More marriage challenges. The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a challenge to the state’s marriage laws. A group of county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in August, even though state law doesn’t explicitly allow it. State lawmakers objected, but a district court judge ruled the marriages could continue. Traditional marriage supporters are hopeful the state’s high court will stop short of legislating from the bench, something its judges have opposed in previous, unrelated cases. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, a similar fight is brewing. Four homosexual couples who live in Tennessee but married elsewhere, claim the state is discriminating against them by not recognizing their unions. Tennessee legislators passed a law in 1998, and voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2006 prohibiting same-sex marriage. The state’s attorney general plans to defend the law. Courts in two other states, Michigan and Ohio, are considering other legal challenges to their marriage laws. Legislatures in Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, and Oregon are expected to take up same-sex marriage bills in the coming months.
Released. The California pastor who protested in front of Iran’s Evin Prison on Monday, appealing for the release of jailed Christians, will return to the United States today. After spending a brief time in Iranian custody, Eddie Romero ended up at the Swiss Embassy, where he called his family to say he was headed home. Romero wanted to bring attention to the plight of four Christians, including Iranian-American Saeed Abedini, and one Muslim human rights lawyer being held in Tehran’s notoriously brutal prison. Guards arrested him and questioned him briefly before Iranian officials decided to let him go. At the time of his arrest, he was standing outside the prison gate chanting, “Let my people go!” This is not Romero’s first brush with foreign protests: In 2008, he spent some time in a Chinese jail after demanding the release of five activists during the Beijing Olympics.
Sentenced. The man who confessed on YouTube to causing a drunk driving accident that left another man dead will serve six and a half years for his crime. A judge in Ohio sentenced Matthew Cordle this morning, shaving two years off his possible maximum sentence. The judge also revoked Cordle’s driving rights for life and ordered him to pay a $1,075 fine. Cordle, 22, surrendered in September and pleaded guilty last month to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. In his video, which went viral, he begged others not to drink and drive.
Presidential ouster. After less than a year on the job, the president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) is moving on. The organization’s board opted to oust Edward Blews Jr. after “careful investigation and prayerful consideration.” Neither the CCCU nor Blews is talking about what the board felt compelled to investigate and what its evaluation revealed. The CCCU represents 174 Christian colleges. William Robinson, chairman of Princeton Theological Seminary’s board of trustees and president emeritus of Whitworth University, will serve as the CCCU’s interim president.