The War on Women doesn't stop with reproductive rights. In a new post at Ms. Blog, People For's Marge Baker explains how GOP obstruction of judicial nominees is keeping women -- as well as people of color and gays and lesbians -- from reaching positions of power in the federal courts:
President Obama has made no secret of his goal to make the American courts look like America. Along with the effort to bring more women to the bench, roughly 36 percent of his nominees have been people of color, and he has nominated more openly lesbian and gay individuals to the federal courts than all his predecessors combined.
But the president’s effort to bring a diversity of voices to the federal courts is now facing a major roadblock. Senate Republicans have been obstructing President Obama’s judicial nominees to an unprecedented extent–usually not because of objections to the nominees themselves, but just for the sake of creating gridlock. Indeed, most of President Obama’s nominees have been approved by the Judiciary Committee with unanimous or near-unanimous bipartisan support. Nevertheless, after committee approval, Republicans in the Senate have forced the president’s nominees to wait four times longer to get a yes-or-no vote than President Bush’s nominees at the same point in his term.
As a result, about one out of ten courtrooms in the country are vacant and Americans are facing inexcusable delays as they seek their day in court. One of President Obama’s least-noticed but most long-lasting achievements–putting a qualified, diverse group of judges on our federal courts–has been put at risk.
While using the exact same arguments of opponents of legalizing interracial marriage, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is joining with Bryan Fischer in asserting that gays and lesbians already have full marriage equality because they can simply marry members of the opposite sex. Farah claims that since gays and lesbians actually don’t face any legal discrimination, they only want to legalize same-sex marriage in order to “destroy” marriage…in the same way the terrorist group Hamas wants to destroy Israel!
Anyone in the United States can participate in the institution of marriage – if they choose to do so.
Homosexuals don’t usually choose to do so because they usually don’t want to be married to members of the opposite sex. But it’s their choice.
So why do homosexual activists make this claim? And how do they get away with making a patently false charge against a 6,000-year-old religious institution and the civil laws that it inspired? Same-sex marriage advocates no more care about the legality of same-sex marriage than Hamas cares about the creation of a Palestinian state.
Neither is interested in creating something new – something that has never been before. Instead, what same-sex marriage advocates and the terrorists of the Gaza Strip have in common is their desire to destroy something they find repulsive. In Gaza, it’s the Jewish state of Israel. Among homosexual activists, it’s the institution of marriage.
By making the bogus claim that marriage, as it has been known through the eons, is inherently unfair because some people don’t want to participate in it as it has always been defined, homosexual activists are able to establish for themselves what appears to be the political high ground of the victim. In exactly the same way, Arab terrorists are able to portray themselves as the victim by claiming they have been denied a state.
But scratch beneath the surface of these two movements and you will soon learn that their objectives go far beyond same-sex marriage and a Palestinian state.
It is amazing how quickly the same-sex marriage advocates have been able to rally support from the media, the cultural establishment, the government elite and the judiciary for a radical social experiment that challenges the fundamental building block of human civilization – the family.
They’ve done this by inaccurately portraying themselves as victims of discrimination. They are no more victims of discrimination than any other radicals who believe forcibly remaking society in their own image is their inalienable right.
On Monday, DOJ, DOE, six students, and the Anoka-Hennepin School District proposed an agreement resolving complaints of sex-based harassment of middle and high school students in the school district. And in Congress, we need you to take action on bullying.
Some anti-Romney conservative Christians are pulling out the stops to try to stop his momentum on Super Tuesday. Steve Strang, the publisher of Charisma, a magazine and online media outlet for Pentecostal Christians, sent his email followers a “Super Tuesday” message urging Christians to rally voters for Rick Santorum: “This race is so close that Bible-believing Christians CAN MADE A DIFFERENCE and help Santorum get the momentum to win the nomination and then the general election.”
Strang says Santorum is “squeaky clean” while Romney is a Mormon flip-flopper and Gingrich has a “deep character flaw.”
Strang also promotes anti-gay, anti-Romney, pro-Santorum robocalls being made in Ohio by anti-gay extremist Brian Camenker of MassResistance, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and others under the name Jews and Christians Together. Here’s the call script:
Hi, my name is Brian Camenker; I'm a Jew from Massachusetts.
