/2017

URL of the original posting site: http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/09/obama-administration-makes-desperate-play-to-save-transgender-bathrooms/

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s ruling that suspended enforcement of the administration’s order allowing transgender students and workers to use the bathroom of their choice. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, blocked enforcement of the order in August.more

Lawyers for the administration asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out O’Connor’s ruling, arguing the courts do not have the power to review the government’s order. They also argue O’Connor’s ruling was too broad, as it applied to the entire country, instead of the states challenging the order.

The administration sent guidance to school districts across the country in May, advising them to allow trans students to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. “A school’s failure to treat students consistent with their gender identity may create or contribute to a hostile environment in violation of Title IX,” the letter said, in reference to the federal law banning gender discrimination in education. (RELATED: With Just Days Left, Obama Admin. Asks SCOTUS To Defend Gun Control)get-over-it

The agencies argued that the guidelines they issued only reflect their interpretation of Title IX, and are not orders bearing the full force of law. They further contend the guidelines were issued because of ambiguities in Title IX, since the law does not address how a school should accommodate a transgender student. As a consequence, they argued the court must defer to their interpretation of the law, since a court may not overturn an agency’s interpretation so long as it is “reasonable.”Leftist Propagandist

A coalition of a dozen states, led by Texas, accused the agencies of playing a “regulatory shell game” by issuing the guidelines by means of regulatory “dark matter,” a deluge of agency directives, notices, memoranda, guidance documents, and even blog posts that effectively create new policy without congressional legislation or Administrative Procedure Act (APA) protocols.

The states claim that this strategy allows agencies to evade review by the courts and achieve their policy objectives — because the guidance stems from so-called “dark matter,” it technically lacks the force of law and therefore cannot be reviewed by the courts. Nonetheless, districts that do not abide by the guidance are targeted for punishment by the agencies, ensuring district compliance with the new agency “rules.”

BuzzFeed News has the full filing.

A similar matter is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

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Send tips to kevin@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/09/obama-administration-makes-desperate-play-to-save-transgender-bathrooms/#ixzz4VOdowqvp

She Had an Abortion at 15. How It Changed Her Life.


waving flagAuthored by Kelsey Harkness / / March 07, 2016

3,348 women share testimony before the U.S. Supreme Court about how they’ve been hurt by the abortion industry. (Photo: iStock)

Nona Ellington was 15 years old when she found out she was pregnant. A victim of rape, Ellington felt alone, ashamed, and desperate for help. After a free pregnancy test came back positive, showing that Ellington was five weeks pregnant, she went forward and scheduled an abortion. Around October 1983, Ellington, who was still in high school at the time, aborted the only child she would ever successfully conceive.

“As a result of that [abortion], I was never able to have children,” Ellington told The Daily Signal. “I had five miscarriages, two were pregnancies that required emergency surgery, and [during] the last one in 2004, the only tube I had left ruptured, so I was bleeding internally, and they almost lost me.”

When Ellington was eventually ready to have children with her then-husband, she said she visited a fertility doctor who “confirmed that it was the abortion that had damaged me so much that I was not able to have children.” Ellington considered trying in vitro fertilization (IVF)—where an embryo is manually transferred into the uterus—but said even if it would work, her health insurance didn’t cover the cost.

“It covered abortion. But not fertility stuff,” Ellington said.

Looking back on her experience, Ellington calls abortion the most “selfish” decision she ever made, and now she spends her time trying to warn other women against it.

As part of that effort, Ellington joined 3,348 women who who shared their abortion “injury” stories with the U.S. Supreme Court as part of what’s called an amicus curiae brief. Their hope is that by discussing their “injuries”—both physical and mental—the Supreme Court justices will uphold a controversial Texas law that places new regulations on the abortion industry.

