religious freedom

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He Has a Death Certificate. His Family Says He's Still Alive

They're fighting to keep Shalom Ouanounou on life support in Canada

(Newser) - A man will remain on life support in Canada for the time being, despite the fact that his death certificate has already been issued. Toronto's Shalom Ouanounou, 25, was declared brain dead three days after suffering an asthma attack on Sept. 27, reports the Canadian Press . But while Canadian... More »

Saudi Kid Arrested After Dancing to an Old Hit

It was the 'Macarena,' and he did it on a public street

(Newser) - Doing the "Macarena" in traffic is a no-no in Saudi Arabia. That's what one hip-swirling teen learned after being caught on a video since gone viral, jamming to the hit tune from the mid-'90s. Saudi police said they arrested the 14-year-old on Tuesday for "improper public... More »

Creationist Sues Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

He wants to take rocks out of the park to study further, NPS declined request

(Newser) - Somewhere between 15% and 40% of Americans believe our planet is only 10,000 years old, in spite of the literal heaps of evidence that it is far older. One such American, young-Earth creationist Andrew Snelling, is suing the National Park Service for not letting him remove rocks from the... More »

Trump May Sign Executive Order on Religious Freedom

Civil rights orgs fear order will legalize discrimination against LGBT community

(Newser) - President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on religious liberty on Thursday, and civil rights groups are prepared to sue if the order resembles an earlier version leaked in February, BuzzFeed News reports. According to Politico , the leaked executive order would have basically let people, groups, and some... More »

NJ Town Officials Accused of Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Justice Department says they rejected mosque for religious reasons

(Newser) - The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge had its mailbox trampled and its name on the box replaced with "ISIS" while seeking permission to build a 4,400-square-foot mosque in Bernards Township, NJ. Then its 70 members feared it was all for naught when, after 39 public hearings, the township'... More »

School Under Fire for Nixing Charlie Brown Display

Texas woman says takedown of holiday decor infringes on her religious freedom

(Newser) - Dedra Shannon may have to settle for cranking up Vince Guaraldi tunes to get into the holiday spirit at her workplace. The principal at Charles Patterson Middle School in Killeen, Texas, made Shannon, a nurse's aide, take down the Charlie Brown-inspired decor she'd put up on the nurse'... More »

Miss. Religious Freedom Bill Signed Into Law

Governor ignores opposition from LGBT advocates and state businesses

(Newser) - On Tuesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB1523, also known as the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, into law, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. In doing so, he made it legal for businesses in the state to refuse service "because of a religious opposition to same-sex marriage,... More »

A Kroger Bathroom Is the Unlikely Subject of Praise

Sign says a variety of people can benefit from an inclusive bathroom policy

(Newser) - A bathroom at a Kroger in Athens, Ga., is the unlikely subject of much attention since a customer posted a photo of its unisex bathroom notice to Facebook over the weekend. The sign reads, in part, that the store is opting for a unisex bathroom because "we have a... More »

Ga. Gov to Veto 'Religious Liberty' Bill

'Georgia is a welcoming state ... full of loving, kind, generous people': Nathan Deal

(Newser) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says he'll veto the "religious liberty" bill passed by his state's Legislature nearly two weeks ago, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Deal said in a press conference Monday at the state Capitol that House Bill 757 —which would have allowed religious leaders... More »

Anti-Gay Bill Could Cost Atlanta a Super Bowl

NFL warns it will look at local, state laws to make sure they're non-discriminatory

(Newser) - The Atlanta Falcons have a new stadium under construction and hopes of landing future Super Bowls, but if Georgia House Bill 757 is signed into law, the Georgia capital may never nab the big game, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The so-called "Religious Freedom Bill," which would give religious... More »

Georgia Passes Anti-Gay Bill, May Face Economic Backlash

Churches, pastors could refuse to serve same-sex couples

(Newser) - Gay rights advocates say discrimination could soon be legal in Georgia if Gov. Nathan Deal signs a bill now on his desk. The controversial Religious Liberty Bill—which would allow churches and pastors to refuse to serve same-sex couples, at least in theory—passed the Georgia legislature late Wednesday, reports... More »

Bakery Owners Won't Pay Gay Couple $135K for Cake Refusal

Claim it would cause 'financial ruin,' despite at least $515K raised via crowdfunding

(Newser) - A couple ordered by the state of Oregon to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple they refused to make a wedding cake for won't pay up—despite the fact that more than half a million dollars has been raised for them via crowdfunding, the Oregonian reports.... More »

Donald Trump to Evangelicals: 'I'm One of You'

The Donald makes promises to evangelical crowd

(Newser) - With his poll numbers lagging a bit , Donald Trump assured evangelicals last night that he and the Lord have found each other. His revelation came at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Dinner, Politico reports. "I'm one of you," says Trump. "Just remember that. I brought... More »

Duke Freshmen Refuse to Read Graphic Novel on Sexual Identity

Say Alison Bechdel's 'Fun Home' goes against personal, religious beliefs

(Newser) - Alison Bechdel's Fun Home , a "family tragicomic," is a graphic memoir about the cartoonist's relationship with her distant father growing up and her coming of age as she grappled with her sexual identity. But although the committee tasked with giving incoming freshmen at Duke University a... More »

Ellen Page Confronts Ted Cruz on 'Gay Stuff'

Actress debates gay rights and religious freedom with presidential candidate

(Newser) - Here's something you don't see every day: a Hollywood star and a Republican presidential nominee debating gay rights and religious freedom with only a few dozen sizzling pork chops between them. CBS News reports Ellen Page, star of Juno and Inception, interrupted Ted Cruz's pork-related media event... More »

Jindal: I'll Never Change My Mind About Gay Marriage

La. governor says he won't cave to corporate 'bullies' on religious liberty issues

(Newser) - Indiana and Arkansas recently softened their so-called "religious freedom" legislation , and one person isn't happy that they walked it back: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. In an opinion piece in today's New York Times , Jindal takes issue with the "large corporations [that] recently joined left-wing activists to... More »

Suggested Dues for First Church of Cannabis: $4.20

Founder Bill Levin's response to Indiana law puts pot front and center

(Newser) - The first commandment of Indiana's newest religious establishment is pretty straightforward: "Don't be an asshole ." The First Church of Cannabis—given the thumbs-up as a religious corporation by Indiana's secretary of state after the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law last week—also... More »

Pastafarian Wears Colander as Hat in DMV Photo

Oklahoma atheist says it symbolizes religious freedom

(Newser) - America is the land of the free, the kind of country where you can wear a colander on your head and call it religious headgear. That's not a joke—there has been a Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster since 2005, and Oklahoma's Shawna Hammond is a practitioner... More »

Teen Punished for Saying 'Bless You' in School: Report

School says Kendra Turner caused disruption

(Newser) - A high school senior in Tennessee says she was placed in in-school suspension because she said "bless you" after a fellow student's sneeze. Kendra Turner tells WMCTV her teacher told her that "bless you" is language for church. "She said that we're not going to... More »

Christian Woman Who Faced Execution Arrives in US

Philly mayor greets Sudanese woman, gives Liberty Bell replica as liberation gift

(Newser) - Being called a "world freedom fighter" by the mayor is a nice way to be greeted when you land in Philly. Meriam Ibrahim Tehya Ishag, the woman who came perilously close to being hanged in Sudan for renouncing Islam, marrying a Christian, and converting to Christianity, arrived in the... More »

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