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Supreme Court allows gay marriage to expand to 30 states

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The Supreme Court refused to get involved in the national debate over same-sex marriage on Monday, leaving intact lower court rulings that will legalize the practice in 11 additional states.

The unexpected decision by the justices, announced without further explanation, immediately affects five states in which federal appeals courts had struck down bans against gay marriage: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah.

Feds grant $4.2 million in funds for legal aid to unaccompanied minors

For the first time, federal funding will help pay for unaccompanied minor immigrants to get legal assistance, including through Catholic agencies that will receive a little more than half of $4.2 million in grants for this fiscal year.

An additional $4.8 million will be allocated for the legal program for the 2015 fiscal year.

Church complaint says abortion ruling coerces millions of Californians

The California Catholic Conference has filed a federal civil rights complaint protesting a state ruling mandating the inclusion of voluntary direct abortion -- including gender selection and late-term abortion -- in California health insurance policies.

"This is a coercive and discriminatory action by the state of California," said Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco, who is chair of the Institutional Concerns Committee of the California Catholic Conference, the public advocacy arm of the state's bishops.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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