religious freedom

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In France, a New Clothing Ban Irks Muslims

Hijabs, face veils were already barred in schools in the name of secularism; now, the abaya robe is, too

(Newser) - First France banned headscarves in its public schools, then full face veils. Now, the abaya, a long, baggy robe worn by practicing Muslim girls and women in the name of modesty, joins the list of banned attire in the nation's classrooms. Reuters reports that new Education Minister Gabriel Attal...

Workers Who Called Prayer Meetings 'Cultlike' to Get $50K

2 ex-employees settle in religious discrimination suit against North Carolina home-repair company

(Newser) - A North Carolina home-repair business fired two employees after they refused to continue participating in the company's mandatory prayer sessions—and now, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the firm will pay out $50,000 over the incident. Per a Wednesday EEOC release , the settlement with Aurora Pro Services...

SCOTUS Hands Big Win to Religious Freedom Advocates

Court sides with former postal worker Gerald Groff, who refused to work on Sundays

(Newser) - The Supreme Court has handed a big win to religious liberty advocates by siding with a Christian former mail carrier who didn't want to work on Sundays. In a unanimous decision, the court revisited a 1977 ruling that said employers are not required to make religious accommodations if they...

Cult Members Keep Trying to Die, Even After Rescue

65 charged with attempted suicide in Kenya; meanwhile, starvation death toll rises to 300-plus

(Newser) - The death toll from a Kenyan doomsday cult whose members fatally starved themselves has surpassed 300, making it "one of the worst cult-related tragedies in recent history," per Reuters . The adjusted number came after authorities exhumed 19 more bodies from mass graves in the nation's southeastern Shakahola...

Critics Slam DeSantis' New 'Medical Freedom' Law

Florida bill allows doctors, insurers to refuse services based on religious, moral, ethical beliefs

(Newser) - On Thursday, Ron DeSantis signed what his office is touting as "the strongest legislation in the nation for medical freedom," with four separate bills that the Republican governor says offer "expanded protections [that] will help ensure that medical authoritarianism does not take root in Florida." One...

ACLU: 'After School Satan Club' Ruling a Free Speech 'Victory'

Judge decides against Pennsylvania school district's barring of group's meetings, calling it 1A violation

(Newser) - In Pennsylvania, the Saucon Valley School District backed down earlier this year from granting meeting space to the After School Satan Club after community outcry and even a shooting threat. Now, the club is celebrating what the ACLU is calling "a victory for free speech and religious freedom."...

Court: Marine Sikh Recruits Need Not Shave for Boot Camp

Federal appeals court grants the exemption

(Newser) - A federal court ruling will result in a rare sight at Marine boot camp: two bearded recruits. The District of Columbia's federal appeals court has ruled that the pair of Sikh men shouldn't be forced to shave off the beards they keep for religious reasons, reports NPR . Plaintiffs...

Mormon Church Makes 'Unexpected' Move on Gay Marriage

Church will get behind legislation on same-sex marriage, as long as religious rights are protected

(Newser) - Federal legislation designed to protect gay marriage rights has a somewhat surprising new supporter: the Mormon church. On Tuesday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it will get behind the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act , after senators worked out an amendment that would protect how religious groups...

Mom Sues Pharmacist Whose 'Beliefs' Kept Him From Doling Out Meds

Andrea Anderson had to try 3 Minnesota pharmacies before she could get morning-after pill in 2019

(Newser) - In January 2019, during sex with her partner of more than 10 years, Andrea Anderson discovered the condom they were using had broken, and she immediately got a prescription for Ella, an emergency contraceptive that delays or stops ovulation—i.e., the morning-after pill, which doesn't end a pregnancy...

Gold Star Father Who Sparred With Trump Gets a Biden Post

Khizr Khan has been appointed by president to US Commission on International Religious Freedom

(Newser) - A Gold Star father who became a household name after sparring with Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election has received a post courtesy of Trump's successor in the White House. CNN reports that President Biden has named Khizr Khan, a Muslim immigrant and Virginia attorney...

