For Marriage Supporters: Grief Yes, Despair No

Statement from Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod

Arizona’s marriage amendment which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman has been overturned by the courts.

PHOENIX – “I am heartbroken for a country and a state that has had the redefinition of marriage forced upon them by an out of control federal judiciary.

In what amounts to the de-facto Roe v Wade of marriage, voters throughout the nation have watched their voices be silenced, and their votes voided. Now, Arizona’s marriage amendment and our voters are the latest victims. While the United States Supreme Court may still take up the issue of marriage redefinition, for now the courts have settled the issue in our state.

Today, we grieve. We grieve for the children who now have no chance of growing up with a mom and a dad. We mourn the loss of a culture and its ethical foundation. We mourn a culture that continues to turn its back on timeless principles.

But we do not despair. We do not throw in the towel. We do not give up.

Just as we have worked to build a culture of life, we will focus on rebuilding a culture of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

To read the statement online visit: http://www.azpolicy.org/newsroom/for-marriage-supporters-grief-yes-despair-no

Cathi Herrod’s statement on the veto of SB 1062

PHOENIX – “Today’s veto of SB 1062 marks a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.

SB 1062 passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.

Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits. Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.

When the force of government compels one to speak or act contrary to their conscience, the government injures not only the dignity of the afflicted, but the dignity of our society as a whole.

SB 1062 made certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest–a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993.

The religious beliefs of all Arizonans must be respected and this bill did nothing more than affirm that. It is truly a disappointing day in our state and nation when lies and personal attacks can over shadow the truth.”

Senator Jon Kyl to Head Policy Group for Doug Ducey Exploratory Committee

Doug Ducey

Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey announced today that former Senator Jon Kyl has agreed to lead a group of policy advisers for his recently-announced exploratory committee for the 2014 governor’s race.

“Throughout his career Jon Kyl has proven himself to be one of the most thoughtful, perceptive and patriotic public servants in the country,” said Ducey. “His entire public life is built on substance and solutions, and I’m delighted that he is standing with us, providing the benefits of his knowledge and wisdom in the days ahead.”

“Doug Ducey’s leadership style is to first ground himself in the substance of the critical issues facing our state. I respect that,” said Senator Kyl. “His skills, his knowledge of business management, his conservative credentials, and his proven record as State Treasurer are precisely what are needed for Arizona.”

Senator Kyl will be leading a policy group for Ducey 2014 that includes:

    • Cathi Herrod, highly respected lawyer and Arizona’s leading advocate for the foundational values of life, traditional marriage and family, and religious liberty.
    • The Honorable Robert Fannin, former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, former Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, and a highly respected leader in business and law.
    • The Honorable Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney. A West Point Graduate who received the Bronze Star for his service in the Gulf War. He then graduated Magna Cum Laude from the ASU College of Law receiving the Order of the Coif.
    • Lea Marquez Peterson, an entrepreneur and advocate for the Southern Arizona business community. Lea runs the largest Latino business organization in the State of Arizona.
    • Randy Kendrick, lawyer, founder and past president of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association, health care policy expert, and philanthropist.

Ducey added, “I’m fortunate to have such policy grounded leaders advising me, and I’m grateful to each of them for giving time and energy to my exploratory committee for governor.”

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Statement from CAP President Cathi Herrod on the SCOTUS Decisions regarding DOMA and Prop 8

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. 

Pro-Life Activists Alert! – Inhuman: Stop the Killing Rally

Phoenix, AZ: — Live Action and Center for Arizona Policy will be hosting a rally outside of the Phoenix abortion clinic Family Planning Associates to discuss the findings of Live Action’s latest investigation into the abortion industry, specifically the grotesque and shocking activity perpetrated at this facility. As is illustrated in the investigative findings, even when performed according to legal standards, the abortion procedure itself is inhumanly brutal and gruesome. Even worse, Family Planning Associates said in no uncertain terms that should a baby be born alive after a failed abortion, “they will not resuscitate.”

At the rally, Live Action, Center for Arizona Policy and state lawmakers will call upon the legislature to pass legislation allowing for the Department of Health Services to perform unannounced inspections at abortion clinics. Currently, abortion clinics are the only medical facilities in the state that are not allowed to have these types of inspections.

Live Action’s latest investigation, Inhuman, has incited a rising tide of alarm and disgust at how our country treats its women and its weakest children.  This rally will call for true protection and empowerment of women, and the revocation of Family Planning Associates Medical Group’s license.

What: Rally outside Phoenix abortion clinic Family Planning Associates  

Who: Live Action, Center for Arizona Policy, and state legislators

            Speakers will include:

·      Lila Rose; President and founder of the pro-life group, Live Action.

