Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod on the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8
“The key message for Arizonans from the U.S. Supreme Court today is this: Your right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is preserved. It’s important to note that the Court did not find a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Neither did the Court declare same-sex marriage a civil right on the order of ethnicity or nationality.”
Though Center for Arizona Policy disagrees with aspects of the Court’s decision, we are grateful that the Court did not undermine the will of Arizona voters who strongly supported our state’s 2008 marriage amendment. In DOMA, CAP believes that the court erred in claiming that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government for purposes of federal marriage laws.
In Prop 8, the court has ensured that the state-by-state debate about marriage is allowed to continue. Truly the debate over marriage has just begun.
Marriage is more than just a personal promise, it serves a public purpose. It is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life. Social science data has proved this time and time again.
Center for Arizona Policy is committed to continuing to stand for marriage and to defeat any efforts to redefine this essential union.”
Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family and religious liberty. CAP led the 2008 effort to constitutionally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in Arizona.
By Suzanne Sharer
Talk about a war against women! Currently ground zero is right here in my own back yard as Arizona is once again front and center when it comes to so called “human rights” vs. right and wrong! Women’s rights have just taken a giant step backward in the city of Phoenix this past month with the passing of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s infamous “Bathroom Bill”. This bill does nothing more than degrade women while putting us into dangerous situations and stripping us of our dignity and the respect we deserve. When was it; about two weeks ago that the left came out with some absolutely brilliant maneuvers to stop rapists? Now women are being legislated into questionable situations in the name of “civil rights” to where they have just made it easier for rapists and deviants to have easy access to women and children. Sadly it appears that Stanton has put special interests and a radical political agenda ahead of the personal safety and concerns of the ladies who grace his city. Grown men will now be allowed into girls/women’s restrooms in our parks and public places in the name of sexual equality and human rights.
The false argument; By passing a an expansion of the city’s human relations ordinance, known as the Bathroom Bill, much to the dismay of the mayor and his supporters, we are supposed to believe that under the guise of “prohibiting discrimination” on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, this new law will not have any devastating consequences for our churches, religious organizations, businesses, and families.
All I can say is move over Mayor Bloomberg it appears that Mayor Stanton of Phoenix is going to give you a run for your money when it comes to making false arguments on behalf of the ridiculous legislation you are putting out there! Oh and by the way this article isn’t even covering Stanton’s absurd gun “buy back” program that he just revealed! I can’t wait to touch on that soon! I truly hope people won’t rally behind that brain trust as women will need their guns locked and loaded now more than ever just to use a public restroom in the city of Phoenix!) Stanton has made his position clear. He is taking the City of Phoenix on a serious left turn at the risk of women and children, pandering for the dollars he feels the LGBT community will bring him. Now anybody who wants to wear women’s clothing will not be prohibited from entering into the girls/women’s bathrooms of our schools, parks and restaurants as well as our place of worship and any other public places in the name of prohibiting discrimination, tolerance and of course let’s not forget the mighty dollar in that forward thinking America.
If tolerance is so important in this new age of forced acceptance I have to ask the question; where is the tolerance for those of us who find this bill offensive to our rights? I find it very objectionable as a woman and as a mother to a beautiful young girl that I am being told I must be accepting of men who want to identify themselves as women, giving them more of a right than I have! Legislating people into uncomfortable and dangerous situations by telling them they are being narrow-minded of others rights if they disagree is not a step towards a future I feel we should be embracing! If you have an innocent young daughter would you want her exposed to a man irrespective of whether he may think of himself as a woman using the public restroom? Does how he feels on the inside change what is on the outside? There are clear physical differences that need to remain separate and regardless of how a person “feels”! I believe we need to base our decision on common sense and the fact that men and women have physical differences that need to be kept separate and private when it comes to these situations for everyone’s comfort and security not just those of the minority who are screaming the loudest.
Aside from all the problems this creates for women and young girls, local business’s and church’s now have to be concerned with being cautious not to violate these new “rights” if they wish to avoid any legal action that can now be taken against them by the passing of this new bill simply for standing up for their own ethics. Essentially what Stanton is saying to Phoenicians is that with the passing of his new “bathroom bill” the good people of Phoenix no longer have the right to speak out in defense of their morals or can use their judgment on an issue of common sense and public safety, now that we are living in a kinder more forward thinking society based on these new “human rights” given to us via Phoenix City Council.