Court Decides Policy Change Didn't Make $1 Lawsuit Moot

Student stopped from handing out religious material on campus has graduated

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is reviving a lawsuit brought by a Georgia college student who sued school officials after being prevented from distributing Christian literature on campus. The high court sided 8-1 with the student, Chike Uzuegbunam, and against Georgia Gwinnett College. Uzuegbunam has since graduated, and the public school in...

Pope Speaks on COVID, and What 'Changed the Way I Saw Life'

In 'NYT' op-ed, pontiff writes that personal freedoms shouldn't displace the common good

(Newser) - When Pope Francis was 21, he became very sick with a flu that had him gasping for breath and totally dependent on his caretakers. He eventually recovered, but that illness "changed the way I saw life," and it now serves as an important reminder to him that only...

Samuel Alito Gave Quite a Speech
Samuel Alito
Gave Quite a Speech
the rundown

Samuel Alito Gave Quite a Speech

Supreme Court justice worries about religious freedoms, pandemic restrictions, gay marriage

(Newser) - Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a 30-minute speech via video to conservative lawyers with the Federalist Society on Thursday, and his comments on issues ranging from religious freedom to gay marriage to COVID restrictions were getting lots of attention on Friday. The details:
  • COVID: Alito stressed that he didn'
...

As New SCOTUS Term Opens, Here's What's Coming
New SCOTUS Term Starts
Quietly, but That Could Change
the rundown

New SCOTUS Term Starts Quietly, but That Could Change

The term is so far short on high-profile cases, but perhaps not for long

(Newser) - The Supreme Court began its new term Monday with a remembrance of "a dear friend and a treasured colleague," the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Chief Justice John Roberts paid tribute to Ginsburg as the court resumed its work via telephone because of the coronavirus pandemic. Roberts said...

They Gathered for Easter Services. Then Came the Cops

Ky. churchgoers who flouted governor's orders against mass gatherings ordered to self-quarantine

(Newser) - Pastors in Florida and Louisiana have been hit with charges for flouting coronavirus lockdown rules, and now a pastor in Kentucky, and his parishioners, are facing their own battle. Per WDRB , Gov. Andy Beshear had warned the faithful that anyone who mass-gathered over Easter weekend would be made to self-quarantine...

Law to 'Save Chick-fil-A' Will Hurt Gay Community: Critics

Democrats angered by new Texas bill providing religious protections

(Newser) - Chick-fil-A has a fan in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who on Monday signed into law a bill that blocks "adverse action" against the restaurant and other businesses and persons for contributions to religious groups. The "Save Chick-fil-A" law, to take effect Sept. 1, stems from a decision to...

Death Row Inmate Wants Buddhist Minister With Him at Execution

Patrick Murphy is seeking a stay of execution over the issue

(Newser) - Attorneys for a Texas death row inmate have asked the US Supreme Court to stay his lethal injection until a Buddhist minister can be present with him in the execution chamber, the AP reports. Patrick Murphy's lawyers argue that executing the 57-year-old "Texas 7" member without his spiritual...

A Russian First: Jehovah's Witness Sent to Prison

Dennis Christensen convicted of extremism

(Newser) - A regional court in western Russia on Wednesday sentenced a Danish Jehovah's Witness to six years in prison, in arguably the most severe crackdown on religious freedom in Russia in recent years, the AP reports. The court in Oryol found Dennis Christensen, who was leading the local Bible reading,...

Justice Department Creates 'Religious Liberty Task Force'

Jeff Sessions announced the move Monday

(Newser) - Last year, President Trump signed an executive order on religious freedom , and now the Department of Justice is creating a "religious liberty task force" to implement the guidance that was issued as a result of that order. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the task force Monday during the DoJ'...

Report: HHS to Offer 'Conscience Protections' for Medical Staff

Official announcement expected Thursday on agency's new moral and 'religious liberty' rules

(Newser) - A planned Health and Human Services initiative would offer "conscience protections" for medical workers, and women's and LGBT rights advocates are teaming up with doctors' groups to push back against it before it's even announced. It appears a new civil rights division within the HHS would offer...

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