"Gay and lesbian individuals share the same capacity as heterosexual individuals to form, preserve and celebrate loving, intimate and lasting relationships," the judge said.
Washington state's Catholic bishops praised Gov. Jay Inslee for declaring a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the state and applauded him for urging there be "a public conversation on capital punishment."
Arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking protection from a federal mandate that requires coverage of contraceptives in workers' health insurance plans.
The brief, filed Monday, called the mandate "one of the most straightforward violations ... this court is likely to see" of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.
Under the Affordable Health Care law, most employers' health plans must include free coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and other types of birth control opponents say can induce an abortion.
Michael A. Taylor, a 47-year-old inmate at the Missouri state prison in Bonne Terre, Mo., is set to be executed Feb. 26, though the means of the execution officially remain a secret.
A new method of creating versatile stem cells from a relatively simple manipulation of existing cells could further reduce the need for any stem-cell research involving human embryos.
Almost two weeks after the national March for Life rally in Washington, the Guttmacher Institute reported a 13 percent drop in national abortion rates from 2008 to 2011 -- making for the lowest rate since 1973 when abortion on demand was legalized in the U.S.
However, "no evidence was found" of a correlation between the declining rate and new abortion restrictions set between 2008 and 2011, said the study released Feb. 3.
A Louisiana man's execution scheduled for Feb. 5 is on hold until April due to the controversial two-drug cocktail the state planned to kill him with.
Four states have legalized same-sex marriage since the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. More are poised to join them.
President Barack Obama and the administrator of the principal overseas U.S. aid agency urged people at the National Prayer Breakfast to turn their prayers and good works beyond the U.S. borders.
Speaking to the annual gathering Thursday, Rajiv Shah, keynote speaker and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, challenged the audience of about 3,500 people from around the world to "an overarching purpose worthy of this room that has come together to follow the teachings of Jesus: Let us work together to end extreme poverty in our lifetime."
Bills in each chamber of Congress would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Opinion polls show both Democrats and Republicans are OK with the raise.