Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- Australian Attorney General Christian Porter confirms that the Religious Discrimination Act will “follow the basic architecture of discrimination bills,” defining religion as a protected attribute while limiting the breadth of the bill to grant a positive right of expression.
- An Illinois appellate court ruled that the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine, which prohibits courts from resolving disputes requiring deep inquiries into religious law, applies in tortious interference lawsuits filed against the Catholic diocese by Catholic organizations.
- Approximately 2,000 religious leaders, policy experts, and activists will meet over the weekend in Osaka, Japan at the G20 Interfaith Forum to outline spiritual and religious issues that policymakers must address.
- Washington passed a new law requiring faculty at institutions of higher education to “reasonably accommodate” students of all religions who are observing a religious holiday, allowing students to reschedule tests or take exams at alternate times.
- Tennessee’s governor signed into law a provision that prohibits an individual who was ordained through online certification from officiating a civil marriage while also expanding the number of state government officials who can officiate.
- At a hearing for Third Circuit nominee Peter Phipps, senators disagreed about whether questioning Phipps about his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, was appropriate.
- Ethiopian church groups have requested the Ethiopian government block an LGBTQ tour planned by a U.S.-based company, arguing that their religion and law condemn homosexuality and the tourists shouldn’t be allowed to visit sacred sites.
- The U.S. government settled a lawsuit with an Amish woman, a Canadian citizen, who refused to submit photos of herself in a residency application because her religion prohibits photos of people as “graven images.”
- The Department of Health and Human Services has imposed new policies restricting the use of fetal tissue for research purposes, working to maintain President Trump’s administration’s goal of promoting the dignity of human life.