West Virginia

West Virginia AFA Affiliate: Marriage Equality Will Force Schools To 'Provide New Gay Recruits'

Earlier this month, West Virginia started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the state’s Republican attorney general conceded that an appeals court ruling striking down the state’s marriage ban was “final and binding.”

This did not sit well with the West Virginia Family Foundation — a state affiliate of the American Family Association — which sent out an email to supporters today with the headline, “November Election & Gay Agenda Is Upon Us!”

The group’s chairman, Ray Lambert, writes in the breathless email that the state’s refusal to keep fighting marriage equality in court means that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin “cast his lot with Sodom and Obama” and that his “legacy is tarnished now by endorsing deviant and sinful sexual behavior.”

“Will homosexuality blossom in West Virginia?” Lambert asks. “The likelihood is yes. All WV schools, from K to grade 12 are now required by state law to teach and indoctrinate public school students to be tolerant of homosexuals and promiscuous.” Not only that, he warns, but schools will be forced to “provide new gay recruits.”

Lambert refers readers to Brian Camenker’s anti-gay group MassResistance for confirmation of his claims and to learn more about “the negative impact homosexuality has on gays and society in our daily lives.”

On the issue of Gay Marriage, West Virginians have been betrayed by our Governor, liberal federal judges and our own liberal West Virginia (WV) legislators!

I'm especially alarmed at how fast Governor Tomblin "threw in the towel" on our state's DOMA law which opened up our state to gay marriages. His announcement was fast and very unexpected. I think our Governor wrongly believes that homosexuality is worthy of special considerations. Governor Tomblin's legacy is tarnished now by endorsing deviant and sinful sexual behavior. He could have been known as the Governor who strengthened our state's marriage law but, sadly, he has cast his lot with Sodom and Obama. I believe it was done for political favor from his party.

Senate Speaker Jeffrey Kessler, from Wayne county, is eager to pass pro-homosexual laws. His pet law requires Christian and conservative business owners, and landlords, to employ or rent to men and women who practice sodomy. He overlooks existing civil rights law that guarantee us all freedom of religion. His view is that "gay rights" trumps Christians' rights.

Called the Employment and Housing Non-Discrimination Act (EHNDA), his legislation grants civil rights status to those who commit sodomy. This has far reaching ramifications, especially for Christians, whose Bible identifies sodomy sin. Abusing one's self through sodomy is a behavior, just like someone abusing tobacco, drugs, alcohol or even body piercings. Human behaviors can change and many step out of the gay lifestyle altogether. And because their "behavior" is mutable, unlike race, origin, age, etc. which is immutable. Society reserves civil rights protections for what we are, not the ever changing what we do.

Will homosexuality blossom in West Virginia? The likelihood is yes. All WV schools, from K to grade 12 are now required by state law to teach and indoctrinate public school students to be tolerant of homosexuals and promiscuous. Our schools will provide new gay recruits, just as it's being done today in Massachusetts' LGBT Conferences. More proof can be seen at the first annual Appalachian Queer Film Festival in Lewisburg. This four day event, going on now, brings Anne Sprinkle in to headline the event. Anne is characterized as the most vile and depraved lesbian in America by Peter LeBarbara, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. Will Lewisburg become the Key West or San Francisco of Appalachia. Isn't it strange that our WV newspapers aren't covering this "queer event"? Could it have something to do with the nearing election? I think so; just more media manipulation of the masses.

To see where WV is headed, visit Mass Resistance's web site. It's a conservative Massachusetts organization that's been fighting against sexual perversion for ten years since Governor Romney brought gay marriage to their state. You'll see WV's future if we don't stand firm against the gay agenda in our state. Educate yourself with these web sites plus one more, Family Research Institute. This organization brings scientific facts on homosexuality that counters the liberal media's sanitizing of homosexuality. You'll be amazed at the negative impact homosexuality has on gays and society in our daily lives.

Appeals Court Strikes Down Marriage Ban in Virginia, Ruling Will Also Affect Carolinas and West Virginia

Today the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

This is a historic step forward for equality in the South. Beyond Virginia, the ruling will also affect the other states covered by the 4th Circuit, including North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia, which have similar bans in place. In West Virginia, the district judge considering the challenge to the state’s ban said last month that he would not proceed until the federal appeals court had ruled.

In the majority opinion, the judges noted that bigotry and fear cannot be the basis for the denial of equal rights under the law:

We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.

…The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual's life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.

For those who claim that marriage bans are legitimate because they were adopted by popular vote, the court quoted a Supreme Court case from 1964:

A citizen’s constitutional rights can hardly be infringed simply because a majority of the people choose that it be.

That one sentence perfectly encapsulates why courts matter.
 