·      Cathi Herrod; President of Center for Arizona Policy

·      Senator Nancy Barto, Legislative District 15

·      Melanie Pritchard; Executive Director, Foundation for Life and Love

·      Vanessa Tedesco, Post-Abortive speaker with Silent No More

·      Jason Walsh, Executive Director of Arizona Right to Life 

Where: Family Planning Associates Medical Group, 1331 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85006

When: Thursday, June 6, at noon.

Live Action is a new media movement dedicated to ending abortion and building a culture of life.  We use new media to educate the public about the humanity of the pre-born children and investigative journalism to expose threats against the vulnerable and defenseless.

Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty. For more information visit azpolicy.org.

1) The Numbers Tell the Story – Here are a few important numbers for you: 13, 51, 114.

  • 13 is the number of Center for Arizona Policy-supported bills that were signed into law this session. Simply put, Arizona is a better place for families today than it was 5 months ago because of these bills.
  • 51 is the number of CAP-supported bills signed into law since 2009 when Governor Brewer took office. These last 4 years show the difference we can make when we elect pro-life and pro-family leaders to the legislature and Governor’s office.
  • 114 is the number of CAP-supported bills signed into law since 1995. Each of these bills takes important steps to protect the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty.

While our work is far from over, these numbers exemplify what the Lord can do when we engage in the political process and vote our values.

2) The Final Victories of the Session – Governor Jan Brewer signed the 3 remaining CAP-supported bills on her desk last Friday and Monday. These 3 bills were no minor pieces of legislation – they were bold policies that will have a tangible impact on the lives of Arizonans. Click here to read more about HB 2622, SB 1365, and HB 2625. Click here to read Governor Brewer’s news release on why she signed HB 2625 – one of the most attacked and distorted pieces of legislation this session.

While I am sincerely grateful to Governor Jan Brewer for signing these bills, I am also thankful for the many legislators that supported these and the other CAP-supported bills.

Earlier this week, we released our 2012 Family Issues Voting Record reporting on how every legislator voted on 12 key bills that impact life, marriage and family, and religious liberty. Take time today to find out how your legislator voted and send them a note with your thoughts. Please take time to send a note of thanks to the legislators who stood with us in defense of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty. You can be sure they have heard from those who oppose us.

3) An Unfounded Overreaction – From the time Rep. Justin Olson introduced HB 2800, which says federal family planning funds that pass through the state cannot go to abortion providers, to the time Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law, Planned Parenthood told every media outlet that would listen that this bill would deny low-income families access to medical care.

But as CAP Legislative Counsel Josh Kredit points out on the Foundations Blog, there are nearly 200 clinics across the state that low-income families can visit to access care. What’s more, the vast majority of these clinics actually offer more services than the 14 Planned Parenthood clinics in our state.

4) Don’t Believe the Polls – Recent polls nationwide show support for redefining marriage to supposedly be a 50/50 split with support for same-sex “marriage” growing. Yet as we all know, every time the people vote on marriage, they vote strongly in favor of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Then we hear, “Well, the younger generation doesn’t believe in marriage.” Yes, we do have significant challenges to restore the value of marriage in our culture. But don’t miss this fact tweeted by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins yesterday: if the votes of everyone 45+ were discounted in NC, the marriage amendment would have still passed by 8 percentage points. Check out this analysis by American Enterprise Institute.

http://sonoranalliance.com/2012/05/18/28387/

As the Voters Stand For Marriage, the President Stands Opposite

On Tuesday, North Carolina became the 32nd state to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. The amendment passed with a strong majority – 61 percent – voting in favor.

State marriage amendments are now 32 for 32 – in each state where the people have been able to vote on marriage, the people have said YES! to protecting marriage. Only through the courts and state legislatures have advocates in a small minority of states been able to redefine marriage to include same sex couples.

On Wednesday, after this historic vote in North Carolina, President Barack Obama made some history of his own, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to support redefining marriage, the cornerstone of our society.

The President’s announcement was no surprise to those who have followed his statements on marriage. It’s a relief to have the President finally state his position clearly so that no one can doubt or explain away how the President views marriage. I will leave it to the political pundits to dissect the President’s motivation and timing for his statement. This much is clear however — within hours, those favoring same-sex marriage began donating significant dollars to re-elect President Obama.

National Reaction

The backlash against the President’s flip flop on marriage has come from across the country.

Alliance Defense Fund’s Litigation Staff Counsel Jim Campbell said, “This shows that the Obama administration doesn’t understand the public purpose of marriage. Marriage – the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman – is the building block of a thriving society. It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. The President has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. Today’s statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.”

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council said “The President’s announcement today that he supports legalizing same-sex marriage finally brings his words in sync with his actions. From opposing state marriage amendments to refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) to giving taxpayer funded marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the President has undermined the spirit if not the letter of the law.”

