Month Archives: June 2013

FRC in the News Regarding Yesterday’s Supreme Court Marriage Decision

by Karah Kruger

June 27, 2013

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled on two very big cases: U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, offered remarks about the SCOTUS ruling on marriage which were picked up by various news networks. They include the following:

USA Today—”The reality is that society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad. We will continue to work to restore and promote a healthy marriage culture, which will maximize the chances of a child being raised by a married mother and father.”

Washington Times—“The Court’s decision allows the executive branch to effectively veto any duly enacted law, simply by refusing to defend it against a constitutional challenge. Ironically, by refusing to defend the law,California’s executive branch has also denied the nation any definitive ruling on the constitutionality of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Associated Press—”While we are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’ As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify.”

CNN—”Their refusal to redefine marriage for all states is a major setback for those seeking to redefine natural marriage. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’”

New York Times—“The lines are being drawn between states that stand with natural, traditional marriage and states that redefined it.”

Tony Perkins also wrote an article stressing the inevitable consequences this ruling will bring on society. The article is found in CNSNews. Many questions now arise regarding future litigation. Tony Perkins asks those questions:

The Defense of Marriage Act imposes no uniform definition of marriage upon the individual states. However, the states should not be able to impose varying definitions of marriage upon the federal government. The ruling that the federal government must recognize same-sex “marriages” in states that recognize them raises as many questions as it answers.”

For example, what is the status of such couples under federal law if they move to another state that does not recognize their “marriage?” This decision throws open the doors for whole new rounds of litigation.”

Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies, was mentioned in the Washington Post. He said:

Advocates of redefining marriage did not get what they wanted today — a declaration that all 50 states must treat same-sex unions as “marriages.” That means that this debate will continue across the country. This is an issue which should be resolved through the democratic process, not the courts.”

In an Associated Press article, he echoed what Tony Perkins said about the court ruling of federal recognition: ‘‘it raises as many questions as it answers.’’

‘Will recognition be based on the law in the state where the marriage was celebrated or the state in which the couple resides?’’ he said. ‘‘The doors may now be wide open for whole new rounds of litigation.’’

Ken Klukowski, Family Research Council’s Director, Center for Religious Liberty, wrote an article that appeared on Breitbart.com. Klukowski defends the fact that Proposition 8 is still California law and explains the outcome of the Court’s decision to dismiss ruling on California’s Proposition 8:

As of today, there is no appellate opinion (meaning an opinion issued by a court of appeals) against Prop 8. The Supreme Court refused to issue one, and threw out the only other one (the Ninth Circuit’s). There is only a trial court opinion. So every agency inCaliforniais legally bound to regard Prop 8 as binding law.”

Since no one who wants to defend Prop 8 has standing to appeal rulings on it to the Ninth Circuit, there will never be such an opinion in the federal court system. So the only way to get an appellate opinion would be in the California state court system. So someone would have to file a lawsuit regarding Prop 8, and then appeal it to a California court of appeals and then maybe to the California Supreme Court. Only when one of those courts hold Prop 8 unconstitutional can the public officials in that state regard it as stricken from the books.”

That litigation could take years. And in the meantime, supporters of traditional marriage can continue making the case for marriage.”

Supreme Court’s Refusal to Redefine Marriage Nationwide Allows American People to Consider Consequences of Redefinition

by FRC Media Office

June 26, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings on marriage:

While we are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.’ As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify.

We are encouraged that the court learned from the disaster of Roe v. Wade and refrained from redefining marriage for the entire country. However, by striking down the federal definition of marriage in DOMA, the Court is asserting that Congress does not have the power to define the meaning of words in statutes Congress itself has enacted. This is absurd. The Defense of Marriage Act imposes no uniform definition of marriage upon the individual states. However, the states should not be able to impose varying definitions of marriage upon the federal government. The ruling that the federal government must recognize same-sex ‘marriages’ in states that recognize them raises as many questions as it answers. For example, what is the status of such couples under federal law if they move to another state that does not recognize their ‘marriage?’ This decision throws open the doors for whole new rounds of litigation.

