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In the News: Breaking Religious Freedom Stories Across the Country

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December 9, 2022
Fli Insider | In the News

Catch up on the latest and most important religious freedom headlines around the web.

This is a Really Bad Business Model

First Liberty President, CEO and Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford discusses the Virginia restaurant that allegedly refused service to a Christian group on ‘Fox News @ Night.’


Richmond Restaurant Denies Pro-Life, Pro-Family Group Dinner Service Over Christian Values

The Federalist reports: The Family Foundation of Virginia (TFF) is the largest and oldest pro-family advocacy organization in Virginia. Its team and supporters were denied a meal for their beliefs when Metzger’s Bar and Butchery in Richmond, Virginia, refused to service a pre-reserved event. The restaurant’s official explanation was that TFF’s pro-life and pro-traditional-marriage positions violated the basic human rights of women and LGBT individuals.


House Passes Defense Bill that Rescinds Military Vaccine Mandate 

CNN reports: The House voted on Thursday to pass sweeping legislation that would authorize $858 billion in national defense funding and rescind the US military’s vaccine mandate. The measure passed with wide bipartisan support with a tally of 350 to 80. House lawmakers approved a final negotiated version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023, which sets the policy agenda and authorizes funding for the Department of Defense. Following passage in the House, the measure will next need to go to the Senate to be approved before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.


It’s Not Just Christmas Bureaucrats Want to Cancel, They Are Taking Aim at Hanukkah, Other Holidays 

First Liberty attorney Hiram Sasser wrote an op-ed for Fox News discussing how state officials in King County, Washington are banning employees from displaying any symbols of Christmas or Hanukkah when working from home. The county’s policy bans employees from including holiday decorations such as nativity scenes, crosses and menorahs, and even extends the ban to the dharma wheel, crescent and star, aum, khanda, and a nine-pointed star.


Interfaith Coalition Urges Courts to Protect Parental Rights

First Liberty attorney Kayla Toney wrote an op-ed for CNS News discussing First Liberty’s recent filing of a friend-of-the-court brief in John and Jane Parents 1 v. Montgomery County Board of Education, on behalf of four nonprofit organizations: the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty, the Coalition for Jewish Values, the American Hindu Coalition, and the Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team. In this important parental rights case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will decide whether a public school policy excluding parents from any knowledge about their children’s decisions about gender identity violates the Constitution.


Air Force Pilots Seeking Religious Vaccine Exemption Still Grounded While Other Unvaxxed Members Can Fly

Fox News reports: The Air Force is still grounding pilots who sought a religious accommodation to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but is allowing other unvaccinated service members to resume regular flying duties. Active-duty instructor pilot Air Force Capt. Alan Sosebee told Fox News Digital that he has been grounded for almost a year, even though the Air Force recently allowed some unvaccinated pilots to fly again.


Most Americans Favor Religious Liberty Protections for Medical Professionals: Survey

The Christian Post reports: A new survey reveals that most Americans support religious liberty protections for medical professionals and institutions opposed to participating in procedures that violate their beliefs and commitment to do no harm.


Nationwide Religious Liberty Win: Biden Quits Trans Mandate After 5th Circuit Ruling 

CBN News reports: The largest faith-based professional healthcare association in the U.S. is celebrating a final victory in its federal court case to protect the religious rights of its members. They were fighting a government mandate that would have forced them to perform abortions or gender-transition procedures against their conscience and best medical judgment. The case appeared poised to head to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the Biden administration gave up on seeking a Supreme Court review of that case. This legal victory for religious liberty now stands as a powerful precedent nationwide.


Appeals Court Weighs Order to Force Marine Corps to Accommodate Sikhs

The Marine Corps Times reports: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in a case about religious accommodations for Sikhs who serve in the Marines Corps. Three Sikh men—who have signed up for the Marine Corps but have not yet shipped off—sued in April for religious accommodations that would allow them to enter boot camp with long hair, turbans, beards and steel bracelets in accordance with Sikh practice.

First Liberty’s Director of Military Affairs, Mike Berry, recently wrote an op-ed for The Hill discussing religious accommodation and diversity in the armed forces.


Pew Research Study: How COVID-19 Restrictions Affected Religious Groups  

Pew Research Center published its 13th annual study of restrictions on religion around the world. This year’s report includes how pandemic lockdowns and other public health measures affected religious groups, and how they responded.

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