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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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ACLU won’t challenge Hitching Post’s refusal to marry same-sex couples

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho says it will not challenge a northern Idaho wedding chapel’s refusal to conduct gay marriages because the chapel falls under a religious exemption. Interim Executive Director Leo Morales said in a news conference Thursday that the Hitching Post became a religious corporation in Idaho nearly a month ago.

Clinic’s secular nature intact

Religious directives that some worried could restrict medical care at a new health clinic preparing to open on the Washington State University Spokane campus are being jettisoned. The announcement Friday by Providence Health & Services comes two days after the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern about the clinic’s bylaws and asked WSU regents to address the matter at their Sept. 11 meeting.

ACLU worries WSU clinic will be limited by Catholic partnership

The participation of Providence Health Care in a clinic planned for Washington State University Spokane’s campus could prevent patients from obtaining birth control or other reproductive services, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. WSU has partnered with Empire Health Foundation and Providence Health & Services to open the Spokane Teaching Health Center. In an earlier announcement, WSU Spokane officials said the clinic will provide health care to low-income patients and be manned primarily by medical, nursing and pharmacy students and other medical professionals. The center obtained federal funding of $900,000 for six medical residency spots and is scheduled to open in 2016.

ACLU says WSU medical clinic will be limited by Catholic teachings

The participation of Providence Health Care in a clinic planned for Washington State University Spokane’s campus could prevent patients from obtaining birth control or other reproductive services, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU urges tougher law on surveillance equipment

The state’s top civil liberties watchdog group is arguing that a proposed Spokane law doesn’t go far enough in requiring City Council approval before the city purchases surveillance equipment such as unmanned drones. In a letter to City Council members, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington said Thursday it supported the “overall intention” of the ordinance written by Council President Ben Stuckart, but that it “excluded from its scope some key pieces of surveillance equipment.”

School apology, policy sought for Facebook search

EVERETT – The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Everett School District to apologize to a student because a supervisor pressured her to make her Facebook page available during an investigation of a complaint of cyberbullying that involved other students. The group sent a letter to Superintendent Gary Cohn on Friday regarding an incident last month involving a North Middle School vice principal and student Samantha Negrete, the Everett Herald reported.

New Orleans told to alter ‘clean zone’

NEW ORLEANS – The city of New Orleans must scale back its plans for a “clean zone” where the use of banners, signs and flags would be restricted during Super Bowl week, a federal judge said Thursday. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt’s temporary restraining order says the city can only enforce the limits in an area near the Superdome, where the game will be played Feb. 3. The city had also planned to enforce the rules in the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods.

Idaho lawmaker compares abortion to prostitution

A lawmaker from North Idaho drew audible gasps when he asked representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union-Idaho if their pro-abortion rights stance also means that they support prostitution.

ACLU seeking to ban Idaho prison practices

BOISE – The American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday that practices at an Idaho prison that include guards opening the wrong cell doors and allowing inmate-on-inmate attacks have caused violence at the facility and should be immediately banned. The ACLU also said in a motion filed Thursday in U.S. District Court that victims of the assaults at the Idaho Correctional Center are routinely written up for defending themselves during the attacks, a consequence that can jeopardize their eligibility for parole and access to treatment and education programs.

Witt must show she’s fit for duty

SEATTLE – The Air Force said Wednesday that a lesbian flight nurse discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell” must prove she is still qualified and pass a medical exam before it will consider reinstating her. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma ruled two months ago that former Maj. Margaret Witt’s firing violated her rights, and he ordered that she be given her job back as soon as she put in enough nursing hours to meet qualifications for the position.