National Catholic Reporter

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Politics

Activists demand Obama appoint envoy for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians

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Beheadings, enslavement, kidnappings and rape plague minority religious communities across the Middle East, and it's time for President Barack Obama to fill a job created to address their plight, a group of prominent evangelicals, scholars and other religious leaders told the White House.

In the seven months since Congress created a "special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia," the extreme violence against these groups has only escalated, the religious leaders wrote to Obama on Monday. Nominate someone, they implored.

Faith leaders call for religious protections ahead of gay marriage hearing

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As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday that could wind up legalizing gay marriage nationwide, dozens of Christian leaders have issued a call to civil authorities to preserve "the unique meaning of marriage in the law" -- but also to "protect the rights of those with differing views of marriage."

US Senate reaches compromise on measure to assist trafficking victims

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The U.S. Senate reached a compromise Tuesday on a measure to help victims of sex trafficking that had been held up by lawmakers pushing to include funding for abortion.

The compromise has cleared the Senate to vote for Loretta Lynch's confirmation as attorney general.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had postponed her nomination vote until the trafficking issue was resolved.

Poll: Americans say there's no turning back on gay marriage

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The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a landmark case on gay marriage, but most Americans already have made up their minds: There's no turning back.

In a nationwide USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, those surveyed say by 51 percent-35 percent that it's no longer practical for the Supreme Court to ban same-sex marriages because so many states have legalized them.

One reason for a transformation in public views on the issue: Close to half say they have a gay or lesbian family member or close friend who is married to someone of the same sex.

Half of US states consider right-to-die legislation

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More than a dozen states, plus the District of Columbia, are considering controversial medically assisted death legislation this year.

The laws would allow mentally fit, terminally ill patients age 18 and older whose doctors say they have six months or less to live to request lethal drugs.

Oregon was the first state to implement its Death with Dignity Act in 1997 after voters approved the law in 1994, and four other states -- Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington -- now allow for medically assisted death.

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May 22-June 4, 2015

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