We are disturbed that the court refused to acknowledge that the proponents of Proposition 8 have standing to defend Proposition 8. This distorts the balance of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. The Court’s decision allows the executive branch to effectively veto any duly enacted law, simply by refusing to defend it against a constitutional challenge. Ironically, by refusing to defend the law, California’s executive branch has also denied the nation any definitive ruling on the constitutionality of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

What is inevitable is that the male and female relationship will continue to be uniquely important to the future of society. The reality is that society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad. We will continue to work to restore and promote a healthy marriage culture, which will maximize the chances of a child being raised by a married mother and father,” Perkins concluded.

Perkins will discuss the Court’s decision today on his daily radio show, Washington Watch, heard daily from 5-6 p.m. Eastern on the American Family Radio network and online at www.TonyPerkins.com.

FRC’s Ken Klukowski, J.D. attended oral arguments. He co-authored a legal brief in the marriage litigation. FRC’s Chris Gacek, J.D., Ph.D., worked with Paul B. Linton, J.D. of the Thomas More Society on FRC’s amicus briefs in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases.

FRC’s Defense of Marriage Act amicus brief: http://www.frc.org/legalbrief/amicus-brief-us-v-windsor

FRC’s Proposition 8 amicus brief: http://www.frc.org/legalbrief/amicus-brief-hollingsworth-v-perry

Answers to Common Questions/Arguments Regarding the Redefinition of Marriage

by Peter Sprigg

June 25, 2013

The country is awaiting rulings from the Supreme Court in two cases involving laws which define marriage as the union of one man and one woman—the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which is binding on the federal government but not the states, and California’s marriage amendment, adopted by voters in 2008 as “Proposition 8.”

Family Research Council has argued that it makes sense to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, because society needs children and children need a mom and a dad. Those are important public purposes that are not served by homosexual unions.

Here are some brief responses to a few of the common questions or arguments made in favor of redefining “marriage” to include homosexual unions.

  • Q—Shouldn’t everyone have the “right to marry?”

A—Every individual already has the right to marry; but not every couple or group meets the definition of what a “marriage” is.

  • Q—How can you deny homosexuals “marriage equality?”

A—The law does not require us to treat things that are fundamentally different “equally.” It only requires us to treat things that are fundamentally the same (“similarly situated”) equally. Opposite-sex unions are similar to same-sex unions in some ways, but are very different because they cannot fulfill the main public purpose of marriage—promoting responsible procreation and the best setting for childrearing.

  • Q—Why are you trying to impose a religious definition of marriage upon the civil law?

A—Marriage is not just a religious institution or just a civil institution. At its heart, marriage is a natural institution, rooted in the order of nature itself.

  • Q—If the law makes clear that clergy and churches do not have to perform same-sex marriages, doesn’t that protect religious liberty enough?

A—The “free exercise of religion” is not confined to ordained clergy, or within the four walls of a church. If marriage is redefined, religious schools, charities, counselors, businesses, and individual people of faith will all face the risk of being forced to violate their conscience.

  • Q—Isn’t the homosexual redefinition of “marriage” inevitable?

A—What is inevitable is that male-female unions will continue to be uniquely important to the future of society. The only question is whether the government will acknowledge that fact, or attempt to deny it. If the redefinition of marriage were inevitable, its advocates could trust the democratic process to bring that about. Instead, they have asked the Supreme Court to impose such a redefinition before the pendulum begins to swing back against them.

  • Q—Aren’t supporters of one-man-one-woman marriage on “the wrong side of history?”

A—It is more important to be on the right side of truth. The truth is that it takes a man and a woman to make a child; that men and women are not interchangeable in marriage, but complementary; and that children do best when raised by their own mother and father.

