Federal appeals court rules against gay marriage ban

(RNS) A federal appeals court in Boston has ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, setting up a potential showdown over same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court and providing another culture war issue for the already contentious presidential campaign. By David Gibson.

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Mosque construction continues to attract opposition across U.S.

CHICAGO (RNS) Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks animosity toward Muslims sometimes has taken the form of opposition to construction of mosques and other Islamic facilities. In the last five years, there has been “anti-mosque activity'' in more than half of U.S. states, according to the ACLU. By Judy Keen.

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Israel agrees to recognize non-Orthodox rabbis

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Israeli government's decision to pay the salaries of 16 non-Orthodox rabbis has thrilled Reform and Conservative Jews both in Israel and abroad. At the same time, it has instilled fear in the country's ultra-Orthodox, who say non-Orthodox Judaism isn't Judaism at all. By Michele Chabin.

ThursdayâÂ?Â?s Religion News Roundup: Cardinal DolanâÂ?Â?s payoffs, New Age schism, Chen as pro-lifer, TebowâÂ?Â?s girlfriend?

Not quite the “Vatileaks” scandal, but documents show Cardinal Dolan tried to pay off abusers so they would leave the priesthood. The New York Times and other outlets report that the $20,000 payments were authorized while Dolan was archbishop of Milwaukee. At the time Dolan called reports of such payments “false, preposterous and unjust.” He […]

Malcolm X’s pivotal letter on race at center of dispute between Syracuse, Alex Haley’s family

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (RNS) Officials at Syracuse University and the son of author Alex Haley are tussling over ownership of a 1964 letter written by Malcolm X in which the black nationalist said the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca had caused him to “rearrange” his thoughts on race. By Glenn Coin.

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AG Eric Holder, black church leaders mull voter law changes

WASHINGTON (RNS) Attorney General Eric Holder and other legal experts strategized with black church leaders on Wednesday (May 30) about new restrictive state voting laws that can affect their congregants by reducing early voting and requiring IDs. By Adelle M. Banks.

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Is Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng pro-life?

(RNS) During the dramatic diplomatic negotiations over blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, anti-abortion groups in the U.S. hailed Chen as one of their own. But Chen is now in the U.S., and he may not be as “pro-life'' as some of his American supporters assumed. By David Gibson.

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