Open line, news roundup and more Supreme Court news, on abortion | Arkansas Blog

Monday, June 29, 2015

Open line, news roundup and more Supreme Court news, on abortion

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 4:40 PM

Here's the Monday open line, plus today's news video.


* SUPREME STAYS ABORTION RULING: The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily stayed enforcement of a Texas law that would put all but a few abortion providers in that state out of business. It will be in effect until the Supreme Court decides to hear a challenge of the law. It will be a tough climb. Justices Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Alito would have let the woman-damaging ruling take effect. The law requires clinics to meet standards of ambulatory surgery centers and have doctors with hospital admitting privileges.

* A CHURCH APPLAUDS MARRIAGE RULING: Here's a rare full-fledged endorsement of the Supreme Court marriage ruling from the Presbyterian Church USA's Arkansas Presbytery The church has long endorsed civil rights for LGBT people and in very recent times has also approved same-sex marriage by Presbyterian pastors and churches. The statement:

The Presbytery of Arkansas of the Presbyterian Church (USA) welcomes the Supreme Court’s clarification on the status of same-gender civil marriage nationwide. The equal protection of all under the law is a bedrock principle of our national heritage and the PC(USA) receives the Court’s affirmation of the equality of all people regardless of sexual orientation.

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly Rev. Grayde Parsons said Friday, “The PC(USA) has advocated for almost four decades for civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is in keeping with that work.”

The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church endorsed an amendment toour constitution allowing pastors and congregations to exercise the same discretion in performing same-gender marriages as with opposite-gender marriages.

Following ratification of a majority of the presbyteries (regional governing councils), the amendment is now adopted.In keeping with our historic principle of freedom of individual conscience, the PC(USA) Constitution grants the local Session (congregational governing council) authority to permit or deny the use of church property for a marriage and individual Teaching Elders (pastors) the discretion to discern whether or not to officiate at a marriage.

The Presbytery of Arkansas continues to work for the full inclusion and dignity of all God’s people in the church and civil society. We pray that as we continue to seek out ways to live together in a world of diverse opinion and perspective generosity, justice, love, and grace will mark our relationships.

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