In Los Angeles, California, a group of specialists in media, advertising and entertainment, joined by business people, lawyers, and civic activists have founded an organization that is running advertisements based solely on the need to amend the Constitution to fix our political campaign finance system. The group, Fix Our America, has begun the process of running the following advertisement on airwaves in California, and is seeking to run more ads in other media markets across the country:
These advertisements are boosting the amendment dialogue in California, a state that has witnessed much grassroots amendment activity yet is still in need of deep reform. Just days ago, Los Angeles voters approved Ballot Measure C, which called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, with 77% of the vote; last year, the California state legislature passed an amendment resolution “to restore constitutional rights and fair elections to the people”; and since the Citizens United decision came down in January 2010, over 75 California municipalities have called on Congress and the states to pass and ratify an amendment to overturn Citizens United.
California does not stand alone. The amendment movement is well underway and gaining momentum in states across the country. Fix Our America is yet another example of the American people joining together in protest of the fundamental threat that corporate and special interest campaign spending poses to our democratic institutions. In the words of Fix Our America’s Declaration of Principles Statement, “Americans deserve the best. Instead, we have been saddled with a system that … leaves all of us at the mercy of those who buy legislation and policy to suit their narrow interests.” The time has come to fix that.
Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver has been spearheading efforts to strike down a California law barring ex-gay therapy for minors. Today, he chatted with Mike Huckabee about Liberty Counsel’s case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Staver warned that if the law stands, minors will be forced to turn to harmful, back-alley ex-gay therapy rather than to “licensed professionals.” Huckabee compared this to having an untrained person trying to set a broken leg.
Of course, Staver and Huckabee both support personhood laws that would criminalize abortion in all cases and dramatically increase cases of unsafe, back-alley abortions.
Staver: They make the premise that this counseling is harmful, it’s harmful if it’s engaged in, they say, by licensed professionals that have training and education. Well guess what? If this law passes and it goes into effect and the court doesn’t stop it, then if it’s harmful to have this by licensed professionals, what’s the next step? It’s even more harmful to have it done by people who are not licensed or trained, but that’s where it’s going.
Huckabee: It’s almost like saying that if you set a broken leg as a medical doctor and you don’t do it a certain way, you’re in trouble. Obviously, if you’re not even a medical doctor, I think you’d clearly be clearly under a greater level of trouble, that’s the point you’re making.
Later, Staver made the case that survivors of child abuse would not be able to receive counseling under the law and described the law as “dangerous.” Huckabee, meanwhile, wondered about the plight of a young gay man who “decided” to be heterosexual.
Staver: If this client comes in and the parents say he was molested by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky and abused, now after that several months later he started to have these acting out behaviors and he doesn’t like it, nor do we, can you help him? The counselor would have to say, ‘I can’t, you’re going to have to just accept that, that’s who you are, that’s natural and normal, I can’t give you counsel to ultimately help you eliminate those kinds of attempts that you want to act out, the kind of behavior that you were abused by.’ This is just an absurd situation; it is politically motivated.
Huckabee: I mean this really is the courts stepping in and telling the clinical practitioner the limits of his or her practice to a level that would seem unprecedented. Mat, let me pose a question, let’s say a young person comes in and says, ‘you know I’ve always believed I’m homosexual, believed that since I was seven-years-old, but now that I’m seventeen, I’ve decided that I’m not, I’m heterosexual’ and goes to a pro-homosexual counselor. Would that person be at risk? It looks like some of those folks would be nervous that they couldn’t say, ‘oh no, no you are homosexual all right because you thought that when you were seven and therefore you have to stay that way.’
Staver: The interesting thing the way the law is essentially written is if you are trying to give them counsel, even for somebody who say for example they say they’re bisexual, they’re attracted to both sexes, if you are trying to counsel them to primarily be heterosexual as opposed to homosexual that would be a clear violation. If you are trying to move them away, however, from heterosexuality to bisexuality, transexuality, asexuality, whatever sexuality you come up with, questioning, confused, then that is personally fine as long as you affirm them in that situation. But if you move them back towards heterosexuality, nope, that’s simply not permissible. You can see really where this law is coming from, this law is a political statement; it’s dangerous.
Joseph Farah writes today that lawmakers in California and New Jersey who are pushing limits on ex-gay therapy are “promoting sexual anarchy” and “child abuse.” The virluently anti-gay WorldNetDaily editor warns that the “homosexual lobby” is “dangerous and totalitarian in nature” and seeks the “the active recruitment of children into aberrant sexual lifestyles.”
