Bible Museum to display artifacts from Holy Land under deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Museum of the Bible being built in Washington will feature ancient artifacts and treasures from the Holy Land under a new deal that ensures Israel's leading archaeological organization will have an outpost in the U.S. capital.
An agreement announced Tuesday between the museum and the Israel Antiquities Authority will bring a selection of artifacts excavated in Israel for long-term display in a top-floor gallery at the new Bible museum. The $400 million, eight-story museum is set to open near the National Mall in 2017.
The museum's founder, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, already has collected about 40,000 objects, including rare biblical texts and artifacts, such as cuneiform tablets dating to the time of Abraham, Torah scrolls and rare printed Bibles.
Green is known for funding conservative and evangelical causes, but organizers say the museum will present different religious viewpoints that visitors can choose from.
National Cathedral dean to step down after 3 years at church
WASHINGTON (AP) — The dean of the Washington National Cathedral says he'll retire at the end of the year.
The Rev. Gary Hall has led what's often considered the nation's church for three years. He helped balance the National Cathedral's budget after years of financial struggle and opened the church to same-sex marriages.
The 66-year-old Hall has two years left on his contract, but says the seat of the Episcopal Church is entering a new era and needs a long-term leader for a decade or more.
In a letter announcing his retirement, Hall said the cathedral will pursue a major capital campaign to increase its endowment and finish repairs from damage it sustained in an earthquake four years ago.
Columbus mayor supports ban on headscarves for officers
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, says he supports Police Chief Kim Jacobs's decision to ban officers from wearing headscarves for religious reasons.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the issue arose when a Muslim woman who is a Somali-American left the police academy in March because of the department's rule.
Mayor Michael Coleman says the city wants to recruit immigrants to the force, but when officers go out into the community they should be seen as Columbus police officers, not Muslim police officers or members of any other religion.
Jacobs agrees that any officer responding to calls should be recognized as a Columbus officer who "doesn't turn anyone off."
Columbus has the second largest Somali population in the United States.
Reluctant Kentucky clerk gets time for gay marriage appeal
MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky county clerk who objects to same-sex marriage will not have to issue marriage licenses while she takes her case to a federal appeals court.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is being sued by two gay couples, and U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered her last week to issue them licenses despite her objections. But on Monday, he granted her request to stay his decision while she pursues her case before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Davis has refused to grant marriage license to anyone in Rowan County since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Kentucky's governor ordered her to issue the licenses immediately, or resign. She told the judge that after consulting God, she decided she couldn't comply.
Bunning said Monday that Davis is not entitled to more time before complying or resigning, but since "emotions are running high on both sides of the debate," he delayed his order anyway.
Texas gay couple settles suit over marriage license denial
GRANBURY, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for a gay couple who sued a Texas county clerk who denied them a marriage license on religious grounds say they've reached a settlement of the lawsuit.
In a statement, attorneys for Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton said Monday that they've settled their federal lawsuit against Hood County Clerk Katie Lang for what they've spent in attorneys' fees — almost $44,000.
Hood County Attorney Lori Kaspar referred requests for comment to the county's special attorney, Grant Blaies of Fort Worth, Texas, who didn't return messages.
Cato and Stapleton filed the lawsuit July 6 after they'd been refused a marriage license for almost a week after the Supreme Court recognized the right of gay couples to marry. The couple was granted a license the day they filed their lawsuit.