Myra Jean Myers (left) and Nona Ellington (right) share their abortion stories in a brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court for the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Myra Jean Myers (left) and Nona Ellington (right) share their abortion stories in a brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court for the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, is being called one of the biggest abortion cases since Roe. v Wade, in which the Supreme Court said that women have a right to abortion while also affirming a state’s right to regulate the practice. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt could signal how far states are allowed to go in issuing those regulations.I knew you

The law in question, known as H.B.2, requires abortion facilities in Texas to maintain the same standards as ambulatory surgery centers and abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Whole Woman’s Health and its supporters believe that the imposed regulations dangerously limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion.

“Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States, and neither of the requirements imposed by the Texas law would make it any safer,” the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a statement. “Worse, this law clearly imposes an undue burden on a large number of Texan women, who would no longer have reasonable access to abortion care when needed, forcing them to wait longer before an abortion, travel across state lines for safe care, or even forego abortion care altogether.”Leftist Propagandist

Those in favor of upholding the law argue that the regulations are “commonsense” for the health and safety of women.

The law, wrote Sarah Torre, a pro-life expert at The Heritage Foundation, “was passed in response to the conviction of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who ran a ‘House of Horrors’ abortion clinic for over a decade with nearly no government oversight.” She added:

After the Gosnell grand jury recommended new clinic regulations and after hearings on the medical risks of abortion, Texas (along with other states) decided to require abortion clinics to meet the same minimum cleanliness and safety standards as other outpatient surgery facilities and require doctors performing abortions to have the credentials to admit a patient to a nearby hospital.

Myra Jean Myers, another plaintiff on the Supreme Court brief, said she’s experienced some of these dangers I AM A PERSON with Poemfirsthand. Both Myers and Ellington spoke last week at a press conference held at the Family Research Institute one day before the court heard oral arguments for the case.

“Abortion is a dangerous procedure,” Myers said. After her procedure, Myers said, “I had a hysterectomy two months later.”

A hysterectomy is a surgery to remove a woman’s uterus. At 28 years old, Myers, too, would never be able to conceive again due to her abortion.

Myra Jean Myers, pictured above, said her husband pressured her into getting an abortion, believing "the lie that it’s not a child yet. "

Myra Jean Myers, pictured above, said her husband pressured her into getting an abortion, believing “the lie that it’s not a child yet. “

Allen E. Parker, a lawyer at The Justice Foundation, which is the non-profit submitting the personal testimony by women who allege injuries caused by abortion, said most of the participants “suffered grievous psychological injuries,” “but many suffered severe physical complications as well.” The most common physical complications of abortion, he added, are hemorrhaging, punctured uterus, punctured colons, and scarring of the uterus.

“In abortion, you’re basically scraping the walls of the uterus and the contents of the uterus with a scalpel-like instrument,” he said. “And you’re doing it by hand in most instances, or by feel, the doctors would say. And you can punch the wrong part, and that’s where the complications occur.”

As for the mental conditions, Parker cited guilt, shame, sadness, depression, anxiety, drug abuse, and suicide as the most common conditions.

Ellington blames her abortion for causing her to “spiral” into a “very destructive behavior of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuous sex.” Myers said that while the physical scars are still present, it’s the mental anguish that continues to haunt her.

“Nothing wounds you like being responsible for the death of your child,” she said at the press conference.how many body parts

Parker, who sounded hopeful that the Supreme Court will consider the testimony of the 3,348 women when issuing their ruling in the case, added, “Whether you’re for abortion or against it, you can acknowledge that some women are hurt by abortion, and we ought to do everything we can to protect these women.”

This article has been updated to correct a fact about Nona Ellington. The original article referred to a court document that was about a different Nona Ellington.

