Morning Read for June 28, 2013

Politics and Policy
Tim Huelskamp’s Gay Marriage Amendment Lacks Support With Kansas Politicians (Huffington Post)
A Kansas Republican congressman’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage has home state Democrats eager to attack, while state Republicans are keeping their distance. Rep. Tim Huelskamp announced Wednesday he would propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage in response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings striking down a federal ban on benefits for gay married couples and upholding California’s gay marriage law. The idea, which would align federal law with 37 states that have banned gay marriage, including Kansas, has failed to garner support in Congress.

American Ethical Union Statement on Prop 8 and DOMA Decisions (Temple of the Future)
The American Ethical Union (AEU) celebrates with justice loving people across the country. The U. S. Supreme Court’s decision that the federal government cannot discriminate against married lesbian and gay couples for the purposes of determining federal benefits and protections is an ethical decision leading towards full marriage equality.

Atheism & Culture
Two National Groups Team Up To Protect Rights of Young Atheists (Friendly Atheist)
The Secular Student Alliance and Freedom From Religion Foundation have announced a joint partnership that will offer free legal help to young atheists whose rights are being violated.

Rights for religious are for nonreligious, too (The Daily Herald)
Government in America must be neutral among religions and neutral between religion and non-religion – at least that’s how the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the Establishment clause of the First Amendment. Morning Read

TIME Magazine Just Doubled-Down on Joe Klein’s Inaccurate, Anti-Atheist Statements (Friendly Atheist)
Last week, the cover story TIME magazine, written by Joe Klein, included an unfair and untrue jab at Secular Humanists.

A right for the religious is a right for the nonreligious (Gazette Xtra)
Government in America must be neutral among religions and neutral between religion and nonreligion—at least that’s how the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Nontheist Americans Finally Speaking Up (Huffington Post)
For all the complaints by the religious right about atheists pushing their disbelief, you would think that the nontheist community was some massive monolithic force that acts as the sole shaper of culture. Until recently the truth was quite the opposite.

Science & Social Research
Born This Way? (Slate)
Scientists may have found a biological basis for homosexuality. That could be bad news for gay rights. As researchers draw closer to uncovering an explanation, however, a new question has arisen: What if in some cases sexuality is caused by an identifiable chemical process in the womb? What if, in other words, homosexuality can potentially be prevented? That is one implication of one of the most widely accepted hypotheses thus far proposed. And if it’s true, it could turn out to be a blow for the gay rights movement.

The Godless Children Are Coming (Culture as Science ~ Science as Culture)
America has always been pretty religious, but every now and then it seems that a more strident than average religiosity arises among us.

New Earths discovered in Galaxy : Super – Earths Could Host Life (French Tribune)
Published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics this Wednesday, a study conducted by astronomers from the University of Gottingen, Germany, revealed that a star system has been identified. The same comprises a total of seven planets at a distance of 22 light-years. Of these, three probably have the ability to host life.

Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter (CNN)
Christians tweet from the heart, atheists from the head, according to a new study. The study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tapped Twitter as a research tool and compared the messages of Christians and atheists.

(Pennsylvania) Brian Sims, Pennsylvania Lawmaker, Silenced On DOMA By Colleagues Citing ‘God’s Law’  (Huffington Post)
An openly gay lawmaker was silenced by colleagues on the Pennsylvania House floor Thursday when he attempted to speak about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act….One of [the PA State Representatives] lawmakers, conservative state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), told WHYY that he believed Sims’ comments would be a violation of “God’s law.”

(Ohio) Bill restricting abortions passes Ohio Legislature (USA Today)
Amid shouts of “Shame on you” and several GOP “no” votes, Ohio’s Republican-led House and Senate on Thursday passed a state budget that included several anti-abortion measures. Gov. John Kasich now has until 11:59 p.m. EDT Sunday to make any line-item vetoes and sign the budget into law so it can take effect Monday.

Only 25% of British Youth Believe in God (YouGov)
The reputation of religion amongst young people is actually more negative than neutral: 41% agree that “religion is more often the cause of evil in the world” and only 14% say it is a cause for good. When asked if they believe in God, only 25% say they do. 19% believe in some non-Godlike “spiritual greater power” and a further 38% believe in no God or spiritual power whatsoever.

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