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An Ohio legislator withdrew legislation Thursday that would have placed undue burden on families that chose to homeschool their children.
Sen. Capri Cafaro introduced SB 248 earlier this month. It would have required parents and guardians to undergo a series of government regulated hurdles including background checks and interviews.
In her letter to Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, Cafaro said she has decided “to no longer pursue this bill.” She does not say why.
Read the letter here.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read “Ohio to Consider Invasive Homeschool Bill.”
As a public policy partner of Focus on the Family, CitizenLink strives to inspire people to live out biblical citizenship in a way that transforms culture. In other words: We help people learn how to make their voices heard on issues related to life, marriage and religious freedom.
This past year, our team has been busy doing just that.
For example, we played an important role in getting pro-lifers to the polls in gubernatorial race in Virginia in the November elections.
“Besides working to get regular pro-life voters out, CitizenLink also reached out to a quarter of a million pro-life voters who were very inconsistent when it came to voting in gubernatorial elections,” said CitizenLink Manager of Special Projects John Paulton. “Thanks to the help of our supporters, we were able to send nearly half-a-million pieces of mail to these voters — educating them on the dramatic differences between the candidates and motivating them to get to the polls.”
Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, won the race in New Jersey with more than 60 percent of the vote. His opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono, got about 38 percent.
The Virginia race, however, did not fare well for pro-lifers. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, won by a narrow margin in the race against Ken Cuccinelli, a strong pro-life Republican.
Even though conservatives lost that vote, these efforts helped keep life advocates engaged.
CitizenLink’s efforts in Virginia alone included:
* 444,600 election mailers sent out
* 908,000 phone calls
* 70,000 doors knocked on
“Pro-lifers dramatically turned around a race that was considered all but over,” Paulton said. “And they provide a stirring hope — along with a roadmap to victory — as America prepares for much bigger elections in 2014.”
In efforts to help Christians who plan to run for office, CitizenLink created a nonpartisan seminar for candidates, campaign staff, elected officials and concerned citizens. This year’s first Campaign School ’13 was held in September in Bellevue, Wash.
Bill Redmond, CitizenLink national representative for family policy councils, said people who attend such training gain a better understanding of a biblical worldview of government. They also glean the strategic and tactical knowledge needed to win their campaigns.
“If a Christian candidate wins and is only right on particular issues — such as life, marriage and liberty — that does not provide a framework for other decisions that they’re going to have to make,” Redmond said. “Christian elected officials need a biblical world view to see all issues from a biblical perspective.”
CitizenLink is currently planning more Campaign School events in states including Colorado and Iowa.
From the Grassroots Up
CitizenLink is dedicated to building a network of believers who carry out their faith in ways that affect and inspire culture. One way we do this is by co-sponsoring events that feature leaders who speak truth into our culture.
In October, we co-sponsored an event in Colorado featuring Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The elder Cruz gave talks to packed venues in Thornton and Colorado Springs. He reminded attendees of the value of being a voice for truth.
“It was exciting to see the turn-out,” said Debra Chavez, Colorado Field Director for
CitizenLink.” We had pastors from many denominational backgrounds coming together and uniting and realizing that we’re not only a voice that can be out in public — outside the walls of our churches — but that we’re also a voice that can unite together and take action.”
CitizenLink is approaching this from different fronts, she explained.
“We’re coming at this from the grassroots up to build that network of believers to carry their faith out to affect all areas of culture.” Chavez said. “And then we’re building from the top down, with business, political and religious leaders. This way, they can take their influence into all areas of culture. Those areas overlap, but we need do to it from the bottom-up to the top-down so that we make sure we’re hitting every single area.”
Staying Informed: CitizenLink Media
We offer myriad resources to help constituents get news and commentary from a uniquely Christian perspective, something that’s missing from the mainstream media. In addition to daily news articles on our website, we offer weekly videos “Stoplight” and the “CitizenLink Report.” Our radio program, “CitizenLink,” is broadcast on more than 500 stations throughout the country. The daily two-minute news commentary offers a friendly tone and positive outlook.
“We do our best to use creative and thoughtful writing to capture the imagination, with a goal of winning listeners to a social-conservative point of view on the issues,” said Stuart Shepard, CitizenLink’s senior director of media. “We like to give listeners a clear view of where the nation is headed, and how they can change that course.”
