Tag: same-sex marriage

HR 5 is a Dangerous Attack on Religious Liberty and Free Speech

HR 5 is a bill that pushes the LGBT agenda on all people and targets Christianity in every area of life—including the church. There will be an increase of instances where Christians and others are being punished unless they violate their beliefs in order to comply with such a law. And that is just the beginning of unconstitutional chaos in America…

This bill destroys bathroom privacy.
 It would welcome both genders into every bathroom in America.

It directs religious K-12 schools and daycare centers to force children to obey adults who show up at work one day as a man and the next day as a woman. These children are at a highly impressionable age. When kindergarteners have seen such events in the past, many have gone home shaking and crying, worried that they could wake up with a different gender!

And, this bill gags counselors from giving professional help to those facing unwanted same-sex desires or actions. It even criminalizes those who share their own story of finding freedom in Christ from homosexuality in a book or speaking engagement. This bill literally sets the stage for banning the Bible, which offers the power to free those wanting to turn away from homosexual conduct.

And there is NO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION to this bill!

Further, this bill demands that every religious adoption agency place innocent children in homes with adults involved in same-sex conduct. And it also demands that religious families be willing to accept practicing LGBT minors in their home as a prerequisite to being approved as foster parents.

Under HR 5, property owners would be forced to accept renters whose actions violate their religious beliefs, including renting out a room in their home or their private vacation home.

Home-based businesses would be forced to hire and welcome LGBT people into their privately-owned home, even if they are trying to raise their children according to their own religious beliefs!

This legislation would create many more victims — like women in shelters who have been sexually assaulted by a man posing as a “transgender” to gain access to the facility.

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  • Churches would be forced to host same-sex ceremonies.
  • Churches will lose tax-exempt status for noncompliance.
  • Colleges will lose accreditation for noncompliance.
  • Noncompliant colleges will be ineligible to receive student loans, causing most religious schools to compromise their core mission or close.
  • If churches or religious organizations take overnight trips, including sports or mission trips, they cannot segregate rooms by biological gender.
  • Biological men will have access to bathrooms, showers, and nursing-mother rooms at any time, and stay as long as they please.
  • Churches would be forced to hire staff involved in LGBT conduct, even positions of authority in affiliated daycare classes and give them complete access to all children in the restrooms.
  • Cross-dressers could demand that they be greeters, ushers, Sunday School teachers, and more.
  • Even the smallest slight would give someone the legal right to sue the church. For example, if a person assumed they were turned down for a staff position because of a LGBT lifestyle, they could sue the church for damages, even if that was not the reason they were denied the job!


Truth Revealed About ‘Equality Act’

Coalition Letter to House Judiciary Regarding Equality Act

Dangerous Assault on Women


Dangerous Attack on Religious Freedom (Press Release)

HR 5 “Equality Act” Overview (printable two page PDF)

See a list of U.S. Congressional co-sponsors of HR 5

See a list of corporate supporters of HR 5

Official Congressional Source – HR 5 – Equality Act

11-Minute Radio Programs:

Dangerous Bill in US House Attacks Religious Freedom

Devastating Bill HR 5 Steamrolls Religious Freedom

Extreme Threat to Religious Freedom, Speech, Privacy, and Women’s Rights


Letter to the House Judiciary Committee:

The Honorable Jerrold Nadler, Chairman

Committee on the Judiciary
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Doug Collins, Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins,

We write on behalf of millions of Americans who are deeply concerned about the harms of the Equality
Act, which hinders quality health care, endangers the privacy and safety of women and girls, regulates
free speech, severely undermines religious freedom, and threatens charitable nonprofits and the people
they serve. H.R. 5 does not accomplish what its supporters maintain, but it causes new problems and will
hurt more people than its sponsors want to help.