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Federal judge orders Kentucky clerk and her staff to court


waving flagAssociated Press

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — A county clerk who invoked “God’s authority” as she defied the U.S. Supreme Court yet again on gay marriage Tuesday refused to resign after a federal judge summoned her to explain why she should not held in contempt.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis turned away several gay and lesbian couples who sought marriage licenses — some for a fifth time — even though the Supreme Court turned away her last-ditch appeal the night before. “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision,” she said through her lawyers. “I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk. I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience,” her statement said.Picture2

For David Moore and David Ermold, it was their third rejection at the courthouse. Davis, facing the couples and a packed crowd of reporters and activists, told them to leave. “We’re not leaving until we have a license,” Ermold responded. “Then you’re going to have a long day,” Davis replied.Kentucky county clerk refuses to issue same-sex marriage …

Davis then retreated into her inner office, where closed blinds sheltered her from the cameras and rival demonstrations outside.

“Praise the Lord!” her supporters shouted. “Stand your ground!”

Other activists yelled “Do your job!” They called Davis a bigot and said the government is not a theocracy. The sheriff moved everyone to the courthouse lawn, where each side tried to out-do the other with chanting, hymn-singing and sign-waving.Big Gay Hate Machine

Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses in June after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation.Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis listens to a customer …

Four couples — two gay, two straight — then sued to force her to fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal religious faith, or step aside. Other couples also sued. A federal order to issue the licenses was upheld in appellate court. Her lawyers with Liberty Counsel then asked the Supreme Court for what they called “asylum for her conscience.”

After the full court declined to intervene Monday night, removing any remaining legal ground for Davis’ position, the couples decided to try again, only to be turned away. For James Yates and Will Smith Jr., it was their fifth rejection. “It’s just too hard right now,” Yates said, choking back tears and holding hands with Smith as they rushed to their car.Picture3

Despite the delays, the couples’ lawyers asked the judge to punish her with fines, not jail.

Davis served as her mother’s deputy for 27 years before she was elected as a Democrat to succeed her in November. Davis’ own son is on the staff. As an elected official, Davis can’t be fired from her $80,000-a-year job. Impeachment would have to wait until the Legislature’s regular session next year, or a costly special session.

Davis refused to concede her religious freedom argument even after U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered Davis and her six deputy clerks to appear at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the federal court in Ashland. Davis has said previously that four of her deputies share her beliefs, one was ambiguous and one did not have a problem with issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

Outside, activists lined up on either side of the courthouse entrance.

“At the end of the day, we have to stand before God, which has higher authority than the Supreme Court,” said Randy Smith, leading the group supporting Davis.

Ermold and Moore, together for 17 years, cried and swayed as they walked out to chants from the clerk’s supporters. “I feel sad, I feel devastated,” Ermold said. “I feel like I’ve been humiliated on such a national level, I can’t even comprehend it.”Picture5

The clerk’s husband, Joe Davis, came by to check on his wife. He said she has received death threats but remains committed to her faith and is “standing for God.” As for himself, he said he believes in the Second Amendment: “I’m an old redneck hillbilly, that’s all I’ve got to say. Don’t come knocking on my door.” He pointed to the gay rights protesters gathered on the courthouse lawn and said: “They want us to accept their beliefs and their ways. But they won’t accept our beliefs and our ways.”Gaystopo logo

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Associated Press writer Adam Beam in Lexington, Kentucky, contributed.

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State forbids pastors calling homosexuality ‘sinful’


waving flagPosted By Bob Unruh On 07/24/2015

Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL to article: http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/state-forbids-pastors-calling-homosexuality-sinful

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The state of Kentucky has begun imposing a religious test on volunteer pastor counselors in its youth division, insisting that they refrain from calling homosexuality “sinful” and dismissing those who cannot bend their religious faith to accommodate the state requirements.Picture2

The policy was uncovered by Liberty Counsel, which has sent a letter to Bob Hayter, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, demanding that the state religious test be dropped and that a dismissed counselor be reinstated. “Liberty Counsel writes regarding the blatantly unconstitutional revocation of volunteer prison minister status of ordained Christian minister David Wells, who has provided voluntary spiritual counseling and mentorship to juvenile inmates under the control of the Department of Juvenile Justice. … This revocation was issued by Warren County Regional Juvenile Detention Center on the basis of the April 4, 2014, DJJ Policy 912, which mandates full DJJ support of homosexuality and transvestism.Leftist Giant called Tyranny

