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News You Should Know: Harris Funeral Homes Goes to Court

By Michael Farris, Jr. posted on:
October 10, 2019

This week, we look at the recent oral arguments in the Harris Funeral Homes case. Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel John Bursch argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that unelected government officials should not re-write federal law. You can read the official transcripts below. Plus, a federal court rules against university officials in a religious discrimination case, a woman who once was confused about her sex shares her horrifying experience, and Senate Republicans move to get more data on abortions in the United States. All of this from the Alliance Alert team.

ADF in the News

Supreme Court of the United States: Oral Argument Transcripts for R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

On Tuesday, October 8, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel John Bursch argued Harris Funeral Homes before the U.S. Supreme Court. ADF asked the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court’s rewriting of federal law that changes the definition of "sex" to "gender identity." ADF argued that Americans should be able to rely on the law that Congress wrote and that rewriting the law to mean “gender identity” would adversely impact privacy, women’s sports, and many other areas of everyday life. You can read the oral argument transcripts courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Religious Freedom

The Washington Examiner: A federal court's ruling against the University of Iowa is a win for religious freedom and viewpoint neutrality

If at first you don't understand, maybe you should listen to what the court is telling you about respecting religious beliefs. The University of Iowa found itself in federal court for a second time, where U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose ruled that the school must reinstate Christian group InterVarsity and other religious groups the public university had banned from its campus. Two years ago, InterVarsity won in federal court when the university refused to recognize it as an official group, but, rather than learn its lesson, the school doubled-down and tightened its policy to discriminate against all religious groups because they expected their leaders to agree to the groups’ religious beliefs. Judge Rose reprimanded the school and ruled that the involved officials must personally pay damages. As Judge Rose remarked, "The court does not know how a reasonable person could have concluded this was acceptable."

Marriage and the Family

The Daily Signal: I Spent a Year as a Trans Man. Doctors Failed Me at Every Turn.

A young woman who once presented as a man pleads for better safeguards for people like her who went on a fast-track toward "gender transition." Sydney Wright explains at The Daily Signal that when she was experiencing frustration over her sexuality, she began to see "success" stories online from women who began to present as men. While looking for balanced research, Sydney only came across positive stories about affirming perceived gender, which led her to believe that it would be a safe route for her. However, when her uncaring doctors and therapists put her on the path to living as a male, she experienced a host of health problems to the point where she thought she would die. Now, she has accepted her actual sex but lives with the scars of taking male hormones, and she says that doctors, the media, and politicians are complicit in a national health crisis. Unless there are better safeguards, Sydney writes, more young people will suffer from irreversible harm.

Sanctity of Life

National Review: Republicans Move to Improve Quality of U.S. Abortion Statistics

U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) recently proposed legislation called the Ensuring Accurate and Complete Abortion Data Reporting Act of 2019, which seeks to gather accurate data on abortions in the United States. The act would require states to report any time a child is born alive during a botched abortion as well as incentivize states to report accurate abortion data for the general population. Part of the motivation behind this act is to provide further proof for why the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is needed. The bill would also give the public more knowledge about abortion from unbiased sources, which could lead to more efforts to see that life in the womb is protected.

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Michael Farris, Jr.

Michael Farris, Jr.

Legal Content Manager

Michael Farris, Jr., serves as Legal Content Manager for Alliance Defending Freedom and is a Virginia-born Idaho convert.


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