Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- While wearing a colander on his head, a Pastafarian pastor offered the opening prayer at a local government’s assembly meeting in Homer, Alaska; the pastor offered the prayer on behalf of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
- A federal district court in Michigan refused to dismiss Christian student organization InterVarsity’s lawsuit against Wayne State University—the lawsuit alleges, among other First Amendment claims, that Wayne State specifically targeted the InterVarsity chapter’s religious beliefs and did not apply the school’s student leadership policy equally across organizations.
- Four Wheaton College students who evangelized and distributed religious literature in Millennium Park sued the city of Chicago after the city banned speeches and distribution of written communications in the majority of the public park; the students claim these rules violate the First Amendment’s guarantees of free exercise of religion and freedom of speech.
- The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the city of Troy, Michigan, claiming the city violated RLUIPA by treating religious assemblies and institutions less favorably than nonreligious counterparts, including denial of zoning approval to Adam Community Center—an organization of local Muslims living and working in Tory—to operate a worship site.