Conversion Therapy Ban Upheld • Tornado Damages Church • Church Apartment Complex: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Conversion Therapy Ban Upheld • Tornado Damages Church • Church Apartment Complex: News Roundup

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy. “The US Supreme Court let stand a California law that bans licensed therapists from working with children to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight, rejecting an appeal that said the measure violates religious rights. The rebuff leaves intact a federal appeals court decision upholding California’s 2012 first-of-its-kind law. The measure prohibits the form of counseling known as ‘conversion therapy.’ The ban was challenged by three people, led by licensed therapist and minister Donald Welch, who said it interferes with their right to practice their religious beliefs. California officials urged the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal, saying the law doesn’t restrict what religious leaders can say, except in the context of a state-licensed therapy session” (“Gay-Conversion Therapy Ban Survives as Supreme Court Rejects Appeal,” Bloomberg Politics).

Read about another case involving a conversion therapy lawsuit here.

Tornado Damages Louisiana Church. “An EF-1 tornado touched down in the small Pointe Coupee town of Livonia as a strong storm rolled through Louisiana Sunday morning. The National Weather Service says the tornado snapped multiple trees and caused minor roof damage to a mobile home and church. The storm and tornado touchdown occurred just hours before people were set to gather at this church for Sunday service. The path length of the tornado was one mile, with estimated winds of 90 miles per hour. The tornado destroyed the church's breezeway and ripped large sections of its roof off. The building has already been patched up as more severe weather is expected later in the week” (“Tornado touchdown causes damage to Livonia church,” WBRZ 2).

In "How Not to Bring Relief after a Natural Disaster," disaster readiness expert Dr. Jamie Aten offers guidance for churches that want to help after a natural disaster strikes.

Church’s Plan to Build Apartment Complex Meets Opposition from Neighbors. “Bethany United Methodist Church wants to move forward with a big project, but nearby neighbors aren't having it. The church wants to build a four-story, 100-unit apartment complex right on their property. . . . Yard signs opposing the project can be seen in front yards for blocks. Opponents fear added traffic and construction will disrupt their quiet neighborhood. They also fear their property values will decline if the project moves forward. Church members like Christopher Johns-Krull said the project is part of their ministry. They plan to call it ‘Bethany Living,’ and it will provide affordable housing for seniors 62 years old and up” (“Residents Fighting Church that Wants to Build High Rise Apartment Complex,” ABC 13).

Houston Church Faces Break-In, Alleged Arson. “A pastor said someone set his church on fire in northeast Houston Friday. . . . Fire crews quickly put out the flames that were coming out of the back of the church. No one was inside at the time, and no firefighters were hurt. The flames damaged the outside of the back of the church and an attic area. Arson investigators said they are not calling the fire suspicious at this point as it is still under investigation. The church's pastor Henry Miller said he knows someone broke into the church, looking for money, and when they didn't find it, they set the place on fire” (“Pastor: Someone broke into church, tried to take money, set fire,” KPRC).

Take steps to protect your church against vandalism and arson with this downloadable resource.

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This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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