What strikes me as odd is how Mayor Stanton put such urgency to this bill under a veil of media silence. With so many other more pressing issues that actually involve public safety, Stanton panders more to special interest groups that make public safety even more of an issue! If it wasn’t for a few media outlets such as Mike Broomhead of KFYI who dedicated some very valuable and insightful time on this subject during his radio show last week, most of Phoenix would not even be aware of what has just transpired. It appears that Stanton who made a promise to be transparent is getting a failing grade at this much like our current President. You can bet this bill was fast tracked through the city council to avoid media and public scrutiny to prevent the large outpouring of opposition it deserves! You can find some good links to read what is in the bill here on Mike Broomhead’s page; http://www.kfyi.com/pages/broomhead.html?article=10955139
After all is said and done what astounds me the most is the total lack of respect and the disregard for the comfort and safety of the women of Phoenix! The left flippantly states that it makes no difference which way the feet are facing in the stall but I couldn’t disagree more…First off it this is what they believe then why are we having this discussion? Second, I am 5’4” and weigh 112 lbs. What chance would I have if cornered in a secluded restroom by a man who weighs twice as much as me and much stronger? What chance do women really have, our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters? What are you going to worry about more, the so called “civil rights” of transgendered men to have access to women’s restrooms or the safety of your loved ones now exposed to any deviant who wishes to put on a dress?
Read more: http://www.kfyi.com/pages/suzanne-sharer.html?article=11017473#.UTSr1GNzu6E.facebook#ixzz2MaGTvVl1
A few thoughts on today’s culture war battle at the City of Phoenix.
I attended the meeting for the purpose of testifying against the tax on food. I signed a card for that specific agenda item having no intention of testifying on the LGBT ordinance.
My position on this has been very clear. I simply do not believe that the City of Phoenix should inject government policy into the personal and private lives of any Phoenicians except when a crime is committed. Some liberals and libertarians would say “keep government out of our bedrooms.” OK, so how about a little consistency by keeping government to a minimum in our private business matters? What the City of Phoenix did tonight was invite a huge conflict between Constitutional rights and individual sexual identity.
By now social conservatives should realize they have lost the culture war on issues related to sexual identity and behavior. The most reasonable position social conservatives can now take is to hold back any level of government from the power position of picking winners and losers in the conflict between sexual identity and free speech, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.
Locally, social conservatives did not lose the culture battle in Phoenix tonight. Social conservatives lost the culture battle in November of 2011 when it failed to elect conservatives to the Phoenix city council.
We knew this was coming. The signs were there in 2011 when mayoral candidate Greg Stanton made wide overtures to the LGBT community and efforts to align Phoenix with San Francisco values. Anyone who dared to point it out was labeled a bigot. So goes the spirit of tolerance on the left.
(Too often, both sides fail to see this as a debate over public policy rather making it about personal attacks on individuals and their sexual identities.)
Tonight’s meeting was a reflection of the very intolerance those pushing for tolerance decry. Anyone who dared to oppose the ordinance was booed and jeered. No respect for human dignity and certainly no respect for the public policy process.
Social conservative did turn out at the meeting – certainly not in number. And those who did engage were speaking a different language to the huge LGBT majority who did turn out (probably with plenty of advance notice). Two different languages because there are two different worldviews – one based on faith, the other clearly sexual and secular in nature. There were translators in the testimonials – individuals who know the difference and can communicate between the two worldviews – Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy, an attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Rev. Jarrett Maupin spoke. These individuals are bilingual on issues that tangle logic and emotions.
And there was a tremendous amount of emotion – mostly from the LGBT – about living with a sexual identity that conflicts with traditional societal norms. Who was going to argue with the dozen of transgendered individuals who gave personal stories of rejection, anger and sympathy?
Which brings me to my personal feelings on the whole matter.
My pastor, my church, my Jesus preaches love. The Word commands us to love God first and to love our neighbor as ourselves second. There are two commandments in the New Testament. That’s it – pretty simple. My pastor (who happens to oversee five campuses in Phoenix Metro) reminds us to look past a person’s self-identity and love them no matter what. We are to love them like Christ would love them – regardless of their sin(s) (I’m not going to name them here. You can look them up.) But most important, we are to bring others into a real and living relationship with Christ allowing Christ to work in their lives toward God’s glory.
This is where I separate matters of faith from the role of the state (in this case the City of Phoenix).
If I were Mayor of Phoenix I would have rejected the idea of injecting my sliver of government into the personal and private lives of individuals. To do otherwise is asking for the wailing and gnashing of teeth. This seems to be the only position a reasonable community of people can hold without forcing a cultural conflagration to take place.
Entangling sex and politics is a messy business as we learned tonight. Hopefully our politicians will take note and keep social engineering to a minimal melodramatic level in the future. Political social conservatives lost tonight but true Christianity continues to love on.
Worth reposting from National Review. Do not be surprised if Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton takes up the cause of Mayors Emanuel and Menino. Be sure to visit the Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day Facebook page.
Rahm Emanuel has been many things in life — ballet dancer, investment banker, congressman, White House chief of staff, now mayor of Chicago — and he apparently wishes to add another title to his curriculum vitae: Grand Inquisitor. He has denounced the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A and endorsed a Chicago alderman’s plan to block construction of a new outlet because the company’s executives do not share his politics. This is a gross abuse of power: Imagine if the mayor of Provo, Utah, had tried to punish a business for supporting same-sex marriage — the Left would demand his resignation, etc. The powers of government are not to be used for parochial political ends. Even in Chicago.
