A whole lotta banning goin’ on

1. Muslim nations seek to ban blasphemy

Four years after cartoons of the prophet Muhammad set off violent protests across the Muslim world, Islamic nations are mounting a campaign for an international treaty to protect religious symbols and beliefs from mockery – essentially a ban on blasphemy that would put them on a collision course with free speech laws in the West.

2. Texas bans all marriage – Religious fanatics aren’t the only ones who can slip nonsense into a bill:

When the people of Texas passed a 2005 constitutional amendment to “protect” marriage, those clever, clever gays somehow forced them to word it poorly enough that it might prohibit ALL marriage in the state, same-sex or otherwise:

The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that “marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.” But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

“This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively “eliminates marriage in Texas,” including common-law marriages.

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