And, this is Darcy Brandon; I'm a Christian from California. If you believe as we do that marriage and sexuality should only be between a man and a woman, please help us stop Mitt Romney.
As Governor, Romney signed 'Gay Youth Pride Day' proclamations, promoted homosexuality in our elementary schools, and unconstitutionally ordered state officals to make Massachusetts America's first same-sex marriage state. Romney supports open homosexuality in the military, the appointment of homosexual judges, and the ENDA law, making it illegal to fire a man who wears a dress and high heels to work, even if he's your kid's teacher. When you vote tomorrow, please vote for social sanity and Rick Santorum, NOT for homosexuality and Mitt Romney.
Rick Santorum is the ONLY candidate who can be trusted to uphold traditional marriage, a straight military, and the rights of American children to have both a mother and a father. This message paid for by Jews and Christians Together.org and not authorized by any candidate. To get the facts before you vote, visit Jews and Christians Together.org.
The Jews and Christians Together website is basically a one-pager linking to attacks on Romney by Camenker’s group MassResistance, information the group says was emailed to over a million Ohio residents on Sunday. A press release about the robocalls quotes religious bigotry promoter Gary Cass, who produces videos attacking Obama’s faith and has attacked Mormonism for its "hostility to Christianity." From the Jews and Christians Together press release:
Brian Camenker, president of Mass Resistance and compiler of much of that Romney research and one of the robo-call voices said, "Mitt Romney would be the most liberal Republican ever nominated for the Presidency. Romney is so far left, he spoke against the right of the Boy Scouts to screen-out homosexuals. Mitt Romney proved during the January 8 Meet the Press debate that he's still as far left on the gay agenda as always. He proudly announced, 'a member of my cabinet was gay. I appointed people to the bench regardless of their sexual orientation.' Asked when he last stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights, Romney said 'Right now.'"
Dr. Gary Cass, president of DefendChristians.org and a member of Jews & Christians Together.org said, "We believe Rick Santorum is the only viable alternative to Romney. All Jews and Christians are aware that the Bible, from the Jewish Books of Moses to the Christian Gospels to the epistles of Saint Paul, commands God's faithful to love the sinner but hate the sin, and indeed to recognize homosexuality as sin. Romney, on the other hand, endorses homosexuality as a good choice for young people."
Former child star Kirk Cameron’s anti-gay tirade, calling homosexuality “unnatural” and “detrimental and ultimately destructive,” led to a backlash from some prominent actors, but Religious Right groups are more than happy to broadcast his claims. Tony Perkins of FRC Action defended Cameron from criticism by citing a poll by the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund which tried to overstate the number of people who oppose marriage equality, as recentsurveysshow that more Americans favor marriage equality than oppose it and that support for legalizing same-sex marriage is on the rise.
Where is the tolerance? You won't find any on display with homosexual activists who are determined to attack and silence anyone who dares to disagree or challenge their political or social agenda. Their latest target is actor Kirk Cameron. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is attacking Cameron for remarks he made in an interview with Piers Morgan last Friday, in which he said that the definition of marriage should be, "One man, one woman for life till death do you part." Cameron, a born-again Christian who starred in the movie Left Behind and the pro-marriage film Fireproof, also said he considers homosexuality to be "unnatural," "detrimental," and "destructive." Perhaps it's GLAAD, not the 1980s teen star, who's out of step, since a 2011 poll showed that 62% of Americans agree with the statement, "I believe marriage should be defined ONLY as a union between one man and one woman." Another 2011 poll found a substantial majority of Americans (56%) believe that "sex between two adults of the same gender" is "morally wrong."
Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families also weighed in, saying that the “radical left” is trying to expunge “faith” and “traditional values” and that conservatives need to fight back and make sure that there “will be no ‘truce’ in the culture war”:
The left went nuts. Homosexual rights groups blasted Cameron's alleged bigotry and intolerance. Liberal Hollywood types rushed to Tweet their condemnation of Cameron's values and to reaffirm their fidelity to the gay marriage cause.
