Federal Court Strikes Down California Same-Sex Marriage Ban
A federal district court judge struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, ruling that the prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision, which is expected to be appealed, represents the first time a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry.
High Court Rules Against Campus Christian Group
A divided Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, that a public law school can deny recognition to a student group that excludes gays and lesbians. In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court said the school could enforce a policy requiring official student organizations to accept all students who want to join.
The Pope Meets the Press
Newspaper coverage of the Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal grew more intense this spring than at any time since 2002, and European newspapers devoted even more ink to the story than American papers did, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.
Rights of Conscience vs. Civil Rights
New “conscience protection” cases have emerged in the health care area expanding the debate beyond abortion and birth control to discrimination protection for certain groups, notably gays and lesbians.
Supreme Court Rules on Religious Display
The court overturned a lower court ruling that had ordered the removal of a cross from a World War I memorial located in California’s Mojave National Preserve.
Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity: A Conversation With Tariq Ramadan
What can Western Muslims do to balance faith and modernity? What lies ahead for the future of Islam in Europe, the U.S. and the rest of the world? A controversial Muslim scholar discusses these and related topics.
Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa
In little more than a century, the religious landscape of sub-Saharan Africa has changed dramatically. In 1900, traditional African religions dominated. Since then, the numbers of both Muslims and Christians have risen into the hundreds of millions. A new survey explores how sub-Saharan Africans themselves view the role of religion in their lives and societies.
Broad Criticism of Pope Benedict’s Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal
Amid new revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI’s job ratings for handling the scandal have plummeted.
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez: Can Government Funds be Denied to Religious Groups on Campus?
Can a public institution refuse official recognition to a religiously-based organization that prevents those who do not share its religious and moral values from becoming voting members?
Religion in the News: 2009
Pope Benedict XVI, though he made no visits to the United States last year, was the subject of two of the top 10 religion stories, while the Obama administration accounted for three of the top 10 religion-focused storylines during the year