CitizenLink is already gearing up for 2014. We will be expanding our efforts and muscling up the organization.
“We will help citizens understand and passionately engage in policy issues relevant to families from a foundation firmly established in biblical worldview,” said CitizenLink Executive Director Tom Minnery. “We will also encourage them to participate in the democratic process in order to forge a better future for our children and our culture.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
View the “CitizenLink 2012 Year-In-Review” Infographic.
Read “Christie Wins New Jersey; Democrat Sees Victory in Virginia Governor’s Race.”
Read “Campaign School Goes to Washington.”
Read “Friday 5: Sen. Cruz’ Dad Speaks Out.”
Read “Iowa Summit Inspires Leadership.”
Read “Friday 5: Bill Redmond on Life, Marriage and Religious Freedom.”
Learn more about CitizenLink.
New Jersey lawmakers this week put a marriage-redefinition bill on hold. This follows a court order to allow same-sex couples to marry, even though same-sex marriage has not been written into law.
Marriage supporters say the bill doesn’t provide adequate religious freedom protections. On the other hand, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said she pulled the bill out of respect for activist groups that “don’t want any type of religious exemption.”
Introduced last week in the Senate, the legislation would force most faith-based organizations to violate their beliefs. Only those that restrict event space to their own members would be able to decline requests for same-sex weddings. Churches that allow people outside their congregations to use their buildings, though, would be required to accept same-sex weddings.
Religious protections that are limited — or completely lacking — will only lead to civil disobedience, according to Breitbart columnist Ken Klukowski.
“For millions of devout Christians and observant members of other faiths, marriage is the union of a man and woman,” he wrote in a blog on Thursday. “They cannot with a clear conscience participate in any way in a redefinition of marriage to include behavior or self-identification that their religious faith believes to be immoral. Whether pastors or laypeople, church buildings or secular businesses, many millions of faithful Americans will not betray their God and their faiths, no matter what the government threatens.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read “NJ Stalls Same-Sex Marriage Bill to Kill Religious Protections.”
Read “Judge Says New Jersey Must Redefine Marriage.”
CitizenLink is proud to work with the North Carolina Family Policy 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 the North Carolina Family Policy Council
Dec. 19, 2013
Legislation aimed at helping the nation’s child welfare system more effectively identify and combat incidents of sex and labor trafficking of children has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. S.1823—“Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act” would amend the Social Security Act “to better enable State child welfare agencies to prevent human trafficking of children and serve the needs of children who are victims of human trafficking, and for other purposes.” A companion bill was introduced earlier this year in the U.S. House as H.R. 1732.
“North Carolina consistently ranks among the top 10 states for human trafficking, and sadly, many of the victims are children,” commented U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), who is one of the sponsors of the bill. In a press release announcing the measure, she stated, “This bill attacks the issue at its core—helping children who are often most at risk by providing child welfare employees with the tools they need to identify and support victims.” According to Sen. Hagan’s office, “approximately 70 percent of children trafficked have had previous contact with social services, foster care, and child protective and welfare agencies.”
S.1823, which is endorsed by several anti-human trafficking groups including Shared Hope International, attempts to address this problem by improving “identification and reporting requirements for child welfare agencies, requiring states to report to the Department of Health and Human Services the number of trafficking victims in their child welfare systems, as well as their current procedures and policies to combat the problem.”
Earlier this year, North Carolina became one of only 11 states with a “Safe Harbor” law, when the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 683—Safe Harbor/Victims of Human Trafficking. S683, which took effect in full on October 1, 2013, makes a number of important changes to North Carolina laws, including increasing the penalties for sex traffickers and purchasers and ensuring that minor victims of prostitution are treated as victims of sex trafficking and not as criminals.
Another measure related to combatting human trafficking that unanimously passed the North Carolina House but was not considered in the Senate, House Bill 855—Human Trafficking, remains eligible for consideration during the 2014 “Short” Session, which begins next May. H855 includes a number of provisions, one of which would direct the State Department of Health and Human Services to establish a hotline for the reporting of suspected cases of human trafficking.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the North Carolina Family Policy Council.
The buzz surrounding Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson is growing after it was announced last night that he was being put on “indefinite hiatus” from his incredibly popular show on A&E.