Not long ago, virtually no one would have argued with Cameron's comments. But the cultural left is determined to impose its values on the rest of society. It began by purging faith from the public square and forcing it into the closet. Then abortion was forced on every state in the country. Now marriage is being redefined. The secularists want an America where traditional values cannot be spoken.
As the Democrat Party embraced the radical left, more and more values voters found a home in the Republican Party. They expect the GOP to unapologetically defend their cherished values. Increasingly, however, it seems only one party is committed to fighting and winning the culture war.
Yet I am bothered when I hear conservatives buy into this line of reasoning. There will be no "truce" in the culture war. The left fully intends to win it. It's absurd that many Republicans and even some conservatives are preemptively surrendering by refusing to bring up these issues!
Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality attacked the “Hollywood liberals and LGBT militants” who have criticized Cameron:
As you can see, this is not the tone of an “extremist” but a thoughtful Christian man who is smart enough to know that Hollywood liberals and LGBT militants will pounce on any statement he makes critical of homosexual behavior [sic], which God through the Bible condemns. (By the way, I think Kirk would have been better off just saying “yes” to Morgan’s question about whether he believes homosexuality is a sin.)
GLAAD is awarded unprecedented access and sway in Hollywood (and the media) to advocate for, essentially, one side of a controversial moral issue. Here it stokes anti-Christian bigotry against Cameron, as it does against anyone who voices politically incorrect beliefs about homosexuality through the media. Ultimately, GLAAD (while curiously extolling “diversity”) hopes to keep interviews like Morgan’s with Cameron out of the media altogether. (Otherwise, why would they previously have lobbied so hard against CNN for including Christian former homosexual Richard Cohen in a debate segment?) GLAAD is afraid of a fair debate, hence their demonizing name-calling against Cameron. Please help encourage him.
Of course, American Family Association Bryan Fischer praised Cameron on Focal Point for standing up to “anti-Christian, anti-morality bigot” Piers Morgan:
Last month, the War on Women reached a new level when every single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against a reauthorization of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA has been reauthorized with broad bipartisan support twice since its original passage, but this year, Republicans objected to the inclusion of new provisions to protect LGBT people and immigrant women.
On her radio show last week, Janet Mefferd discussed the battle over VAWA reauthorization with Concerned Women for America’s Janice Crouse.
Crouse charged that VAWA – which grants funds to local communities to develop programs combatting domestic violence – mostly funds “reeducating programs for judges to try to train them in the principles of feminism and so-called ‘women’s rights.’”
Crouse and Mefferd were especially scornful of new provisions protecting immigrants and LGBT people and an eliminated provision making it easier to combat date rape on campuses, with Crouse warning that women would just abuse the system to get green cards and make false accusations of date rape.
Crouse: Quite frankly, much of the Violence Against Women funds reeducating programs for judges to try to train them in the principles of feminism and so-called ’women’s rights.’
Mefferd: Wow, that’s what we need, we need more indoctrination of judges, right?
Crouse: Right. [laughs]
Mefferd: So they’ve expanded this to cover more subgroups, but why can’t it just, if you’re going to have a domestic violence piece of legislation, why can’t it just cover anyone who’s affected by domestic violence? Is this just another one where they’re trotting out their typical liberal ways and, you know, ‘We’ve got to emphasize non-discrimination against sexual orientation, etc. etc.’ Is that just kind of the agenda here again?
Crouse: Exactly right. Plus, you have a number of women from other countries who marry Americans to come to this country, and then they want out of the marriage. Well, VAWA provides a way for them to get out, a very easy way for them to get out.
One of the things that I found particularly troubling, and thank goodness the Republicans stood up against this, was the effort to change dating rape to not require clear and convincing evidence, and that’s a legal term, clear and convincing evidence, but instead to require preponderance of evidence, which is a much lower standard and is not clear and convincing. So a girl the next morning could just say, ‘Well, I really made a mistake,’ and accuse a guy of date rape, or have any kind of regrets and accuse a guy of date rape.
Mefferd: Well, isn’t that unconstitutional, to lower the standard there on crime?
Crouse: Well, I’m not a constitutional specialist, but in terms of legal ramifications, it’s disastrous.
