Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page
The Following article was published in The Exception Magazine.
Recently, much of the gay marriage debate has been focused in California; however, in the past few weeks the debate has returned to its roots on the East Coast. The group, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) has announced their plans to legalize same-sex marriage in the 6 New England area states. GLAD told the Washington Times, “We can make New England a marriage-equality zone by strategically combining existing legal, electoral and on-the-ground know-how to fast-track marriage in every New England state. By 2012, we not only can have marriage equality throughout New England, we can have a road map for the rest of the country.” Two New England states, Massachusetts and Connecticut, already allow same-sex couples to enter into matrimony. Through legislation proposed in the Maine State Legislature, GLAD has taken steps to add Maine to the list of states where Same-Sex Marriage is legal.
GLAD has met opposition on several fronts, including from many pro-family organizations. The Alliance Defense Fund issued a statement responding to the proposed legislation, “Legislators in Maine have added to their agenda a bill that would redefine marriage as a union between two “people.” The bill would do away with the state’s time-honored definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and would recognize same-sex “marriages” from other states. State legislators should never attempt to impose a system that knowingly deprives a child of a mom and a dad. This Trojan-horse-of-a-bill deceptively states that pastors would not be forced to perform same-sex ‘marriages’ if it passes, yet this legislation will essentially wipe out every other religious freedom.”
One precedent that has been set in states where gay marriage is legal is that sexual freedom trumps religious freedom. One illustration of this example took place in March of 2006 in Massachusetts. Catholic Charities of Boston began in 1903 as an adoption agency primarily serving Catholic children left by parents who died or abandoned them. For more than 100 years this respectful organization placed children in homes with goodly parents who would watch over and nurture them as they grew. Catholic Charities was the most successful private adoption agency in the state, handling more adoptions than any other. They were a beacon of hope to displaced children and groups of individuals who worked unselfishly for the advancement of the helpless.
In 2006 Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to shut down their adoption department and get out of the business of finding homes for children. This decision was made after the organization was given an ultimatum from the state government: Comply with state law and adopt to gay couples, or close your doors. The Catholic church condemns homosexuality, it is a practice that is against church teachings, for this they morally could not place a child in to the home of a gay or lesbian couple. The governor at the time, Mitt Romney, attempted to pass legislation that would have allowed religious organizations an exemption from the gay adopting law, but it was voted down by his state legislature. Thus, rather than defy their religious beliefs, Catholic Charities of Boston voluntarily stopped their adoptive services.
Beverly Rice, President of United Families International commented on the Gay Marriage bill in Maine by saying, “Many people do not realize the impact that the legalization of same-sex Marriage will have on their families and marriages. Local churches will be restricted on what can be said over the pulpit, they will lose the right to decide who may be wed in their buildings, and religious organizations may be forced to shut down or compromise their beliefs. It will effect what children are taught in public schools. Parents will lose the right to decide what children learn about homosexuality and families.”
Traditional marriage must be protected because of the effect on education and the parent’s right to teach and rear children. Several cases prove that once same-sex marriage is legalized, public schools must teach that it is just as acceptable as heterosexual marriage. Public schools will, by law, be required to teach about gay marriage and parents will be required to stand by and watch as principles they disagree with are taught to their children.
The family is the fundamental unit of society; marriage is between a man and a woman. These truths must be defended and preserved. In the name of family, children, religious freedom, parental rights, and the future of our society stand up for marriage today!
The following is a press release sent out by Alianza Latinoamericana para la Familia (Latin American Alliance for the Family, ALAFA) in response to President Obama’s recent action involving the “Mexico City Policy.”
Latin Americans Don’t Want President Obama’s “Aid”
On January 23rd, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order overturning the policy that prohibited US government funding of foreign organizations which promote abortion in less-developed countries. As that news began to reach them, Latin American leaders began to speak out against the decision.
Disturbed with President Obama’s undoing of the “Mexico City Policy” which prohibited US funding for groups trying to promote abortion and change pro-life laws in foreign countries, the president of the Caracas-based Latin American Alliance for the Family (ALAFA), Christine Vollmer, commented, “This is a horrible way for President Obama to begin to relate with the United States’ neighbors to the South. Instead of a positive message of wanting to work to better conditions for every Latin American, President Obama has announced his willingness to fund the enemies of the People of Latin America whose laws generally are very respectful of the right of life before birth.”
Congresswoman Martha Lorena de Casco of Honduras expressed “deep regret and sorrow” that “one of President Obama’s first decisions is to revoke the Mexico City policy. I interpret this action as a promotion of abortion and a threat to the national legislation of my country.”
Senator Liliana Negre de Alonso, Vicepresident of Argentina’s Senate, and President of the World Action of Parliamentarians and Political Leaders for Life, rejected the Obama action: “We can’t say we defend human rights if we don’t defend the first human right, the Right to Life from conception to natural death. To use public funds to finance groups that promote abortion is NOT respecting the First Human Right, Life.”