It is worth taking a look at precisely what has given the mayor of the nation’s most corrupt city such cause for concern. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” said Chick-fil-A chief executive officer Dan Cathy in an interview that launched a million angry tweets. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” Mr. Cathy, a purveyor of sweet tea and chicken sandwiches, has a better understanding of the American constitutional order than do the city fathers in Chicago and Boston, among other places, who also have threatened to use their municipal powers to punish Mr. Cathy and his company for this alleged anti-gay bigotry.
Bigotry should be made of sterner stuff. Mr. Cathy did not even target homosexuals, and his reference to being married to “our first wives” indicates that his criticism of the recent decay of marriage is by no means limited to the question of same-sex marriage. But even if it were, it would be worth noting that opposition to gay marriage was until the day before yesterday the official position of President Barack Obama and his administration. It was certainly the position of the administration while Mr. Emanuel served in it — not to mention the position of the Clinton administration when Mr. Emanuel served in it, too. If a Chick-fil-A franchisee is a detestable bigot because his boss — a private-sector CEO — opposes gay marriage, what does that make Mr. Emanuel, whose boss opposed gay marriage as president of these United States?
Chick-fil-A’s senior executives say that they are guided by Christian principle in both their personal and their professional lives, and the chain’s franchises famously remain closed on Sundays, but the company also pronounces itself committed to treating people with “honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” Mr. Cathy’s own views are considerably more complex than his critics would have us believe: “We don’t claim to be a Christian business,” he said in the same interview. “Christ never died for a corporation.”
It is one thing for private citizens to stage a boycott of a company with associations that annoy them, though the gay lobby’s hysterical demands for absolute conformity to its agenda in all aspects of public life is both unseemly and childish. (The gay lobby is also wrong about the issue of marriage and should be opposed.) As bad as organized homosexuality’s bullying tactics can be, it is a far more serious thing when elected officials appropriate the instruments of government to punish those with whom they disagree. The analogue to the civil-rights movement is a defective one: Whatever indignities homosexuals have suffered in our history, they were not held as chattel slaves or systematically excluded from political and economic life in the way black Americans were, nor is homosexuality categorically comparable to race. Boston mayor Thomas Menino threatened to withhold a business license from Chick-fil-A until somebody reminded him that doing so would constitute an illegal abuse of official power, at which point he withdrew the threat but confirmed his simmering hostility.
Mayors Menino and Emanuel are not striking a blow for civil rights; they are exploring new ground in the abuse of political power. Their threats and posturing have been far more shameful than anything Chick-fil-A has undertaken, and their motives considerably less lofty.
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Saturday, July 21, 2012
An article appears in the Arizona Republic this morning describing Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s latest drive to expand city authority in the area of ”sexual orientation” discrimination.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s aides and a group of attorneys are working to draft ordinances that could outlaw discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.
The aides and attorneys believe that if rewritten, city laws would also give victims of such discrimination in restaurants and other businesses an opportunity to file complaints with the city’s Equal Opportunity Department for investigation — an option they currently do not have.
The effort comes as the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel near Van Buren and Third streets tries to recover from threats of boycott by the gay community over a decision by the manager of the hotel’s District American Kitchen & Wine Bar to expel a lesbian couple in late February.
The hotel is owned by the city and managed under the Sheraton brand through a contract with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
Despite the incident at the hotel restaurant, the city’s Equal Opportunity Department, tasked with investigating discrimination complaints by workers or customers at businesses, has received no complaints of discrimination over sexual orientation or gender identity at downtown hotels.
The department cannot investigate or respond to such complaints anyway because the city has not outlawed discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders. Such protections exist for the disabled and for ethnic minorities in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodations like hotels and restaurants.
Stanton’s policy adviser, Brendan Mahoney is leading the mayor’s charge to address any gaps in the city’s human-rights protections.
He has convened a group of attorneys — some from gay-rights organizations — who are analyzing the city code to determine how the laws could be amended to ensure equal rights for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Mahoney said that, while the incident at the hotel restaurant “certainly brought the issue to the forefront,” the timing of the city effort is coincidental.
“This issue was on the mayor’s agenda,” he said.
“This issue was on the mayor’s agenda,” he said. (read entire article)
A few items for discussion here:
Should this even be considered an issue, let alone, a high priority issue for the City of Phoenix and Mayor Stanton? Is this even a serious problem for the City of Phoenix or will it be perceived as an effort to promote LGBT issues?
Was the Arizona Republic article fair or even necessary?
Any sound minded critical thinking person can argue the position that any property or asset the city owns is controlled by the City Council. (He who pays the piper, calls the tune.) But should this effort extend to non-governmental stakeholders or private property owners?
Would these efforts extend to segments of the faith-based community such as Evangelical churches, orthodox Jewish or Muslim mosques? For example, would these faith-based communities be prohibited from using city parking or other assets unless they adopt policies that codify sexual orientation into their bylaws?
