UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): After signing legislation that bans counselors from working with minors who want to change their same-sex attraction, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie issued a statement reiterating his belief that homosexuality is not a sin. Christie, who is Catholic, made similar comments during a 2011 interview on CNN. He acknowledged then that his beliefs run counter to the teachings of his faith.
EARLIER STORY: Coming out. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation today that bans counselors from working with minors interested in changing their feelings of same-sex attraction. According to the Associated Press, Christie also plans to release a statement later today saying he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. If he does issue such a statement, Christie will become the highest-ranking Republican, and rumored 2016 presidential hopeful, to come out in support of homosexuality. The issue has created a rift in the GOP, dividing its evangelical members and their supporters from more moderate social and economic conservatives.
Canadian citizen? In more news likely to rile Republicans this week, the Dallas Morning News claims Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has dual citizenship in America and Canada. Although born north of the U.S. border, Cruz became a U.S. citizen instantly because his mother was American. But Canadian legal experts told the newspaper he also has citizenship in their country, a position with which the senator’s aids disagree. Cruz critics say he would have to renounce his Canadian citizenship if he wants to run for president of the United States. Some say even that wouldn’t be enough to make him eligible, although American legal scholars have long held that people born on foreign soil to American parents meet the constitutional requirements to hold the nation’s highest office.
Undue prejudice. A U.S. Army judge has denied prosecutors’ requests to show evidence of Maj. Nidal Hasan’s gradual radicalization, a rapid slide toward militant Islam they say prompted his shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas. The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, said motive was not an important part of Hasan’s court martial and that showing evidence of his connection to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al-Awlaki could create undo prejudice. Hasan is on trial for killing 13 soldiers and wounding 32 others in the November 2009 attack. He has not denied the shooting but claims he did it to protect Muslim fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq from American aggression.
Free man? An Egyptian court ruled today that Hosni Mubarak, the country’s former leader, should be released from jail. The ruling comes as Egypt braces for more violence that threatens to plunge the country into an all-out civil war. The Egyptian military removed Mubarak from office in 2011 in response to massive protests. He is formally charged with killing hundreds of protestors during that violent uprising. But prosecutors cleared him of a corruption charge, which led to the order for his release. Last year, a court found him guilty of failing to stop the mass killing of protestors and sentenced him to life in prison, but that sentence was overturned on appeal. The 85-year-old former strongman still faces a retrial on those charges.
Murder charges. A South African court formally indicted runner Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day. Pistorius, a double amputee who became a worldwide star last year after winning his bid to compete in the London Olympics against able-bodied athletes, claims he shot Steenkamp after mistaking her for a burglar. Prosectors allege he killed her intentionally after a long night of fighting. His trial is set to begin in March.