As people of faith, we believe that all people should be treated with equal dignity and respect. Religious
groups were at the forefront of upholding these principles during our country’s civil rights movement, and
people of faith continue to fight against the scourge of racism that unfortunately continues to this day.
People of faith serve the marginalized—and therefore uphold the dignity of every human
person—through numerous charitable endeavors, including in the health care sector. H.R. 5 would
unfortunately threaten the incredible work that faith-based hospitals and healthcare professionals do in the
United States. While religiously affiliated hospitals routinely serve—and heal—patients of any
background, including those who identify as LGBT, healthcare providers simply cannot perform every
procedure that a patient requests. H.R. 5 would mandate that all health care professionals and providers
perform gender transition procedures that go against many such providers’ best medical judgment, not to
mention their deeply held moral or religious convictions.

H.R. 5 would also unfortunately undermine civil rights for women and girls by opening restrooms, locker
rooms, and shower facilities to biological males who identify as female. Women and girls deserve access
to private spaces when they visit their local gym or use the restroom while dining out, but H.R. 5 would
undermine legitimate privacy and safety concerns that women have about sharing sex-specific facilities
with a biological man who identifies as a woman. H.R. 5 also threatens to halt the advances women’s
sports have achieved since the passage of Title IX in 1972 by allowing those with physical advantages to
compete against women and obtain scholarships and other awards at the expense of women.

Americans highly value our First Amendment freedoms of speech, association, and the free exercise of
religion. H.R. 5 puts these cherished liberties at risk first and foremost by explicitly carving out the
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which would be the first time RFRA has ever been curtailed
since President Clinton signed this important statute into law in 1993. H.R. 5 would also subject private
employers and others to expensive lawsuits if they fail to adhere to strict preferred pronoun policies.
This would affect not only small, family-owned businesses but also charities and other nonprofits that are
organized with a specific mission. H.R. 5 would cause mission-driven employers, including religious
schools, to have to abandon their mission when it comes to hiring certain employees or having employee
conduct standards. Under H.R. 5, women’s shelters would be forced to house biological men who identify
as women, despite the privacy and safety concerns that women staying in those shelters have about
sharing sleeping quarters and other intimate facilities with the opposite sex.
Because of these many concerns, and others, we oppose H.R. 5 and respectfully urge you to oppose it as


Michael P. Farris
President, CEO, & General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom

Tim Wildmon
President, American Family Association

Mike Rouse, PhD
President, American Association of Christian Schools

Terry Schilling
Executive Director, American Principles Project

Len Munsil, JD
President, Arizona Christian University

Ralph E. Enlow, Jr
President, The Association for Biblical Higher Education

Thomas J. Cathey, EdD
Chief of Staff, Association of Christian Schools International

David Goodwin
President, The Association of Classical Christian Schools

Jim Towey
President, Ave Maria University

William K. Thierfelder, PhD
President, Belmont Abbey College

Stephen D. Livesay, PhD
President, Bryan College

Patrick J. Reilly
President, The Cardinal Newman Society

Edward Crites, Esq.
President, Catholic Bar Association

Brittany Vessely
Executive Director, Catholic Education Partners

Kathleen Neher, LISW-S
President & Cofounder, Catholic Social Workers’ National Association

John Garvey
President, The Catholic University of America

Mary Rice Hasson, JD
Director, Catholic Women’s Forum at EPPC

Thomas White
President & Professor of Theology, Cedarville University

Rev. Derek McCoy
Executive Vice President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education

Dondi E. Costin, PhD
President, Charleston Southern University

Michael Bryant, PhD
Executive Vice President &
Professor of Christian Studies, Charleston Southern University

Bernardine Clark
Head of School, Chelsea Academy

David J. Beskar
Superintendent & Headmaster, Chesterton Academy of the Twin Cities

David Nammo
Executive Director & CEO, Christian Legal Society

Rabbi Pesach Lerner
President, Coalition for Jewish Values

Penny Nance
CEO & President, Concerned Women for America LAC

Kevin Walters
Campus Minister, Detroit Catholic Central High School

Mike Nalepa
President, Everest Collegiate High School & Academy

Timothy Head
Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition

Paul Weber
President & CEO, Family Policy Alliance

Travis Weber
Vice President of Policy, Family Research Council

Sharon Slater
President & CEO, Family Watch International

Fr. Sean O. Sheridan, TOR
President, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Ken Bruce Kemper, PhD
President, Grace Christian University

