Judge overturns gay marriage ban
A federal judge in Boston declared unconstitutional the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which codifies marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The July ruling held that the federal law violates states' rights to define marriage by blocking legally married gay couples from federal benefits and violating the Constitution's "equal protection" clause. Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in June that, because European Union members have not yet reached a consensus on the matter, same-sex marriage cannot be viewed as a human right.
Washington pharmacists may pass on Plan B
The Washington State Board of Pharmacy will, for now, allow pharmacists who object to filling certain prescriptions—such as the Plan B morning-after pill—to refer customers elsewhere. Under intense pressure from Governor Christine Gregoire, the board adopted rules in 2007 forcing pharmacists to stock and sell Plan B regardless of moral objections. With lawsuits looming, the board said it is reviewing the regulations.
Court erases FCC decency standards
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the Federal Communication Commission's indecency policy in mid-July, claiming it "effectively chills speech." The court said the policy—which prescribed six-figure fines for "fleeting expletives"—was "unconstitutionally vague" and caused networks to self-censor protected speech. Southern Baptist leader Richard Land said the ruling could "throw open the floodgates to an even greater torrent of filth and perversion on our nation's airwaves."
Regent U. struggles to stay afloat
Despite a $95 million booster shot from the Christian Broadcasting Network, Pat Robertson's Regent University is struggling ...