Julia Regina de Cardenal, of the El Salvadoran organization, “Yes to Life” commented, “Our country has total protection in its Constitution and laws for the right to life from the moment of conception. And our “Yes to Life” organization works on a daily basis to provide practical help in a loving and life-enhancing way to poor women who have difficult pregnancies. Ours is the ideal situation: Protective legislation and practical, life-enhancing help for people who need it. The US government should follow our example; we shouldn’t be pressured to repeat their tragic, anti-life experience!”
In 1996, gay marriage percolated to the political forefront starting in Hawaii when several gay couples sued for the right to legally marry. Pro-family organizations and policy makers, in an effort to get in front of the movement, passed The Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
With the new administration and US President Barrack Obama’s promise to the gay community, there is a distinct possibility that one of the first acts of the U.S. liberal Congress will be to repeal DOMA, opening the door for the redefinition of marriage based on the faulty premise that civil unions are not the same as traditional marriage.
DOMA – HOW IT WORKS
DOMA is a promise to protect our culture, our society and our future. The federal government ensures federal benefits to encourage couples to marry and support the children within that marriage – codifying what governments have long known; the strength of nations lies within the family. Some of the benefits that are embedded within the law include:
- Social Security survivor rights
- Veteran benefits
What DOMA does is protect marriage from being redefined at the federal level from acts by the states, and gives each state the right to refuse recognition of same-sex marriage licenses issued by other states.
What DOMA does not do is prohibit states from allowing gay marriages, and does not obligate states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. DOMA also defines marriage between one man and one woman recognizing that marriage is the foundation of our society and deserves special treatment.
In plain English, the provisions of The Federal Defense of Marriage Act disallow marriage licenses granted to gay and lesbian couples in one state from being recognized by another state. Gay marriage licenses issued in Massachusetts, for instance, are only valid in Massachusetts – unless and until other states pass laws recognizing them. Federal benefits are also withheld from legally recognized same-sex couples in states where marriage is recognized.
ALTERNATIVES TO MARRIAGE
In an attempt to appease the gay community’s demand for equal rights without total alienation from pro-family groups and individuals, policy makers found alternative legal substitutes to marriage. The first was invented in the northeast where legislation by the bench set a new precedent.
Civil Unions Mimic Marriage in State Law Only
The term civil union was coined by Vermont policymakers in 2000 in response to their Supreme Court’s ruling that declared gays were entitled to “common benefits and protections that flow from marriage under Vermont law.” This new legally recognized relationship allowed some or all of the same rights of marriage on the state level, without the protection, recognition and benefits of the federal government. Today, there are a total of four states that recognize civil unions: Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and New Jersey.
Not to be outdone, California adopted a similar alternative called domestic partnership. First enacted in 1999; then expanded in 2005 to include all state marriage rights, making it virtually the same as civil unions. Hawaii and Maine also have domestic partnership laws that give a limited amount of rights and protections as state marriage law.
EFFECTS OF REDEFINING MARRIAGE ON FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
Note that the number of gay marriages and civil unions in the United States is very small, in fact miniscule in comparison to traditional marriage, and a lot less than even proponents of LGBT rights anticipated. Even so, the LGBT advocates have turned the debate into one of special rights versus the protection of the family and traditional marriage. This small percentage of individuals is on the brink of changing society as we know it; dooming future generations to financial, moral and cultural ruin.
Social and Cultural Changes
Sex, marriage and child rearing has a profound effect on communities, states, nations and society as a whole. The costs associated with “a live and let live” society are enormous and will only continue to escalate until untenable. Expect to see:
- Changes in divorce law and custody
- Additional immigration sponsorship of gay spouses and family members
- Less reliance on families and faith-based initiatives and church attendance
- Increase in poverty, welfare rolls, incarcerations and increased government programs that try to alleviate these conditions
- A reduction in live birth rates
- The passage of mercy killings, and assisted suicide initiatives
- Broad access to government programs that provide condoms, and other devices to reduce HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases at tax payers’ expense
- Future recognition of other marriage relationships including polygamy
Religious Liberty in Jeopardy
There are current examples of religious speech, assembly and worship being threatened in the U.S. and around the world. Churches will no longer be allowed to preach their doctrine and encourage marriage between one man and one woman; because “anything goes” relationship definitions will be protected by the law, making lawbreakers of those who oppose them. United Families points out some of the threats to religious freedom in past publications, but note what the future holds:
- Further closures of faith-based social services, like adoption and foster care
- Elimination of religious ceremonies, including marriage
- Eventual closure of parochial schools, churches and practices
Educational Changes Including Curriculum
Children in Massachusetts are already forced to take home diversity packets introducing them to the homosexual lifestyle, which undermines parental rights as well as indoctrinates the next generation. What is happening in Massachusetts and in other countries where same-sex marriage is legal is just the beginning.