At the same time American society takes this anything-goes approach to sexuality, there is one new glaring taboo being constructed in some states: Counseling and therapy for minors who want to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Such legislation was passed by the California Legislature before being struck down by the courts.
But now similar legislation is being introduced in New Jersey, in what can fairly be described as the next big push by those promoting sexual anarchy in America.
This is an illustration of just how dangerous and totalitarian in nature the homosexual lobby truly is.
What’s happening in our society today is nothing short of the active recruitment of children into aberrant sexual lifestyles. We once called this child abuse. But today it’s official state policy. The next step, which may have been unimaginable a few years ago, is to ensure there’s no way out for those recruits.
Parents and children shouldn’t have an opportunity to explore their options in enjoying a heterosexual lifestyle. Change only works one way, according to these fiends.
Think about this: Children molested by same-sex adults are much more likely to adopt a same-sex attraction. Sometimes all those kids need is some counseling to overcome their victimization. That would be legally prohibited by the legislation now under consideration in New Jersey and the legislation passed in California.
The homosexual movement once claimed its supreme goal was to ensure that its constituents could do what they want in the privacy of their own bedrooms. That was a lie. Now they parade their sexual proclivities in our streets and in the “gay”-friendly media. It’s no longer an alternative lifestyle; it’s quickly becoming the preferred lifestyle, the brave new lifestyle, the hip and heroic lifestyle, the affirmative-action lifestyle.
Now the homosexual movement and its allies in the popular culture, media and politics are seeking to use the police power of the state to make sure there’s no return from a “choice” made even as a child. Once “gay,” always “gay” is their credo.
Roger Hedgecock is a syndicated right-wing talk show host based in San Diego. For years, he was a regular fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, and before that he was a Republican mayor of San Diego – briefly, that is. He was convicted of campaign finance violations and thrown out of office only two years into his first term.
Speaking on his program earlier this week, Hedgecock lamented that “hatred of white people has now become an epidemic in this country” and is even “informing political decisions that are made.” The cause? President Obama and white-hating public schools.
While most Americans see Obama’s election as a landmark victory for racial equality, Hedgehock thinks it’s tearing America apart at its racial seams:
No one has ever more racially divided this country since John C. Calhoun than Barack Obama. No one in this country believes we are better off in race relations, that there is less racial tension today, because of Barack Obama's election. [...]
It was my hope, and the hope of many voters, particularly those who did not vote for Barack Obama, that the silver lining here would be, here was a man who understood the history, and would bring us together, and would get us past the racism question. And instead of that has gone exactly the other way.
Further complicating Hedgecock’s life-as-a-white-man is that public schools are teaching “hatred of white people” and “hatred of white privilege.” The curriculum, he argued, is “as anti-American, anti-West and anti-white as you could imagine.” As proof, he cited a diversity program in Portland, OR schools that dared to mention that whites have traditionally enjoyed a number of privileges.
Hedgecock said he wants everybody to get along so we can all get past racism and live up to the Republican Party’s history. If only Obama could be more like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., racial tensions wouldn’t be so high:
Racial tensions in this country are at an all-time high in my lifetime, and I lived through the 50s. I lived through Rosa Parks. I lived through Martin Luther King, Jr. The consensus was at that time among white people that those civil rights efforts were in the noblest tradition of the American republic, lived up to our values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and lived up the Republican Party's history, including why it was even formed, to get rid of slavery in the first place.
Ah, yes. The consensus among whites in the ‘50s was that King and Parks were awesome and not the least bit controversial. They just politely asked for equality, and the white people said, “okay, sorry about that.” Everybody held hands and sang. And it was going perfectly until a white-hating black man got himself elected president.
Out of State Money Floods Contests in 2012
Washington, DC – Today People For the American Way Foundation unveiled new state-by-state fact sheets detailing outside spending in U.S. Senate and House races in 21 states. Each report analyzes the outside spending totals from Super PACs, dark money groups, and out-of-state spenders in the down ballot federal races from the 2012 election cycle. The fact sheets reveal that, on average, a majority of outside election money in these states came from Super PACs. And in every case, a vast majority came from organizations registered outside of the state.