PFAW Foundation

Public Turning Against the Private Prison Racket

PFAW’s 2012 report, “Predatory Privatization: Exploiting Financial Hardship, Enriching the One Percent, Undermining Democracy,” included a section titled, “The Pernicious Private Prison Industry.” We reported that across the country, private prisons were often violent, poorly run facilities that put prisoners, employees and communities at risk even while failing to deliver on promised savings to taxpayers. But state legislators, encouraged by ALEC and by private prison interests’ lobbying and campaign expenditures, continued to turn prisons over to private corporations, often with contract provisions that acted as incentives for mass incarceration.

A new story in Politico Magazine, “The Private Prison Racket” comes to the same conclusions. “Companies that manage prisons on our behalf have abysmal records,” says author Matt Stroud. “So why do we keep giving them our business?”

The Politico story slams “bed mandates” – guarantees given by states to private companies to keep prisons full.  Contracts like that build in incentives for governments to lock people up – and punish states financially when they try to reduce prison populations.

Politicians are taking notice. Last month, In the Public Interest reported that reality has turned the tide against private prisons: “Coast-to-coast, governments are realizing that outsourcing corrections to for-profit corporations is a bad deal for taxpayers, and for public safety.” The dispatch cited problems with private prisons in states as diverse as Arizona, Vermont, Texas, Florida, and Idaho, where Gov. Butch Otter, a “small government” conservative, announced last month that the state would take control of the Idaho Correctional Center back from private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America due to rampant violence, understaffing, gang activity, and contract fraud.

But the huge private prison industry is not going away anytime soon. As In the Public Interest notes:

All of this momentum does not suggest the imminent death of the for-profit prison industry. Some states, including California and West Virginia, are currently gearing up to send millions more to these companies. But the past year has been a watershed moment, and we are heading in the right direction. In light of these developments, these states would be wise to look to sentencing reform to reduce populations, rather than signing reckless outsourcing contracts.

The arguments against private prisons are myriad and compelling. Promised savings end up as increased costs. Lockup quotas force taxpayers to guarantee profits for prison companies through lock up quotas hidden in contracts. They incentivize mass incarceration while discouraging sentencing reform in an era when crime rates are plummeting.

But more than anything else, the reality of the disastrous private prison experiment has turned the public against the industry.

 

PFAW

David Lane Digs In

In July, we reported on Christian-nation extremist David Lane’s closed-door pastors briefing in Iowa, and the presidential hopefuls and other politicians who have flocked to Lane’s gatherings over the years.

This week the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs reported that Lane’s American Renewal Project is holding church-based voter registration drives on three Sundays this month: Sept. 15, Sept. 22 and Sept. 29.  Steve Michael, a spokesperson for the project, told the Register that after the American Renewal Project’s $1.2 million voter registration campaign in Missouri during the last election cycle, the state saw a 3 percent increase in evangelical voters.  He said it will organize in Iowa “steadily until the 2014 election.”

The "Stand-up Sundays" model goes like this: Pastors ask their congregation members to stand up if they're already registered. Volunteers will then hand out voter registration paperwork to the adults still seated. But each Iowa pastor will decide how to do it, Lane told the Register.

Iowa is among 11 states the American Renewal Project is targeting in the 2014 cycle, Michael said. The others are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Organizers will do “Pastors and Pews” events followed by voter registration drives in each state. Next up is Louisiana on Sept. 26-27….

Lane said Iowa may be one of the most registered states in the nation, thanks to the attention from the presidential campaigns, so he expects Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina to be more "target rich areas."

It’s worth noting that Louisiana, Arkansas, and North Carolina are also among the top Senate races for 2014, as are other states on Lane’s target list. 

West Virginia Becomes 12th State to Call For Amendment Overturning Citizens United

The West Virginia Legislature has approved a resolution calling on Congress to propose a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC and related cases.  This makes West Virginia the twelfth state to call for such an amendment.

People For the American Way has been working with activists in West Virginia to help rally support for the resolution.  As PFAW Legislative Representative Calvin Sloan noted in a recent action alert, many West Virginians already understood the need to get big money out of politics:

“West Virginia has already seen the drastic need for a constitutional amendment to enact free and fair elections. In 2010, West Virginia’s congressional races attracted more than $15 million from outside groups such as American Crossroads and FreedomWorks, organizations that can, in the wake of Citizens United, raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections.”

As a West Virginian, I am especially proud to see this resolution pass in my home state.  While the states that have called for an amendment are diverse – stretching from Hawaii to Rhode Island – protecting the integrity of our democratic process is a core American value.  As one West Virginia delegate pointed out,

“One of government's roles within this great democracy is making sure everyone has a voice.”

West Virginians are now formally joining the proliferation of voices across the country calling for a democracy of, by, and for the people.

PFAW

Delaware General Assembly Members Send Letter to Washington Urging Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Earlier this month, members of the Delaware General Assembly began gathering signatures for a letter to be sent to Senator Carper, Senator Coons, and Representative Carney urging them and their colleagues to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and related cases.
PFAW

Attend a Rally to Save the American Dream this Saturday!

Events have been organized in cities and state capitols across the nation to show solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. Find the event or events nearest you.

Statement on the Death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd

Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, the longest serving senator in U.S. history, died today at the age of 92.
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