“With no evidence of any violation of DJJ policy on Mr. Wells’ part, his volunteer status was revoked by the Warren RJDC superintendent because he could not sign a state-mandated statement that homosexuality was not ‘sinful,’ among other things,” the letter said.Different Free Speech Ideologies

The policy states that DJJ staff, volunteers and others “shall not imply or tell LGBTQI juveniles that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful or that they can or should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

WND requested a comment from the state agency, but there was no immediate response.

Get “Takedown,” and learn how the American family and marriage are being sabotaged by the ideas of extreme-left radicals, starting with Karl Marx.

The state agency was told in the letter it has until July 31 to reinstate Wells’ volunteer visitor credentials. “Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Pastor Wells must be able to discuss what the Bible says about matters of sexuality with the juveniles he is trying to help. To remove the Bible from a pastor’s hands is like removing a scalpel from a surgeon’s hands. Without it, they cannot provide healing.”

Wells had volunteered more than 10 years at the facility under the prison ministry of Pleasant View Baptist Church in McQuady

But Supt. Gene Wade dismissed him in a terse note on July 7.

He wrote, “I must terminate your involvement as a religious volunteer serving the youth in this facility per DJJ Policy 112, Section IV, Paragraph H, (8).”Big Gay Hate Machine

CP 03Liberty Counsel reported Policy 912, “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,” states that volunteers cannot refer to homosexuality or other alternative sexual lifestyles as “sinful.” “DJJ 912 equates the teaching of biblical morality with ‘derogatory,’ ‘biased” and ‘hateful’ speech, added Staver. “In so doing, the DJJ policy creates an unconstitutional, religious litmus test for DJJ access. The First Amendment prohibits the government from viewpoint discrimination. This detention center may not prohibit the expression of biblical morality simply because a few DJJ policymakers object to the Bible and its teaching,” the letter saidPicture1

Liberty Counsel’s letter noted Wells was ordered to sign a form “promising to refrain from telling any juvenile inmates that homosexuality was ‘sinful.’”Free Speech Definition

But Liberty Counsel argues the Bible “explicitly prohibits any expression of sexuality outside of the confines of man-woman marriage.”

“It recognizes that every person, regardless of personal proclivities or attractions, is separated from God because of sin, whatever form that sin may take. Many juveniles are in DJJ custody because of sexual crimes, and Mr. Wells must be able to discuss the Bible and matters of sexuality with inmates, and he therefore was unable to sign the form.”

The letter says many inmates have been sexually abused and need such counseling.

“Second, at no time in more than 12 years of ministry has Mr. Wells or any of the other volunteer ministers who assist him ever used ‘derogatory language’ in a manner that ‘conveys bias towards or hatred of’ children.’

“Third, any religious services or spiritual counseling offered by Mr.Wells is always completely voluntary in attendance; and no juvenile offender is ever required to attend the services or meet with him or other volunteers,” the letter said.

Wells has dealt with cases ranging from “a young man who sexually abused his sister, and then killed her … to children who have been molested and sodomized by adults and older teens.”

“All of these children have asked Mr.Wells if there was any hope for them in this life, and in the life to come. He has told them without exception that Christ can, and would, forgive them, if they would repent and believe the gospel.”Combined

The policy even conflicts with other department policy, Liberty Counsel explained, because DJJ 345 states: “A volunteer minister, pastor or religious counselor, approved by the facility religious coordinator, shall have access to each area of the facility identified for religious programming. Clergy shall be allowed to have confidential communications with youth pursuant to clergy privilege.”

