Religious groups have increased their pressure on the U.S. government to help end the GENOCIDE IN SUDAN'S DARFUR REGION. The Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of 134 faith-based and humanitarian groups, gathered in Washington, D.C., on September 21 and said America must boost aid to African Union troops in Darfur and begin economic sanctions against the Sudanese government.

Americans United for Life (AUL) filed suit against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on September 14, challenging his rule that PHARMACIES MUST DISPENSE CONTRACEPTIVES and the morning-after pill. Representing the owners of five Illinois pharmacies, AUL argued that Blagojevich's rule violates a state right-of-conscience act.

Indonesian judges sentenced three women to three years in prison for ALLOWING MUSLIM CHILDREN IN A CHRISTIAN SUNDAY SCHOOL, Compass Direct reports. The September 1 ruling cited a 2002 act that prohibits using "deception, lies, or enticement" to convert children. The Muslim children did not convert. The women avoided receiving the maximum sentence for violating this act, which is five years in jail.

In September, California's State Assembly became the first legislative body in the United States to APPROVE A GAY-MARRIAGE BILL without a court directive to do so. The 41-35 vote would substitute "two persons" for "a man and a woman" in the state's family code. The state Senate earlier endorsed the measure 21-15. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill on September 29. Five years ago, the California public voted 61 percent to 39 percent not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries and states.

Related Elsewhere:

More about the Save Darfur Coalition's D.C. gathering is available from The Christian ...

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