Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes Unborn Human Being to Be a “Child” in a Case Unrelated to Abortion

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous per curiam opinion  [http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-10537.pdf ] in the Porter v. McCollum case, in favor of the habeas petition filed by a death-row inmate. Specifically, the Court ruled that the inmate was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel when his counsel failed to discover significant mitigating evidence and to present that evidence at the sentencing phase of his trial. By e-mail, Walter Weber of the American Center for Law and Justice highlights an interesting phrase in the Court’s opinion: In the course of relating the criminal convict’s troubled childhood, the unanimous Court states, “Porter routinely witnessed his father beat his mother, one time so severely that she had to go to the hospital and lost a child.” Slip op. at 4. The unmistakable reference is to a miscarriage. The stage of gestation is not mentioned. Outside the abortion context, every Justice knows that a pregnant woman carries “a child.” I’ve added the italics. [Ed Whelan] [3Dec09, National Review Online, http://bench.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzU4OWEzZjZhZDgwMDAyNTk3YzI3ZGM1YjZhNmJkMDU...

Same-Sex Marriage Flounders, Numbers Drop Each Year

“Same-sex advocates want same-sex marriage not to get married but to radically redefine marriage and upset the culture. Same-sex marriage would drastically alter our society and hurt children.” Liberty Counsel Matthew D. Staver Fewer Homosexuals Interested in ‘Tying the Knot’ After the clamor to legalize same-sex marriage, it turns out that not many homosexuals really want it. Following a bitter battle last year, the Spanish government gave homosexuals the right to marry. Since the law took effect last July 3, until May 31, only 1,275 same-sex marriages took place, reported the Madrid daily newspaper ABC last Saturday. Comparatively, that would add up to a mere 0.6% of the 209,125 marriages contracted in Spain during 2005. Of the total number of same-sex marriages, 923 were between males and 352 among females. A recent study by the Virginia-based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy did a roundup of same-sex marriage trends. The study, “Demand for Same-Sex Marriage: Evidence from the United States, Canada and Europe,” was published April 26. So far the highest estimate of the proportion of homosexuals who have used the new laws to marry is in the American state of Massachusetts, with 16.7% tying the knot. But this seems to be an exception. In the Netherlands, where same-sex marriage has been established the longest, the percentage was far lower. The authors of the study, Maggie Gallagher and Joshua Baker, warn that it is often difficult to obtain precise data, either on the number of same-sex marriages, or on the number of homosexuals in a given geographical area. In April 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to legally...