For additional information on marriage, see:

Keep the Definition of Marriage as the Union of One Man and One Woman

The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex “Marriage” (booklet)

Family Research Council Amicus Brief, Hollingsworth v. Perry (Proposition 8)

Family Research Council Amicus Brief, U.S. v. Windsor (DOMA)

Life on the Rise

by Anna Higgins

June 25, 2013

This will be my last blog post for a few weeks as I prepare to welcome my first child into the world this weekend. Amidst all the anxiety, preparation, and excitement, I am struck by the stark dichotomy that exists in the treatment of “wanted” and supposedly “unwanted” children. Were he to have been born prematurely or diagnosed in the womb some kind of dangerous medical issue, my son would be given all the life-saving treatment from the best doctors available in the world today – based on the premise that I, his mother, decided he is wanted. If I were to decide for any reason that I no longer wished to give birth to my child, I would be allowed to abort him – no questions asked - up to my ninth month of pregnancy in some states.  It is a reality in this country that an unborn child, for any reason, can be gruesomely murdered inside the womb on the whim of a woman’s “choice.”

What is the difference between aborting an unborn child late in pregnancy and killing him after he is born? This is the question those who insist on elective abortion refuse to answer. They cannot answer it because the only answer available is unacceptable and inhumane. The truth is that there is no difference.  If one can draw an arbitrary line at “viability” or at any other stage in pregnancy at which it is acceptable to abort a child, then what prevents that line from being drawn later on, even after birth? Killing a child born alive after a “failed” abortion is illegal, because it has not yet become socially acceptable to kill infants born alive. However, just as this country has come to embrace some of the most liberal late-term and inhumane abortion practices in the world, there will no doubt come a point at which people will begin to accept the killing of certain persons outside the womb as necessary and legal. This slippery slope is inevitable unless we embrace the concept that the inalienable right to life applies to all persons at every stage of development. As we work to that end, we have seen very encouraging steps taken to protect innocent life in the federal government and on the state level.

So far this year we have seen over 70 pro-life measures passed on the state level, adding to the record-breaking 130 pieces of pro-life legislation passed in 2011-2012. Most recently, on the federal level, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, the point at which an unborn child can feel pain. This is a courageous step that will serve as an impetus for states to enact similar measures. Several states have already enacted such measures and Texas is voting on a bill this week that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. Other pro-life measures passed this year on the state level include requirements that physicians performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges, ultrasound requirements prior to abortions, stronger informed consent for mothers considering abortion, and massive overhauls of abortion clinic regulation.

I join with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) when she spoke as a woman and mother in the floor debate over the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

There is no such thing as an unwanted child… . And women deserve better than abortion. Unborn children deserve their inalienable right to life. Pregnancy is wonderful. It can be difficult too. That’s why we need to show patience and compassion toward every woman as they carry a human life. We are, indeed, treading upon sacred ground. But it’s because we’re dealing with the sanctity of every human life.”

It is possible to care for both a woman and a child during pregnancy and after birth. There is no need to sacrifice our children because we claim they are “unwanted” or because our circumstances may be difficult. The answer is to honor all life and to dedicate our time and efforts to serving women in crisis – with material, emotional, and spiritual support. We must make room for every child and every woman in need, because all lives are unique, precious, and created in the image of God. 

Human Trafficking: What Can we, as a Society Do to prevent this Crime?

by Krystle Gabele

June 20, 2013

Every day, human trafficking is occurring in communities around the world. Whether it is through sex trafficking, labor trafficking, organ trafficking, and forcing children to be “child soldiers,” this crime impacts approximately 27 million men, women, and children. This crime destroys families and causes trauma for the victims.

Recently, the U.S. Department of State released its “Trafficking in Persons Report” highlighting the number of human trafficking cases occurring worldwide, victims’ stories, and a section on victim identification. There is no doubt that we should work tirelessly to bring awareness to this issue, as it impacts the dignity of human life and families.

The Washingtonian recently published an article about a human trafficking ring that was taking place in the backyard of the nation’s capital. Underage girls were being targeted by the Underground Gangster Crips gang for prostitution. The D.C. area and other large metropolitan areas face this type of crime frequently with gangs recruiting underage girls as prostitutes. These girls come from all types of familial backgrounds and from all socioeconomic classes as well. Most of these victims are recruited using social media tools, like Facebook and Twitter, and websites such as Craig’s List.