The state demand “violates the First Amendment by prescribing an official state religious ‘orthodoxy:’ now, only a religious belief that homosexuality is not ‘sinful’ may be expressed in DJJ facilities.”want_rel_liberty_r

That’s even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that “no official, high or petty, can prescribe that shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion and force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” The U.S. Supreme Court also has ruled that speech restrictions cannot be based on viewpoint. The practice also creates similar conflicts with the Kentucky Constitution, Liberty Counsel said.

“There is simply no evidence that any pastor or volunteer minister, much less Mr. Wells, has ever expressed ‘derogatory’ language toward, or ‘bias’ or ‘hatred’ of DJJ youths who have sexuality issues. For that matter, it is not ‘hatred’ or ‘bias’ to lovingly point out the harms of homosexuality,” the letter said.

The result is that the state of Kentucky singles out a particular theological viewpoint as expressly disfavored. This the state cannot do,” the letter said.

The issue of counseling sexually confused youth has come up several other states already. In California, Oregon and New Jersey, officials already have adopted rules that prohibit people from offering help during counseling sessions to juveniles who have unwanted same-sex attractions. Several other states have rejected the idea.

Most recently, it was a judge’s “bias” toward homosexuality that prompted a jury to award about $72,000 to plaintiffs who sued under a New Jersey consumer fraud law. They claimed their counseling sessions aimed at getting rid of unwanted same-sex attractions failed, according to a licensed counselor. The verdict recently was announced in New Jersey for plaintiffs who brought their case, with the assistance of an organization that has been linked to domestic terror, against JONAH, or Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing. The verdict was “the consequence of liberal judicial bias,” licensed professional counselor Christopher Doyle told Anglican Mainstream, a publication for orthodox Anglicans.

“Before and during the trial Judge Peter Bariso stripped JONAH of so many opportunities to really defend themselves, disqualifying five of the six expert witnesses for the defendants because their opinions contradicted the so-called mainstream view that same-sex attractions are not at all disordered, even if a client is distressed by these unwanted sexual feelings because of their sincerely held religious and spiritual beliefs,” Doyle’s report said.Picture2

A decision on whether the case will be appealed is looming, Liberty Counsel said. “The judge’s bias against religious freedom was so ruthless that he even refused to allow JONAH’s chief attorney to mention the First Amendment freedom of religion in his closing argument,” Doyle said. “This verdict sends a chilling message to anyone of faith who either offers counseling or wants to receive counseling to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions,” he said.Hate Merchants

The jury verdict ordered JONAH to pay $72,400 to five plaintiffs for the fees they paid for counseling.

The case was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which opposed racism and discrimination during its early years. However, three years ago it was linked to domestic terrorism in a court case. That was when homosexual activist Floyd Lee Corkins on Aug. 15, 2012, walked into Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C., armed with a semi-automatic pistol, 95 bullets and a sack of Chick-fil-A sandwiches with the intent, he later confessed, of killing “as many people as I could.” Corkins admitted he picked FRC, which promotes traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about family and sexuality, because it was listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by SPLC on its website.

See video of the attack:

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The judge actually had pre-ordained the conclusion against JONAH, writing early in the case “the theory that homosexuality is a disorder is not novel but – like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it – instead is outdated and refuted.” For that reason, he gutted much of the organization’s defense.More Evidence

Doyle explained that the jury probably was less convinced about consumer fraud claims but more by the actions of “a liberal judge who hamstringed the defendants while feeding the jury a steady diet of mischaracterizations on the work of JONAH.”

WND reported JONAH was defended by the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund.

Spokeswoman Maggie Gallagher earlier told WND that SPLC’s goals are to put “out of existence” any counseling in America that helps those with unwanted same-sex attractions. Essentially, she said, it’s a campaign to “impose a new public morality” on the nation, concluding that for those who have same-sex attractions, “there’s nothing you are entitled to do except say it’s great and I want to live a gay life.”War on Christians

Alinsky Rules for Radicals


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