Don’t get me wrong. I am sensitive to this issue (family members) and actually prefer that the government stay entirely out of this arena, but is this issue forcing itself to center stage unnecessarily? Is the LGBT community overextending their efforts on this? It’s no secret that Equality Arizona invested itself into the Phoenix Mayor’s election in 2011. Was that on purpose in order to use the City of Phoenix as a platform to push its agenda?
Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Please be respectful.
|Marriage: It’s What’s Good for Children|
|Many today have forgotten the common good marriage between one man and one woman provides for our culture. A challenge we all face is how to restore marriage to its valued place of honor and importance. Marriage is a positive good for our country – it’s life-giving.Over the last few decades, marriage has been devalued through no-fault divorce, cohabitation, and even those that want to redefine marriage altogether.Perhaps no one has suffered more from the decline in the value of marriage than children. Yet many deny and fail to understand the negative impact divorce and court decisions redefining marriage have on children.Thankfully, as more research becomes available on the harms of cohabitation and divorce on children, policy makers are stepping up to address these problems. Last session, the Arizona Legislature passed a CAP-supported divorce reform bill, which adds information about the effects of divorce on adults and children to the mandatory parenting education classes for divorcing parents of minor children and allows couples to ask for additional time to reconcile before a divorce is finalized.On the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse blog, Professor Helen Alvaré writes about how across the country more officials are beginningto recognize the impact bad policy on marriage has on children.Another excellent resource is Why Marriage Matters by the Institute for American Values, which documents thirty conclusions from the social sciences on why marriage is good for our country.|
|Alan Chambers in the Lion’s Den|
|World magazine has named Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, as their 2011 Daniel. Exodus ministers to those struggling with homosexuality.
I applaud World for their selection. Take time to read the article. Most importantly, take time to pray for Alan and the Exodus team who daily come under constant assault and attack from the media and opponents. You can send your encouragements to him on Twitter, @alanmchambers.
|Frontline Public Policy Experience|
|CAP is now accepting intern applications for policy and communication interns to serve during the upcoming legislative session. Interning with CAP during session provides college students with real-life experience down at the state Capitol working in public policy. Click here for details of both positions. Please forward this opportunity to those who might be interested and qualified.|
|Exploiting the Poor|
|On the Foundations blog this week, CAP Legislative Coordinator Dave Ernest explores how gambling – either at a casino or through the lottery – exploits the poor. He presents yet another case why the expansion of gambling is never right for our state.|
|Good, But Unexpected, News|
|The abortion industry has a long history of putting their agenda ahead of the health and safety of women – and especially of minor girls. Pushing for over-the-counter availability of the “morning-after” pill is just one of the many ways their lobbying puts women at risk.
In a surprising turn of events this week, Kathleen Sebelius, the head of the federal Health and Human Services Department and an outspoken abortion advocate, overruled an FDA decision that would have made the morning-after pill, which can act as an abortifacient, available over the counter to girls younger than 17 without a prescription. Read more about this decision from Family Research Council.
|CA Marriage Amendment Back in Court|
|Yesterday, our friends at ProtectMarriage.com and Alliance Defense Fund were back in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the majority of Californians who voted to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Read more about this hearing, and why a lower court’s ruling, which overturned the marriage amendment, had some serious problems.
Tuesday’s Election Results
|For some conservatives, Tuesday’s elections across the country were a disappointment. I caution you to not read too much into these election results. No doubt, though, our work is cut out for us in the 2012 elections to register voters, educate voters, and turn out values voters.
I’ve been asked about the defeat of the “Personhood Amendment” in Mississippi. The intent of this amendment was to define life as beginning at conception and stop legalized abortion. Previously, Colorado had defeated a similar amendment twice. Nevada proponents are working to put the amendment on their next ballot.
While I support the goal behind “Personhood,” I join with many other national pro-life leaders and strategists in favoring a different approach in our efforts to protect preborn life and mothers. I do not consider the Mississippi results to be a setback for the pro-life movement. Rather, the pro-life movement continues to move forward with 86 new pro-life laws passing this year alone in states. Those laws are resulting in fewer abortions. Our U.S. House has a pro-life majority. Further, in recent years, more and more people continue to identify themselves as “pro-life” instead of “pro-choice.” The dream of living in a country that respects the sanctity of human life from its very beginning to its natural end is not far-fetched. To get there though, it will take wise leadership, patience, and most importantly prayer.
Regarding the recall of Senate President Russell Pearce in Legislative District 18, I thank Sen. Pearce for his unwavering stands through the years in defense of preborn life, school choice, religious liberty, and marriage. Sen. Pearce never hesitated to support CAP’s legislative agenda. He always was available to help us move bills through the process and speak out in support of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.
|Marriage Opponents in Corporate America|
|You may be surprised to learn that 70 corporations – including some of our country’s most recognizable brands – filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a federal lawsuit.