Television executives made the move after Robertson’s quotes during an interview with GQ Magazine were recently published. [Caution: Graphic language] In the course of the wide-ranging discussion, Robertson talked about sin and homosexuality. He also paraphrased a Scripture passage from 1 Corinthians 6 and expressed in rather indelicate terms the anatomical realities of homosexuality.
As believers, one might question the wisdom of stating an opinion with such frankness. One might also wonder if there could be a more productive way to talk about so sensitive a topic.
One area that leaves no doubt, however, is that television executives, happy to exploit and benefit from Robertson’s faith appeal to Christians, are now quick to distance themselves from him – because he was bold enough to speak so openly about his Christian faith.
I get it: A&E is a privately held company that has every right to feature or not feature a character on its top-rated show. It has every right to make 14 million weekly viewers angry and to tinker with a winning formula that has made Duck Dynasty a beloved show – a formula that, incidentally, features Phil Robertson praying at the end of every episode.
But that A&E executives would make such a choice because an outspoken Christian paraphrased biblical passages is both ironic and chilling.
Because make no doubt about it: the uproar doesn’t seem centered on the crudely stated opinion I referenced earlier. Groups like GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) are focusing on Robertson’s faith, saying, among other things, “Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe.”
But just saying something doesn’t make it so. GLAAD is incorrect in saying a very accurate paraphrase of Scripture is not what “true Christians believe.”
In fact, if I had thinner skin and worried about such things, I could rightly accuse GLAAD of attacking me. That’s to say by GLAAD’s standard, I’m not a true Christian. In other words, my faith is fraudulent. The same applies for tens of millions of other evangelicals in this country.
Who’s attacking who?
It’s unfortunate no one is noting that Robertson included various other sins, such as adultery, idolatry, greed, drunkenness, and deceit in the paraphrase of those who “won’t inherit the kingdom of God.”
To be clear, his basic reading and interpretation of Scripture is entirely orthodox and consistent with evangelical Christianity.
In the end, though, what really matters is not what Phil Robertson said – or even how he said it. What matters is what God spoke through the writers of the Bible about the subject of sin.
And so setting aside all the noise of this latest news, what did the Ultimate Author of the Bible say? Here are the apostle Paul’s words to the church at Corinth:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Again, those aren’t Robertson’s words. Don’t blame him. They’re directly found in the Word of God. He may have partly fumbled in communicating in a way that the modern-world can digest it, but he’s merely the messenger.
And so as the world continues to redefine morality, when what was once considered evil is now considered good, how are we as Christians to respond? With love and grace and truth, of course, but also with an expectation and understanding that the world may not always agree with God’s perspective. We can either embrace God’s ways – or yield to the ways of the world.
We’re in trouble when we try to bend God’s Word to fit our behavior instead of conforming our behavior to fit God’s Word.
But here’s the bottom line and the best news in the midst of all the bad:
We’re all dead in our sin, and we’re all sinners, “who have fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. If we bend our lives to Him, our depravity will be redeemed and our place in Heaven will be secure for all of eternity (John 3:16).
And so, in the end, Phil Robertson isn’t the issue here.
This isn’t really about a reality show but about the ultimate reality:
Is the Bible true? Do I really believe what it says?
Call it controversial. Call it divisive. But that’s the Gospel.
For more reading on this topic from a Christian perspective, I recommend Russell Moore’s balanced piece, “Duck Dynasty?” and Al Mohler’s article, “You Have Been Warned – The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy.”
What are your thoughts on this matter?
Even though New Mexico has not redefined the institution, the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.
State marriage laws, enacted in 1961, do not clearly define the institution. There are sections for a “male” and “female” on its marriage applications. It also includes the words “husband” and “wife.” Activists claim the ambiguous laws open the door for same-sex marriage. Many attorneys and legal analysts disagree.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) believes the state high court has missed the mark.
“The government’s purpose for recognizing marriage is to bring together one man and one woman as husband and wife to be a father and a mother to any children their union produces,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “The New Mexico Supreme Court ignored that time-tested understanding of marriage and replaced it with the recently conceived notion that marriage means special government recognition for close relationships.”
Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family, has a one-word response, “Sheesh.”