The American Decency Association and the American Family Association are fighting an anti-discrimination ordinance in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, that would protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in jobs, housing and public accommodations. Gary Glenn, a Republican candidate for US Senate and the head of the AFA’s Michigan chapter, called it a “discriminatory ordinance” and a “volatile proposal which is clearly a solution in search of a non-existent problem.” The American Decency Association, which is based in the nearby Fremont, Michigan, is asking members to email the mayor, warning that those “promoting gayness as a legitimate lifestyle” are putting America on the road to “godlessness, reprobation, tyranny and anarchy”:
The real issue is not that people are “gay,” but that the “gay” movement insists on promoting gayness as a legitimate lifestyle. This is the root issue, the cosmic issue throughout history:
Calling good what God calls evil. It is the fundamental expression of human anarchy in defiance of God's moral order. It is the original temptation marking humanity's descent from God and authentic goodness.
It is not enough that we transgress God's law. Humans must also reject the very idea of order - make immorality moral - sanctify sin.
You as leaders are being drawn into/pressured into making allowances for immoral lifestyles. The "gay" movement is couching their non-discrimination as injustice and unfairness but in truth they are lobbying for acceptance of their immoral and unhealthy lifestyle. Calling good what God calls evil may play for a season but little by little ever so slowly as we have seen in other countries it will lead to increasing confusion, godlessness, reprobation, tyranny and anarchy. Immorality will ultimately prevail as we as individuals and/or as leaders give license to immorality.
On behalf of morality and those who come after us I urge you to vote against the so-called non-discrimination ordinance.
On a hunch that voters are more influenced by their own experience rather than a birrage of big-budget advertising on the issue of marriage equality, Minnesota Public Radio put together an excellent miniseries asking Minnesotans to share their stories about how they came to their decision – or are still struggling to decide – how they will vote on marriage equality in November.
The stories are striking for their sincerity and level of introspection. While each story was unique, there were common themes among those who stand on the side of equality for all: Love. Commitment. Family. Freedom. Equality for All.
Enjoy these videos below, and you can view the full set here.
“True love is not about self, it’s about the other person. It’s about mankind, it’s about the world around you. It’s about loving and loving and loving. And I think marriage is the perfect embodiment of expressing that love.”
“As long as they’re not harming me…who has a right to challenge their right to their choices?”
“[My father’s second marriage, to a man] has been infinitely more fulfilling, more harmonious, more authentic, more of a model to all of us kids of what marriage should really be.”
“Now that I am legally married, all the benefits and wonderful things that have happened in my life around marriage, not just the ceremony but all the legal things that I get to participate in. I want that to happen for everybody.”
Religious Right activists routinely claim that they know better than medical professionals when it comes to issues like sexual orientation, arguing that their anti-gay ideology trumps the research of the country’s leading medical organizations. For example, Mission America’s Linda Harvey, who once told parents not to let openly gay doctors and nurses treat their children, today maintained that “mainstream medicine is falling under the spell of leftwing politics” on reproductive health and sexuality. She lauded the discredited, anti-gay, and untrustworthy group NARTH, the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, for opposing the American Psychiatric Association, claiming that the APA “removed homosexuality from its list of disorders in 1973 based on pressure from disruptive and vicious homosexuals and not because of some new scientific breakthrough.” But the APA, which has come out strongly against anti-gay bias and so-called “reparative” therapy, says that the “action was taken following a review of the scientific literature and consultation with experts in the field. The experts found that homosexuality does not meet the criteria to be considered a mental illness.”
I know we all want to believe what is told to us by folks in the white lab coats, and much of the time we can. But when it comes to issues dealing with lifespan and sexuality, mainstream medicine is falling under the spell of leftwing politics. Doctors can be politically correct to the detriment of patient care. Organized medicine has already gone far down this road and it becomes quite obvious in the fields of obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics, public health and psychology. Who determines who will live and who will die? From conception to natural death, this should be in the hands of God not humans, and yet most obstetricians will both deliver babies, new life coming into our world, and turn around and refer other patients to abortionists like Planned Parenthood.