Anthony W. Allen
President, Hannibal-LaGrange University

Tim Chapman
Executive Director, Heritage Action for America

Therese Maciag
Principal, Holy Cross Academy

Tim Kotyuk
Principal, Huron Valley Catholic School

Patrick S.J. Carmack, Esq.
Executive Director, Ignatius-Angelicum Great Books Program

Brad Grinstead
Headmaster, Immaculate Heart of Mary School

Michael J. Van Hecke
President, Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

Mark Tooley
President, Institute on Religion and Democracy

Nathanael Rea
Headmaster, John Paul, the Great Academy

Derry Connolly
President,  John Paul the Great Catholic University

Mary Rowles
Executive Director, Kolbe Academy

Matthew D. Staver
Founder & Chairman
Liberty Counsel

Jonathan Alexandre
Director of Public Policy
Liberty Counsel Action

Rick Brewer, PhD
Louisiana College

Gregory P. Seltz, PhD
Executive Director
Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty

Luke A. Macik, JD
The Lyceum

Ken Kruithof
Chief Operating Officer
Miracle Hill Ministries

Timothy E. Trainor, PhD
Mount St. Mary’s University

Eileen Cubanski
Executive Director
National Association of Private
Catholic and Independent Schools

Benjamin Merkle
New Saint Andrews College

George Harne
Northeast Catholic College

Gene C. Fant, Jr, PhD
North Greenville University

Aaron Baer
Citizens for Community Values
Ohio’s Family Policy Council

Everett Piper, PhD
Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Todd R. Flanders, PhD
Providence Academy

Randall Pierce
Queen of Heaven Academy

Rita McCormick
President & Principal
Quigley Catholic High School

Christopher Keefe
Regina Coeli Academy

M. Denise D’Attore, PhD
Head of School
Regina Luminis Academy

Veronica Murphy
Head of School
Royalmont Academy

Scott J. Baier
Head of School
Royal Palm Academy

Thomas Ellis
President of the Board
Saint Augustine Academy

Anthony Biese
TK-12 Headmaster
Saint Joseph Academy

Stephen M. Krason, JD, PhD
Society of Catholic Social Scientists

Russell Moore, PhD
Southern Baptist Ethics &
Religious Liberty Commission

Keith Kiser
Saint Joseph’s Catholic School

Catherine LeBlanc
Saint Thomas More Academy

Kristan Hawkins
Students for Life Action

Michael F. McLean, PhD
Thomas Aquinas College

William Fahey, PhD
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Samuel W. Oliver, PhD
Union University

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, DD
Archbishop of Louisville
Chairman, USCCB Committee
for Religious Liberty

Most Reverend James D. Conley
Bishop of Lincoln
Chairman, USCCB Subcommittee
for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane
Bishop of Venice
Chairman, USCCB Committee on
Domestic Justice and Human Development

Monsignor James P. Shea
University of Mary

Richard Nye
President & Cofounder
Veritas Christi Catholic High School

Diane Kelly Cavazos
Foundress & President
Veritas Preparatory School

Jo Anne Lyon
Ambassador & General Superintendent Emerita
The Wesleyan Church

John Jackson, PhD
William Jessup University

Glenn C. Arbery, PhD
Wyoming Catholic College

Christians Must Stand Their Ground, ‘Disobey’ Unjust Laws Limiting Religious Freedom, Says Matt Staver in Kick-Off to 4-Day Future Conference

Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision looms this month, Liberty Counsel Chairman Matt Staver and subpoenaed Houston pastor Steven Riggle asserted Sunday that Christians and churches across the country need to unite, stand their ground and defy “unjust” laws that restrict religious freedoms.

While speaking on the opening night of the four-day Future Conference hosted at the Skyline Church in San Diego, which is headed by pastor Jim Garlow, Staver told the audience in a video speech that the pending Supreme Court ruling could lead to the constitutionalization of same-sex marriage and would also be an “unprecedented threat” to American history and religious freedoms.

Staver, whose Liberty Institute advocates for numerous Christians persecuted by the government for upholding their faith, further explained that if same-sex marriage is ruled constitutional, it will not be something that Christians will simply be able to ignore.

