In today’s News:
Concordia Chicago sets enrollment record
This fall, Concordia University Chicago (CUC), River Forest, Ill., celebrated its largest-ever enrollment with a total of 6,490 students, a growth of 5 percent more than last year. This also marks the third consecutive year of combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment exceeding 6,000 students. CUC’s 2020 enrollment includes 4,953 graduate students — its largest number ever. In addition, the university’s accelerated degree program, a pathway for non-traditional undergraduates to earn their degrees, grew to a record 287 students.
Colorado’s anti-discrimination law challenged
A Colorado web designer should not have to create wedding websites for same-sex couples under the state’s anti-discrimination law because it would amount to forced speech that violates her religious beliefs, a lawyer told an appeals court Monday. Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, told a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver that the issue for designer Lorie Smith, who is a Christian, is the message and not the customer. She is trying to revive a lawsuit challenging the state’s law, which her group also targeted on behalf of Colorado baker Jack Phillips in a case decided in 2018 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court decided the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted with anti-religious bias against Phillips after he refused to bake a cake for two men who were getting married. But it did not rule on the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to LGBT people.
New York to add ‘X’ for sex on licenses
New York intends to offer driver’s licenses with a nonbinary gender identity marker of “X,” but it could take more than a year before Department of Motor Vehicles computers will be able to automatically handle the option, state officials said in court filings. Officials made the disclosure in papers filed in a federal lawsuit brought against them by Sander Saba, who is challenging the state policy of limiting gender identity on licenses to either “male” or “female.” Saba, who claims to be a nonbinary transgender New York City resident, said in the lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal this summer that the policy is discriminatory.
Astronaut takes God with him in orbit
Astronaut Victor Glover wasn’t trying to get away from God as he blasted to the International Space Station (ISS) in the SpaceX crew Dragon’s capsule “Resilience” on Sunday. As the first African-American astronaut to go on a long-term mission, Glover took on board communion cups and the Word of God. He plans to utilize the strong internet connection aboard the craft to access faith-based programs, too. Glover arrived at the ISS with the three other crew members onboard the first commercially developed space vehicle certified by NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration to ferry astronauts up to low-earth orbit and back again. The crew will stay at the space station until the spring. Glover’s making his first space journey after serving as a Navy F/A-18 carrier pilot who flew combat missions in Iraq. He also previously served as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, himself a naval aviator.