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CitizenLink is proud to work with The Family Policy Council of West Virginia and other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state.
by Nathan Cherry
Let’s embark on a little exercise. Let’s see if we can make sense of the data being published on the role of parents in the lives of children. Now, for starters we have to understand that homosexuals and their advocates, as well as liberal lawmakers and talking heads are telling us that moms and dads don’t matter, all that matters is a “loving family.” The question now becomes, “Does the data support this assertion?”
First we can look to the studies of Mark Regnerus, the Texas professor that blew the lid off parenting studies with his own work in the field. He recently analyzed a study out of Canada in which the study shows “children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite sex couples.”
This is important data because homosexuals have been legally allowed to marry in Canada since 2005. The study is also important because it uses a sampling size that is 20 percent of the Canadian census.
Next, statistics from the Office for National Statistics in Europe shows a 20 percent increase in divorce among homosexuals in 2012. A recent article states:
“The number of same-sex couples ending their civil unions leapt by 20 per cent last year, seven years after their introduction in 2005. Overall there were 794 dissolutions in 2012, almost 60 per cent of which were female couples…”
So far we can conclude that being raised in a homosexual household is not in the best interest of children. Additionally, it seems homosexual relationships are not strengthened by granting them marriage rights. They appear to be just as volatile as subject to dissolution as any other.
At this point, common sense would dictate that marriage, as an institution would be better served being strengthened rather than redefined. As well we could conclude that children would be better served raised in a home with a mother and a father.
But let’s take common sense out of the equation and see what we can learn from California. It seems there Gov. Jerry Brown has just signed a bill that allows children to have more than two parents. Citing changing family structure the legislature passed a bill, and Gov. Brown signed it, stating that children can have more than two legal parents. Supposedly this will help legal matters for homosexuals who enlist the help of others in conceiving children.
So, to review, kids are not better off in same sex homes, homosexual couples divorce at similar rates to heterosexuals, but don’t worry because now kids can have more than two legal parents.
Let’s be clear here. More than just a campaign to redefine marriage, there is an obvious campaign to redefine parent. Per the actual definition of the word, it can only apply to the biological mother and father of a child. This is not to take away from adoptive parents, or those who step in to be a father or mother to parents that are gone. However, adding confusion to the life of a child by pretending that it’s “normal” to have two moms and a dad is silly. The result will be a distortion of the role and purpose of parents as well as the view and understanding of the masculine and feminine gender roles.
The obvious problem here is that if the natural function of two parents is removed, any other number becomes purely arbitrary and subjective. So California says a child may have three parents. What is there to stop another state from deciding a child can have five parents? At what point does the number of parents become obsolete altogether?
Ryan T. Anderson comments on this idea in an article he wrote not long ago in which he discusses the “new terms” that have been “coined to describe this new outlook on marriage.” Anderson discusses terms like “monogamish” which describes a couple that is committed to one another but allows infidelities as long as they are honest about them. He also discuses “throuple,” which is jus another word for polyamory, or, a group of people that are in a relationship together. Finally he discusses the term “wedlease,” which some would like to replace wedlock with. This is a marital contract, similar to a housing lease, in which the couple determines up front how long they want to be together and agrees to the “terms” of the “wedlease” before signing on the dotted line.
The obvious aspect of life that is missing from these terms and their arrangements is children. But that is my point. When adults begin to care more about their sexual desires than the health and well being of children, something is wrong. What kind of example of faithfulness, honesty, and integrity is being set by adults engaging in a “monogamish” lifestyle? What is the message given to a child regarding parental and gender roles in a “throuple”? What is conveyed to children if their parents decide to end their “wedlease” after ten years?
To conclude, kids are not better in homosexual homes, homosexual marriages end in divorce as much as others, adding more parents to the equation will only add more confusion, and adding new types of relationships will only hurt kids in the long run. The bottom line is that children will be the ones harmed most by anything other than a one man, one-woman marriage.
When adults put their selfish sexual desires ahead of the health and well being of kids, the kids will suffer. This is an unmitigated, undeniable fact. Kids and society is not better served by finding creative ways to allow adults to “opt out” of their parental duties in favor of indulging in sexual desires. If we strengthen traditional marriage we will see our society grow stronger as well. The more we dissolve the meaning and purpose of marriage the weaker our society will become.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about The Family Council of West Virginia.
A recently passed law will help California children and families who are going through the adoption process. AB 848 lets birth parents sign a waiver forgoing their right to back out of the adoption process.
“This law will help streamline the adoption process and make it easier for families who want to provide needy children with a loving home,” said Jonathan Keller, CEO of the California Family Council. “It will save them from a lifetime of bouncing from home to home.”
