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Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’

Free Speech no More

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2015 at 6:20 am

First Amendment on Trialby Diane Robertson

Two hundred forty years ago, there were tens of thousands ready to give their very lives for freedom. With God on their side, and a sacrifice of blood, they were able to bring freedom to the world. Today on the very land hallowed by their sacrifice, millions upon millions of people cower at being called names, and those freedoms that men bled and died for will be taken away without a single shot fired.

On May 9th, Alliance Defending Freedom, posted a warning to the American people on their Facebook page. They wrote:

“Americans need to prepare for the same sort of surveillance-society if the Supreme Court rules to ban marriage as a male-female institution. It means that no matter what you believe, the government will be free to regulate your speech, your writing, your associations, and whether or not you may express your conscience.

Americans also need to understand that the endgame for some in the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.”

This prefaced an article making its way around the web. Canadian citizen, Dawn Stefanowicz, wrote about the changes gay marriage has initially made in the Canadian government and society. She wrote it as a warning to the American people who may be facing a sweeping ruling from the US Supreme Court ordering the nation to legalize gay marriage. I summarized this in an earlier article titled: 3 Ways Gay Marriage Has Changed Canada. Since gay marriage became legalized in Canada, the citizens can no longer speak freely about homosexuality without legal consequences. They may no longer write blogs, newspaper articles, or anything that speaks against gay marriage, homosexuality, or the laws governing marriage and family. Parental rights are trampled upon and the government justifies intervening in how parents teach their children about religion and sexuality. Churches are loosely monitored for any public teachings that include the common religious beliefs on homosexuality and marriage. Canada is now under a surveillance-society. There is no right to conscience and there is no freedom that allows Canadian citizens to disagree with gay marriage or homosexuality.

To keep the United States government from ever making laws that would trample upon the natural rights of the people and destroy all that the soldiers fought for in the Revelutionary War, James Madison penned these words:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

After more than two hundred years of freedoms guaranteed by the sacrifice of blood given freely by our founding fathers, we have come to a point where these freedoms may be done away. And why? Because too many people, too many American citizens, cowered and watched silently, as they eroded. Guns did not need to be pointed, too many have given up their freedom simply because they could not stand up against words.

Who Gets to Discriminate?

In Non-Discrimination, Same-Sex Marriage on May 1, 2015 at 12:59 pm

legal justiceby Gary Boyd

Until recently, I can remember walking in to storefronts of all types, and often seeing a sign that, if not in these exact words, expressed the sentiment: “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason”. While I recollect entertaining the thought that actually refusing service for any reason may be a tad harsh, I must now concede that I miss the days when people had a right to choose their associations, in business and otherwise, since, now, refusing service to anyone for any reason may bring dire consequences.

Though not by any means the first case of its sort, Sweet Cakes by Melissa has been assessed a fine of 135,000 for refusing to do a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Regrettably, Melissa is not the first person who faces unjust financial ruin for failing to honor her state’s nondiscrimination ordinances. The camel has now managed to bring his entire body into the tent. The special rights of some segments of society have now been brought to bear on the silent majority, and the silent majority bafflingly remains silent.

In addition to the obvious anti-constitutionality and inherent injustice in Melissa’s case and other similar ones, two crucial considerations scream the folly of nondiscrimination law.

First, what if the supposedly marginalized individual to whom service has been refused, has a history with the business as being a substandard customer? Only naiveté respecting the fairness of human nature would lead one to believe that such a disgruntled customer would not prosecute a claim against the business owner for any damages he might possibly receive, and on any grounds that they might be brought. Even when the business owner carries the day in court, he is still out time, stress, hassle, and money for the professional fees incurred in defending himself from a wrongful action against him. Hence, antidiscrimination laws will increase an already great burden that business owners bear every day.

Secondly, what would happen in a situation where service is declined an individual because a professional does not consider himself fluent in context of the matter brought before him, and the matter touches on the status for which the individual may be discriminated against? For example, a party to a same-sex marriage contacts an attorney to handle his divorce. The attorney, competent in family law, is not familiar with the nuances of divorce under relatively new legislation and judicial activism that have legalized same-sex marriage. He simply has not dealt in that area of the law, and is not refusing the homosexual individual based on his same-sex marriage, but based on the attorney’s lack of professional qualifications in the matter. Not wanting to malpractice the individual, the attorney refers him elsewhere. His action lies open to wrongful interpretation by either the courts or the homosexual individual as discrimination. While the same-sex aspect of the marriage is the reason the attorney refused the case, he did not refuse it on a discriminatory basis. Again, this attorney could be in for a very unpleasant process, with plenty of bad publicity on his firm, even if he wins in the end.

