In today’s News:
Election official says churches can engage politically
Trey Traynor, chairman of the Federal Election Commission, has reaffirmed that non-profits, including churches and religious leaders, “can absolutely engage” in political speech, like endorsing candidates and hosting them on church property. Traynor referred to a little-known executive order signed by President Donald Trump on May 4, 2017, less than four months into his presidency.
Women athletes appeal court decision
Two female athletes who joined a lawsuit in defense of Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act have appealed a federal district court decision that temporarily halts enforcement of the newly enacted law and forces female athletes to compete against males who identify as female while the lawsuit proceeds. Attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Wednesday. ADF represents the two collegiate athletes, who run track and cross-country at Idaho State University in Pocatello. The two women, Madison Kenyon and Mary Kate Marshall, are long-time athletes, well familiar with the difference in strength and speed between comparably gifted and trained male and female athletes. ADF attorneys also represent four female athletes in a federal lawsuit in Connecticut, where a policy that allows males who identify as female to compete in girls’ athletic events has consistently deprived the four girls of honors and opportunities to compete at elite levels. The United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has found that the Connecticut policy deprives girls of equal athletic opportunities and violates Title IX.
Case defending faith-based foster care advances
Becket filed the final brief before November’s oral argument in the much anticipated supreme court case defending foster moms and faith-affirming care in Philadelphia. In Fulton v. Philadelphia, Sharonell Fulton and Toni Simms-Busch are defending the faith-affirming foster agency that brought their families together. The Catholic Church has successfully served Philadelphia foster children and families since 1797, more than 150 years before the city government got involved. But, starting in 2018, city officials targeted and threatened to shut down Catholic Social Services’ foster care ministry because it upholds Catholic beliefs about marriage. Sharonell and Toni will be asking the Supreme Court on November 4 to protect the freedom of Catholic Social Services to serve its community without violating its religious beliefs. Sharonell Fulton has fostered more than 40 children over 25 years in partnership with Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia, and Toni Simms-Busch is a former social worker who chose to foster through the same agency because of its stellar reputation. More than 70 percent of the children Catholic Social Services support come from black and other minority communities, as do well more than half of the agency’s foster families. These are the families and children who will be harmed by the city’s actions. In March 2018, city officials stopped allowing foster children to be placed with families who partner with Catholic Social Services when they claimed to discover that Catholic Social Services, an arm of the Catholic Church in Philadelphia, upholds Catholic beliefs about marriage.