Authored by Republican Jim Patterson, the bill received no opposition from other lawmakers. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure into law on Oct. 11.
The law states that if the birth parents sign the waiver in the presence of an authorized representative of a private adoption agency, the action becomes final at the close of the next business day.
It also allows an abbreviated assessment or home study of a licensed or certified foster parent who wants to adopt. These assessments will include a review by the department or adoption agency.
“Gov. Brown signed a good, non-controversial bill here,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of Public Policy for Focus on the Family. “However, that doesn’t negate his long history of promoting abortion and homosexuality at any cost, regardless of the harm done to women, children and marriage in his state.”
Keller hopes to see more legislation like AB 848.
“This is a great example of of how Republicans and Democrats can work together for the best of interests of children and families,” Keller explained. “We hope that is the first of many bipartisan, pro-family bills passed in state of California.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about AB 848.
Learn more about the California Family Council.
Many parents are just now finding out about new national standards for math and English at their local schools. Focus on the Family Education Analyst Candi Cushman explains what it’s all about.
Read the Citizen magazine article “Education Without Representation.”
Subscribe to Citizen magazine.
One of the nation’s largest gay-activist groups is spearheading a week-long event designed to promote its agenda in schools across the country.
Ally Week, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), runs through Oct. 25. According to the group’s website, it’s where, “we can have vital conversations to move the movement toward our collective queer liberation.”
Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family, said parents need to be aware of some of the more radical themes that could be promoted to students.
For example, in student guides, GLSEN encourages kids to use gender-neutral pronouns such as “Zie/hir/hirs (pronounced ‘zee/heer/heers’).” Educators are encouraged to use films such as “No Dumb Questions” — a documentary about three girls trying to understand how their Uncle Bill is becoming a woman — and “Straightlaced,” about teens who self-identify as gay, bisexual or questioning.
“It can be difficult for parents to stay on top of what’s happening in the schools when there are multiple events like this being promoted by outside groups,” Cushman explained. “To help parents understand what their rights are, we have a free Empowering Parents how-to guide. It provides a checklist of what to look for and tips on how to talk to school officials about concerns.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Download a free copy of Empowering Parents.
Learn more about Ally Week by visiting the True.Tolerance website.
Read an article abnout “Empowering Parents,” by Candi Cushman.
CitizenLink is proud to work with Palmetto Family Council and other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state.
by Oran Smith, president of Palmetto Family Council
This Thursday, October 24 is an important day for Education Freedom!
On that day, under the leadership of Palmetto Policy Forum, Palmetto Family will join with a host of other education leaders — homeschool, Christian school, online school, private school and public charter school— to launch a new document on education freedom … and to ask for more!
After decades of lagging behind our sister states in the South, we are doing a little better in South Carolina. Charters are growing. Some bad homeschool legislation was recently killed. Online schooling is working for lots of families…and, when the state budget was signed this summer, the very first school choice program was established for Children with Exceptional Needs!
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about Palmetto Family Council.
In its decision Friday, a federal court suspended the law license of Phill Kline.
The former Kansas Attorney General investigated the nation’s largest abortion seller, and then faced backlash from political enemies and mainstream media outlets.
“What began as a political lynching has ended with a further travesty of justice” said Dana Cody, executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF).
A district judge in 2007 reviewed Kline’s evidence and found probable cause to believe Planned Parenthood committed 107 criminal acts — such as falsifying records to cover up illegal late-term abortions, according to LLDF.
Kline filed suit against the abortion seller the next day. The investigation and prosecution contributed to Planned Parenthood being defunded by some states and local governments.
Pro-abortion politicians and media outlets attacked Kline for his actions.
Last year, a panel of the Kansas Disciplinary Administrator claimed that Kline breached the Rules of Professional Conduct in 10 instances.
“This case had nothing to do with the fair application of the Rules of Professional Conduct and everything to do with being politically correct on the issue of abortion,” Cody said. “The person responsible for initiating the campaign of harassment against Mr. Kline is now in our nation’s capital as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Shame on this Court and shame on Kathleen Sebelius.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie withdrew his appeal today of a state court decision creating same-sex marriage. The state Supreme Court signaled last week that it would ultimately rule to redefine marriage. Christie denounced the court’s stance.
Today the state began to recognize such unions.
The lower court judge said her decision was influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court opinion this summer in United States v. Windsor. The nation’s high court struck down part of the federal marriage law, meaning the government cannot define the institution for its own policies and must accept whatever states decide.
