Marriage: It’s What’s Good for Children

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 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.

Not the Way Out

Not the Way Out

The budget crisis across the country is on everyone’s mind. Just this week, our national debt topped $15 trillion. In Arizona, our leaders are seeking ways to responsibly meet our own state budget needs.

As the Legislature searches for ways to balance our state budget, with some wanting to increase state revenues, I am becoming increasingly concerned that the expansion of gambling is being considered. Changing our state laws to allow casinos at racetracks – “racinos” – would dramatically change the character of our state and impact families.

Legislators shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of Arizona’s families. The harms of gambling, while not often discussed, are very real. You can read more of on this on the Foundations blog.

Thankfully, more than half of the members of the House and of the Senate indicated in CAP’s 2010 Voter Guide that they would oppose “Allowing slot machines and table games off Indian reservations.” I remain confident that they will stay true to their word and not allow gambling to expand.

Still a Long Way to Go
A few weeks ago, I told you that abortions in Arizona had dropped by 30% in September, according to newly released Department of Health Services data. This week, DHS released updated numbers showing that the decrease in numbers continues but not at the 30% pace originally reported. The good news is that abortions still dropped by 417 over the last three months compared to the same time period in 2010. No doubt the drop in abortions directly resulted from the court decision upholding the Abortion Consent Act, the enactment of Arizona’s ultrasound requirement, and Planned Parenthood’s ending abortion services at seven of their ten clinics.

The new data, however, deeply troubles me because 179 preborn children have been aborted at 20 and 21 weeks from January-October 2011, and children can survive outside of the womb at 20 weeks. It’s a sign of how much work remains when babies who could clearly survive outside their mother’s wombs are not surviving inside their mother’s womb.

Key Victory for Marriage Proponents in California
Finally, good news from California’s Prop 8 litigation! The California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the legal team can defend the state marriage amendment in court. You may recall that the state governor and attorney general both refused to defend the marriage amendment on behalf of the voters. Yesterday’s decision puts in place the strongest legal team to represent the right of voters to define marriage.

All eyes are on the Prop 8 case, Perry v Brown, as it likely will determine whether individual states have the right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman or whether the federal courts will take away that right.

Weak Arguments
Also this week, a federal court judge heard arguments from the state and the ACLU about a CAP-supported bill that disqualifies donations to organizations that provide, promote, pay for, or provide referrals for abortion from being eligible for the working poor tax credit. The ACLU, representing the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is arguing that Arizona should be forced to provide the benefit of the working poor tax credit to organizations that refer women for abortion.

CAP is supporting the state’s defense. On the Foundations blog this week, our Legal Counsel Deborah Sheasby explains why the ACLU’s case is based on weak arguments.

Speak Up to Protect Rights of Conscience

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,

Scottsdale, East Mesa –

Contact Mr. Dana Saar,

Phoenix, Paradise Valley

Contact Mrs. Debra Pearson,

Glendale, Peoria, Surprise –

Contact Mr. Randolph Elias Lumm,

South Phoenix, Goodyear 

Contact Dr. Donald Campbell,


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.