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  • Pastor Kevin Swanson needed some magic to end his National Religious Liberties Conference this past weekend, so he turned to Harry Potter.

  • American anti-gay pastor Lou Engle, known for his anti-gay rhetoric planned on visiting Geneva Switzerland as a guest at TheCall, Geneva, an event where people pray, fast, repent and participate in sacrificial worship.

  • (EDGE) A controversial Georgia pastor, who came under fire for tweeting the victims of the Pulse gay club attack in Orlando, Fla. "got what they deserve," turned himself into authorities Friday morning on charges of aggravated child molestation and child molestation, reports.

  • NAIROBI, Kenya — The American evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who visited Rwanda this week, told The Associated Press that he hopes to expand his ministry to East Africa.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) — Linda Massey opposes gay marriage. But she was incensed last summer to see that Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk, was refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples."If the government says you have to give out those marriage licenses, and you get paid to do it, you do it," says the 64-year-old retiree from Lewiston, Michigan. "That woman," she said of Davis, "should be out of a job."

  • Apple is taking a small step with its latest iPhone while trying to make a bigger leap in other key markets with its largest iPad yet and a long-awaited overhaul of its online video box for TVs.

  • (CNN) The Catholic Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis on Tuesday denied an accusation of sexual abuse but said he has placed himself on voluntary leave of absence during an investigation.

  • SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco said Monday it's his duty to proclaim "the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife," even when those views are unpopular.

  • CHICAGO (AP) — Federal judges on Monday peppered attorneys with questions about how much the bankrupt Archdiocese of Milwaukee spends to maintain its cemeteries and whether there is a strong interest in making maintenance funds available to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse.

  • According to an article in Political Magazine, “Evangelicals Are Changing

  • (CNN) -- To Arizona's governor, a bill that would have allowed businesses to close their doors to gays and lesbians out of religious conviction was wrong for the state. So, she vetoed it.

    The buck may have stopped with Gov. Jan Brewer in Arizona on Wednesday, but the fight to pass such laws bannered as religious freedom issues is still on in quite a few other states.

    "Right behind it are Missouri and Georgia," said Jay Michaelson, a fellow at Political Research Associates, a progressive political think tank.

    Brewer felt Senate Bill 1062 did not address specific dangers to religious freedom.

    "It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine," said Brewer, who said she tuned out public pressure and made the decision she felt was right.

    Attention now turns to the following states:


    The Preservation of Religious Freedom Act has been introduced into Georgia's legislature, and it is similar to the one vetoed in Arizona.

    The measure, which is moving through the state House of Representatives, allows a private company to ignore state laws that "directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails or denies" with a person's religious beliefs.

    An almost identical bill has been introduced in the state Senate.

    Much like the Arizona measure, neither Georgia's House or Senate bills specifically spell out gays or lesbians as the target of the bill.


    There are two bills being considered. HB 426 would protect people making decisions out of religious convictions -- including denying service to someone. HB 427 gives people protection against legal claims made against them in cases involving religious convictions.

    If passed into law, the first bill would likely be vulnerable to constitutional legal challenges. Both bills could cause many disruptions to everyday life in the state, a state attorney general said in an article in the The Spokesman Review.

    HB 427 has been sent back to committee.


    A bill is being considered to legally protect people against being compelled to take any action against their religion. SB 2681 does not explicitly mention gays, lesbians or same-sex marriage. It has passed the Senate and was referred to House, where it is in a judiciary committee.


    A bill that requires the government to show a compelling interest in any attempt to restrict a person's right to practice religion was introduced this week by Republican state Sen. Wayne Wallingford.

    SB 916 provides for additional civil protections to the state's existing "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," according to the senator.

    But critics of the law say it's a way to discriminate against gays.


    The House introduced HB 376 in December. It also does not single out same-sex relations for discrimination but gives legal protection to individuals acting or making decisions out of religious conviction. It's currently in judiciary committee. Critics say it's aimed at discrimination against same-sex couples, reported.


    The conservative Oregon Family Council is sponsoring a ballot measure -- the "Protect Religious Freedoms Initiative" -- that would allow private businesses to deny services that would support same-sex marriage.

    The group, which previously supported the effort to ban same-sex marriage in the state, is pushing to get the measure on the November ballot.