Microsoft, Starbucks, Google, NIKE, Levi Strauss and Co., CBS, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass., Time Warner Cable, and Xerox all signed onto the brief filed in the case of Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, urging the court to deem DOMA unconstitutional.
|William Wilberforce Award|
|I was honored to receive the news that I will be awarded the William Wilberforce Award at the First Annual Students for Life West Coast Gala tomorrow for my efforts to promote and defend life in public policy.
Defending the sanctity of human life has been one of God’s great callings in my life, and I am truly blessed to be receiving this award named for one of my heroes, the great abolitionist William Wilberforce.
I am grateful to Students for Life for the recognition, and I share this award with our amazing team at Center for Arizona Policy – both past and present – and with all of our ministry friends.
|Forced to Perform Abortions|
|Read the story of the 12 nurses whose employer is trying to force them to participate in abortions on the Foundations blog, and how, thanks to the Abortion Consent Act, Arizona’s healthcare professionals are free from this type of persecution.
|The Turning Point|
|A new study by the National Conference on Citizenship reports that Arizonans have become more engaged in the political process. Since 2006, voter turnout has surged, raising Arizona’s ranking from 33rd to 18th in the nation. The spike in voter registration is even steeper – boosting our rank from 48th to 27th.Consider what’s happened in our state to understand why this is so significant. In 2006, Arizona became the only state to vote against a state constitutional amendment to protect marriage. This wake-up call was a turning point for values voters. In 2008, Arizonans passed Proposition 102 to define marriage in Arizona’s constitution as only the union of one man and one woman. The victory resulted from a strong campaign to register those who supported one man, one woman marriage and to turn out those voters. The victory also resulted from a strong coalition of Arizonans from differing faiths, ethnicities, and political persuasions coming together around a shared value.But that’s not all. Those same voters elected a pro-life, pro-family legislature in 2008 and again in 2010. In the last three years alone, 38 CAP-supported bills that promote and defend foundational principles have been signed into law, raising the total number of CAP-supported bills that have become law to 101. People are waking up in Arizona to the fact that what happens at the polls and at the state Capitol impacts their family. You can make a difference! As we look ahead to the 2012 elections, the stakes are even higher than before. It’s critical that we all are registered to vote, are informed, and turn out to make sure our voice is heard.|
|New Lawsuit Attacks School Choice|
|The Arizona School Boards Association and Arizona Education Association (the teachers union) have sued to overturn Arizona’s new law establishing empowerment scholarships. The law, advocated for by CAP and our school choice allies, provides parents of children with special needs the opportunity to redirect state funds for the education and educational services that best meet their children’s needs. The facts are parents know what’s best for their children, and the state should empower them to make decisions about their education. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen school board members allow your taxpayer dollars to be used to fight school choice measures. CAP is committed to standing with school choice and parents’ rights advocates to defeat this lawsuit.|
|Congress Investigating Planned Parenthood|
|The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee will be investigating Planned Parenthood Federation of America for improprieties regarding how Planned Parenthood uses federal dollars. This is a great first step to holding America’s largest abortion franchise accountable. Click here to read the letter Rep. Cliff Stearns sent to Planned Parenthood. Click here to read Americans United for Life’s report on Planned Parenthood.|
|Maricopa County Community College’s Bad Move|
|In a 3-2 decision this week, the Maricopa County Community College Board approved adding “gender-identity” to their non-discrimination policy. In a letter I sent to the Board prior to the vote, I explained why this vague policy should be rejected. You can read my letter here.It’s important to realize that the Maricopa County Community College Board is accountable to the voters. We see again why every election matters, especially when it comes to promoting and defending foundational principles.|
|Gov. Brewer Fights Back Against Radical Ninth Circuit Court Decision|
|Also earlier this week, Governor Brewer filed a petition requesting all of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a recent ruling by a three judge panel that would essentially force the state to provide health insurance benefits to domestic partners. Domestic partnerships devalue marriage – the cornerstone of our culture. The legislature and Governor Brewer were acting within their authority when they said that only spouses should receive health benefits from the state, and I applaud Governor Brewer for not allowing this bad decision from the Court to stand.|
|If You’ve Been Through The Truth Project|
|For those of you who have been through The Truth Project, you won’t want to miss two big events featuring some familiar faces from the small group study. First, on October 16, Ravi Zacharias is speaking at the new Grand Canyon University Arena. Click hereto get your tickets.Then on October 29, CAP and Truth in Action Ministries are bringing in Dr. Del Tackett for the Faith in Action Tourto help you discover how to transform your community through service.If you haven’t experienced The Truth Project, these are great opportunities to hear from two of the country’s most inspiring and thought-provoking teachers.|
|Speak Up to Protect Rights of Conscience|
|The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a new rule under Obamacare that would force all private health insurance plans to cover contraceptive and sterilization services free of charge, including “contraceptives” that can act as abortifacients like the “morning-after pill.” The rule has a very narrow exception for churches and does not allow exceptions for other employers or organizations that have a moral or religious objection to paying for abortifacients. HHS is accepting comments about this rule through September 30, and our allies at Family Research Council Action have provided this Action Alert so you can speak up for the rights of conscience of millions of Americans. Please take action today!|
|Maricopa Community Colleges to Vote on “Gender Identity” Policy|
|Next Tuesday, September 27, the Maricopa County Community College Board will hold a final vote on a proposal to add “gender identity” to the district’s non-discrimination policy.
