Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Brazil: First Civil Union Between Three People Sparks Outrage
- French Anti-Semitic Attacks Up By 40 Percent
- Knoxville Abortion Clinic Closes After 38 Years
- Vermont Innkeepers Who Refused Lesbian Wedding Reception Settle with ACLU
Brazil: First Civil Union Between Three People Sparks Outrage
The first civil union between three people in Brazil has generated outrage from the religious community there, WORLD News Service reports. The civil union, conducted by a "notary officer," is between a man and two women; it happened about three months ago but was just made public this week. The Brazilian Supreme Court cleared the way for civil unions in May 2011, with a 10-0 vote that declared same-sex unions a "family entity."
French Anti-Semitic Attacks Up By 40 Percent
Anti-Semitic attacks against Jews in France have risen by 40 percent in the past five months, since an Islamic terrorist murdered a rabbi and three children at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, CBN News reports. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls confirmed "an increase of 40 percent in anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish crimes" since the March 19 attack, when Mohammed Merah gunned down 30-year old Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, his 3- and 6-year-old sons, and the school principal's 8-year-old daughter. Valls called it a "shocking number" because "French authorities on both sides of the political aisle" immediately took the right steps in response to the murders. France has the world's third-largest Jewish population (about 500,000), behind Israel (close to 6 million) and the United States (about 6.5 million).
Knoxville Abortion Clinic Closes After 38 Years
A Knoxville, Tenn., abortion clinic closed August 10 because it did not have a doctor with admitting privileges at a local hospital, Baptist Press reports. The Volunteer Women's Medical Clinic was forced to shut down after a state law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges took effect July 1, meaning the clinic was no longer able to provide abortions without an approved physician. The facility could no longer meet its financial obligations because of an inability to see patients, said the center's owner, Deb Walsh. "I'm so angry about this, and sad," said Walsh, who had worked at the clinic for more than 30 years. The center had been open for 38 years, she said. Pro-life advocates welcomed the closure, which reduced the number of abortion clinics in Tennessee to eight. "Protective pro-life legislation saves lives," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.
Vermont Innkeepers Who Refused Lesbian Wedding Reception Settle with ACLU
The Roman Catholic owners of a Vermont bed-and-breakfast inn agreed this week to pay a total of $30,000 to a lesbian couple that wanted to hold a same-sex wedding reception on their property, WORLD News Service reports. The O'Reilly family, who owns the Wildflower Inn, must pay $20,000 to a trust fund the lesbian women set up and $10,000 to the pro-homosexual Human Rights commission. The ACLU filed the suit in 2011 after Katherine Baker and Ming-Lien Linsley contacted the inn about their reception, and Jim O'Reilly said his family settled because he had little choice. "No one can force us to abandon our deeply held beliefs about marriage," he said. "Our beliefs haven't changed, but we do have lives to live, a family to love, a business to grow, and a community to serve. Small businesses like ours cannot match the limitless resources of the government and the ACLU. Ongoing litigation like this can cripple any small business and the livelihood of its owners, so we're relieved to put this ordeal behind us."
Publication date: August 31, 2012