The release of the “Outside Spending, Outsized Influence” reports coincide with the weekend marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the third anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC to draw attention to the dual threats of voter suppression and unlimited corporate and special interest money in politics. The reports – a partnership between PFAWF and U.S. PIRG – are part of the Money Out/Voters In campaign. As part of that campaign, People For the American Way Foundation, its affiliate People For the American Way, and other organizers across the country are hosting “Day of Action” events in more than 76 cities in 33 states this weekend. Members of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council will be leading Money Out/Voters In events in Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.
“Last year’s elections were far and away the most expensive in history,” said People For the American Way Foundation Executive Vice President Marge Baker. “A major reason was the influx of outside, special interest spending in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision. When big money floods our elections, it dwarfs the ability of individual Americans to have their voices heard. Just as important, when politicians push laws to suppress the vote, we turn back the clock on decades on progress to expand and improve our democracy. We need to pursue the full range of remedies to address the problem of too much money in politics, including amending the Constitution to overturn Citizens United, and we need to stand up against the growing threat of voter suppression. This weekend we are joining with allies across the country to call for a democracy that gets Money Out and Voters In.”
The states featured in the reports are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
For links to each report, please visit: http://www.pfaw.org/issues/outside-spending-outsized-influence-big-and-s...
For more information about the Money Out/Voters In campaign or the Days of Action, please visit: http://www.moneyout-votersin.org
As Liberty Counsel continues its crusade against the California law that bans the use of sexual orientation conversion therapy on minors, it remains a frequent topic of discussion on the "Faith and Freedom" radio program, despite the fact that Mat Staver and Matt Barber essentially just keep making the same points over and over again.
But they do add new twists every now and again, like when Staver recently declared that this law ought to serve are a "wake-up call to America" that gay activists are on a mission to "abolish morality":
WASHINGTON -- In the wake of yesterday’s Senate confirmation of two long-pending federal district court nominees, People For the American Way urged lawmakers to commit to holding votes on all remaining district and circuit court nominees before the end of the year. While Senate Democrats have broken through Republican gridlock to hold votes on 10 pending district court nominees in the past few weeks, the future of nine district court and four circuit court nominees remains uncertain.
Yesterday, Fernando M. Olguin was confirmed to the US District Court for the Central District of California and Thomas M. Durkin was confirmed to the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Both were forced to wait over four months for a vote from the full Senate, even though there had been no substantive objections to their nominations. Both will fill officially-designated judicial emergencies. And both would have been confirmed in September if Republicans had not blocked Democratic efforts to schedule a simple yes-or-no vote.
“It’s encouraging to see that Senate Republicans are finally allowing votes on long-pending, uncontroversial district court nominees,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “But the fact that Republicans consider it a concession to Democrats to finally stop blocking votes on such nominees symbolizes how broken the Senate is and shows where responsibility for the problem lies. Four federal circuit court nominees, all highly qualified and supported by their home-state senators, have been waiting as long as nine months for a simple up-or-down vote from the Senate. With Election Day behind us and the end of this Congress fast approaching, it is imperative that these nominees be confirmed. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for Senate Republican stalling tactics that are leaving our courts under-staffed and denying justice to countless Americans.”
Circuit court nominees awaiting Senate votes are Patty Shwartz of New Jersey, Robert Bacharach of Oklahoma, William Kayatta of Maine and Federal Circuit nominee Richard Taranto.
Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show this week to report on his group’s so far unsuccessful lawsuit against California’s new law prohibiting the use of ex-gay therapy on minors. Barber asserted that “anecdotal, unsubstantiated, politically motivated claims of suicidal thoughts” that frequently result from the unsafe and degrading therapy techniques “have nothing to do with science.” “Simply on the science alone they just don’t have a leg to stand on,” Barber said.
But as we’ve reported before, the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of Social Workers and American Psychiatric Association have all found that sexual orientation conversion therapy is a dangerous sham.
Barber, who just yesterday he claimed that nearly half of all gay people are victims of sexual abuse as children, doesn’t really care about the findings of the country’s leading medical organizations, he just cares about preserving extremely harmful practices under the pretense of defending children against the supposed gay menace.
“The homosexual activist lobby is an insatiable beast” intent on “throwing children under the bus,” Barber claimed. He warned that gays are working to “turn our public schools into indoctrination centers” and “using these kids as pawns in a dangerous and selfish political game of chess.”
Barber: I know from personal experience dozens and dozens of former homosexuals, typically it’s through a relationship with Jesus Christ that they are able to come to a full and complete freedom from their unwanted same-sex attractions. We know the untold thousands of people who have left homosexuality, those results speak for themselves. You match that up against these anecdotal, unsubstantiated, politically motivated claims of suicidal thoughts and so forth, we see that this is clearly a political move; it has nothing to do with science or helping these children. They are using these kids as pawns in a dangerous and selfish political game of chess.