Nondiscrimination laws are flawed because they deny personal choice, thrusting upon some the values of others, and because they provide an avenue to sue for unrealized damages to the individual who believes, or wants to believe, that he has been the object of discrimination.

In Defense of the Christian’s Rights

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2015 at 7:12 am

religious liberty in chainsby Mekelle Tenney

Oral arguments began Monday for a case that many are saying is the most important the Supreme Court will hear this year. In the last three days I have read dozens and dozens of blogs and news articles discussing same-sex marriage. I have read several excellent arguments addressing the many complex questions and problems that arise from this issue. I however would like to make an argument in defense of the Christians in America. In the debate on marriage Christians have;

  1. Had their voice belittled and disregarded solely because they have a religious base
  2. Have been denied their basic fundamental right to religious freedom
  3. Have been penalized for having and exercising religious beliefs and principles
  4. Have been labeled as bigoted and ignorant

I am a Christian and I want to make it clear that my views regarding this issue are based on my belief in a Supreme Being and his plan for his children. Though social science supports my arguments for marriage between only one man and one woman I cannot deny that my passion for this issue is derived from my religious convictions. Unfortunately America has been plagued by the belief that religious based principles have no place in the political realm. Religious believers, Christians to be more specific, are often stereotyped as closed minded, bigoted, and ignorant. My views as a Christian are neither ignorant nor bigoted. And they do not disqualify me as a voice in this debate.

Submitted to the Supreme Court was an amicus brief written by a coalition of almost 20 different Christian denominations. Though the brief was written for the Supreme Court I believe it presents arguments that should be presented to the nation. I feel that the following experts offer strong support of the Christian’s stance in the same-sex marriage debate. The summary of the brief states the following:

“Recognizing a new right to same-sex marriage would harm religious liberty. That harm is avoidable because neither the Constitution nor this Court’s precedents dictates a single definition of marriage for the Nation……Our religious beliefs, reason, and practical experience with families lead us to support the manwoman definition of marriage. Contrary to malicious caricatures, we do so not out of animus or ignorance but out of concern, conviction, and love.”

They continued to address the possibility of the court deciding that laws defining marriage between a man or woman as being hostile and the damaging effects that would have on Christians.

“A decision that traditional marriage laws are grounded in animus (hostility or ill will) would demean us and our beliefs. It would stigmatize us as fools or bigots, akin to racists……Because we cannot renounce our scriptural beliefs, a finding of animus would consign us to second-class status as citizens whose religious convictions about vital aspects of society are deemed illegitimate. Assaults on our religious institutions and our rights of free exercise, speech, and association would intensify.”

Another issue addressed is the danger that would be imposed on religious liberties if the court held that sexual orientation was a class that had been discriminated against because they had been denied the ability to legally marry.

“Judicial suspicion would quickly follow, aiming not only at laws but also at the beliefs and practices of religious organizations and believers themselves. If this Court declares sexual orientation a suspect class (a class that has been subjected to discrimination), it will soon be argued that the government has a compelling interest in protecting against private religious conduct that burdens homosexual conduct……A constitutional right to same-sex marriage under any theory would create severe tensions with religious freedoms and related interests across a wide array of religious, educational, social, and cultural fronts. Directly or not, such a High Court ruling would unavoidably convey “hostility toward religion. . . inconsistent with our history and our precedents.”

In regards to the accusation that those who oppose same-sex marriage are “hatters” they boldly state:

“We emphatically reject the accusation that we and millions of our fellow believers seek to protect traditional marriage out of “ancient religious bigotry against gay persons.” Id. That slander aims to intimidate and suppress public conversation on a complex issue by equating disagreement with hatred. Laws reserving marriage for the union of a man and a woman were the universal rule in this country until a decade ago. They are not tokens of ignorance and bigotry now.” (Justice Alito made a similar observation during Tuesdays oral arguments.)

The brief in its entirety offers a strong defense of Christians and their belief in traditional marriage as well as defending their religious liberties. I stand with many other Christians in my belief that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman. Marriage is a fundamental unit that our society depends on for stability. The impact that this case will have on America is hard to imagine. We have already seen on a state level the discrimination perpetuated against Christians as a result of legalizing same-sex marriage. We have heard countless cases of Christians who were fined to the point of financial ruin for not bending to the will of a same-sex couple. Our short history with same-sex marriage leads me to believe that if the court finds that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right Christians will lose their God given religious rights.