Staver argued that civil authorities will force people and businesses to choose between “compromising” their biblical convictions of marriage being between one man and one woman or having to face the prosecutorial wrath of civil authorities.

The Supreme Court has historically made a few bad rulings that time and justice have been able to realize and overcome, and a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage would be yet another biasly-flawed Supreme Court ruling, Staver contended.

Despite the fact that multiple cases across the nation have arisen where Christian business owners have been prosecuted, threatened and fined for refusing to service same-sex weddings, Staver said Christians should not be coerced into folding their biblical beliefs in order to comply with the rule of law, especially when such a law contradicts God’s natural rule of a “higher law.”

“Martin Luther King Jr., in his letter from the Birmingham Jail, said there are two different kinds of laws. There is a just law and an unjust law,” Staver explained. “An unjust law is an earthly law that is in direct collision and conflict with the higher law. [MLK] said that we must disobey them. We can not give them the respect of the rule of law because our highest respect for the rule of law requires that we not give respect to a lawless decision.”

Staver stressed that people must take a stand for their religious freedoms because judges and lawmakers are trying to stomp on them.

“We have policies at Liberty Counsel as a baseline for churches to adopt. But understand that these are not full proof. There are ideologues, whether on the bench or in legislative bodies, that really don’t care about your religious freedom, the First Amendment and these inalienable rights of conscience and they will override those liberties with this radical agenda,” Staver said.

“What should a pastor, what should people do?” Starver asked. “I believe we shouldn’t be intimidated. I believe that we should not change a single thing that we do. I believe we need to stand the ground on which God has given us. Stand your ground is my message to you. Don’t be intimidated by what’s coming.”

Staver also advised that Christians across the country need to unite on the same cause and speak out any time one of their brothers and sisters is persecuted by the government simply because they acted in accordance with their faith. Staver detailed his point by adapting a famous quote by anti-Nazi theologen Martin Niemӧller to modern-day society.

“First they came for the adoption ministry but I did not speak out because I did not do adoptions. Then, they came for the wedding photographer but I did not speak up because I did not do photographic weddings. Then, they came for the baker and I did not speak up because I was not a baker. Then, they came for the florist but I said nothing because I was not a florist. Then, they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me,” Staver said.

“This is not a call for lone believers to fall on their swords,” staver continued. “It is a call for us to speak for each other and stand together and even to suffer together. Like Esther facing the unjust laws of the Persian Empire, we must pray, then we must stiffen our spines. May God help us remain faithful, whatever the cost.”

iggle, who was one of five Houston-area pastors whose sermons were subpoenaed by Houston’s lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, last fall because of his opposition to the city’s transgender bathroom ordinance, told the conference that it’s imperative for each individual evangelical movement across the country to unite as one super movement against the attack on religious freedom.

“It seems to me that we better find a way to take all of the voices and merge them together instead of a shout coming from here and here and over there,” Riggle, who pastors Houston’s Grace Community Church, stated. “I have been asked to sign three letters in one week all with them going here and going there. What would happen if 100 million people signed one letter. When are we going to figure this out?”

Although there has been no shortage of petitions and joint letters signed by evangelical leaders against same-sex marriage, Riggle compared those individual letters and petitions to the equivalent of a group of people trying to take down one bear by using nothing but small sticks and switches, instead of one giant stick to knock the bear out.

“I think we need to walk softly and carry a big stick,” Riggle asserted. “What I mean by that is until we unite our forces, we will continue to lose because it seems to me like we have whole lot of people walking around carrying switches.”

“Can you imagine 30 people surrounding the bear and everyone of them having a switch and all of them switching the bear and he may eat you if you do that,” Riggle continued. “If you figure that if all of you put your forces together and you get a big stick … and you put everybody together and you go out after the bear with [the big stick] and on your stick is ‘the lord is my strength.’ Walk softly and carry a big stick.”

Riggle also advised Christians not to back down in the face of government coercion. He insists that Christians need to be prepared to “run to the battle,” just as David did in his battle against Goliath.

“When you hear the threats and intimidation, don’t hide. Like David, run to the battle, don’t disappear. … When the giant shouts, shout back. … How do you shout back, shout back in the voting booth … shout back by running for office.”