“Pro-family Americans have to shake their heads when they see activist courts in action,” said Focus on the Family Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht. “First the U.S. Supreme Court decides that the federal definition of marriage must be judicially re-written to conform with state definitions that include same-sex marriage. Now a New Jersey court says that its own state definition of marriage is dependent on the new federal definition of marriage. With circular reasoning like that, there is no amount of social engineering that the judiciary cannot accomplish to achieve its own ends.”
The Garden State joins the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington in redefining marriage either by legislation or court order.
Last week, an Oregon government department said the state must recognize same-sex marriages from other states, in spite of the fact that the Oregon Constitution defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. And later this month, the Hawaii Legislature will take up the redefinition of marriage in a special session.
Christie’s office released a statement saying “the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law.” It also said the governor “strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people.”
The state is facing a “constitutional crisis,” said Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council.
“(The court) has included no provision for religious exemptions, meaning we will soon see people threatened with intolerable choices between their consciences and their authorization to minister to the needy or conduct business with the public, as has happened elsewhere in this nation.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the court decision in Garden State Equality v. Dow.
CitizenLink is proud to work with Family Policy Institute of Washington and other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state.
by Family Policy Institute of Washington
You probably know that religious freedom and conscience rights is under threat from government at all levels. You’ve heard about the federal government trying to force Hobby Lobby and the Catholic church to pay for contraception in violation of their Catholic beliefs. But there are so many more examples from around the country that you may not have heard about. Once you’ve read this sobering list, join us in the effort to protect religious freedom here in Washington.
1) Spokane Falls Community College officials threatened a young female student and members of a Christian student group with disciplinary measures, including expulsion, if they chose to hold a pro-life event on campus to share information with other students because the message was “discriminatory” and did not include a pro-abortion viewpoint.
2) In 2013, a Washington Florist, acting on her religious beliefs and convictions, refused to provide service for a same-sex wedding. The gay couple accepted her refusal. The Washington State Attorney General then filed a consumer protection lawsuit against the florist and wants to fine the business. Soon after, the ACLU, representing the couple, filed a lawsuit against the florist as well for denied service, and is seeking damages on behalf of the gay couple.
3) A family owned bakery in Oregon had refused service for a same-sex couple’s wedding ceremony, based on the owners religious beliefs. The couple filed a discrimination complaint against the bakery, and soon after, the bakery was attacked by gay activists. The bakery ended up closing down after receiving threats to the owner’s family.
4) A family owned Vermont Inn was sued by the ACLU on behalf of a lesbian couple for the Inn’s refusal to host the couple’s wedding. The innkeepers lost the lawsuit and were forced to host gay and lesbian weddings, contrary to their religious beliefs.
5) In 2006, a New Mexico photographer was asked, and refused to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony. Because she refused to provide the service based on her religious belief, the photographer was fined by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. They took the issue to the New Mexico Supreme Court, who ruled in 2013 that photographers can be forced to take pictures of a same-sex “wedding” as the “price of citizenship.”
6) In Ocean Grove, New Jersey, a United Methodist Association lost its property tax exemption and was subjected to a state investigation for declining to rent its private facility as a location for a same-sex “civil commitment” ceremony.
7) In Mt. Juliet, Illinois, students and their parents were ordered to cover up references to God and prayer and any Scripture passages on the posters they made or else they could not be posted. Each year, students and parents have placed posters in the hallways of the school informing students of the “See You at the Pole” event on the National Day of Prayer. Court ruled school could not require references to be excluded.
8) In May 2009, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that summary judgment was not warranted for the state hospital defendants who demoted and penalized a nurse for stating a religious objection to dispensing the “morning after” abortion pill. The case is proceeding to trial.
9) On some Louisiana college campuses, draconian “speech code” policies prohibit religious persons from sharing a biblical view on controversial social issues without fear of disciplinary action.
10) At Southeastern Louisiana University campus police prohibited four students from sharing their faith on open areas of campus without applying for a speech permit, and perhaps paying a fee, at least one week in advance.
11) Students in public secondary and elementary schools are commonly prohibited from starting pro-life student organizations, and sometimes bible clubs, on the same basis as all other student organizations. Student-organized and initiated See You at the Pole and National Day of Prayer events are routinely proscribed.
12) In Norfolk, Virginia, Christians were prohibited from engaging in some forms of public speech during the annual Harborfest event, including wearing sandwich boards and the distributing religious literature.
13) In Pensacola, Florida, police recently halted Thursday night fellowships at a local Catholic church because the picnics were attracting too many “undesirables” (i.e., local homeless people).
