FIC is a non-partisan, non-profit Connecticut public policy organization
whose purpose is to help make Connecticut as family-friendly as possible.
Connecticut in the Crosshairs
Family Institute of Connecticut
Like many states, Connecticut has been targeted by a coalition of radical elites determined to destroy marriage by imposing their anti-family agenda on an unwilling public. Our own state media have often served as willing accomplices in this war against the family. Now, with Connecticut in the Crosshairs, FIC will be responding regularly to attacks on faith and family. Connecticut in the Crosshairs: Fighting for the Family 24/7.
COURANT ADVOCACY CONTINUES [Brian Brown]
The lead editorial in our local paper today declares that “the ground has shifted” on the same-sex “marriage” debate: “Connecticut is having a conversation about whether civil unions or same-sex marriage should be codified as state law.” Actually, no, that is not the debate Connecticut is having. The General Assembly is having that debate. The people of Connecticut want a statewide referendum, but that is the debate the legislature thus far refuses to have and the Courant prefers to ignore. To imply—as this morning’s editorial does—that because of the Judiciary Committee’s vote, the civil unions vs. same-sex “marriage” debate is the only one now taking place in Connecticut, is just pure advocacy.
But that is the Courant’s pattern: run a few articles in the news section misrepresenting the facts (“The most visible opposition to the [civil unions] bill” comes from pro same-sex “marriage” absolutists) print a few related items in the entertainment section (today’s review of “Lesbians on Ecstasy” reads like a parody of the genre) and then publish an editorial declaring—voila!—“the ground has shifted.”
“Wait,” you say, “what about today’s pro-family op-ed by Marie Hilliard, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference? Isn’t that an indication of even-handedness by the Courant?” Marie’s op-ed is excellent, making all the necessary points succinctly and with clarity:
Connecticut legislature and Gov. Rell should not take
such a historic step without the consent of the people.
The people should determine whether they wish to have
marriage and family, premier institutions of society,
permanently redefined for all of our society.
But no, the Courant is not even-handed on this issue. Yesterday, the Courant’s op-ed editor told me the paper would run a piece I had written for today’s edition. Two hours later she contacted me again to tell me the board changed its mind about publishing my op-ed. They were printing Marie’s piece instead, because she had not written for them previously and they felt I had been published “too much” on the Courant’s op-ed page.
First, I have been published on the Courant’s op-ed page twice. Second, why could the Courant not run both pieces on different days? Given that the vast majority of articles published day-after-day in the Courant about this issue favors the pro same-sex “marriage” side, publishing both Marie’s op-ed and mine would have only been fair.
But the Courant is not about fairness. It is about pursuing its own agenda, pure and simple. As pro-family citizens continue the fight at the state capitol, countering the politically-motivated bias of the Courant is something we should all be thinking about. The people of Connecticut deserve to hear both sides of the story equally—and the Courant is putting its heavy hand on the scale.
Posted at 10:44 AM
COURANT RUNS SEMI-CORRECTION; OTHERS STILL GETTING IT WRONG [Peter Wolfgang]
Yesterday, the Courant published this curious line: “The most visible opposition to the [civil unions] bill has come from those within the gay community who saw civil unions as not going far enough” [emphasis added]. Today, our state’s paper of record ran this correction:
The Connecticut Catholic Conference and the Family Institute of Connecticut have been visible opponents of marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples. A story on Page 1 Wednesday neglected to mention their opposition.
In the circles Courant reporters run in, we’re probably not “the most visible opposition” to civil unions. You are not likely to see FIC at the Love Makes a Family fundraisers that Pat Seremet writes about in her Java columns, for instance. Nevertheless, the “most visible” line was a ridiculous error, making the Courant appear as out of touch as the late New Yorker movie critic Paulene Kael in 1972 (who then lived in New York City's Upper West Side), when she famously remarked, "I don't know how Richard Nixon could have won; I don't know anybody who voted for him." We appreciate the Courant’s semi-correction.
Others in today’s Courant, though, are still getting the big picture wrong. Anne Stanback’s op-ed has the usual language about the pro same-sex “marriage” cause as another “movement for civil rights,” despite testifying last month that she “would never be so presumptuous as to say the African-American struggle and the gay struggle are the same.” In fact, same-sex “marriage” proponents make that presumption all the time. Just ask pro-family radio host Brad Davis, who noted this morning how much he resents the e-mails from activists accusing him of bigotry: “I thought the gay movement was a loving movement that appreciated open debate. But you don’t want open debate. It’s your way or no way.”