Staver concluded by saying that a pro-gay Supreme Court ruling will create “impossible odds” for Christians that will force God to intervene, just as He did when he protected Daniel from the lions’ den.

“This could be the best, most magnificent time for the church because moments like this when there is an unprecedented clash, there is impossible odds that God will intervene for his people,” Staver said.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-must-stand-their-ground-disobey-unjust-laws-limiting-religious-freedom-says-matt-staver-in-kick-off-to-3-day-future-conference-140381/#kDfSPVUV2iI8RkA6.99

Ross Raises The White Flag On Gay Marriage



By Rod Dreher

All that’s left to decide is the terms of surrender that will be dictated to conservatives, says Ross Douthat. He says there were two scenarios that might have played out. In the first, after same-sex marriage was achieved, the culture would have settled down, and gays would have gone about their business getting married and divorced like everybody else, and things would have returned to normal. In the second, gay partisans and their supporters would have put constant pressure on any holdouts or pockets of resistance, attempting to crush any opposition. Excerpt:

In the past, this constant-pressure scenario has seemed the less-likely one, since Americans are better at agreeing to disagree than the culture war would suggest. But it feels a little bit more likely after last week’s “debate” in Arizona, over a bill that was designed to clarify whether existing religious freedom protections can be invoked by defendants like the florist or the photographer.

If you don’t recognize my description of the bill, then you probably followed the press coverage, which was mendacious and hysterical — evincing no familiarity with the legal issues, and endlessly parroting the line that the bill would institute “Jim Crow” for gays. (Never mind that in Arizona it’s currently legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation — and mass discrimination isn’t exactly breaking out.) Allegedly sensible centrists compared the bill’s supporters to segregationist politicians, liberals invoked the Bob Jones precedent to dismiss religious-liberty concerns, and Republican politicians behaved as though the law had been written by David Duke.

What makes this response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.

Of course. We will hear how all of this would have been different if only SSM opponents had done this, that, or the other thing in the past. Don’t believe it. Had the country embraced civil unions in 2004, for example, gay activists would have done exactly what they did in California, which did embrace civil unions: sue for full marriage recognition. This was always how it was going to end. I’ve been saying for at least five years that we conservatives had better focus on trying to carve out some religious liberty protections for ourselves, but that was a futile task too, amid the hysteria of this cultural climate. Now that the goal of legal same-sex marriage from coast to coast is clearly in sight, the fight will turn to demonizing any remaining resistance from religious dissenters, who must not be allowed any quarter. You can bet on it. Douthat concludes:

Christians had plenty of opportunities — thousands of years’ worth — to treat gay people with real charity, and far too often chose intolerance. (And still do, in many instances and places.) So being marginalized, being sued, losing tax-exempt status — this will be uncomfortable, but we should keep perspective and remember our sins, and nobody should call it persecution.

I disagree. It is certainly true that Christian conservatives should not rush to embrace the “persecution” label, which rightly applies to what is happening to Christians in Egypt, Syria, and elsewhere. However, I think Douthat is being too quick to buy into the narrative of our opponents here — a narrative one often hears from pro-SSM readers of this blog: that unless you Christians are being rounded up, beaten, or killed, it’s not persecution, so quit complaining. The same rhetorical strategy could be used against gays, of course, and it would also be unfair, because many gay people have certainly been persecuted. If only pogroms count as persecution, then very few non-black Americans in our time have ever been “persecuted.”

Anyway, if it comes to pass in the next few years that religious institutions and churches begin to lose their tax-exempt status because they do not accept the status quo on homosexuality, many of these churches and institutions will have to close, or radically scale back their operations. They operate on such a close margin as it stands now. Do you think for one minute that activists will allow any breathing room to institutions that refuse to bend to their will? Of course not. In short order, Christians in America will be forced to decide how much their institutions mean to them, and how deep in their pockets they are willing to dig to keep them going.

When Christians cannot enter into certain professions because they cannot in good conscience sign statements required by licensing guilds, that will feel like persecution. When Christians are publicly vilified, and their children are taught that holding firm to their faith makes them social pariahs, that will feel like persecution. And Christians who hold to the traditions of our faith, and refuse to sell out to the Zeitgeist, will be instructed that we deserve everything coming our way — this, even though we were all told, and told, and told, that all the other side was seeking was fairness.

