By Christy Barritt
Arizona Ordered to Fund Planned Parenthood
A federal judge ruled in October that Arizona could not stop funding Planned Parenthood with taxpayer dollars.
Governor Jan Brewer signed a law in May, stating that Arizona would not give public funds to organizations or doctors that provided abortion, even for Medicaid provided general health care services.
Planned Parenthood of Arizona filed a suit to block the law, saying that the law interfered with the recipient’s legal rights to choose a qualified provider of medical care. The organization won the first legal battle, but Arizona plans to appeal.
Texas and Indiana are also engaged in similar court battles over the matter.
New York Farm Fights for Religious Liberties
Christian owners of an upstate New York farm are facing a discrimination complaint after denying a lesbian couple the right to marry on their property.
The owners of Liberty Ridge Farm argued that, as private business owners, they have the right to turn away whom they choose and they were simply exercising their religious liberties when they refused the wedding.
The lesbian couple filed a discrimination complaint with the state Division of Human Rights in October. They told The Register Citizen that no business should have the right to choose service to customers based on sexual orientation.
A similar case occurred in Vermont, and the owners of an inn there were fined $30,000.
Many feel this case will set a precedent for New York’s same-sex marriage law.
Christian Group Banned from University
Tufts University in Massachusetts has banned a Christian group from campus because it required its leaders to be Christians and therefore support “basic biblical truths of Christianity.”
The university took issue with Tufts Christian Fellowship, a chapter of the national ministry InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
The university reviewed the student group’s constitution and recommended in September that the TCF remove the belief-based leadership requirements from its bylaws so that certain students would not feel excluded.
Now, the group may not use the Tufts University name in its title, nor can they schedule events or reserve university space, or receive funding from the school’s treasury.
LSU Edits Crosses Out of Photos
School officials have censored a group of students at Louisiana State University known as the “Painted Posse” for displaying symbols of their faith during a sports event.
The group makes it a tradition to paint themselves with school colors before football games. Their school pride is also mixed with their religious faith because they add painted crosses to their chests.
College officials digitally erased the crosses from a photo of the students before using it for publicity purposes. A firestorm followed, which led the school to issue a statement saying that any photo having a religious or political symbol will no longer be considered for any of its communications having to do with promoting the college.
The Painted Posse said they’ll continue to paint the crosses on their chests.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.