Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- The U.S. State Department released a draft Report of the Commission on Inalienable Rights emphasizing the religious traditions of the country’s founders as well as the primacy of religious liberty.
- The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a suit by the former executive director of the General Mission Board of the Baptist Convention for Maryland/Delaware alleging that the Board intentionally made false statements about him that led to his termination.
- The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a case over how California portrays Hinduism in public school lessons.
- Suit was filed in a Maryland federal district court raising the question of whether a corporation created by the Maryland legislature to operate the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMS) is a state actor for purposes of the 1st and 14th Amendments, after a Baltimore man sued the UMMS St. Joseph Medical Center for transgender discrimination over refusal to perform surgery.
- A California federal district court refused on procedural grounds to issue a temporary restraining order to a California church that filed suit challenging Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 orders restricting worship services.
- An Indiana federal district court declined to delay the execution of prisoners in two separate cases where the prisoners’ ministers of record argued that scheduling the execution during the COVID-19 epidemic violates the clergy’s rights under RFRA.
- The Vatican issued a detailed guide for clerics on handling clergy sex abuse cases, although the new instructions are not binding and were not enshrined in the church’s canon law.
- Sudan approved wide-ranging amendments to its criminal law, including repealing the death penalty for apostasy; striking down the requirement for women to have a permit from male family members to travel with their children; and banning female genital mutilation.
- A British judge ruled that a Christian adoption and foster care agency does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights by recruiting only Evangelical Christians to be foster parents, though it does violate the Convention when it refuses to place children with Evangelical Christian same-sex couples.