1. Memo Seeks to Limit Scope of LGBT Decision, By Sadie Gurman and Jess Bravin, The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2021, Pg. A7
The Justice Department has issued a memo that aims to limit the impact of a landmark Supreme Court ruling protecting gay and transgender people in the workplace, a last-ditch attempt from the Trump administration to hinder policy shifts expected as President-elect Joe Biden begins assembling new leadership at the agency.
The Supreme Court’s June ruling, Bostock v. Clayton County, said a bedrock federal civil-rights law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The new memo, dated Sunday and sent by the acting head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, John Daukas, acknowledges the court’s ruling was sweeping, but says the department should not extend it further to areas such as housing and education, where longstanding gender-based policies on bathrooms and sports teams could come into play. The 23-page memo, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, also suggests that some employers could cite religious beliefs that would allow them to discriminate against LGBT employees.
2. Genocide in Xinjiang, The U.S. has concluded that the Chinese Communist Party’s actions against the Uighurs also constitute crimes against humanity, By Michael R. Pompeo, The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2021, Pg. A17, Opinion
Today, after careful deliberation, I have determined that the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uighurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. This announcement is the result of an exhaustive yearslong investigation that has spanned the globe and benefited from the efforts of government and nongovernment partners to document this nightmare, as well as the bipartisan support of Congress.
3. Belgium religious faiths want more worshippers at services, By Associated Press, January 20, 2021, 7:47 AM
Representatives of the religious faiths recognized in Belgium have joined forces to urge federal authorities to increase the number of people admitted inside places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the current COVID-19 rules, such places can accommodate up to 15 people. In a letter to Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne, the religious representatives argued that the number of people allowed should instead be linked to the space available. They proposed a return to the “one person per 10 square meters” rule which applied in June last year when Belgium exited the spring lockdown.
4. Boston cardinal: Getting COVID vaccine ‘morally correct thing to do’, By Inés San Martín, Crux, January 20, 2021
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of Pope Francis’s council of cardinal advisers, said he hopes that the example of the pope and his predecessor Benedict XVI receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will inspire others to follow suit and recognize that getting it is “the morally correct thing to do.”
5. The Supreme Court, Taylor Swift and Religious Freedom, By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, January 19, 2021, Opinion
The Supreme Court on Jan. 12 heard Chike Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, and it will soon decide whether officials at Georgia Gwinnett College, a state-run college 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, can use legal tricks to avoid being held accountable in court for violating Uzuegbunam’s rights. It’s a crucial case for the future of civil rights — especially religious freedom.
In 2016, when Uzuegbunam was a junior at Gwinnett College, he began evangelizing in a plaza outside of the school’s library. Gwinnett officials stopped him and told him that he had to get advance permission to use one of the two, tiny “speech zones” on campus. On top of this, any individual or organization who obtained permission had to “wait at least 30 calendar days after the last date of use” before submitting another request to engage in expressive activity.
Uzuegbunam obliged with this dystopian request, hoping to share the message about his Christian faith with interested classmates.
Despite having reserved a speech zone, two campus police officers approached Uzuegbunam, saying that someone had complained. They ordered the student to stop speaking and threatened him with discipline if he continued. Exercising Uzuegbunam’s constitutional rights was “disturbing the peace.”
It’s worth noting that while Uzuegbunam wanted only to quietly talk and hand out fliers about Jesus to people on campus, other students talked about other matters and played music in public areas without having to ask for permission from the university to do so. Fearing disciplinary action, he stopped.

Uzuegbunam’s case finds widespread support among advocacy groups that span the ideological spectrum. One amicus curiae brief in support of him with the Supreme Court was filed on behalf of the conservative Americans for Prosperity and Institute for Justice and the not-so-conservative American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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