- Loss of parental rights
- Increase in sex-curriculum including the teaching of homosexuality, etc.
- The elimination of abstinence-only programs
- Distribution of condoms and other devises to prevent HIV/AIDS and pregnancy
- The opening of additional gay schools and programs
There’s no getting out of it–every choice comes with an inevitable and inescapable consequence. The trick is to look ahead, analyze the consequence, and decide if it’s something to be lived with. When I look at the line-up of choices about to be made, in favor of abortion, gay unions, etc., I have to shake my head. Though the vast body of scientific evidence favors the family consisting of a mom, a dad, and their offspring, it’s as though the liberal politicians have said, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.” But are they willing to be accountable for the inevitable and inescapable consequences of family-weakening legislation?
“When men and women fail to form stable marriages, the first result is a vast expansion of government attempts to cope with the high cost in social needs that result. There is scarcely a dollar that state and federal government spend on social programs that is not driven in large part by family fragmentation: crime, poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, mental and physical health problems.” –Maggie Gallagher, “The Stakes,” National Review, July, 2003
I’m afraid we, the tax payers, are going to be paying the price for government-sponsored sabotage of the traditional family. Can we afford the bill?
SOURCE: A Banner is Unfurled
Determined to avoid the mistakes of their last, losing campaign for gay marriage, gay rights activists are launching the first of what they hope will be many “marriage equality training camps” in Los Angeles this weekend.
The idea is to train activists in “the practical, hands-on skills to organize in their communities to restore marriage equality for same-sex couples to California.”
“The Camp Courage training, inspired by ‘Camp Obama,’ is based on grassroots organizing models that have developed leaders and nurtured progressive social movements for many years, including the fundamentals of community organizing; volunteer recruitment and management; voter persuasion and more,” according to a statement.
Radical opponents of Proposition 8, the proposition that democratically amended the California constitution to define marriage as the union of one man with one woman, have used a variety of tools to alter, and then reject, the popular will of Californians. They tried running vile ads that unfairly targeted groups such as Mormons. When that failed, they resorted to violence and brutal assaults.
And now, they’ve crossed the line once again. They have posted maps online that very clearly show the addresses of those who donated money to the Prop 8 cause (supporting traditional marriage), including even small donors who gave $50 or less.
UFI blog EXCLUSIVE NEWS:
The UFI blog has learned that up to 1/3 of the Christmas packages that were sent to Californian missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) were not delivered. The LDS church has been widely criticized by the Militant Homosexual Rights Movement for their opposition to Same-Sex Marriage. It is suspected that the Christmas presents were stolen in retaliation to the passing of Proposition 8.
The Mexico City Policy, also known as the Mexico City Gag Rule and the Global Gag Rule, is a United States government policy which requires all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services in other countries. The policy has become something of a political flashpoint in the abortion debate, with Republican administrations adopting it and Democratic administrations rescinding it.
President Barack Obama on Friday quietly ended the Bush administration‘s ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option. Liberal groups welcomed the decision, while abortion rights foes criticized the president.
Known as the “Mexico City policy,” the ban has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.
A White House spokesman, Bill Burton, said Obama signed an executive order on the ban, without coverage by the media, late Friday afternoon. That was in contrast to the midday signings with fanfare ofexecutive orders on other subjects earlier in the week.
The Bush policy had banned U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion. The rule also had prohibited federal funding for groups that lobby to legalize abortion or promote it as a family planning method.
Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will oversee foreign aid, had promised to do away with the rule during the presidential campaign. Clinton visited the U.S. Agency for International Development on Friday but made no mention of the step.
Gary Bauer added:
There are reports buzzing in Washington that President Obama will move today or very soon lift the ban on federal funding of abortion overseas, a pro-life policy instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 known as the Mexico City Policy. In a time of great economic anxiety and surging budget deficits, is forcing American taxpayers to subsidize abortion really such a high priority for the new administration or the best use of our resources? And I can’t help but be perplexed and disappointed by the irony of extending rights to terrorists while committing American tax dollars to the destruction of innocent life.
A new crowd is in Washington, D.C., today – hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers who gather here every January to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. That Supreme Court decision in 1973 gave us abortion on demand and has resulted in a destruction of innocent human life (45 million unborn babies) that is almost impossible to fully comprehend.
A year ago, this national tragedy looked close to being overturned. After President Bush named two conservative Supreme Court justices, Alito and Roberts, most analysts concluded that the Court was just one justice away from overturning Roe. But now we have a pro-abortion president who has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointments will vote to continue the carnage.