The proposal would have a direct, negative impact on the classroom and college workplace by creating unnecessary distractions. Further, it would have a serious impact on the right of faculty, staff, and students to live by and freely express their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs. You can read my letter to the Board for more explanation of why this policy is such a bad idea.
Please contact your Community College Board Member below and politely tell them that you oppose the change and want to preserve religious freedom on our campuses:
Chandler, Gilbert, and Mesa -
Contact Mr. Doyle Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottsdale, East Mesa -
Contact Mr. Dana Saar, email@example.com
Phoenix, Paradise Valley -
Contact Mrs. Debra Pearson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Glendale, Peoria, Surprise -
Contact Mr. Randolph Elias Lumm, email@example.com
South Phoenix, Goodyear -
Contact Dr. Donald Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Federal Legislation to Stop Gambling Expansion|
|Last Friday, Arizona Congressman Trent Franks announced that he will introduce a new bill in Congress to stop gambling expansion in Arizona’s metropolitan areas, particularly the new casino proposed in Glendale by the Tohono O’odham tribe.
Gambling is bad for Arizona families and communities, and it costs far more socially and economically than any financial benefits. In fact, a new report from the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation details how most of the casino owners, lobbyists, and government officials who most strongly promote gambling don’t gamble themselves and don’t want to live near gambling because they know how destructive and financially irresponsible it is.
Gambling is illegal in Arizona and is permitted on tribal lands only through special compacts signed in 2002. The Tohono O’odham tribe has proposed this new casino over 100 miles away from their original reservation, in the heart of a fast-growing West Valley urban area, across the street from a high school.
Congressman Franks’ legislation would stop this ill-advised casino by prohibiting Las Vegas-style gambling on land in Pinal, Pima, and Maricopa counties that is not part of the tribe’s original reservation. The bill is supported by Attorney General Tom Horne, Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, Chairwoman Diane Enos of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and dozens of other state, local, and tribal officials. Read the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act online.
|Faith in Action Tour|
|In case you missed the news, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) is hosting a very special event on October 29 with Dr. Del Tackett, creator of The Truth Project. The goal is to help you discover how God can use you to impact our community, engage you with local organizations to explore specific opportunities to make a difference right where you live, and transform our community by putting God’s Word into action.
You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to see Del speak live and connect with local ministries. Register now online or call 602.424.2525. Hope to see you there.
|“Another Daffy Ninth Circuit Ruling”|
|So writes Ed Whelan about this week’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on an Arizona law regarding domestic partner benefits. The Court upheld a temporary injunction blocking a 2009 bill that limits state employee benefits for dependents to married employees. The law, signed by Governor Brewer, reversed a Napolitano administration order granting employee dependent benefits to unmarried domestic partners.
The majority of Arizonans favor marriage being recognized only as the union of one man and one woman. Arizona public policy as determined by our state elected officials does not recognize sexual orientation or domestic partners as a protected group in our anti-discrimination laws. Yet the Court has sided with homosexual activists and their agenda to make marriage laws meaningless through the granting of legal recognition and benefits to same sex partners. The Court’s opinion is another example of judges making law, not interpreting the law. Determining eligibility of benefits for state employees is a policy matter to be decided by the legislative and executive branches, not by the judicial branch.
This battle is not over. I fully expect the Brewer administration to appeal. Please click here to send Governor Brewer an email thanking her for her support and encouraging her to continue the fight to uphold Arizona’s law limiting state employee dependent benefits to married employees.
|Censored by the Court
I want to share with you a little known story behind this ongoing litigation. With CAP as the named party, the Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case explaining why it’s important that benefits only be distributed based on marital status. The Ninth Circuit Court refused to accept our brief, even though they accepted briefs from two homosexual activist organizations.
|California Continues to Fight for Marriage|
|The ongoing legal battle over California’s Proposition 8 marriage amendment had another hearing this week. The legal defense team at Protectmarriage.com argued for their right to intervene in the case on behalf of the 7 million voters who passed Prop 8. Both the California Governor and Attorney General have refused to defend Prop 8. Read the hopeful report from our friends at the California Family Policy Council on the hearing here.
Once again, we see why elections matter, and why it is critical to elect officials that recognize the essential role of the family and marriage in society. It’s unconscionable that duly elected officials are refusing to carry out their duty to defend laws passed by the people.
|Faith in Action Tour|
|In case you missed the news, CAP along with Truth in Action Ministries is hosting a very special event on October 29 with Dr. Del Tackett, creator of The Truth Project. Our goal is to help you discover how God can use you to impact our community, engage you with local organizations to explore specific opportunities to make a difference right where you live, and transform our community by putting God’s Word into action.