Hugh Hewitt pointed out how the President first was “for same sex marriage before he was against it and before he was for it again“, and that “marriage between a man and woman is ordained by God for the happiness of humankind and the building up of society, and that it is to be preferred to any other situation for the raising of children.”

In California, where they are in the midst of defending their marriage amendment in court, known as Proposition 8, Ron Prentice, the Executive Director of the California Family Council said, “The first chapter of the biblical book of James refers to a double-minded man as one who is unstable, “blown and tossed by the wind.” Thank God for the millions of Americans rejecting the president’s view of progress.”

Three Bills Remain on the Governor’s Desk

Three CAP-supported bills remain on the governor’s desk, awaiting her action:

  • HB 2622 enables children attending schools that have received “D” or “F” grades from the state and children adopted from foster homes to be eligible for Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program.
  • SB 1365 protects professionals from losing their state licenses for practicing their faith and strengthens protection for religious organizations that contract with the state.
  • HB 2625 protects religious employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by being forced into providing insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception.

She has until Tuesday to act on these bills. Follow our Facebook page for the latest updates.

Sine Die – Finally!

The Arizona Legislature adjourned last night, ending one of the most significant and successful sessions for Arizona families. Our CAP Team is grateful for the leadership shown by Governor Brewer and our pro-life, pro-family legislators. Next week, we will release the Family Issues Voting Record, which recaps how each legislator voted on CAP-supported bills, and the final tally of CAP-supported bills that were signed into law.

On the Governor’s Desk

Before adjournment, the legislature sent four CAP-supported bills to Governor Brewer. Legislation to defund Planned Parenthood (HB 2800), protect employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs (HB 2625), protect professionals licensed by the state from losing their certifications for the free exercise of their faith (SB 1365), and expand the Empowerment Scholarship Account Program (HB 2622) are all awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and education establishment have continued their campaign to encourage Gov. Brewer to veto these bills. If you haven’t yet, please take a minute today to send her a quick note in support of these four bills! And, take a few minutes to pray!

A Team Effort! A Time of Thanksgiving!

I live by the Proverb that we are to be prepared for the day of battle but victory belongs to the Lord.  The victories this legislative session indeed are by God’s Hand.   Thankfully, however, He has blessed our efforts with a team that includes allied organizations committed to foundational values including Arizona Catholic Conference, Alliance Defense Fund, Bioethics Defense Foundation, Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, and our school choice allies. I am incredibly grateful for everything they do to join us to stand for foundational values.

If space permitted, I would also thank each and every legislator who stood with us this session.  Alas, I will ask each one of you to do so when you receive the voting records next week for your two state representatives and state senator. For now, I do want to thank Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin for their leadership in making sure CAP-supported bills made it through the legislative process.  Take time to send those two leaders a quick thank-you email for their support – click on their names above to send them an email.

Finally, THANK YOU! It’s because you turned out to vote your values in the 2010 elections that we were blessed with the pro-life, pro-family majority in the state House and Senate.

National Day of Prayer
Our nation celebrated the National Day of Prayer yesterday. In conjunction with the National Day of Prayer, Governor Brewer once again declared yesterday the Arizona Day of Prayer, despite the ongoing legal attack against her from the “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
Thank you, Gov. Brewer, for refusing to be pushed around by this out-of-state organization that is determined to rewrite our country’s history and First Amendment.

Praying Strategically

In recognition of the National Day of Prayer, CAP’s new Church Relations Director, Pastor Terry Anderson is writing a 3 part blog series on the Foundations blog about “praying strategically.” Terry shared this message with our staff last week and greatly blessed the CAP team. Click here to read it.

ICYMI: War on Women? The Undeniable Roots of Pro-Life Feminism

Our friends at the Susan B. Anthony List wrote an editorial in response to two pieces in the Arizona Republic.

On the Foundations blog, we share their editorial, but also point out that today’s pro-life movement is stronger – and more diverse – than ever before. This legislative session is an awesome example of women and men coming together to defend life, vulnerable women, and preborn children.

Defunding Planned Parenthood

The Legislature once again demonstrated why Arizona has become one of the most pro-life states in the country. On Wednesday, the Senate passed HB 2800, sponsored by Rep. Justin Olson. This bill prohibits federal dollars that pass through the state for family planning from going to abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. Click here to see how your Senator voted. The bill now awaits Gov. Brewer’s signature.To no one’s surprise, of course, Planned Parenthood continues to attack the bill in two ways:

  1. They claim they do not use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Yet one taxpayer dollar that goes to Planned Parenthood for anything frees up another dollar to fund their abortion operation. Any funding to Planned Parenthood supports abortions.
  2. Despite being Arizona’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood claims this bill will deny women access to other medical procedures including cancer screenings and women’s health services. Once again, this is not true. The bill does not reduce the funding by one penny – it simply prioritizes the funding to healthcare providers who can provide more comprehensive services. There are plenty of options for women to access care in Arizona.