Barber: We’ve seen, as I mentioned before, thousands of people who have left homosexuality but they have to be able to establish that it’s fixed for legal purposes so that’s what it all boils down to, it’s all about the legality. We’re confident even the Ninth Circuit will hold that clearly this is an overreaching law that is politically motivated, intended to silence opposition to homosexuality and that simply on the science alone they just don’t have a leg to stand on.
Mefferd: You look at how the LGBT activists are operating in California and it just seems like there is no limit to what they want, it’s just one thing after another out there, they get one thing and then they move on to the next thing and they move on to the next thing and with great vigor.
Barber: That’s right. The homosexual activist lobby is an insatiable beast, as I’ve often said before. They do want everything that we’ve said that they wanted and that is not just affirmation of homosexuality but celebration of homosexuality under penalty of law, they absolutely want to turn our public schools into indoctrination centers and the narrative that people can and do leave homosexuality does not align with their political, cultural and legal goals so they are throwing children under the bus here—in order to try ends justifies the means agenda here.
People For the American Way President Michael Keegan released the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s announcement this afternoon that it will hear Windsor v. U.S., a case challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case challenging California’s Proposition 8:
“As we saw with last month’s state ballot measures affirming marriage equality, more and more Americans are coming to understand that laws preventing same-sex couples from getting married do real harm to our families, friends, and neighbors. There’s also absolutely no legitimate reason for the federal government to recognize some legally married couples while refusing to recognize others. Laws like Proposition 8 and DOMA go against the central American ideal of equal justice under the law,” said Keegan. “We applauded the earlier court decisions that found both Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. There’s no question that the Constitution’s guarantee of equal justice under law applies to all people—gay or straight. The cases the court agreed to hear today are a landmark opportunity for our country to move towards making marriage equality the law of the land once and for all.”
“It is time to for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the side of equality and send a powerful message: our country will no longer selectively discriminate against loving, committed couples.”
After a district court judge rejected their challenge of California’s law prohibits therapists from practicing dangerous sexual orientation conversion therapy on minors, Liberty Counsel has decided to appeal the ruling and has continued to portray the law as a boon to child predators. LC chairman Mat Staver said in a statement that the law promotes “child endangerment” and “will destroy many lives,” maintaining that “Jerry Sandusky would welcome a law like SB 1172” as “it is endangering generations of Americans.”
Late last night, Liberty Counsel filed a request for an emergency appeal and declarations in support of our appeal, asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to block California law SB 1172 which goes into effect on January 1, 2013. The law will ban any counsel that seeks to reduce or eliminate same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, or identity.
“If a young boy molested by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky develops severe emotional distress and unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, this law will force the counselor to tell the boy that his feelings are normal and good,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. Staver continued, “If the counselor seeks to reduce or eliminate the stress caused by his client’s molestation, the counselor will commit an ethical violation. That is child endangerment!”
A 2001 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 46% of homosexuals were molested in childhood. Without counseling, these victims often act out the very same sexual behavior used in their molestation. Staver said, “Jerry Sandusky would welcome a law like SB 1172. Minors who are sexually molested will face even more damage when they are told that their unwanted same-sex sexual attractions or behavior are natural and normal. This law is an outrage and it will destroy many lives and wreck the counseling profession,” said Staver.
“The minors we represent have not and do not want to act on their same-sex attractions. They are greatly benefiting from counseling,” Staver said. “If this law goes into effect and there is no emotional help available to these children, I fear they will suffer irreparable harm,” said Staver.
“Without this emergency injunction, the State of California will essentially barge into the private therapy rooms of victimized young people and tell them that their confusion caused by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky abuser is normal and they should pursue their unwanted same-sex sexual attractions and behavior. This is not only outrageous, it is endangering generations of Americans!” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver appeared on VCY America’s Crosstalk yesterday to discuss his so far unsuccessful legal challenge to California’s law banning ex-gay therapy practiced on minors, where host Vic Eliason commended his efforts and said that affirming a gay person’s sexual orientation is “like saying to the pyromaniac: go ahead and try it again.”
Staver: These clients who have a right to receive the kind of counseling that they want and is benefiting them, they will be told ‘no you can’t have that anymore.’ The only kind of counsel that you can get is that these confused feelings that you have and that you don’t want, don’t worry about them, just act on them, let’s change your religious and moral views instead.
