Religious News From Around the Web November 8, 2021
Sikh Festival Draws 100,000 to Yuba City, Calif.; Texas Voters Amend State Constitution, Expand Religious Liberty; Judge: Religion Exempt From LGBTQ Bias Liability; U.S. Supreme Court On Religious Liberty Cases; Christian Website Designer LGBTQ Target
Sikh Festival Draws 100,000 to Yuba City, Calif.
An annual Sikh festival which was cancelled last year due to COVID, drew roughly 100,000 people to the streets of Yuba City on Sunday. It was the final day of Nagar Kirtan, a three-day event that celebrates religion and community — welcoming people of all backgrounds, offering free food and even COVID vaccinations.
Texas Voters Amend State Constitution, Expand Religious Liberty
Texas voters on Tuesday passed eight amendments to the state constitution, among them Proposition 3, which will prevent the state as well as cities and counties from limiting religious services at houses of worship and elsewhere. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, worship services across the country were shut down in order to limit the spread of the disease. Some Texas churches turned to live streaming in order to make services available.
Judge: Religion Exempt From LGBTQ Bias Liability
A federal judge ruled Sunday that for-profit businesses that have sincerely held religious beliefs do not have to abide by LGBTQ discrimination claims, contrary to a previous ruling in the Supreme Court that protected sexual orientation and gender identity from discrimination. A Christian health care company in Texas will not have to adhere to LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections, citing instead the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.
U.S. Supreme Court On Religious Liberty Cases
The Supreme Court last Monday ordered New York’s top court to reconsider its ruling against a coalition of charities that challenged the state’s mandate that employers cover abortions in their employee health insurance plans. The Supreme Court declined to take the case of the Diocese of Albany v. Emami in light of a major ruling it handed down earlier this year siding with a Catholic charity in Philadelphia that declined to screen same-sex couples as foster parents. The High Court also last Monday turned down an appeal from a Catholic hospital in California that was sued after refusing to perform a hysterectomy for a transgender man. The court’s denial, issued without comment, sends the lawsuit back to state court for further proceedings against the hospital and avoids, for now, the issue of when claims of religious freedom can trump anti-discrimination laws.
Christian Website Designer LGBTQ Target
Rep. Doug Lamborn and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas asked the Supreme Court to review a circuit court decision that “prohibits a Colorado business owner from exercising her free speech and religious liberty rights.” Business owner Lorie Smith runs a website design company called 303 Creative. She is expanding her business into designing custom websites for customers planning weddings. Smith says a court document that she is willing to work with everyone, regardless of their religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation, but she will decline any request to design or promote content that “contradicts biblical truth,” which includes promoting any conception of marriage other than one between a man and a woman, promoting sexual immorality, or anything that demeans or disparages others or incites violence.