You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to see Del speak live and connect with local ministries. Click here to register – hope to see you there!
|Teachers, Planned Parenthood, and Candidate Recruitment|
|You may or may not be surprised to hear that the union representing Arizona teachers – Arizona Education Association – and Planned Parenthood once again are teaming up to recruit and train “progressive” candidates. Planned Parenthood’s opposition to our work to protect life and the health and safety of women is well documented. So is the Arizona Education Association’s opposition to letting parents choose the best school setting for their children. It’s outrageous, though, for a union representing teachers to be aligned with an organization that exhibits little regard for human life. I also doubt that many rank and file teachers support their union’s position.|
|True Tolerance in Schools
Our friends at Focus on the Family and CitizenLink have published a new resource for parents and teachers facing “tolerance” issues in schools. Over the past few years, we’ve seen how the homosexual lobby has worked through the public schools to undermine a parent’s right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. They use words and phrases like “tolerance” and “anti-hate” to advance their agenda. Yet this isn’t an issue of tolerance or hate; it’s about parents’ rights, and what’s appropriate for a classroom setting.
|The resources at TrueTolerance.org will equip you to know your rights this school year. On the site, you’ll find:
Also, be sure to consult the Arizona parents’ rights law or call CAP Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby should you face public school issues.
|A Fruitful Fall|
|Enjoy your Labor Day weekend then plan to join us at these fall evens to make a difference in our state. Be sure to mark these dates on your calendar!
|Doctors Make the “Choice” Not to Do Abortions|
|There’s more to the story of last week’s announcement from Planned Parenthood to shut down abortion services at seven locations rather than meet the new safety standards under the Abortion Consent Act.
Planned Parenthood Arizona is running into the same roadblock the abortion industry is facing across the country: fewer doctors want to be a part of their life-destroying work.
Initial reports from a survey of 1,800 practicing ob/gyn doctors published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 97% of these doctors encountered patients seeking abortions, but only 14% performed them.
This finding tracks with the ongoing and growing pro-life trends throughout the country. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans increasingly support laws to protect women from the dangerous practices of the abortion industry. The pro-life wave can also be seen in state legislatures. Americans United for Life reports that there were more than 80 pro-life laws passed this year!
On the Foundations blog, CAP Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby looks deeper into this trend and reveals the bleak reality the abortion industry faces in Arizona.
|Community Colleges Consider “Gender Identity” Policy
This week, the Maricopa County Community College Board heard testimony on a proposal to add “gender identity” to the district’s non-discrimination policy. You may recall proponents failed a few years ago when they tried to promote a similar policy.
New Pro-Life Laws to Take Effect
|Maricopa County Judge Richard Gama signed off on an agreement this week between the state and Planned Parenthood to allow many of the recently passed CAP-supported pro-life laws to take effect on September 12! The agreement lifts the temporary injunction Planned Parenthood filed in July to block the laws from being enacted.
While this is not the final decision on whether Planned Parenthood’s arguments will be completely dismissed, it is great news that these important provisions will be in place soon. They include:
These laws are vital to the protection of Arizona’s women. According to the FDA, 14 women have now died from taking this medication. Read more on the Foundations blog.
|Do You Have a Heart for Education?|
|CAP is preparing to launch our newest initiative: School Action Teams. We’re only one piece away – we need our School Action Team Coordinator. Is this you? Do you know someone with a heart for education and foundational principles? If so, check out the job description on Career Builder.
|An “Invaluable Experience”|
|We are currently looking for fall interns for our policy team. Our internship provides students a frontlines perspective of the battle to promote and defend Arizona families. In a letter from summer intern Michal Bates, he wrote “My practical experiences in meetings, the court, writing briefs, research, prayer, and community have allowed me to cast a vision for a future career.” If you’d like to join the team this fall, click here.|
Population of Arizona? 6,392,017 souls or approximately 11 people per acre when spread out over the entire state.
Number of husband and wife households in Arizona? The 2010 U.S. Census counted nearly 1.15 million husband and wife households in Arizona. Number of same-sex households in Arizona? The 2010 U.S. Census counted nearly 21,000 same-sex couples in Arizona.
So how does that work out? About 1.83% of couples identified in Arizona by the U.S. Census Bureau are same-sex. Think about that. What does that figure suggest for the overall GLBT population of Arizona? Even being generous and posting that figure at 3% still only yields less than a single legislative district (there are 30 of those).
So what prompted this article? The fact that in spite of numbers so statistically small, the Associated Press, FoxNews Phoenix, ABC15, and the Arizona Daily Star actually expended time and space reporting this minor factoid. And, I’ll bet this isn’t over. By the end of the news-day today several more of Arizona’s MSM will have carried the same story. And by the end of the week, they’ll be editorials, commentary (like this one) to fill a book!