It’s troubling when respected medical groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics now support abortion and even homosexuality among children. This is why there are splinter professional groups being formed, well-respected physicians who cannot support these harmful practices in good conscience. For instance the group NARTH, National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, was formed some years back to counteract the increasingly politically motivated decisions of groups like the American Psychiatric Association. The APA removed homosexuality from its list of disorders in 1973 based on pressure from disruptive and vicious homosexuals and not because of some new scientific breakthrough.
Yesterday on In the Market, Religious Right talk show host Janet Parshall hosted “ex-gay” activist Stephen Bennett to describe his “battle with same-sex attraction – and the power that set him free.” During the program Parshall and Bennett took calls from people with strained relationships with their openly gay sons and daughters, advising one woman not to attend her lesbian daughter’s commitment ceremony, and Bennett told listeners that “complete change is completely possible for those who seek it.”
He claimed that child molestation is the leading factor for how homosexuality “develops,” even saying that “almost every out lesbian that we see in Hollywood has declared either in a book or in an interview that they were molested early on in their childhood.” Bennett went on to claim that along with abuse, adoption is responsible for homosexuality. Of course, what was not mentioned in the program was that the country’s chief medical and psychiatric organizations all oppose “ex-gay” therapy as dangerous and ineffective.
I believe that homosexuality is completely developmental, it tragically develops early on in most cases in one’s childhood due to so many different things, there is not a cookie cutter answer or reason why. Many times it could have to do with a parent, the same-sex parent, it could involve molestation, almost every out lesbian that we see in Hollywood has declared either in a book or in an interview that they were molested early on in their childhood. That’s not everyone’s story but if we really look and see that there are root causes and root issues underlying a person’s homosexuality, and I always say that homosexuality, anyone’s homosexuality, is an outward expression of an inward conflict. I firmly believe based upon the word of God that complete change, not partial change, complete change is completely possible for those who seek it.
There’s many, many deep issues, again mentioning the idea of adoption as well as some abuse that was there before. A lot of statistics that are out show that there’s a high number of men and women involved in homosexuality and they share with the adoption issue and, again, molestation. Of course, doesn’t mean that anyone who was adopted is going to be gay.
The latest direct mail letter from the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is an extended attack on the Commitment Campaign, a project launched last November by Third Way to bring a bipartisan message focused on committed couples to the hearts-and-minds campaign for marriage equality. Perkins suggests that not giving money to FRC, a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group, is “a form of hate.”
FRC’s fundraising campaign against “fake marriage” includes a video that recycles lies about the impact of marriage equality – that schools will be forced to teach kids how to have gay sex, that pastors will be silenced, etc. – and also includes a twist on the now-standard Religious Right claim that anti-gay efforts are not about hate, but love for those “trapped in homosexuality.”
“Silence about the documented harm this lifestyle does is not loving,” says Perkins, “Such silence is, in fact, a form of hate.”
“So,” writes Perkins, “I’m asking you to say ‘No’ to silence [i.e. hate] and ‘Yes’ to speaking the truth in love at a decisive moment in America’s history…a moment when faith family and freedom are at stake.”
What he wants is a "generous financial gift." You wouldn't want to be a hater, would you?
After failing to convince JC Penney to fire Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson because she is openly gay, now the American Family Association’s group OneMillionMoms is putting Toys R Us in its crosshairs for selling an Archie comic book that features a same-sex marriage. The group demands that Toys R Us “remove all the same-sex ‘Just Married – Archie’ comic books immediately from your shelves” before children are “exposed to same-sex marriage.” The OneMillionMoms sample letter to the company ends with the line, “My decision to shop in your stores depends on it”:
Select Toys 'R' Us stores are now selling 'Archie' comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. The front cover reads "Just Married" with two men marrying and one is wearing a service uniform. This comic book is being sold in select stores across the country. One example is the Queensbury, NY location in the upstate New York area.
As a mother and a member of OneMillionMoms.com, I am extremely disappointed to learn that select Toys 'R' Us stores are now selling 'Archie' comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. I am referring to the ones where the front cover reads "Just Married" with two men marrying, one wearing a service uniform.
I am aware that Toys 'R' Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor. Your company should be aware of the merchandise being sold in your stores nonetheless. These comic books are displayed at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children.
Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, which is becoming extremely common and unnecessary.