“One thing that struck me as ironic from the decision is that the same state Supreme Court just a few months ago held that a Christian photographer’s religious freedom was trumped by a sexual orientation law,” he explained.
That demonstrates the court’s opinion of the cultural clout of gay activists.
“That same court has now held that gays are still not politically powerful enough to fight for same-sex marriage on their own, and must have the help of the courts.”
The ACLU filed a complaint against the state this spring on behalf of same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses. The suit claimed that because the state Constitution does not exclude same-sex marriage, that it should, therefore, issue the licenses.
This summer, six of the state’s 33 county clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Shortly after, a judge ordered a Santa Fe clerk to issue the licenses. State Attorney General Gary King refused to take any action against the clerks.
ADF, representing several current and former state lawmakers, filed a brief with the state Supreme Court in September.
“This unfortunate result prevents New Mexicans from deciding the future of marriage — its very definition as well as its role in society — through an inclusive democratic process,” Campbell explained. “Regrettably, the court constitutionalized a view of marriage previously unknown in the Land of Enchantment and never chosen by the people.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the complaint in Griego v. Oliver.
Read the decision.
It’s almost Christmas, and many of us are still shopping for the perfect gift.
Maybe as a believer you’ve been wondering which stores have the best record for upholding the faith. Chris Stone, founder of The Stone Agency, a brand strategy business in North Carolina, has some ideas on how to best support businesses that support faith. He said it involves more than just avoiding stores that may have banned “Christmas” in advertising.
“We look at it a different way,” he told CitizenLink. “We often say that it’s our opportunity to let retailers know that we value the fact that they recognize us and the uniqueness of our worldview.”
The group has put together a Christmas guide.
“We are regularly updating our list of companies,” he said. “We assign them a star rating, and you can tell by looking at the rating of a company if they are more inclined to be faith-compatible or leaning away from faith.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Faith Driven Consumer 2013 Christmas Guide.
Read “Friday 5: Chris Stone.”
CitizenLink is proud to work with the Pennsylvania Family Institute 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 Tom Shaheen
There are about a dozen states that require that ultrasound images be offered to women seeking abortions, before the procedure is performed.
Here in Pennsylvania, we do not currently have such a requirement. Here, an ultrasound bill was introduced last session by Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, and other key members of the House pro-life caucus and quickly gained more than 100 co-sponsors. But the abortion lobby and its allies on the political left – many even from out-of-state – went on the attack and intimidated otherwise well-meaning legislators from moving ahead, for now.
The real “war on women” (the slogan used in the Left’s campaign) happens every time a lie is used to persuade or coerce girls and women that abortion is no different from any other routine medical procedure. Never mind that half of abortions take the lives of live, unborn, developing females. Contrary to the hype generated by those actually IN the abortion business, namely Planned Parenthood, and those who take their political cues from the abortion lobby — this is sound public policy. Here’s why:
“Informed choice” legislation does not impede a woman’s ability to choose abortion. Such laws enlighten the abortion choice by making clear exactly what it is that is being chosen.
For more, you’ll need to read the rest of this excellent Public Discourse column by law professor Michael Stokes Paulsen. It’s long but makes perfect sense in a cultural and political world where too many people – including our leaders and lawmakers – make important policy decisions based on no more than cute sound bites.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Pennsylvania Family Institute.
In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard is searching for Christmas — but he doesn’t find it where you might think.
Thanks for sharing Stoplight® with your friends.
An Oregon school district on Monday fired a pro-life teacher following his opposition to a series of Planned Parenthood presentations.
Bill Diss had taught at Benson Polytechnic High School since 2002. When presenters with the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) came to his classroom at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, he asked for identification. He was surprised when he learned that TOP is a Planned Parenthood program.
Because of his religious convictions, he asked to be excused from the presentations. The school principal denied that request, according to the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF). School administrators then conducted classroom observations. Diss was placed on paid administrative leave last spring.
“Bill Diss is a well-qualified teacher with a track record of success,” said LLDF President Dana Cody. “As the circumstances surrounding this termination demonstrate, Mr. Diss has done nothing that would merit being fired from his job.”
Diss taught computers, electronics, math and technology at the school. He has also taught several classes at the community college level. During his first five years of teaching at Benson, he received proficient or better ratings — as well as positive compliments — in his reviews, according to LLDF. His teaching methodology has remained substantially the same.