The Law Of Merited Impossibility: It won’t happen, and when it does, you people will deserve it.

I think it is impossible to overestimate the power of the media in bringing about what is and what is to come. I think it is also impossible to overstate the hostility within media circles to Christianity on this issue. Over the years, I’ve often found myself telling fellow conservatives that their idea of media bias and what the media are like is exaggerated. On this one, though, it’s as bad or worse than they imagine. Mollie Hemingway writes about media coverage of the Arizona law. Excerpt:

There are countless more examples (from the Washington Post to local papers) of how poorly reporters have handled this topic and how quickly they’ve joined the mob of activism against civil or rational discourse.

Religious liberty is a deeply radical concept. It was at this country’s founding and it hasn’t become less so. Preserving it has always been a full-time battle. But it’s important, because religion is at the core of people’s identity. A government that tramples religious liberty is not a government that protects economic freedom. It’s certainly not a government that protects conscience rights. A government that tramples religious liberty does not have expansive press freedoms. Can you think of one country with a narrow view of religious liberty but an expansive view of economic freedom, freedom of association, press freedoms or free speech rights? One?

A media less hostile to religious liberty would think less about scoring cheap political points, creating uncivil political climates and disparaging institutions that help humans flourish. A media with a higher regard for truth would, it turns out, have a higher regard for religious liberty.

Sadly, we seem to have left the world of reason and tolerance. Could our media climate demonstrate that any better? And what lies ahead, if left uncorrected, is illogical and tyrannical. Freedom of religion was the central principle in the moral case of our country. Once that’s gone, how long can the Republic stand? Does anyone even care?

When you have a prominent ESPN personality likening the Arizona bill to Nazi Germany’s making Jews wear yellow stars, and this is considered reasonable mainstream discourse, I think the answer, Mrs. Hemingway, is no, not in our media class. Watch Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon discuss this. Hysterics, both of them:

American Christians are about to learn what it means to live in a country where being a faithful Christian is going to exact significant costs. It may not be persecution, but it’s still going to hurt, and in ways most Christians scarcely understand. Maybe this will be good for us. Maybe. We’ll see.

Courtesy of http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/ross-raises-the-white-flag-on-gay-marriage/

Fed-up Americans: Fire the judges, too!

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Marsha Ternus

Judicial elections across the United States, largely ho-hum affairs that only stand out when members of the black robes commit a crime, have turned white-hot in Iowa, where residents are organizing and campaigning to fire three of the state Supreme Court members who created same-sex marriage for the state.

Supporters of the judges – Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit – are countering with arguments that Iowans who want the three removed from office have abandoned the rule of law and become “the mob.”

But former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who was removed from office himself when state officials refused to allow him to challenge an order he considered illegal, said the judges in Iowa didn’t even follow their own state law – which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Instead, Moore said, they joined advocates for homosexuality in calling such couples “similarly situated” to traditionally married couples.

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That view is accurate, said Moore, who runs the Foundation for Moral Law, only if one cannot tell the difference between a man and a woman.

The justices’ stance, he suggested, is why polls show they could be ejected from their highly paid positions of influence, even though they usually are the benefactors of approval from 80 percent or 90 percent of the voters.

Several polls show that support for the three is running only percentage points above the portion of the citizenry already committed to voting them out. Several polls suggested the small percentage of undecideds probably ultimately will be the deciding factor.

In Iowa, the Supreme Court created same-sex “marriage” in a lawsuit brought by homosexual couples, determining that they had the same “right” to marry as traditional married couples.

Members of the Iowa Supreme Court who unanimously adopted same-sex ‘marriage’ for the state

But Moore noted that Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act specified one man and one woman marriages, so the justices actually were violating the law they were sworn to uphold. Moore noted that the original Iowa Constitution forbade “sodomy.”

The surge of condemnation for the three justices – the only ones from the high court on the ballot this year – sends “a signal all across the nation,” Moore said.

