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Catholic High School Fights for First Amendment Rights

The Lyceum, a Catholic classical high school in South Euclid, Ohio, is fighting for its First Amendment rights in a lawsuit challenging a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) non-discrimination ordinance passed by the South Euclid City Council in 2018 that does not include an exemption for religious or moral convictions.

The ordinance would severely impinge on the school’s faith-based beliefs about sexuality and marriage by potentially forcing the school to hire or enroll those who disagree with the school’s teachings. The school said it would rather close its doors than give in to this governmental meddling.

Administrators at The Lyceum attended several city council meetings trying to understand how the SOGI ordinance might affect the school but got no answers, so Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the school against the city challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.

On its website, ADF notes, “Tolerance is a two-way street. Government officials are constitutionally bound to protect these freedoms even if their own personal beliefs about marriage and sexuality are different.”

Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values (CCV), a sister organization to FACT, said, “South Euclid passed one of the most offensive and egregious sexual orientation gender identity laws that I have ever seen, and Christian ministries across the country should take note of what these laws would mean to them.”

Ohio’s state legislature is currently considering state-level SOGI legislation called the Ohio Fairness Act.

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Christians at Yale Law School Get ‘OutLaw’-ed

Thanks to Yale Law School’s LGBT group, the OutLaws, students who work for any public interest organizations that have hiring policies that “discriminate” against the LGBT community—namely, faith-based law firms that follow the Bible’s views on sexuality—will be ineligible for Yale’s public interest fellowships and the loan forgiveness program.

That means that if students choose to work for a Christian nonprofit legal organization, they won’t get any financial assistance from Yale. Yale Law School announced this new policy in March.

Writing for The Federalist, current Christian Yale Law student Aaron Haviland says, “Yale has found a roundabout way to blacklist legal and nonprofit organizations that don’t adhere to Yale’s understanding of gender identity.”

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Student Suspended for ‘Targeting’ LGBT Through Bible Verses

Gabby Helsinger of Lebanon High School in Ohio used sticky notes to display Bible verses on school lockers and walls in response to LGBT pride posters and flags. The next day, she was called into the principal’s office and given an in-school suspension for “abuse of others,” “disrespect,” and “rudeness” in targeting the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), an organization she had never heard of.

The Bible-believing Helsinger said her efforts were simply a response to the confusion of her peers: “They don’t need to be living in the confusion of wondering if they should be gay, bi, lesbian, trans—anything like that,” she says. “And I know that God is the only way they can be healed by [sic] that. That’s why I did it. I was not targeting any organization.”

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Good News for Colorado Baker Jack Phillips

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission announced that it will dismiss its most recent charges against cake baker Jack Phillips in the wake of newly discovered evidence of the state’s continued hostility toward Phillips and his beliefs.

Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Phillips’ religious conviction to refuse to create a same-sex “wedding” cake, the commission went after Phillips again, accusing him this time of discrimination for declining to create a gender transition cake.

Said Phillips’ lawyer, ADF’s Kristen Waggoner, “This is the second time the state has launched a failed effort to prosecute him. While it finally appears to be getting the message that its anti-religious hostility has no place in our country, the state’s decision to target Jack has cost him more than six-and-a-half years of his life.”

Despite the setbacks, Phillips is focusing on the bright side. “I’m very grateful and looking forward to serving my customers as I always have: with love and respect,” he said.

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Supreme Court Weighs Constitutionality of Peace Cross

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, which challenges the constitutionality of the Bladensburg, Md., Peace Cross erected by the American Legion in 1925 to honor the memories of 49 brave World War I soldiers.

Those who oppose the cross claim it is a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment clause, but as Alexandra McPhee, director of Religious Freedom Advocacy at Family Research Council, pointed out, “All of America’s increasingly diverse religious communities will lose out if the Constitution is reinterpreted to prohibit any government recognition or accommodation of religion. The Peace Cross, religious implications and all, should be allowed to stand.”

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