The legal group said Diss became a target in 2007, after speaking out against the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in downtown Portland. He participated in opposition activities during non-working hours, according to LLDF; he did not bring his political or religious convictions into his classroom instruction.
School administrators, however, began complaining about his political activities. Shortly after, his teaching came under “sudden, rigorous scrutiny,” according to LLDF:
Complaints, negative evaluations, letters of reprimand and formal meetings became a regular part of Mr. Diss’ life at school for as long as he engaged in outspoken, public opposition to Planned Parenthood.
Diss told FOX 12 he was terminated because school officials were uncomfortable with his stance.
“After they found out about my beliefs, they just kept trying to make my job tougher and tougher, and I kept doing what they wanted, but then they would say it wasn’t enough,” Diss explained. “I was with those kids for 11 years, and I just really felt like they took those kids away from me.”
Cody said LLDF is considering its next steps.
“LLDF will pursue every possible avenue in defending Mr. Diss’ rights in this matter, and hopes to see his rights ultimately protected.”
Take Action: Ask Board Members to Reinstate Bill Diss
Urge members of the Portland Public School board to respect the private views of pro-life teacher Bill Diss and to reinstate his position at Benson High School.
An Ohio lawmaker introduced a bill that, if passed, would severely infringe on the rights of families that choose to homeschool their children.
Introduced by Sen. Capri Cafaro, SB 248 would require parents and guardians to undergo a series of government regulated hurdles that let officials make decisions on how families educate their children.
Michael Donnelly, staff attorney for the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, called this the most “onerous restriction” the organization has ever seen.
“Essentially, parents who want to homeschool their children would have to submit to interviews from social workers,” he said. “The children in these families would also be interviewed separate from their parents. The social workers would then make a determination whether or not homeschooling was in the best interest of the child. The family would also be subject to background checks.”
If social workers do not approve homeschooling, parents would have to submit to an “intervention” before their request can be considered any further.
Proponents of the legislation have also discussed a database to store information about homeschooling families, Donnelly explained.
He called it a “breathtaking bill” that places undue burden on families:
“Parents, not government agents, should be making decisions on how children are educated.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about SB 248.
Learn more about HSLDA.
CitizenLink is proud to work with the California 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 Lori Arnold
C.S. Lewis, the prolific Christian writer who brought us such masterpieces as “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Screwtape Letters” and “Mere Christianity,” was a lifelong learner who loved literature and taught at both Oxford and Cambridge universities. The educator and lay theologian also spurned mediocrity:
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
In our last This Week Inside the Capitol, we explored the state of education in California by reviewing recent test scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam. The mediocre results—which placed California in the bottom fourth in the nation—underscored our longstanding call for education reform.
Our weekly update on the matter prompted several impassioned responses from our supporters, one of them, a conservative Christian who teaches high school. The father of four pointed out that our state’s demographics put teachers at a disadvantage.
“California may have poor scores in reading and math but we also test everybody enrolled in school, such as newcomers to this country and many others who have never learned the language as they live within their own communities where they never have learned English,” the teacher wrote. “Many of the children of the families who live inside these communities don’t even know their first language very well. All of this severely impacts test scores in California. I would love to take my staff and all that we do for our students up against the best high schools in the country and I know we would prove we have the best staff and we have rock-star instruction! I am sure the majority of schools are the same way.”
There is no doubt that California’s demographics play an important role in test scores. With a student population that is 51.4 percent Hispanic, according to statistics provided by testing officials, it is true the state’s teachers are dealing with a persistent language gap that does not translate well in national rankings. Yet even if you take state comparisons out of the equation, math and reading scores for fourth-graders have been sluggish, gaining just seven points in each subject over the past decade.
Eighth-graders have fared a tad better, improving by nine points in math and 11 points in reading since 2003.
In addition to the language barriers, the high school teacher also acknowledged one of the single-most important issues handicapping our student’s learning experience:
“There are activists within the education system, but a large majority are in power positions, like curriculum designers and book publishers,” the teacher said.
His statement speaks directly to the state’s educational crisis and should be the heart of reform. While the state is blessed with thousands of great teachers who have the best interests of their children in mind, power brokers who often put personal social agendas ahead of student achievement lead them.
