National News

Schwarzenegger Against Gay Marriage Ban
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would oppose a state ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage, The Sacramento Bee reported. Speaking to a gathering of gay Republicans in San Diego, Schwarzenegger called the initiative to amend the California Constitution “a total waste of time,” according to the newspaper, citing an audio recording of the Governor’s remarks. He previously vetoed two bills passed by the California Assembly to allow same-sex marriage. Schwarzenegger told a meeting of Log Cabin Republicans that he expected California voters to reject the ballot initiative, “because I think that California people are much further along on that issue.” He said he would “always be there to fight against that, because it will never happen….I think we need a constitutional amendment so that foreign-born citizens can run for President, but not about gay marriage.”

Christian Photographers Fined for Refusing Lesbian Wedding
The New Mexico Human Rights Commission has ordered a photography studio owned by a devout Christian husband-and-wife team to pay $6,600 because it refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony. The fine was issued after the commission found that Jon and Elaine Huguenin discriminated against the lesbian couple by declining to photograph the ceremony. According to reports, the studio refused for reasons of religious conscience. The Huguenins were represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, which argued that because photography is a form of artistic expression, forcing them to photograph the ceremony could be considered compelled speech. The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits such speech. The fund is appealing the commission’s order.

Christian Radio Group Blasts Dress-Up Day
Students at Pineview Elementary in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, recently celebrated Wacky Week, an annual tradition of dressing in different outfits. On the last day of the event, students were encouraged to dress as senior citizens or members of the opposite sex. According to the Associated Press, their fun was interrupted when a local Christian Radio network aired a “special broadcast” criticizing the dress-up day as “promoting alternative lifestyles.” Following the broadcast, the school and district were inundated with complaints. Principal Tammy Hayes, surprised by the complaints, said, “I can assure you we will not be having this day [again].”

US Judge Rules for Episcopal Separatists
A US judge has ruled 11 conservative congregations that broke away from the Episcopal Church, the US wing of the worldwide Anglican Union, can keep property and assets worth millions of dollars. Many similar disputes are under way throughout the United States and Canada, as the denomination deals with an ideological schism in the church. More conservative congregations oppose liberal teachings on homosexuality, as well as the ordination of an openly gay bishop. The recent ruling in Virginia deals only with state law, however, and the question now is whether that law interferes with the US Constitution’s guarantee of church-state separation.

Indiana Law on Adult Businesses Called Vague

Indiana booksellers and news dealers are worried about the impact of a new law requiring sellers of “sexually explicit materials” to register with the state. The problem is that the law does not define “sexually explicit materials,” the Chicago Tribune reported. Most bookstore owners say they have works on their shelves that might qualify. According to Philip Schatz, an owner of Erasmus Books in South Bend, the store carries pretty much what the public library does: “We have books someone could find objectionable in our psychology section, or our art section, or our gay and lesbian section.” The law applies only to new businesses or those that relocate, requiring them to pay a $250 fee. State Representative Terry Goodin, a Democrat from Southern Indiana, sponsored the measure after an adult bookstore opened in his district. The owner allegedly misled neighbors on what type of business was planned. Daniel Conkle, Professor of Law at the University of Indiana, suggested the law is too vague to be enforceable: “This law is kind of a blunderbuss.”

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