National Media Watch

Judge Strikes Georgia’s Unisex ‘Marriage’ Ban

ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 16 — A Georgia judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex “marriage” saying the measure, which was approved by 76% of voters in 2004, violated a rule limiting ballot questions to a single subject.

Judge Constance Russell said that voters must first decide whether same-sex relationships should have any legal status before voting whether to ban such marriages.

Homosexual-rights supporters had filed a challenge to the ban after its approval.

“People who believe marriages between men and women should have a unique and privileged place in our society may also believe that same-sex relationships should have some place — although not marriage,” said Russell, who serves as Fulton County Superior Court Judge.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said the court’s decision counters the voice of voters. The state is considering an appeal.

Catholic Stocks Fund Shows Growth

SACRAMENTO BEE, May 16 — Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund, celebrating its fifth anniversary, continues to succeed in investing in companies that do not violate Catholic Church teachings, reported the Bee.

Investment fund manager George Schwartz told the daily how it continues to search for undervalued stocks that meet the fund’s Catholic values, such as Thor Industries and Lifetime Brands Inc.

Catholics make up 99% of the fund’s 15,000 investors. While the fund’s values prevent it from investing in about 400 publicly traded companies, it still has 2,600 others to choose from. The fund currently holds only 70 stocks in its portfolio.

The fund’s compound annual performance is at 12.4% per year.

Da Vinci Code Can Alter Beliefs, Survey Finds

REUTERS, May 16 — While critics have panned The Da Vinci Code movie, a recent survey showed that many readers’ beliefs were negatively changed by the book, said Reuters.

The Opinion Research Business poll, which was commissioned by a group of British Catholic theologians and religious, showed that readers were twice as likely to believe that Jesus Christ had fathered children and four times as likely to view the personal prelature Opus Dei as a murderous organization after reading the book.

“An alarming number of people take its spurious claims very seriously indeed,” said Austin Ivereigh, press secretary to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. “Our poll shows that for many, many people The Da Vinci Code is not just entertainment.”

The group of theologians and religious asked that the movie carry a “health warning.”