Why? How is a small stadium (about the size of Chase Field) of people among so many more millions a “news story”? How about how many children have a father living in the same household or how many female veterans are homeless in our state? Priorities. What’s important. That’s what the media reports. If they are simply keeping score then the numbers aren’t encouraging and perhaps don’t warrant the amount of attention given to GLBT issues in the media.
Are they a viable component of Arizona’s population? Absolutely. Do they receive more than their share of attention and political clout disproportionate to their numbers? Absolutely. In our state today aren’t there more important issues to address such as the growing influence of Chinese investment in U.S. resources?
And of course, maybe we should be paying attention to that whole Debt-Ceiling issue now raging in Washington. After all, $0.40 of each dollar spent by the federal government daily is borrowed. How sustainable is that?
(picture courtesy of the website Global Cocktails)
There are more important issues today than tracking same-sex couples, so why does the media expend the energy on this issue? How much energy and capital is expended on the GLBT community in Arizona and why given what a small segment of the overall population they truly are.
Stand for Marriage? You’re Not Alone
Most of the popular culture would have you think that if you believe in the true definition of marriage, you are part of a small minority. A new comprehensive study by the Alliance Defense Fund suggests otherwise. In what is likely the most extensive national research survey of its kind, ADF and Public Opinion Strategists found that 62 percent of Americans believe that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.”
This actually shouldn’t come as a shock. When this issue has been before the voters, 31 states have voted to protect marriage in their state constitution – like Arizona did in 2008. Reality is that we have much to be hopeful about in our battle to preserve the definition of marriage.
Who is the Father?
Father’s Day sparked a slew of stories about dads and their role in the family. Jennifer Lahl wrote this piece about a recent decision by British Columbia’s high court in favor of donor-conceived children having access to their biological information. Rulings like this are critical to advancing the public conversation about In Vitro Fertilization and understanding the rights of all involved – especially the children.
The New York Times told the story of a young boy, conceived through sperm donation, being raised by two women and the sperm donor (who the boy only knows as uncle right now) and the sperm donor’s same-sex partner. The problems with this arrangement are evident, and the long term effects on the child in this story will probably never be told. When the needs of children are second to the wants of adults, there are always consequences, and sadly, it’s typically the children who pay the price.
On the Radio
On Monday, I was on for the full hour of the Andrew Tallman Show on 1360 KPXQ AM to discuss the Abortion Consent Act litigation. I had a great time with Andrew talking about the pro-life movement in Arizona. Click here to listen to the podcast.
City Elections Impact Everyone
On the Foundations blog this week, CAP’s Blackstone legal intern Angelina wrote about the impact one city’s election can have on the entire state. Read more here.
Time is Running Out to Register to Vote
Many city elections are just two months away. If you’re not registered to vote, you’ll want to soon! If you are, please forward this email to your friends and family, and remind them to register and be sure to turn out to vote on August 30. We are in the process of compiling the results for our city election Voter Guide and will be publishing them in the next few weeks to AZVoterGuide.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Bethany Haley or Ben Carnes at (202) 225-4576
Calls On President Obama to Refrain from Social Engineering with our Armed Forces During a Time of War
December 2, 2010 — Following a briefing by Jeh Johnson, General Counsel for the Department of Defense, and General Carter Ham, the U.S. Army’s Commanding Officer in Europe, on the Pentagon’s new report on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and in light of recent attempts by Congressional Democrats to overturn current military policy, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) today released the following statement urging Democrats to stop using our military as a test bed for their own radical social agenda:
“It is disturbing to me that despite the fact that an overwhelming number of our commanding generals oppose repealing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, particularly during a time of war, the Obama Administration is insisting on imposing its ideological commitment to ‘fundamentally transform America’ on the men and women of our armed forces who even today are fighting to keep us all free.
“The DOD report cited as evidence justifying the repeal of this policy was obviously engineered to bring about a predetermined result. It also remains to be seen whether a climate of intimidation helped generate some of the survey findings. The fact is, in repeated Armed Services Committee hearings, our warfighters have raised concerns that the implications of repealing DADT have not been given full consideration as they should, in public hearings as well as in the public forum.
“Just today, a coalition of 40 million Americans sent a letter to Senators urging them not to repeal DADT. Among the concerns they raise is also the potential effect that repealing DADT would have on religious freedom. Those who oppose a repeal of DADT have already been labeled “bigots” by one general, and it is possible that chaplains would be forbidden to teach about their denomination’s position on homosexuality were the repeal to pass. Furthermore, they point out that the time between the release of the DOD report and adjournment is simply inadequate to thoroughly investigate all these related issues.
“Either Democrats’ have not fully realized the negative impact a repeal of this policy would have, or they don’t care. Either way, their blind commitment to social engineering and ramming a DADT repeal through the Congress will have a tangible and potentially dangerous effect upon our service men and women on the ground.”
Attached is a copy of the coalition letter referenced above. It can also be accessed here.
Congressman Franks is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, Military Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, Constitution Subcommittee, and is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.