In response to a question from a Marine frustrated over the Congress’ decision to drop the 17-year “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Marines in Afghanistan on June 5 that they won’t be able to opt out of their enlistment to avoid serving with homosexuals military personnel.

Seventy clergy with the United Methodist Church (UMC) in Minnesota have signed a statement saying that they would “offer the grace of the Church’s blessing” to same-sex couples, reported the United Methodist News Service.

Speaking during the UMC’s annual state denominational conference, the Rev. Bruce Robbins (left), pastor of the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, said that clergy groups had been meeting “who want to challenge parts of the United Methodist polity with which we disagree — that which relates to the lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual community and Christian marriage.” Robbins said the issue had gained importance with the “possibility of a constitutional amendment in the state of Minnesota” that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman.

The highly contentious battle over the funding of Planned Parenthood in Indiana may also prove to be a costly one.

On Friday, a federal appeals court overturned the controversial decision of Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery, who had ruled that the Medina Valley Independent School District of Texas could not include prayer in its commencement ceremonies, nor use any language perceived to be religious in nature.

A disturbing story out of the United Kingdom reveals an alarming increase in the number of abortions being performed on British women in their 40s. Numerous media outlets are chronicling the tragic trajectory.

The rampant and rising killing of unborn babies is lamentable no matter the precipitating cause. In this case, however, the cultural catastrophe suspected of contributing to this statistic is remarkable only in that its relation to the abortion epidemic among women approaching middle age is predictable.

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