The Supreme Court Hears the Gay Marriage Debate

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2015 at 8:09 am

marriage equality and supreme courtby Nathalie Bowman

Today is a big day for anyone interested in the status of marriage in the United States. The Supreme Court of the land will hear four cases in regards to the legal issues of same sex marriage.

This is an important issue for all who believe in marriage between a man and a woman as well as the right of children to have both a mother and a father. Back in January, the Supreme Court agreed they would hear these four cases. There are two main decisions the court will make: whether the constitution requires states to allow same-sex marriage, and whether a state must recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple, which was performed in another state. This ruling may likely change the face of marriage in the US.

Although it may feel far away and not reaching us into our comfortable little homes, I urge you to take note of the proceedings and be educated about this issue. It will affect all of our families.

Robert Barnes of the Washington Post has some interesting points about the Supreme Court accepting this case and how the landscape of gay marriage in the US has changed in the last few years:

“Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Gay Marriage Issue”

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will decide a historic question about whether the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live or whether states are free to limit wedlock to its traditional definition as a union only between a man and a woman.

The court accepted cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, where restrictions about same-sex marriage were upheld by an appeals court in Cincinnati two months ago. The high court will hold 2 1/2 hours of oral arguments in April and decide the issue by the time the current term ends in June.

The justices ordered that the parties to the cases address two questions in their legal briefs:

  •     Whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and
  •     whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal.

Advocates have called same-sex marriage the modern era’s most pressing civil rights issue, and the court’s action could mark the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence.

The country’s first same-sex marriage, the result of a Massachusetts court decision, took place less than 11 years ago. Now, more than 70 percent of Americans live in states where same-sex couples are allowed to marry, according to estimates.

 The questions raised in the cases that the court will consider this spring were left open in 2013 when the justices last confronted the issue of same-sex marriage. A slim majority said at the time that a key portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act — withholding recognition of same-sex marriages — was unconstitutional and in a separate case allowed same-sex marriages to resume in California.

Since then, courts across the nation — with the notable exception of the Cincinnati appeals court — have struck down a string of state prohibitions on same-sex marriage, many of them passed by voters in referendums. Many of those court decisions compared the prohibitions to the ones on interracial marriage that the Supreme Court struck down in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia.

When the Supreme Court declined to review a clutch of those decisions in October, same-sex marriage proliferated across the country……”  Read more

Remember Liberty

In Democracy, Religious Freedom on July 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Diane Robertson

On the fourth of July, I always like to ponder the founding of our great nation, read the Declaration of Independence, and sing some of the great songs about our freedom, liberty, and the sacrifices that so many men and women made to make our nation the place of freedom and refuge it has been.

The fourth verse of the patriotic song, My Country ‘tis of Thee, says:

Our fathers’ God, to thee,

author of liberty, to thee we sing;

long may our land be bright

with freedom’s holy light;

protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

This was written in contrast to England’s national anthem, “God Save the King”. Instead of asking God to save the king, Samuel F.Smith, the author of this poem declares God to be the author of our liberty and then declares God to be our king and our protector.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” “Our Creator” is God. Jefferson and all of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, like Smith, declare God to be the author of our liberty.

The first of amendment of our Constitution, written by James Madison, states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Samuel Adams, another of our founding fathers declared, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Clearly, the men who fought for liberty and established our great Nation believed God to be the giver and protector of liberty. These men did not want a state religion to limit the worship of the people. They understood that freedom of Religion isn’t about taking God away from the people. It is about allowing the people to worship God according to their consciences.

In our day, many are trying to remove religion completely from the public square. The word “God” has in many instances become offensive. Many people are being denied the right to act on their conscience. This clearly is against the founding principles and ideologies of our nation. This July Fourth, as we think back to and remember the beginning of our great nation, let us remember what these men fought to establish, and like them, protect it for the future liberty of our children.

 

What do UFI readers think about Surrogate Mothers?

In adoption, Child Development, Families, motherhood, Polls on November 11, 2010 at 5:48 am

Here’s last week’s UFI Family Poll question and here is the response:

What are your thoughts on a surrogate mother carrying a child for an infertile heterosexual couple? (child not conceived from the egg of the surrogate mother)

33 percent said                 “a positive and altruistic thing to do”

67 percent                          “a morally and ethically questionable thing to do”

The article, The Most Wanted Surrogates in the World, was linked to.  This article had a relatively positive view of the topic, yet the majority of our readers think surrogacy is a bad idea.  Anyone had any experience with this they’d like to share?

While we’ve got your attention, here’s the question of the week:

What is the greatest predictor of juvenile violence and crime?