Eliason: That’s like saying to the pyromaniac: go ahead and try it again. Inflaming emotions and passions….
Staver argued that the law will hurt survivors of child abuse because they will begin to “have feelings towards somebody of the same-sex because that’s how he was abused, that’s how he was dominated,” saying that gays are “abnormal” and have a “risky” lifestyle. He added that sometimes sexual orientation conversion therapy isn’t even needed because the orientation can “go away spontaneously” and “without any intervention at all.”
The likes of a Jerry Sandusky, the monster that he has been on the media and around the country, molest a young boy. That boy then begins to have anger and identity issues and it affects his relationship with his classmates and with his parents, then begins to act out or have feelings towards somebody of the same-sex because that’s how he was abused, that’s how he was dominated. That’s a normal response for someone going through something like this where they’ve been sexually dominated.
There are studies that show that some minors for example that might develop these same-sex sexual attractions, they go away spontaneously, they go away without any intervention at all, they just simply go away. Now, what happens if you have situations like that where someone just says, ‘hey it’s natural and normal, go ahead and act on it.’ Well no it’s not natural and normal, in fact it’s abnormal, it’s risky.
This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved five nominees to serve on federal district courts in New York, California and Florida and on the US Court of International Trade. A week ago, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley postponed votes on all five nominations without giving a reason, a delaying tactic that he has used on 97 percent of President Obama’s judicial nominees who the committee has voted on.
Sen. Grassley did not explain the reason for the delay last week, when a coalition of Iowa and national groups urged him to stop such routine delays. And the reason remained unclear today, as all five nominees were approved without opposition.
These five nominees now join fifteen other federal judicial nominees awaiting confirmation votes from the full Senate. The Senate has made progress by scheduling confirmation votes on four unopposed district court nominees in the past week, but that small amount of progress isn’t nearly enough to fill the gaps in overworked federal courts. Seven of the nominees still waiting for votes would fill officially-designated “judicial emergencies.”
It would be easy, of course, for the Senate to hold votes on all of the remaining nominees before the end of the year. After all, most were approved by the Judiciary Committee many months ago. But Senate Republicans have continued to stall even nominees with strong bipartisan support. All the circuit court nominees waiting for votes have the support of their home-state senators, Republican and Democratic, and nearly all of the pending district court nominees were approved by the Judiciary Committee with unanimous or nearly unanimous bipartisan support. One circuit court nominee, New Jersey’s Patty Shwartz, has been waiting nine months just for an up-or-down vote from the Senate; Federal Circuit nominee Richard Taranto has also been waiting since March.
If the Senate fails to vote on these nominees during the lame duck, the confirmation process – from presidential nomination through floor vote – will have to start all over again next year.
Notable about the district court nominees approved by the Judiciary Committee today is that all are women or people of color, representative of President Obama’s efforts to bring diversity to the federal courts. The nominees also include New York’s Pamela Chen, who would become just the fifth openly gay person to be confirmed to a lifetime federal judgeship.
Washington, DC – The movement to overturn Citizens United v. FEC scored major victories in state and local elections across the country Tuesday as citizens voted to support a constitutional amendment returning democracy to voters. Statewide ballot initiatives calling for a constitutional amendment passed by wide margins in Colorado and Montana, as did initiatives in over half the cities and towns of Massachusetts. Initiatives in San Francisco, Chicago, and three cities in Oregon also passed by wide margins.
“Americans across the country are fed up with the enormous influence of big money in elections,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “Yesterday, over seven million Americans in six states spoke out with their votes and overwhelmingly rejected corporate money in politics. What’s more, Americans reelected a president who supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United over a man who thinks “corporations are people.” This is a huge step for the ever-growing movement to return elections to the voters.”
More details about the successful ballot measures can be found here.
When California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation banning the use of therapy designed to change the sexual orientation of patients under the age of 18, the anti-gay zealots at Liberty Counsel were quick to file suit against the new law.
On their "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Mat Staver and Matt Barber explained that it was important for them to file suit because, as Barber said, the ban on such therapy was really nothing more than "bullying" of children with unwanted same-sex attractions. For his part, Staver warned that it would harm children who have been molested by pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky because if they begin to experience same-sex attraction as a result, they'll be told to "just go with it," which prompted Barber to declare that it was even worse than that because "this law says that the abuse has to continue; they have to continue abusing that boy by affirming and saying you must embrace these dysfunctional attractions now":