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Challenging Cathi Herrod, the ‘self-appointed sheriff of wombs and bedrooms’

“Congress” and by definition states, “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” These beginning clauses to the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights are rooted in the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657. This religious declaration of independence was drawn up by 30 residents of the New Netherland colony, willing to forfeit freedom, property and their very presence in the New World, to protest Dutch Gov. Peter Stuyvesant’s ban on Quaker worship.

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‘Gender expression’ proposal ignites State Bar battle (access required)

Most changes to rules governing lawyers don’t stir much outrage, but a proposal by the leader of a social conservative advocacy group to delete references to historically protected classes has critics alleging she is trying to reverse decades of advancement by women, minorities and homosexuals.

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Birth-Controlled: Pro-life activists push for greater restrictions on abortion, contraception (access required)

Pro-life advocates are taking advantage of Republicans’ unparalleled dominance at the state Capitol, pushing for their most ambitious agenda yet in their fight to restrict abortion and birth control. If enacted, the slew of bills would give pro-life advocates their biggest gains in years.

But the controversial measures also mean Republicans are wading deeper into a cultural war that is raging as Election Day approaches.

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Group sings, prays for lawmakers in legislative chambers (access required)

The Center for Arizona Policy isn’t just lobbying lawmakers, it’s also praying for them. About 50 people associated with the socially conservative lobbying organization gathered Monday before sunrise for its annual Prayer Walk, a tour of the Capitol where they ask for wisdom, health and righteousness to be bestowed upon lawmakers, the governor and judiciary during the 2012 Legislature.

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