  • poverty
  • neighborhood environment
  • fatherlessness
  • lack of education

Go to our website at www.unitedfamilies.org and scroll down to locate our Family Poll on the bottom right of page.  We want to hear from you!

Obama’s Healthcare Devastating to the Health of the Unborn

In Abortion, Constitution, Democracy, Health Care on March 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

With the passage of Obama’s Healthcare Bill comes what some are calling “the greatest expansion of elective abortion since Roe v. Wade.” Although Bart Stupak and other supposed “pro-life democrats” want the public to believe that a Presidential Executive Order will save unborn lives and prevent taxpayers from funding abortion, the reality is that legal precedent in such court rulings as Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and Commerce of U.S. v Reich leave much doubt as to whether an Executive Order could even stand a court challenge—one that would surely come.
Add that to the doubt that Obama would even put much effort into an Executive Order banning taxpayer supported abortion. Candidate Obama promised, repeatedly, that abortion would be treated as a “basic health care mandate” that both taxpayers and health insurers would be required to subsidize. When you add this attitude to the fact that Pres. Obama could rescind his Executive Order at any time and that future Presidents have the ability to rescind as well, it leaves one wondering if an Executive Order such as this is even worth the paper it is written on.

Obama and the Democrats in both the House and the Senate have for months and months insisted that the various Healthcare Bills as written did not allow for abortion. So now with agreeing to an Executive Order barring tax payer funding of abortion, they have admitted that abortion is in the Healthcare bill. Why should we trust President Obama and his fellow Democrats now when their deceit on this issue is clear?

It is a dark day for the unborn and for all Americans.

A Principled Understanding of Same-Sex Politics

In Same-Sex Marriage on March 5, 2009 at 11:28 pm

ufilogoExerpts from LaVarr Christensen’s A Principled Understanding of Same-Sex Politics:

I remember it well. It was 2003 and the Massachusetts Supreme Court had stunned our country with its own radical and unprecedented ruling. They ordered the State of Massachusetts, based on their state Constitution, to immediately grant full, legal recognition of marriage to same-sex couples. Then, in California, after 4.6 million people sought to define the definition of marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman, because they didn’t have the second sentence that we have now adopted in Amendment 3, the California Legislature circumvented the will of the people. They created a parallel system of “domestic partner” legislation. Even now in California, the City of San Francisco and the opponents of “Proposition 8” are appealing the election outcome back to the same Supreme Court whose radical and unprecedented opinion prompted the overriding vote of the people in the first place. What a dizzy series of events.

We can see both the principle and the potential precedent in all this. We choose to oppose those proposals that seek to classify and treat same-sex couples as virtual equivalents of marriage and then compel the official sanctioning and public recognition of same-sex unions.

Again, we stress that all citizens, including same-sex couples, already have full freedom to make hospital visits, transfer property by deed and through inheritance by will, purchase life insurance policies, buy and sell property, and obtain employment.

California’s Proposition 8 was an important moral issue that directly affects the future of traditional marriage throughout our country. No state legislature, no elected branch of government, no direct or indirect manifestation of “We the People” has yet consciously and knowingly tried to redefine marriage and extend it to same-gender couples. However, if the people of California had chosen to ratify the earlier decision of four judges who claimed authority to set aside and disregard the prior direct vote of 4.6 million citizens of their state, that important constitutional principle and precedent would surely be in jeopardy. I am extremely grateful for the 6.8 million voters and all those who contributed so much to the success of Proposition 8 in California.

Same-sex marriage advocates never mention or acknowledge the weight of compelling judicial opinions that uphold traditional marriage nor the fact that 40 states have now adopted either constitutional amendments or statutes to limit marriage to the legal union of a man and a woman.

The whole concept of same-sex marriage falsely assumes that men and women are interchangeable and children are so adaptable that there is no desired norm in our society anymore other than the personal pleasure of adults involved in whatever relationship they may choose to form. In reality, however, as Maggie Gallagher has stated:

“Men and women are not interchangeable units. Sex has a meaning beyond immediate pleasure. Society needs babies, children need mothers and fathers; marriage is a word for the way we join men and women together to make the future happen.”

David W. Ogden, Another Anti-Family Obama Appointment

In The Family on February 20, 2009 at 9:56 am

ufilogoPresident Barrack Obama is at it again. This time, instead of appointing someone who evades paying taxes, his nominee for Deputy Attorney General, David W. Ogden evades moral judgment.

Ogden, a former top aide to Attorney General Janet Reno from the Clinton era, has worked tirelessly to undermine the heart and soul of the family. Ogden has litigated on behalf of anti-life powerhouse Planned Parenthood and top pornography giants, Penthouse and Playboy; supporting the exploitation of women and children in the process. With his inherent anti-family background, it is imperative that we try to stop the Obama nomination train from coming down the track.

