July 10, 2009
Here's what we are reading today.
- "Federal Law excluding Gay Marriage is under siege," Michael B. Farrell, Christian Science Monitor (July 9, 2009)
- "Survey: Science Just One Ingredient of Opinion Cocktail," Emily Badger, Miller-McCune (July 9, 2009)
- "Group asks Tracy to drop religion from invocations," Mike Martinez, San Joaquin Herald (July 9, 2009)
- "Marriage showdown imminent in Maine," Charlie Butts, OneNewsNow (July 10, 2009)
- "White House Says Obama, Pope Benedict XVI Will Have "Frank" Talk on Abortion," Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com (July 8, 2009)
Five years after it became the first state to marry same-sex couples, Massachusetts is taking on the federal governments definition of marriage.
While other lawsuits have challenged the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was passed in 1996 and defined marriage as between a man and woman, Massachusetts is the first to argue that Congress overstepped its bounds and violated a states right to determine what constitutes marriage.
"Although people like science, they are not bound by what science shows," said Alan I. Leshner, the AAAS's CEO and executive publisher of the journal Science. "Advances in science over the course of last decade are coming into conflict with some core human values issues, whether it's when life begins or what you believe about evolution. Only scientists are stuck with what science is showing. The public at large and policy-makers are free to deny, disagree or just disregard what the science is showing. Scientists don't have that luxury."
"In a six-page letter to the city, the attorney for the Madison, Wisc.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote demanding an end to the practice.
"The City Council of Tracy cannot, under current federal and state law, permit any prayers that contain references to an explicit deity,'' wrote attorney Rebecca Kratz. "The prayers currently given during council meetings impermissibly advance Christianity and lead a reasonable observer to believe that the council is endorsing not only religion over non religion, but also Christianity over other faiths."
Although the legislature passed it and Governor John Baldacci approved the same-sex marriage bill in May, the law is on hold. Maine considers the people to be a branch of the government, and they can exercise a People's Veto. Mary Conroy of Stand for Marriage tells OneNewsNow that means gathering enough signatures to put the issue before voters.
The relationship between Obama and Catholics has been tenuous. The pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church and Obama's pro-abortion views have been at odds since the beginning of his presidency.
Before Obama took over the White House, the nation's Catholic bishops warned him not to aggressively promote abortion and not to include abortion in his health care restructuring proposal.