A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys 'R' Us should be more responsible in the products they carry.
Please remove all the same-sex "Just Married - Archie" comic books immediately from your shelves. My decision to shop in your stores depends on it.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding my concern.
On Meet the Press yesterday, David Gregory questioned GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum about the social issues – opposition to reproductive choice and gay rights – on which he has built his career. Stunningly, Santorum denied that he has focused on social issues and claimed, “There’s no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.”
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: It's so funny. I get the question all the time. Why are you talking so much about these social issues, as they, as, as people ask about me about the social issues. MR. GREGORY: Senator, no, wait a minute.
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Look, the... MR. GREGORY: You talk about this stuff every week. And by the way, it's not just in this campaign. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: No, I talk about, I talk... MR. GREGORY: Sir, in this campaign you talk about it. And I've gone back years when you've been in public life and you have made this a centerpiece of your public life. So the notion that these are not deeply held views worthy of question and scrutiny, it's not just about the press. FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Yeah, they, they are deeply held views, but they're not what I dominantly talk about, David. You're taking things that over a course of a 20-year career and pulling out quotes from difference speeches on, on issues that are fairly tangential, not what people care about mostly in America, and saying, "Oh, he wants to impose those values." Look at my record. I've never wanted to impose any of the things that you've just talked about. These are, these are my personal held religious beliefs, and in many forums that I, that, that are, in fact, religious, because I do speak in front of church groups and I do speak in these areas, I do talk about them. But there's no evidence at all that I, that I want to impose those values on anybody else.
This is, of course, a bunch of baloney. While Santorum has spent a lot of time in his presidential campaign talking up regressive tax policies, irresponsible deregulation and anti-environmentalism, the core of his brand has always been social conservatism. His campaign has consistently and explicitly distinguished his anti-choice, anti-gay record with Mitt Romney’s in order to successfully appeal to culture-warring voters.
Santorum has also never shied away from wanting to “impose” his far-right values on the rest of the country. In a 2005 interview with NPR, for instance, he railed against the libertarian wing of the Republican party, saying, “They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulation low and that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues, you know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”
Santorum’s interview on Meet the Press is far from the first time he’s claimed that he’s not overly interested in social issues. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch found a speech he gave in 2008 in which he claimed that it’s liberals who have made sex an issue on the campaign trail. For liberals, he said, politics “comes down to sex” and that the Democratic Party has become “the party of Woodstock.”:
And it’s just insidious. And it’s most of the time focused on the sexual issues. If you’re a hard-core free-market guy, they’re not going to call you “zealous”. They’re not going to call you “ultra-conservative”. They’re not going to do that to you.
It comes down to sex. That’s what it’s all about. It comes down to freedom, and it comes down to sex. If you have anything to with any of the sexual issues, and if you are on the wrong side of being able to do all of the sexual freedoms you want, you are a bad guy. And you’re dangerous because you are going to limit my freedom in an area that’s the most central to me. And that’s the way it’s looked at.
Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.
All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.
Mission America president Linda Harvey today discussed the cases of Julea Ward, a psychology graduate student who refuses to counsel clients who are gay, and Jennifer Keaton, another student who says that rather than refer gay clients she would instead counsel them into so-called ex-gay “conversion therapy.” While an appeals court sent Ward’s case back to the district court for a jury trial, Keaton lost her appeal as the 11th Circuit Court found in favor of the Augusta State University for enforcing the school’s counseling guidelines and code of conduct.
Harvey said she hopes that Keaton “wins her case” because “homosexuality is still very harmful and a huge mistake in people’s lives.” She maintained that there is “no compelling science” for “affirming homosexuality,” and warned that even “those who are highly educated” are “accepting great evil.”
Harvey: There is another case making its way through the courts where grad student Jennifer Keaton at Augusta State University had a similar dismissal. In her case, however, she wanted to be able to counsel the patient against homosexuality. I think she should have had the right to do this and I hope she eventually wins her case. Why? Because it’s the truth. In spite of some current popular opinion, homosexuality is still very harmful and a huge mistake in people’s lives. More and more professional groups are affirming homosexuality and even sex change when there is no compelling science providing evidence for this reversal of longstanding moral and health policy. This trend is just the most recent example of sexual permissiveness blinding even those who are highly educated into accepting great evil.