To be sure, the issues are complex and the solutions are not always as clear-cut. As George, another reader wrote to us, “I agree that we need to have school reform but will the reform leave us worse off?”
One thing we cannot overlook in all of this is the role of the family, as reader John shared in his letter to California Family Alliance.
“I may be in the minority, but I believe that the poor test scores are reflective of a societal issue,” John wrote in his letter. “Teachers are assigned school populations that have high divorce rates, single parent families. Many of these children are English-as-second-language learners. … I believe that teachers are competent, and qualified to teach the subjects for which they have responsibility. If the family were restored as the basis for society, along with the character traits in the children that would accompany this change, there would be a corresponding rise in test scores. Failing students are a symptom of a deteriorating society, not uncaring incompetent teachers.”
We wholeheartedly agree, which is why California Family Alliance works so diligently in helping to shape public policy. The decisions made by our lawmakers directly impacts families, which impacts teachers and the schools.
Solid reform should include legislation that empowers parents while also enabling gifted and dedicated teachers to guide young minds and academically prepare them to compete globally. It should also provide a way for administrators to weed out underperforming or abusive teachers so those who are committed continue to shine.
“This is MY field of MINISTRY,” our high school teacher wrote. “The harvest is plenty but the workers are few. Support Christian teachers!”
Conversations like these are a vital starting point, ensuring we don’t remain ordinary, decent eggs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the California Family Council.
It’s what many marriage supporters have been trying to point out for months: The redefinition of the institution could pave the path to legalized polygamy.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a legal opinion Thursday basically saying that a man who married another man in another state, may obtain a marriage license — with a woman — in North Dakota. That’s because same-sex marriage is not recognized in North Dakota.
So, in this situation, according to the attorney general, the man could have two marriage licenses.
“The legal opinion’s uncanny timing pairs it in headlines with the easing of polygamy laws in Utah,” said Breibart columnist Frances Martel. It also “provides a stark contrast between what self-proclaimed polygamists want from their government and what the individual wishing to marry in this case does.”
A federal judge on Friday struck down part of a Utah law making polygamy illegal. The family of Kody Brown — made famous by the TLC show “Sister Wives” — filed suit in 2011. In his opinion, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said the part of the law making cohabitation illegal violates the Constitution.
It only gets more confusing from there:
“The ‘Sister Wives’ family that won the Utah suit only have one marriage license among them, and do not wish to receive any more,” Martel said. “The man in the North Dakota case wants two marriage licenses, and the right to proclaim himself single on legal documents until he receives his second.”
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The Court struck down Section 3 of the law, meaning the federal government cannot define marriage for its own federal policies and federal laws, but must accept whatever states decide. The ruling did not affect Section 2, which says that no state is required to recognize another state’s redefinition of the institution.
Thus, Stenehjem’s claim that a man married to a man may marry a woman in North Dakota.
This case creates a “bigger problem” than even the Utah case, according to Martel.
“The parties in the case want further government involvement in their lives — not to get the government out of their lives,” she said. “This forces state governments to turn on each other.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the AG’s legal opinion.
Caution: Graphic subject matter.
The abortionist responsible for the “House of Horrors” in Philadelphia was sentenced on Monday to 30 years in prison for illegally dispensing prescription drugs.
Kermit Gosnell, 72, was found guilty this spring of first-degree murder in the deaths of babies who were born alive. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a pregnant woman.
“In Philadelphia and across the nation, the abortion lobby routinely pushes safety concerns and comprehensive women’s health care aside for the sake of ‘choice,’” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “This hasn’t gone unnoticed by some who have seen firsthand the damage done to women inside America’s abortion clinics.”
Gosnell delivered live babies in the third trimester and then killed them by cutting their spinal cords with scissors.
“Women across the country are suffering at the hands of unscrupulous abortionists – some just as brutal as Kermit Gosnell — and yet, where are all the feminists?” Dannenfelser asked. “Although the state of Gosnell’s facility was known by abortion industry leaders Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, it was federal drug agents that first exposed the ‘House of Horrors.’”
The abortion industry claims to support “women’s health care,” she said.
“But their campaign against meaningful regulations of clinics and abortionists should give every American pause.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the SBA List fact sheet on the abortion industry.