Human trafficking is becoming a fast growing crime, but there is still some stigma in terms of recognizing who is the victim or perpetrator. It is important for communities to understand the signs and how to prevent this crime from occurring.

FRC published a brochure, “Modern Slavery: How to Fight Human Trafficking in Your Community,” and this brochure provides tips on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking. There is also another valuable resource, our webcast, “Sex Trafficking in America: From the Boulevard to Planned Parenthood,” featuring speakers from organizations that specifically work with human trafficking: Shared Hope International, Courtney’s House, and the Salvation Army.

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” This has never been more true, in terms of bringing awareness to human trafficking and working towards ending this horrible crime.

Less Than a Third of Americans Want Federal Government to Redefine Marriage

by Peter Sprigg

June 20, 2013

With the Supreme Court due to rule on two cases seeking the redefinition of marriage next week, the media has been reporting widely on polls that claim a majority of Americans now support such a redefinition to include homosexual couples. The implication left by some of these stories is that a majority would therefore be happy to have the Supreme Court rule that the U.S. Constitution requires changing the definition of marriage and forbids any state from defining it as the union of a man and a woman.

One national poll released two weeks ago proves, through an analysis of its findings, that this is not true. Here are the two questions on marriage asked in a poll taken by Selzer & Company for Bloomberg News between May 31 and June 3:

QUOTE

The Supreme Court may also decide on the constitutionality of a prohibition on gay marriage inCalifornia. Do you support or oppose allowing same-sex couples to get married?

Support 52%
Oppose 41%
Not Sure 7%

Do you think there should be a national law allowing same-sex marriage, or should it be state-by-state? (Asked of those who support allowing same-sex couples to get married; n=506.)

National law 61%
Determined state-by-state 37%
Not Sure 2%

END QUOTE

The question about “a national law allowing same-sex marriage” is an awkward and oddly-worded one. The redefinition of marriage in all fifty states is hardly “inevitable,” as its advocates like to claim. But if it ever does become a reality, it will be because a) the Supreme Court orders it; b) the states individually adopt it; or c) the Constitution is amended to require it. But none of these involves Congress passing “a national law” (that is, a statute) to require it, since the statutory regulation of marriage has always been the responsibility of the states. (The federal Defense of Marriage Act only regulates the definition of marriage under federal law—it has no control over state marriage laws.)

Nevertheless, if we treat a possible Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. Constitution requires recognition of same-sex “marriages” as “a national law allowing same-sex marriage,” then the percent favoring that outcome is only 61% of the 52% who support redefining marriage at all. That works out to only 32% of the total sample—in contrast to the 60% who either oppose redefining marriage at all (41%) or support doing it state by state (52% X 37% = 19%).

So if the Supreme Court does force a redefinition of marriage on every state next week, they will be doing so not as a reflection of public opinion, but in defiance of it. 

FRC in the News: June 20, 2013

by Karah Kruger

June 20, 2013

Theological Reflections on Homosexuality as We Await the Supreme Court’s Decisions

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice President of Family Research Council, wrote an article for ReligionToday.com which encompasses several quotes from various Christian thinkers. The overall tone of the article is neither political nor legal; instead, the comments in the article consist of sound theological reflection filled with the compassion and love of Christ towards humanity. As Christians, we believe homosexuality to be a sin that is never to be affirmed, yet God calls us to still love the person and call them to faith in Christ, the only place they will find healing and grace. The following is a quote found in the article:

To affirm sin is to diminish humanity. To affirm righteousness and advocate for it in a spirit of winsome courage is to restore humanity. Believers cannot support homosexuality as a God-glorifying way to live. We recognize humanity most in other people when we see how sin has trapped them, feel empathy for them, and call them to the obedience of faith. This, and no other, is love; this, and nothing else, is compassionate”. – Owen Strachan, Ph.D., assistant professor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College

Rob Schawarzwalder concluded his article with this statement:

Christians can await the Supreme Court’s decision not without concern but without apprehension. We know Him Who both created human sexuality and also overcomes the world.”

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