A message to People For the American Way supporters from PFAW president Michael Keegan:
Fighting contraception. Stopping domestic violence protections. Extending tax cuts for the wealthy, while hiking taxes on the middle class. Welcoming white supremacists to a conference, but banning gay conservatives. The GOP has followed its extremist fringe off the deep end, leaving the rest of us back in the reality-based world befuddled. Their strategists warned them not to do this, but it appears that to the GOP, radical fringe issue positions are like catnip. In last night's Republican presidential debate in Arizona, the candidates even spent several minutes discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception.
Perhaps Bruce Bartlett, who was an economic policy official under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said it best on last night's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Discussing the obstacles to getting smart policies agreed upon and passed in government, he said, "the problem is purely political ... frankly, one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is." (Hint: he was not talking about the Democrats.)
Standing Up for Women's Health -- We all heard about the War on Women's Health last year, when Tea Party-empowered state legislatures passed a record slew of anti-choice laws -- like Arizona's ban on "race-based abortions" and Virginia's attempt to shut down most abortion clinics in the state. These state legislatures were joined by an enthusiastic right-wing Congress that attempted to defund the entire $317 million federal family program, tried to redefine "rape" and eagerly promoted lies about their favorite bogeyman, Planned Parenthood. Well, the War on Women's Health is back, and it looks to be more an all-out War on Women. PFAW members spoke out when Susan G. Komen for the Cure threatened to cut off funds for Planned Parenthood because of internal influences from right-wing staff and board members. We're currently fighting an amendment in the U.S. Senate that would give employers the power to deny any health care to their employees that they take "moral" issue with personally. And we continue to track closely dangerous and extreme state legislation like the recent bill passed by Virginia’s right-wing Assembly that would force women considering abortions -- even rape victims -- to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds.
Exposing the GOP Candidates' Extremism -- PFAW's Right Wing Watch last week uncovered the audio recording of a speech Rick Santorum gave to students at Ave Maria University in 2008 in which he said Satan, the "Father of Lies" was focusing all his attention on the United States of America. He said that academia had long ago fallen to this Satanic attack, derided mainline Protestant churches as no longer Christian and said that we are involved in a "spiritual war," as opposed to a political or cultural war -- a war in which we could only assume people with opposing views to Santorum's are on the side of Satan. The story took off like wildfire in both the blogosphere and the mainstream news media. It became the dominant storyline of the GOP debate for the two days leading up to the last debate and even had right-wing pundits like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, and politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, asserting that Santorum's religious extremism is too much for a majority of Americans.
Fighting Judicial Obstruction -- A new PFAW fact sheet shows the extremity and unprecedented nature of Senate Republicans obstruction of judicial nominees, as well as its impact on Americans' access to justice. While a vacancy crisis persists on many of the nation's federal courts, our persistence is paying off and we're finally making headway in getting some of the president's qualified nominees confirmed. This month, the Senate confirmed Cathy Ann Bencivengo and Jesse Furman to U.S. District Courts in California and New York respectively, and Adalberto Jose Jordan to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, all of whom had been waiting months on the Senate calendar for a vote despite the fact that they came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without any opposition. But dozens of other qualified nominees, most of whom had little or no opposition in Committee, still await confirmation. We'll continue to hold Republicans accountable for their obstruction and keep the pressure on to confirm these judges as swiftly as possible, and one at a time if necessary.
Youth Spotlight: Young Elected Officials take on Citizens United v. FEC -- In state, city and municipal governing bodies in at least seven states, members of our affiliate PFAW Foundation's Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network have put forward resolutions that call for the end of corporate personhood and unlimited special interest money in politics. One of the first big victories in this coordinated national effort was that of Missoula, Montana Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken. After attending a session on Citizens United at the 2011 YEO National Convening, Councilwoman Wolken took a sample resolution and introduced a city-wide referendum calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that made it clear that corporations are not people. The referendum passed overwhelmingly, with over 75% of the vote, bringing an abundance of media attention to the issue and forcing leaders in Montana's state government to weigh-in as well.
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