Last week, my church, Immanuel Bible Church in Northern Virginia, sent an open letter written by its pastor, Dr. Ron Jones, to the new president urging him to rethink his position on the sanctity of life. I want to share a portion of that letter with you. It reads in part:
“I pray that you will reconsider your views on this moral issue. I raise my voice on behalf of the voiceless, pleading with you to take the lead in building an America where all of our children, whatever their race or family income, are welcomed into the world, protected by the law and have a seat at the table with the rest of the American family.
“These precious unborn children have been deprived of life without due process of law. More than 3,300 abortions per day, or 138 per hour, happen in clear violation of the Constitution and the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which makes it plain that our liberty comes straight from God and that our first right is the sacred right to life. Furthermore, think of what those parents have missed because of abortion – a baby’s smile, a child’s first steps. Think of what the world has missed – a gifted teacher, a doting father, a dedicated missionary, a talented artist or entrepreneur, a future President.
“During your campaign you spoke much about hope. You inspired a nation. You have written about the audacity of hope. And yet, your past support for abortion is a hope-stealer. Abortion robs our nation of a tiny bit of tomorrow’s hope found in every unborn child.
“Specifically, it is my hope and prayer that you will reconsider your support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), even though you promised Planned Parenthood that signing the FOCA is “the first thing I’d do as President.” FOCA is by far the most radical piece of abortion legislation ever introduced into the Congress. My concerns with the bill are many, but chiefly they are:
• According to pro-choice advocates, FOCA would overturn the ban on partial-birth abortion, again allowing this barbaric procedure described as “near infanticide” by pro-choice senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
• FOCA may invalidate scores of pro-life laws passed by dozens of states.
• According to the pro-choice National Organization for Women, FOCA would eliminate existing laws against taxpayer-funded abortions.
“The Freedom of Choice Act is inconsistent with the Christian ethic of compassion for the least among us. King David’s heartfelt lyrics in Psalm 139 remind us that God is the author of life: ‘You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’
“It is my sincere hope that you will join me in a celebration of God’s gift of life, and resist those who would allow another generation of Americans to disappear.”
I hope President Obama reads the letter. Over 150 years ago, the Supreme Court made another horrible decision in the Dred Scott case. That case concluded that a black slave was mere property, the equivalent of a horse, and must be returned to his owner. The decision was evil and nearly destroyed our nation.
Roe is the progeny of Dred Scott. Roe v. Wade declared that our unborn children have no rights we are bound to respect. I believe we will someday look back at Roe and see it for what it is – a rejection of our nation’s highest ideal – that liberty is a gift from God and that each of us has a right to life.
As my pastor wrote, every life destroyed by abortion “robs our nation of a tiny bit of tomorrow’s hope.” Our friends at the Fidelis Center have produced an outstanding video that very effectively emphasizes the point. You can watch it at http://www.catholicvote.com. It is my prayer that our nation’s first black president, who undoubtedly recognizes the injustice of Dred Scott, will someday soon come to appreciate that the same injustice is inherent in Roe v. Wade.
In Canada, the legalization of Same-Sex Marriage is now paving the way for the legaization of polygamy. The AP reports:
Canada’s decision to legalize gay marriage has paved the way for polygamy to be legal as well, a defense lawyer said Wednesday as the two leaders of rival polygamous communities made their first court appearance.
The case is the first to test Canada’s polygamy laws.
Winston Blackmore, 52, and James Oler, 44, are each accused of being married to more than one woman at a time. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal said.
But Blackmore’s lawyer, Blair Suffredine, said during a telephone interview that marriage standards in Canada have changed.
“If (homosexuals) can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can’t marry more than one person?” said Suffredine, a former provincial lawmaker. Canada’s Parliament extended full marriage rights to same-sex couples in 2005.
The goal of the liberal, Anti-Family movement is to create a genderless society that is run by the state – void of religion, marriage and parents. They hope for a pleasure-filled culture with no responsibilities and zero accountability. As demonstrated in Canada, each victory claimed by Anti-Family groups, such as the legalization of gay marriage, will place the family on the fast track toward total destruction. Let us urge our leaders and lawmakers to look abroad and see the harsh realities that await us if we allow the radical Anti-Family movement to roll forth.
For more than 30 years United Families International has been devoted to maintaining and strengthening the family as the fundamental unit of society. UFI has always been engaged in defending traditional marriage and standing up to the Anti-Family agenda. UFI opposes Same-Sex Marriage for several reasons, including the facts that:
- Same-Sex Marriage endangers freedom of religion
- Same-Sex Marriage puts parental rights in danger
- Gay Marriage would have serious negative effects on public schools
- Same-Sex Marriage would force lawyers and other professionals to compromise their beliefs
- Gay Marriage would severely hinder the exercises of many other liberties that people all over the world enjoy