14) In Balch Springs, Texas, a senior center used its facility for social programs and recreational events. A group of Christian seniors had also gathered at the center to sing gospel songs and hear the Word of God from a retired pastor. These seniors quietly say a word of thanks to the Lord when they receive their meals at the center. In August 2003, the city of Balch Springs enacted a new policy demanding that all mealtime prayers, gospel music, and “religious messages” cease immediately. No other group was silenced, only Christians.
15) While distributing literature on several occasions at the City College of San Francisco’s Ocean Campus in 2007 and 2008, a Jews for Jesus employee was approached by campus security officers who told him he couldn’t distribute literature without a permit and threatened him with arrest if he continued. Wertheim did not comply. Police arrested and handcuffed him, searched him and detained him for more than three hours. The charges were dropped the next day.
16) Local authorities in the village of Fife Lake, near Grand Rapids, Michigan, have graciously made the town’s Municipal Building meeting room available for free to local community organizations. However, Forest Area Bible Church was required to pay rent. With the public room now closed to them, and no other suitable alternative, the church has stopped meeting.
17) On March 3, 2005, an FAA’s civil service supervisor received a letter of reprimand from his regional manager. The document accused the supervisor of engaging in “unbecoming conduct” for several friendly conversations he had with un-offended co-workers regarding his Christian beliefs. For his actions, the supervisor was punished with a seven-day suspension without pay and a forced relocation from his position in Louisville, Ky. to Birmingham, Ala. A settlement agreement cleared the supervisor’s record and required the government to pay attorneys’ fees and costs.
18) A Christian man reached a favorable settlement with the New York Department of Transportation, which agreed to allow his trailer donning a gospel message to remain on his private business property along a public highway. The trailer had previously been cited as a “public nuisance,” and NYDOT warned the man that it would be forcibly removed if the Christian message remained visible from the highway. Settled.
19) In November 2004, a Montana Baptist church hosted a pro-marriage simulcast and allowed volunteers to circulate petitions to place a marriage amendment on the state ballot. Advocates of homosexual behavior filed a complaint with the state’s commissioner of political practices, accusing the church of violating state law by acting as an “incidental political committee.” A Montana federal district court ruled against the church. The 9th Circuit reversed the district court calling the law’s application to the church unconstitutionally vague and a violation of the church’s First Amendment rights.
20) American Atheists sued the Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Transportation Department seeking a court order to remove roadside cross memorials placed to honor fallen state highway patrol officers.
21) The San Diego Fire Department forced 4 firefighters’ to take part in the city’s “Gay Pride Parade” celebrating homosexual behavior — despite numerous objections — and retaliated against them for later complaining about the harassment they endured during the event. The firefighters were sexually harassed through lewd catcalls and obscene gestures at the event, which was replete with sexual displays and graphic images. Jury verdict for firefighters and against city.
22) While people on the US Military are not permitted to proselytize their religion (convert another’s faith), they are allowed to talk about their faith, as long it is not uncomfortable for others. However, an Air Force officer has been asked not to have their Bible on their desk.
23) In the US Military, Bibles have been banned at an Army medical center. At a military Terrorism Center, pro-lifers are linked to terrorism. At an Army briefing, Christians and Catholics were included in a list of extremists along with Al-Qaeda and Hamas.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about Family Policy Institute of Washington.
(Caution: Adult content.)
It wasn’t enough for writer and producer Benjamin Nolot.
He founded Exodus Cry. The international anti-trafficking organization is dedicated to ending sex slavery through Christ-centered prevention, intervention and holistic restoration for victims.
But he wanted to do more.
So, he made “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.” The award-winning documentary exposes the dark world of the global sex slavery epidemic. He and his crew traveled to 19 countries spanning from North and Central America to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Though released in 2011, the documentary is being screened throughout the world. And there are ways for individuals to host a screening in their hometown. It’s also available on DVD.
Nolot took some time to chat with CitizenLink about the behind-the-scenes world of the powerful documentary.
CitizenLink: Human-trafficking is such a dark topic. How has working on this film changed your perspective of humanity and how do you balance it out — how do you deal with it?
Benjamin Nolot: Prior to understanding that human-trafficking was going on I was just a lot more out of touch with the acute injustice that occurs on our world. Waking up to this reality has really created empathy in me for those that suffer injustice in our world. There are two things that happened: One is just the acknowledgement and the recognition that “Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe this is going on.” That eye-opening dimension of just having my eyes opened to it. The second part of it is recognizing that what is going on is actually deeply, deeply awful. In that place of compassion it really led me to the Lord in a much deeper, more intimate way to identify with His heart concerning the things that are going on in our world today. For me, tackling the issue of human-trafficking has been a very tender journey to friendship with Jesus in which His emotion has been imparted to me and I can weep over what’s happening, but then I can go out in His compassion and I can make a difference. And I can even bring His joy for justice into the lives of those I am trying to reach out to.