“People are tired of activist judges who rule not according to their own constitution and laws of their state,” he said. “If they are removed, it will stop this judicial activism.”

He quoted from the Iowa court’s own opinion that it could “protect constitutional rights … even when the rights have not yet been broadly accepted or at one time [were] unimagined.”

“What they are saying is that they can give rights to individuals that were at one time unimagined. If that’s not judicial activism…” he said. “What’s to stop them from letting men marry their own daughters. Brothers marry sisters. A whole village becoming a marriage.”

Former GOP candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats, a spokesman for a grassroots group trying to oust the three judges, said the Iowa For Freedom campaign was launched because the decision simply was wrong.

“On April 3, 2009, this court did what it cannot do and God help this country and this state if we allow them to do it,” he told the Cedar Falls Courier.

A Des Moines Register poll found 40 percent of voters plan to vote to remove all three judges, and 44 percent will try to keep them, leaving the outcome a virtual tossup.

According to the Iowa Independent, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has concluded that voters really have no choice but to reject the judges.

“Iowa law says that marriage is only between ‘a male and a female,'” King said. “No judge can be allowed to remain on the bench who would turn thousands of years of law and human history on its head by discovering rights that ‘were at one time unimagined’ in our Constitution,” he told the newspaper.

Officials with the state Supreme Court declined to respond to WND requests for comment. Nor did Ternus respond to a message left by WND with her personal office staff.

A Des Moines newspaper report affirmed that the results will ripple beyond the edges of Iowa’s borders.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington told the newspaper in an interview, “What you see happening here is a precedent being set, and other states will feel comfortable following it.”

It was, according to the Sioux City Journal, former Iowa Supreme Court judge Mark McCormick who called those who oppose same-sex “marriage” and the imposition of that status by a court “the mob.”

He told the newspaper, “But the campaign here is one that is an effort to try to intimidate judges, not just in Iowa, but everywhere; not to carry out their constitutional responsibilities but to defer to the mob or to what is perceived to be a majority view and not to make an unpopular decision. But we depend on our courts to make unpopular decisions. They protect us. Courts exist to protect individual rights. They do not exist necessarily to protect the interest of the majority from time to time.”

To which Vander Plaats suggested of his fellow Iowans, “This isn’t about the mob, this is about we, the people.”

No Iowa Supreme Court justice has been removed from the bench by a vote of the people in nearly 50 years. But when voters have been given the chance to define marriage in their own states, 30 times out of 30 they’ve chosen to define it as being between a man and a woman, only.

A similar fight also is going on in California. There a homosexual federal judge who ruled that gender “no longer forms an essential part of marriage” struck down the state’s voter-approved Proposition 8 constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman only.

The issue now is before an appellate court.

Judge Vaughn Walker, who a short time after his decision announced he was quitting the bench, said:

Proposition 8 was passed by voters in 2008. In his Aug. 4 decision, Walker declared it violates the rights of homosexuals under the federal Constitution.

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 04: Members of the group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence attend a rally to celebrate the ruling to overturn Proposition 8 August 4, 2010 in San Francisco, California. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker announced his ruling to overturn Proposition 8 finding it unconstitutional. The voter approved measure denies same-sex couples the right to marry in the State of California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Walker’s decision had disregarded the terse warning contained in California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter’s dissenting opinion in a 2008 case on same-sex “marriage.” That case saw same-sex “marriage” imposed by judicial fiat on the state, a result that was reversed by the Prop 8 vote.

Baxter had warned of the “legal jujitsu” required to establish same-sex “marriage” by court order.

“The bans on incestuous and polygamous marriages are ancient and deeprooted, and, as the majority suggests, they are supported by strong considerations of social policy,” Baxter warned in his dissent. “Our society abhors such relationships, and the notion that our laws could not forever prohibit them seems preposterous. Yet here, the majority overturns, in abrupt fashion, an initiative statute confirming the equally deeprooted assumption that marriage is a union of partners of the opposite sex. The majority does so by relying on its own assessment of contemporary community values, and by inserting in our Constitution an expanded definition of the right to marry that contravenes express statutory law.

“Who can say that, in 10, 15 or 20 years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’s analysis to conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?” Baxter wrote.