Deputy Attorney General Influences Laws and Policy

Taken directly from the U.S. Department of Justice’s website, the Deputy Attorney General holds a vast amount of power and authority:

“The Deputy Attorney General advises and assists the Attorney General in formulating and implementing Departmental policies and programs and in providing overall supervision and direction to all organizational units of the Department. The Deputy Attorney General is authorized to exercise all the power and authority of the Attorney General, except where such power or authority is prohibited by law from delegation or has been delegated to another official. In the absence of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General acts as the Attorney General.”

Being nominated to the position of second command of the Department of Justice means David W. Ogden will not only control the day-to-day operations of the agency, his influence will be felt in policy and rulemaking throughout the agency.

Through review of Ogden’s own written legal briefs, it is clear he has an agenda that opposes parental rights, favors abortion on demand, homosexual rights, and supports the pornography industry over children. Ogden also uses international law to override U.S. policies and believes strongly in a “compassionate and living” interpretation of
the U.S. constitution.

Ogden’s History of Anti-family Briefs

Abortion

  • Ogden co-authored a legal brief for the American Psychological Association arguing that parental notification was unconstitutional and limited the rights of 14-year old minors seeking an abortion.
  • Ogden wrote the brief for Planned Parenthood on behalf of the American Psychological Association contesting a woman’s right to know policy including the negative effects of abortion and a 24-hour waiting period. His arguments included statements that women who receive abortions have “minimal” emotional and psychological effects and that “potential psychological consequences may result from bearing a raising a child…”

Homosexuality

  • Ogden wrote an amicus brief for the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the National Association of Social Workers in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas lawsuit in where he declared that “homosexuality is a normal form of human sexuality” and defended “safe sex” education that teaches grade school children about anal and oral sex in the Bowers v. Hartwick case.

Pornography

  • Ogden was council for 15 library directors that opposed the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000. He adamantly contended that Congress was subverting the role of librarians by limiting access to all “information”. Further he represented Playboy Enterprises several times over the years always in favor of access to pornography as a constitutional right.

International Law Over U.S. Law

  • Ogden assails the juvenile death penalty law in the Simmons brief using international treaty language pulled directly from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty snubbed by the United States Congress, stating that the international community does not support the death penalty for juveniles.

What You Can Do to Stop This Appointment

Call the U.S. Senate today at 202-224-3121.

Let the Senators know that approving a nominee who holds so little regard for families, life, and the well-being of children is in direct conflict to what our nation stands for.
Ask them not to approve a supporter of the pornography industry.
Tell them that under David Ogden’s leadership, our nation’s sovereignty is in jeopardy.
Tell the good Senators to do the right thing and stand for families by voting against David Ogden for U.S. Deputy Attorney General.

Yes on 8 Campaign Asks Legislature To Stop Wasting Time and Resources on Prop 8 Resolutions When Voters Have Already Spoken

In Same-Sex Marriage on February 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm

ufilogoSACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 17 — Urging the Legislature to stop wasting time and resources on non-binding resolutions concerning voter approved Proposition 8, Protect Marriage.com today urged legislative committees to shelve HR 5 and SR 7, resolutions stating that the Supreme Court should overturn Proposition 8 when it hears the matter next month.

Proposition 8 was adopted with over a 600,000 vote margin, gaining approximately the same vote percentage as Barack Obama did nationally,” said Ron Prentice, Chairman of ProtectMarriage.com – Yes on 8, the campaign committee responsible for passage of the measure. “It passed in 42 out of California’s 58 counties, including the five largest counties in California. It is wrong for legislators to disrespect the vote of the people and attempt to substitute their values for the decision of over 7 million voters.”

HR 5 (Ammiano) and SR 7 (Leno) are authored by legislators who have long opposed Prop 8. Their views were well known and rejected by voters when 52.3% of the electorate approved Prop 8. These same legislators have also signed onto amicus briefs before the Court asking that Prop 8 be overturned. Now they are authoring meaningless nonbinding resolutions that take up the time of legislators and legislative staff who should be focused on appropriate legislative priorities such as solving the state deficit.

“Disrespecting the will of voters and wasting taxpayer resources on meaningless legislative resolutions are among the reasons that public approval of the Legislature has fallen to 15%, the lowest in history.” Prentice said. “We urge the Judiciary committees of the Assembly and Senate to shelve these inappropriate resolutions and return the Legislature’s attention to more appropriate work.”

SOURCE The ProtectMarriage.com – Yes on 8 Campaign

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