CL: What kinds of challenges did you face in producing ‘Nefarious’?
BN: We really wanted to provide an intelligent insight into understanding not just what is going on but why is it going on. Given that context, that the number one challenge for us was purely along those lines of gaining clear understanding as to why human-trafficking is going on: We felt that was key to ultimately to bringing about change. And so that became in and of itself a journey of discovery for us.
CL: What role would you say pornography plays in sex-trafficking?
BN: In our investigation, we have seen that pornography is really the marketing for prostitution. Anytime you go into a red-light district what you’re going to see is an area littered with pornography. What they’re trying to do is awaken the potential consumer through a hard-core pornographic image to the possibility that he might be able to actually have a real-world encounter. Pornography really feeds the sex industry in that way. Pornography is fueling the demand for prostitution, which is what necessitates sex-trafficking. We need to look at a much more comprehensive and holistic, legislative approach to dealing with the sex industry and its implications upon our society. We need much stronger legislation across the board. For too long we have let the pornography industry get away with the notion that what they are doing is protected under the First Amendment. I don’t think that pornography is at all what our Forefathers intended through that amendment. We have completely overlooked the balance between responsibility and freedom. And we have adopted the notion of freedom completely disconnected from responsibility. The result is that we have allowed our children to grow up in a culture of pornography and this has massively hijacked their sexuality. We are actually grooming and socializing young men to become johns from their youth through the perpetuation of online pornography. This assaults their view of women and assaults their view of a healthy sexuality. We have to take a good look at the pornographic industry. Now if you begin to have that discussion you’ll have all kinds of people say censorship and you’re not allowing freedom of speech, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think that we really have to see pornography as an issue of hate speech. I don’t know any other context in which you can get away with the kinds of things that are said in pornography and the kind of depictions that happen in pornography. We do have the tools within our legal system to formulate better laws to prosecute pornography, and to inhibit its production from continuing to degrade and humiliate woman as these disposable sex objects. Right now our obscenity laws are not nearly clear enough in terms of how you can actually interpret what is obscenity and what is not obscenity. Pornographers have no idea where the boundaries are. The judicial system has no idea where the boundaries are. It’s just “we’ll know it when we see it.”
CL: What can the United States do as far as creating policies to eradicate sex-trafficking in this country?
BN: In Sweden, they passed progressive legislation that criminalizes the johns, but offers services and programs to the women. And this has all but eradicated the sex industry in Sweden. It’s also shaped a cultural mindset that esteems the value of women and puts the onus of responsibility for why they’re in the sex industry upon men because without the demand there is no prostitution industry though prostitution is not about a bunch of hyper-sexualized seductive women going over and seducing all of us well-meaning men. So I think that’s very progressive legislation by Sweden and I would like to see us adopt something similar in the United States in terms of prosecuting heavily the men who purchase sex but offering programs to the women.
CL: How can each one of us make a difference and help defeat sex-trafficking?
BN: There are three main things that anybody from any walk of life can participate in. The first one is in the area of prayer: praying for the lives of those who are oppressed in the sex industry; praying for the lives of men who are blinded by their own lusts and are purchasing these women for their own self sensual gratification; praying for the traffickers whose lives have become so overwhelmed with darkness that they completely overlook the destruction of the lives of the people that they enslave. We need prayer going up for our own cities, our own backyards. We need prayer going up for this issue on a global and a national scale. The second thing is in the area of awareness — meaning education. Bringing an understanding to the masses not about just what is going on buy why it’s going on. We all have a part in using our voice within our sphere of influence to help shine a light on this injustice. Because the reality is, Satan traffics in darkness. He traffics in the shadows — that’s where he lurks. So part of the goal needs to be to shine a light on this. By virtue of that, more voices will begin to rise up and we can reach a sort of critical mass where we actually shift the landscape. We can shift the tide on this evil injustice of human-trafficking. The third thing is that all people can be involved is an area of giving. There are organizations and individuals who are working on the front lines to do incredible work to save people out of the sex industry. There are groups launching incredible awareness initiatives or working with victims themselves and bringing about counseling and restoration.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn how to take a stand against sex-trafficking.
Learn how to host a screening of the documentary.
Learn more about “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.”
Learn more about Exodus Cry.
CitizenLink is proud to work with Nebraska Family Alliance and other family policy organizations across the country to stand for marriage, life and religious freedom. Learn more about the one in your state.
by Family First, part of the Nebraska Family Alliance.
In this video, “Hope for the Future,” you’ll see the story of a family celebrating 40 years of marriage.Watch the video here.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about Nebraska Family Alliance.