National Day of Prayer

Since our nation’s beginning, every leader has recognized the important role prayer plays in safeguarding our future.The National Day of Prayer is this Thursday, May 3. This year’s theme verse is Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the Nation Whose God is the Lord.”

Our friends at BridgeBuilders are hosting a prayer event at the state Capitol that day. Check out other prayer events across the state at the National Day of Prayer website.

Take time on Thursday to lift Arizona and America up in prayer. Attend an event. Pray with your family, especially your children. Pray for wisdom and protection for our leaders at all levels of government. Ask for the church to stand up this election season and that the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious liberty are protected and respected in our nation.

The National Movement

The Susan B. Anthony List has been working with state organizations across the country to defund Planned Parenthood. This year, Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Oklahoma are considering legislation similar to Arizona’s HB 2800. We’re grateful to have been able to work with SBA List to see HB 2800 pass in Arizona.In 2011, eight states successfully defunded Planned Parenthood of more than $61.7 million.

Rushing Toward Adjournment

After a slow week at the Capitol, news comes late this week that the Legislature and Governor may have reached an agreement on the state budget. That means adjournment could happen early next week. Three key CAP-supported bills still need final votes in both houses: SB 1365 to protect the rights of conscience for individuals in employment, HB 2774 to clarify the property tax exemption for churches, and HB 2622 to expand and refine Arizona’s empowerment scholarship account program. Vetoed by Gov. Brewer a few weeks ago, the “ESA” bill has been modified to meet Gov. Brewer’s concerns. Stay up to date with CAP’s bill tracker.

Finding a Solution

The state Senate gave final approval to HB 2625, which exempts religiously affiliated employers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by covering abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives in their insurance plans.The bill passed by a 19-9 vote and now heads to Gov. Brewer’s desk. Click here to see how your Senator voted.

While there is still work to be done to protect the religious conscience rights of all employers, this bill is an important step in the right direction.

Gov. Brewer Needs to Hear from You!

Now that these two important bills are heading to the Governor, she needs to hear from you that you support HB 2800 and HB 2625!

Click here to send Gov. Brewer a message online.

Chuck Colson’s Legacy

As word came these last few days that Chuck Colson may be near death, I’ve been reflecting on the legacy of this amazing leader. Like many of you I’m sure, I remember reading Born Again about his conversion to Christianity. Colson has dedicated his life to challenging believers to apply biblical principles to their everyday lives. The many ministries he’s inspired and led, including his renowned Prison Fellowship Ministry, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the Manhattan Declaration have been at the forefront of the national pro-life, pro-family movement.

In April 1985, Colson wrote these words that are even more appropriate to today’s challenges:

“Certainly evil is to be expected in a fallen world. What is not expected is for a holy people to accept it. If Christ is Lord of all, Christians must recapture their sense of moral outrage.”

I can think of no better way to honor Mr. Colson and his life’s work than by reading, signing, and sharing the Manhattan Declaration. The goal of the Manhattan Declaration is to build a movement of Catholic, Evangelical, and Eastern Orthodox Christians who will stand together alongside other men and women of goodwill to advance the sanctity of life, rebuild and revitalize the marriage culture, and protect religious liberty. And, if you haven’t, pick up a copy of Born Again or any of Colson’s many other books and be challenged and inspired by this man’s legacy.

Three In One!

Tuesday was a great day for family advocates at the Legislature – three CAP-supported bills were signed into law on the same day!

  • SB 1359 – Prohibits so-called “wrongful life” lawsuits against medical professionals for misdiagnosing or not diagnosing a birth defect of a preborn child, which, if known, would have led to the child being aborted. Sen. Nancy Barto sponsored this bill.
  • HB 2627 – Prohibits abortion providers from qualifying for Arizona’s Working Poor Tax Credit, including Planned Parenthood. Rep. Debbie Lesko sponsored this bill.
  • HB 2265 – Ensures that arts funding in Arizona is not used to deface religious objects or promote obscenity. Representative J.D. Mesnard sponsored this bill.

Citizenlink covered these victories – read their story here.

Religious Freedom Bill Still Alive

Because of the support of Arizonans across the state, HB 2625 is one vote away from heading to the Governor’s desk. This is the bill that protects religiously-affiliated employers from being forced to violate their religious convictions by covering abortion-inducing drugs or contraception in their insurance plans. Despite the distortions and attacks, the truth about this bill has been made known. Find out how your representative voted here.

You can track the progress of this and the remaining CAP-supported bills in action with our online Bill Tracker or on our Facebook page.

Intern with CAP this Summer

We are accepting applications to intern with us this summer in the policy and communications departments. In such a critical election year, interns will get frontline experience working to promote foundational values in public policy. Click here for information on how to apply.