1. Civilization saved from the brink of destruction
The top courts in New York and Georgia both ruled today that state marriage laws are constitutional. The New York Times, which calls the New York decision "a crushing blow for advocates of gay and lesbian marriage," emphasizes on its home page that the "court did not rule that the state should not or could not allow gay marriages, only that the state constitution did not require that it allow them."

Or, in the language of the New York State Court of Appeals decision, "We hold that the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature."

The New York decision was split, with three judges signing on to the majority opinion, one judge concurring, and two dissenting. The Georgia Supreme Court decision, however, was unanimous—but the issue it considered was much narrower and technical. A lower court judge had thrown out Georgia's marriage amendment because the state constitution requires ballot measures to focus on a single subject; critics said the amendment's sentence "No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage" was too broad. The Georgia Supreme Court disagreed. "[I]t is apparent that the prohibition against recognizing same-sex unions as entitled to the benefits of marriage is not 'dissimilar and discordant' to the objective of reserving the status of marriage and its attendant benefits exclusively to unions of man and woman," the justices ruled in their brief opinion.

2. Malaysia government: You can't convert from Islam to Christianity "at will" Lina Joy is a Christian ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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