Group Areas Acts
Hanna Swaid, head of the Israeli Arab civil rights group, the Arab Center for Alternative Planning, criticized a bill preliminarily passed by Knesset as an “apartheid” act that recreated South Africa’s 1950 Group Areas Act — the law which legalized the de facto segregation already in place. The Israeli bill amends the Israel Lands Authority Law to allow for allocations of land to homogeneous ethnic groups, and is intended to weaken a court ruling that the ILA may not distribute land to groups that discriminate against specific groups of the population.
The Gay-Fertility Gene
A study at Padua University suggests that homosexuality is linked to genetic factors that promote high levels of fertility in women, and implies that homosexuality will be more prevalent in societies with declining birth rates, as the fecundity gene becomes of greater importance.
Kerry’s Religious Rhetoric
In response to reports of John Kerry’s stopping in two Miami churches Sunday, Welton Gaddy’s liberal Interfaith Alliance has asked the Kerry campaign to ease off using religion for political purposes. “‘Our concern is to protect the sanctity of houses of worship and the integrity of religion,'” said Gaddy. “‘There is no place for partisan political campaigning and organizing in a religious congregation.'”
Interfaith Inmate Freedom
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on the constitutionality of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal law protecting the religious expression of inmates in state prisons. The case arose out of the complaints of a group of very strange bedfellows — one Wiccan, two polytheistic Asatrus, one Satanist, and one member of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, also known as the white supremacist Christian Identity Church — who claim their religious rights were violated and their religious literature was denied to them in ways that would not have happened to members of more mainstream faiths.
Civil Rights, R.C.C. style

Six months after it blocked students from starting an NAACP chapter, Catholic University has relented, and allowed the group to form, so long as the group does not support abortion rights or any other positions in conflict with Church doctrine. Karlyn Barker, of The Washington Post, reports that while NAACP has traditionally supported abortion rights, the C.U. chapter of the civil rights group has agreed not to present any speakers whose views differ from the Vatican.