Wednesday, May 11
Family considers suit as Citadel rejects hijab
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A spokesman for the family of a newly-accepted Muslim student at the Citadel military school in South Carolina says the prospective cadet is disappointed that the school has rejected her request to wear a head covering as part of her uniform.
Ibrahim Hooper with the Council on American-Islamic Relations says he spoke with the family Tuesday after Citadel officials called to tell the woman she could not wear a hijab.
Citadel President John Rosa said the cadet system is based on a common uniform and standardization of cadets in appearance, actions and privileges, which he called essential to a military system. He added that the college recognizes the importance of the spiritual and religious beliefs of cadets and makes accommodations for prayer and dietary needs.
Hooper said the woman will not attend the Charleston school this fall unless there is a change. He also said the family is considering legal options.
Another challenge filed to Mississippi gay marriage law
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Another group is challenging a Mississippi law that will let workers cite their own religious objections to same-sex marriage to deny services to people.
Campaign for Southern Equality and two lesbian couples filed papers Tuesday to reopen their 2014 federal lawsuit that overturned Mississippi's definition of marriage as only between a man and a woman.
Their filing comes a day after a gay couple and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the religious-objections bill that's set to become law July 1.
Roberta Kaplan, lead attorney in the Campaign for Southern Equality case, is asking a judge to order Mississippi to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples without delay. She also seeks to compel the state to release the names of clerks who recuse themselves from issuing such licenses.
Gay man settles with Catholic school that pulled job offer
BOSTON (AP) — A Boston man whose job offer from an all-girls Catholic high school was rescinded after administrators learned that he was in a same-sex marriage has settled a lawsuit with the school.
The Boston Globe reports that 45-year-old Matthew Barrett's settlement with Fontbonne Academy comes nearly five months after a Massachusetts judge found the Milton school had discriminated against Barrett. Fontbonne officials pulled their offer of a food service position to Barrett in 2013 after he listed his husband as an emergency contact.
Barrett's attorney says the settlement means that the December Superior Court ruling against the school will stand, establishing a legal precedent that employers have no religious justification for discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
Fontbonne Academy released a statement saying it "expresses deep gratitude to Mr. Barrett for his willingness to come together with us in a spirit of conciliation."
Maryland county sued over court's Ten Commandments monument
CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — A county official in Maryland says he will defend the presence of a Ten Commandments monument in front of the local courthouse as a historic artifact originating from a 1950s campaign to promote the famous Charlton Heston film about Moses.
The Cumberland Times-News reports that Jeffrey Davis recently filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that the monument on the court's front lawn violates the U.S. Constitution.
Allegany County Commissioner William Valentine says the monument doesn't favor one religion over another. He says he considers it to be a historic monument, rather than a religious one, because it was intended to promote the 1956 film "The Ten Commandments."
Although the plaintiff lives in Garrett County, the lawsuit says he owns property in Allegany County and is a municipal taxpayer.
London mayor slams Trump's 'ignorant' view of Islam
LONDON (AP) — London Mayor Sadiq Khan is unimpressed with Donald Trump's suggestion that he could be exempted from a proposed temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States.
Asked how that policy would affect London's first Muslim mayor, Trump told The New York Times that "there will always be exceptions."
But Khan said Tuesday that "this isn't just about me — it's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world."
He said "Donald Trump's ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe" by alienating mainstream Muslims.
Rhode Island bishop: Legal pot leads to 'land of oblivion'
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's Roman Catholic bishop says he wants to smell holy incense, not cannabis, in Providence's cathedral and warns state lawmakers against transporting young people to "the land of oblivion" by legalizing marijuana.
Bishop Thomas Tobin shared his opinions in an essay titled "Nope to Dope." The essay was published Tuesday hours before a hearing on a bill to legalize pot.
Tobin says he's heard about "zombie-like" people who are "completely stoned" filling public places in Colorado, where marijuana is legal. He says young people already addicted to electronic devices and "attached to their virtual umbilical cords" would become more detached from reality if the drug is legalized.
Tobin says his viewpoints are purely theoretical because he's never smoked pot.