• Sue Neustel, left, and Ash McDaniel hold a sign before a commission meeting considering the issue of a resolution written by Blount County Commissioner Karen Miller, asking God for mercy as it is forced to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide sits during a meeting at the Blount County courthouse Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in Maryville, Tenn. The resolution apparently didn't have a prayer of being considered Tuesday. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

    Religion news in brief

    County wants God’s mercy after gay marriage ruling

  • Law firm labeled hate group leading Kim Davis’ crusade

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kim Davis’ lawyer stood onstage in a Washington D.C. hotel and pointed to a photo on the screen. It showed 100,000 people packed into a Peruvian soccer stadium, Mat Staver told the crowd, all there to pray for the Kentucky clerk battling against gay marriage.

  • Pope Francis raises the book of the Gospels as he celebrates the opening Mass of the Synod of bishops, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Pope opens family meeting and sparks are expected to fly

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis opened a divisive meeting of the world’s bishops on family issues Sunday by forcefully asserting that marriage is an indissoluble bond between man and woman. But he said the church doesn’t judge and must “seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy.”

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, photo, Alabama Probate Judge Nick Williams laughs in a court room at the Washington County court house in Chatom, Ala. Williams, also a Baptist minister in Washington County, is among those who have stopped issuing any marriage licenses.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    Alabama judges use segregation-era law to avoid gay marriage

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — As Alabama’s all-white Legislature tried to preserve racial segregation and worried about the possibility of mixed-race marriages in 1961, lawmakers rewrote state law to make it optional for counties to issue marriage licenses.

  • Friday, October 2, 2015

    The Latest: Father of teen who survived Oregon shooting recounts her harrowing experience

  • In this Sept. 14, 2015 file photo, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis makes a statement to the media at the front door of the Rowan County Judicial Center in Morehead, Ky. On Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, the Vatican distanced Pope Francis from Kim Davis, the focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S., saying she was one of dozens of people the pope greeted in the U.S. and that their Sept. 24 encounter at the Vatican's embassy in Washington "should not be considered a form of support of her position." Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail for defying a series of federal court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country.  (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

    Vatican: Pope met with gay student, partner in Davis twist

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican turned the tables Friday on the pope’s meeting with Kim Davis: Not only did it distance the pontiff from her claims that he endorsed her stand on same-sex marriage, it said the only “real audience” Francis had in Washington was with a small group that included a gay couple.

  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, prior to testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "Planned Parenthood's Taxpayer Funding."  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Religion news in brief

    In a weekly religion briefs fixture published Sept. 30, The Associated Press reported erroneously the affiliation of a group asking to erect a monument depicting Satan. The group identifies as a satanic church but is not affiliated with the Church of Satan.