Courtesy of http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=218325

Getting Right with God and Government

It was only four years ago that Catholic Charities of Boston announced that it was getting out of the adoption business in order to comply with new state laws dealing with sexual orientation discrimination and same-sex marriage. Last month the District of Columbia, where I live, voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

Let me be clear: Our notorious City Council decided to change the law on this matter and efforts to allow the actual residents of the city to vote were successfully fought. That means DC Catholic Charities had to choose between obeying church teaching on the sanctity of life and continuing to have contracts with the city government to assist with adoptions and foster care.

And that’s not the only unintended consequence of the new ruling. Here’s the Washington Post’s William Wan reporting on the latest:

Starting Tuesday, Catholic Charities will not offer benefits to spouses of new employees or to spouses of current employees who are not already enrolled in the plan. A letter describing the change in health benefits was e-mailed to employees Monday, two days before same-sex marriage will become legal in the District.

“We looked at all the options and implications,” said the charity’s president, Edward J. Orzechowski. “This allows us to continue providing services, comply with the city’s new requirements and remain faithful to the church’s teaching.”

It’s been years since the warnings and concerns about how introducing same-sex marriage would affect religious freedom ceased being theoretical. This Post story is good. It’s a very straightforward account that focuses almost exclusively on the news and doesn’t include much analysis from folks on various sides of the religious and political issues. But before you do analysis, you need the news and this is a good piece packed with information.

But I don’t think we’ve seen anything close to the amount or type of coverage that this issue warrants. When I think of mainstream coverage of the tension between gay rights and religious freedom, I can think of one piece that ran in NPR two years ago. Consider this quote from the article I linked to earlier in the week by traditional marriage advocate Maggie Gallagher:

I PUT THE QUESTION to Anthony Picarello, president and general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The Becket Fund is widely recognized as one of the best religious liberty law firms and the only one that defends the religious liberty of all faith groups, “from Anglicans to Zoroastrians,” as its founder Kevin J. Hasson likes to say (referring to actual clients the Becket Fund has defended).

Just how serious are the coming conflicts over religious liberty stemming from gay marriage?

“The impact will be severe and pervasive,” Picarello says flatly. “This is going to affect every aspect of church-state relations.” Recent years, he predicts, will be looked back on as a time of relative peace between church and state, one where people had the luxury of litigating cases about things like the Ten Commandments in courthouses. In times of relative peace, says Picarello, people don’t even notice that “the church is surrounded on all sides by the state; that church and state butt up against each other. The boundaries are usually peaceful, so it’s easy sometimes to forget they are there. But because marriage affects just about every area of the law, gay marriage is going to create a point of conflict at every point around the perimeter.”

So we’ll have points of conflict everywhere, great uncertainty about how to resolve these issues, and have the media really treated the issue with the seriousness that it deserves?

Take this USA Today blog treatment of the most recent news. Here’s how a recent post looking at how Catholic organizations follow Catholic teaching begins:

If the sign says “Catholic,” then, by golly, it had better be by-the-book Catholic. That’s what U.S. bishops and agency heads are saying as they make moves across the country to ensure the Church’s directives, particularly on marriage and sexuality are followed to the letter by everyone who flies the brand flag.

As opposed to what, by golly? I’m not Catholic but I would hope that any church leadership worth their salt would encourage everyone in the church to follow both the letter and the spirit of God’s law. Some of us even think that what the church has to say is just as or possibly even more important as what my city council thinks at a given moment. Maybe some people think that “everyone who flies the Catholic brand flag” should just bend their practices to whatever winds blow their way, but that’s not really the way the traditional church has operated over the years.

And while some people think that the most important civil rights issue in the world right now involves allowing two people of the same sex to marry each other, others actually think that this is a pernicious idea on several fronts (none of which ever seem to be explored by the media). And no matter what people think about the issue of changing marriage law, few scholars will disagree that this will have affect religious freedom. There is major tension. It’s happening wherever legislators and judges impose same-sex marriage. Let’s start seeing some more substantive mainstream coverage.

Courtesy of Get Religion Blog at http://www.getreligion.org/