    South Dakota

    Conservative senators introduced one bill that would allow businesses or people to deny "certain wedding services or goods due to the free exercise of religion." But its main sponsor withdrew it.

    But there's a second one protecting "speech pertaining to views on sexual orientation." It has been deferred to a late legislative day.

    There are also states where proposed bills have already hit a legislative wall:


    A bill that would have allowed people to defend against discrimination allegations on the basis of religious convictions was killed in committee, The Denver Post reported.


    State representatives introduced a bill in January that would have explicitly permitted religious business people and government workers to refuse serving same-sex couples. It passed the House with a vote of 72 to 49; but failed in the Republican-dominated Senate.


    A conservative senator introduced a religious freedom bill that would have protected people making decisions out of religious convictions that other legislators felt interfered with other people's civil rights. The state Senate and House both voted it down, Bangor Daily News reported.


    Tennessee legislators introduced a bill in early February that proponents said would protect businesses if they refused services to gays and lesbians. Critics called it the "Turn the Gays Away" bill.

    The measure has been withdrawn from committee, CNN affiliate WSMV reported.


    Conservative state Sen. Stuart Reid introduced a bill similar to the Arizona bill that was vetoed, but it has since been shelved, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

    CNN's Julie In,Ben Brumfield and Tom Watkins contributed to this report

  • "Let there be light," God once declared when he created the Earth. This week the man behind the fundamentalist Christian theme park Ark Encounter, Ken Ham, also made the same declaration when he lit up his Noah's Ark exhibit in rainbow colors saying “Christians need to take back the rainbow” because “God owns it.”

  • — A proposal to prevent state and local governments from infringing on a person's religious beliefs failed before an Arkansas legislative panel Wednesday after facing mounting criticism that it was an attempt to justify discriminating against gays and lesbians.

  • An Arkansas megachurch pastor was elected Tuesday to lead the country’s Southern Baptists as the conservative denomination tries to turn around declining membership, church attendance and baptisms and faces increasing conflict with mainstream culture, especially over its conviction that gay sex is immoral.

  • Singer, musician, hotelier, and B-52’s member Kate Pierson got married over the weekend to her longtime partner Monica Coleman in Hawaii.

  • DENVER (AP) — A suburban Denver baker has appealed an order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that requires him to prepare wedding cakes for gay couples.

  • HOUSTON (AP) - The Texas Supreme Court says voters in Houston must decide whether they want an equal right ordinance in their city - and not whether the existing one should be repealed.

  • GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Two Baptist groups have urged a Greenville church to repent after its pastor performed a same-sex wedding off campus.

  • WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ben Carson said Sunday Muslims seeking public office must first renounce some central tenets of Islam. Otherwise, Carson said, "Why in fact would you take that chance?"

  • OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill that would allow Oklahoma ministers to be immune from civil liability for refusing to officiate a same-sex marriage has cleared a House committee.

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A bill that would allow churches to refuse to marry gay couples won its first approval Wednesday even though its sponsor said churches already have that right and he knows of no cases in which a church has been forced to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony.

  • (AP) The conflict between religious freedom and gay rights has a new battleground -- California's religious colleges and universities.

  • BOSTON (AP) -- Congresswoman Katherine Clark is pushing legislation she says will help members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community make more informed decisions about college.

  • LOS ANGELES (AP) - A popular dating app is telling a Los Angeles-based AIDS health care group to take down a billboard that links dating apps with sexual diseases.

  • TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Stocks of makers of biologic and "specialty" drugs plunged Monday after Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton said she'll soon release a plan to address "price gouging" in the industry.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A statement released by the Episcopal bishop of Rhode Island calls for "appropriate disciplinary proceedings" against two clergymen and a third person named in reports of past abuse at a prestigious boarding school in Middletown.

  • VATICAN CITY (AP) — Catholic bishops are showing unprecedented openness to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays have gifts to offer the church and should be accepted and that there are "positive" aspects to a couple living together without being married.

  • Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

  • WASHINGTON (AP) — A Washington museum will exhibit a sculpture that uses the blood of nine gay, bisexual and transgender men to protest the federal ban on blood donations from men who have sex with other men.

  • An Ohio judicial board has ruled that judges who perform weddings can't refuse same-sex couples based on personal, moral or religious beliefs.