Down the slippery slope. A lesbian couple has filed a lawsuit that could impact religious liberty in at least six states. The suit, filed Tuesday in New York, targets St. Joseph's Medical Center, a Catholic hospital in Yonkers, N.Y., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, the private company that insures it. The two women-named as Jane Doe and Jane Roe in the lawsuit-were legally married after the New York Legislature created same-sex marriage last year, and now they want family health insurance coverage. "I remember almost a year ago when this bill was signed into law, we were told that it would have no impact on religious freedoms," said the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. "Less than a year later it's very clear that gay marriage is indeed having an impact on religious freedom here in the Empire State." The attorney for the lesbian women, Jeffrey Norton, said of the case, "Our clients have a right to enjoy the full benefits of marriage afforded to other married couples in New York, and we are determined to achieve that right for them."
Viguerie: L.A. Times wrong. Conservative icon Richard Viguerie says the Los Angeles Times has an interesting "but completely wrong" article speculating about Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick. The Times wants Romney to pick a moderate, establishment Republican: "Romney may not feel a need to balance the ticket with a strict conservative now that polls show strong support for him among Republican voters." Viguerie, on the other hand, says that "conservatives look to Gov. Romney's choice of running mate as an indication that he shares their commitment to small government constitutional principles. Choosing a running mate who has unquestioned credibility as a small government constitutional conservative is a vital step toward building conservative enthusiasm for the Romney candidacy." Viguerie goes on to say, "Gov. Romney's advisors may not understand that to win, they need to energize conservatives, not just get their votes on Election Day. To energize conservatives, the Romney campaign must choose a principled small government constitutional conservative as his vice presidential nominee-one that conservatives see as a conservative, not someone who the media thinks is 'safe,' but who conservatives won't accept as one of their own."
Dads matter. HealthDay News reports that, according to an analysis of parenting studies published in May's Personality and Social Psychology Review, kids who feel rejected by their fathers show higher rates of behavioral problems, delinquency, depression, and substance abuse than those who feel rejected by their mothers. Ronald P. Rohner, Ph.D., a professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut and director of the Ronald and Nancy Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection conducted the analysis. Rohner analyzed 36 studies, from 1975 to 2010, involving almost 1,400 adults and 8,600 children in 18 countries. The children ranged in age from 9 to 18, and adults were between 18 and 89.
Aggie agonistes. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Texas A&M University over a policy that allows school administrators to decide which student groups can receive funding. Last December, Texas Aggie Conservatives-one of 800 student organizations on campus-submitted a funding request to help bring conservative speaker Star Parker to campus, who planned to discuss poverty, race, and social justice issues from both a political and religious perspective. University officials denied the request in February, saying money "cannot be approved for recognized organizations with a classification of social and political issues." ADF says the policy has no clear standards for which groups are eligible for funding and that giving administrators that much discretion in effect creates an unconstitutional restriction of speech. "Student groups should not be singled out for discrimination because of their political or religious views," said ADF legal counsel David Hacker. "Universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas, not a place where funding earmarked for student groups only go to the ones the university prefers."
Pistol Pete. Congratulations are in order (I guess) to the Miami Heat for winning the NBA championship last night. It was a pitiful, strike/lockout-shortened season for the NBA, though the ratings of the finals were up about 6 percent over last year on the strength of the Oklahoma City Thunder's Cinderella story and the drama surrounding LeBron James. Today, though, I am not celebrating the Heat or the Thunder. I'm remembering a player to whom LeBron James and most everyone else now in the NBA owe their game: Pete Maravich. Had he lived, Maravich would be 65 years old today, but he died in 1988 at age 40 of a previously undetected congenital heart defect-playing a pick-up game with Focus on the Family's James Dobson, among others. Maravich is still the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, and he set that record before the days of the three-point shot, and in an era when freshmen couldn't play on the varsity team. A panel of NBA historians named Maravich one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time and ESPNU named the former Louisiana State star the greatest college player in history. Most important of all, after experimenting with a variety of religions, Maravich embraced Christianity late in his short life. A few years before his death he said, "I want to be remembered as a Christian, a person that serves Him [Jesus] to the utmost, not as a basketball player."