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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence: 'Not going to change' religious freedom law

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defended his state's new religious freedom law Sunday while refusing to say if it would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Facing a rising tide of criticism and business boycotts against his state, Pence said he would consider a second law that "amplifies and clarifies" the first one but added, "We're not going to change the law."

In a groundbreaking vote, Latino evangelicals call for end to death penalty

A leading group of Latino evangelicals has called for an end to state-sanctioned capital punishment, the first national association of evangelicals to do so.

In a unanimous vote Friday, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition urged its 3,000 member congregations to end capital punishment across the country.

"As Christ followers, we are called to work toward justice for all," coalition President Gabriel Salguero said. "And as Latinos, we know too well that justice is not always even-handed."

Utah bishop decries governor's decision to sign firing squad measure

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By reinstating the use of a firing squad as a method of execution in Utah, "it seems as if our government leaders have substituted state legislation for the law of God," said the state's Catholic bishop.

"They argue that, because executions are lawful, they are then moral. This is not so. No human law can trump God's law," Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester said in a March 24 statement. "Taking a human life is wrong; a slap in the face of hope and a blasphemous attempt to assume divine attributes that we humble human beings do not have."

Catholic advocates push Congress for a budget that protects poor people

Catholic advocates are pressing Congress to make the needs of poor and vulnerable people a priority as legislators hammer out a federal spending plan for 2016.

The advocates told Catholic News Service they want to prevent trillions of dollars in social services spending from disappearing over the next decade as Congress seeks to balance the federal budget and reduce the nation's growing debt.

Their actions unfolded in recent weeks as they learned of Republican plans to remake the way social services such as Medicaid and food stamps are funded.

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