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Supreme Court takes up Hobby Lobby's challenge to the contraception mandate

When two corporations -- one owned by evangelicals and one owned by Mennonites -- filed suit over the Affordable Care Act, they described their complaint in stark and fairly simple terms: The government is forcing them to either break the law or betray their faith.

But at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, nothing was so clear as the justices explored the murky territory where an employer's religious rights collide with the interests of its employees or the government.

Supreme Court may decide if photographers can snub gay weddings

When Vanessa Willock wanted an Albuquerque photographer to shoot her same-sex commitment ceremony in 2006, she contacted Elane Photography. The response came as a shock: Co-owner Elaine Huguenin said she only worked on "traditional weddings."

"Are you saying that your company does not offer your photography services to same-sex couples?" Willock asked by email.

"Yes, you are correct in saying we do not photograph same-sex weddings," Huguenin responded.

North Dakota bishops welcome abortion clinic's move to drop lawsuit

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The North Dakota Catholic Conference welcomed the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a 2013 law requiring doctors at the state's only abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

The Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo withdrew the suit March 14 after a local health care system certified physicians working at the clinic to admit patients.

California bishop urges Catholics to sign up for health insurance

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Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino urged Catholics in his diocese to comply with federal law and sign up for health insurance if they have not already done so.

In a March 11 letter, he said he wished to provide "some clarification and some direction regarding the new federal health care law."

"As you may know, the Affordable Care Act requires that all legal residents of the country carry health insurance by April 1. Failure to comply with this law will result in fines that increase progressively each year," he wrote.

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