National Catholic Reporter

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North Carolina

Supreme Court to decide if vanity license plates are government speech

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The Supreme Court already has heard a case this fall about a busted brake light. Why not vanity license plates?

The justices agreed to decide whether Texas was right to deny a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate flag, or whether it infringed on free speech.

In doing so, the court held in abeyance another case in which North Carolina approved a "Choose Life" license plate but denied one defending a woman's right to choose.

Prayer discount no longer on the menu at North Carolina diner

A Winston-Salem, N.C., diner will no longer dish out discounts along with dinner to praying customers.

Mary's Gourmet Diner had been offering a 15 percent discount for customers seen offering grace before meals during the past four years.

The practice went under the radar until a Christian music radio station in Orlando, Fla., uploaded a photo of a receipt with the discount to Facebook on July 30. Then it went viral.

Injunction stops enforcement of HHS mandate for Catholic benefits group

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A federal district court in Oklahoma issued an injunction Wednesday preventing several Catholic entities from being forced to comply with the federal Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate.

Of the nine Catholic entities granted relief by the court's action, four are based in Baltimore, three in Oklahoma, one in North Carolina and one in Kansas.

Fund focuses on empowering women for social change

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In downtown Asheville, N.C., across the street from the unemployment office, a couple of blocks away from the social services agency and less than a mile from the county jail, there is an old yellow house where everyone is welcome. By day it is a shelter for the city’s homeless -- a place to rest, eat a meal, find a friend and escape the heat -- and by night a home to Amy Cantrell, her partner, Lauren White, and a few others who help out with chores, cooking and maintenance.

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