Today’s paper also has a piece announcing that Roger C. Vann, a former official of the NAACP, will be the new executive director of the Connecticut chapter of the ACLU. His first priority? Passing the same-sex civil unions bill.
What a waste of resources. The epidemic of fatherlessness is at the root of the youth violence that Hartford is currently experiencing. Instead of focusing on that, Mr. Vann wants to pass a bill that will actually increase fatherlessness!
Posted at 12:32 PM
“IN LIKE A LION…” [Brian Brown]
As we enter the month of March it is time once again to step back and consider where things stand in the battle to protect marriage in Connecticut. The news is not good. But we at the Family Institute have a number of measures planned which could turn the tide with this present legislature—if pro-family citizens respond by rising up in record numbers.
First, the bad news. In total disregard for the will of their constituents, the Judiciary Committee of our state legislature voted on Feb. 23rd to approve a “civil unions” bill that would legalize same-sex “marriage” in everything but name. In fact, if this bill becomes law it may well create a domino effect causing the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in name as well as fact. The passage of this bill could severely undermine the position of Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal, who is defending the legality of Connecticut’s marriage statutes in a case brought by seven same-sex couples seeking a court-ordered imposition of same-sex “marriage.” The court hearing Kerrigan vs. State of Conn. may well interpret civil unions—a separate entity created specifically for homosexuals—as a violation of the state constitution’s equal protection clause and impose same-sex “marriage” as a remedy.
At the start of this legislative session, Love Makes a Family, the pro same-sex “marriage” movement’s chief instrument in Connecticut, said it would oppose civil unions and support only same-sex “marriage.” On Jan. 27th on this blog, I responded:
Despite the “all or nothing” rhetoric, if LMF fails to make headway on same-sex “marriage,” they could back Rep. Lawlor’s civil unions bill at the last minute, claiming that they are “moderating” their position and are willing to accept a “compromise.”
Sure enough, yesterday’s Courant ran an article with this headline:
Change Of Heart On Civil Unions
Gay Rights Group Softens Its Stand
While reporting on LMF’s decision to drop its ploy, the Courant mischaracterized Gov. Jodi Rell’s position on the issue, or at least the one she had up until yesterday:
Rell has expressed support for the general idea of expanding the rights of gay couples, but has not weighed in on the bill's specifics.
At the time that sentence was published Gov. Rell had not “expressed support” for “expanding the rights of gay couples” but in fact had said just the opposite: that she did not see the need for further legislation because she believed that previous legislation had adequately addressed concerns raised by pro same-sex “marriage” activists. Here are the Governor’s exact words, from an interview published by the New Haven Register on Dec. 10:
On the issue of gay marriage, Rell said she does not favor it. "I’m an old-fashioned person when it comes to that. I believe in marriage between a man and a woman." Rell also questioned the need for civil unions. "I’m not sure what it would accomplish," she said, pointing to protections already in place allowing gay couples to adopt children, as well as to have access for hospital visits. "I think we have gone a long way in changing the statutes to address those concerns," she said.
Ever since Gov. Rell gave that interview, the Courant has censored and distorted her position. The propaganda-disguised-as-reporting in our state’s largest newspaper may have had its intended effect. Here are the lead paragraphs of a front page piece in today’s Courant:
M. Jodi Rell endorsed the concept of civil unions for
same-sex couples Tuesday, adding to the momentum
building behind the gay-rights measure.
While Gov. Rell has gone from having “questioned the need for civil unions” to declaring it a “concept I don’t have trouble with,” it is not clear that the Courant’s headline, “Rell Joins Backers of Same-Sex Civil Unions” is accurate. One radio report described her comments this way: “if the right civil unions bill were to reach her desk Gov. Rell would sign it.” That seems a more accurate characterization of her remarks than the Courant’s insinuation that the Governor has already joined the side of those seeking the passage of S.B. 963.
Of course, the same Courant piece includes this bizarre line: “The most visible opposition to the [civil unions] bill has come from those within the gay community who saw civil unions as not going far enough” [emphasis added]. Really? I was not aware that Love Makes a Family had topped the 90,000 signatures FIC gathered in opposition to legislation of this nature or the 6,000 people we rallied on the steps of the state capitol last year. The Courant appears to have dropped all pretense of objectivity when covering this issue. The weird “inside baseball” quality of its reporting about alleged differences between different pro same-sex “marriage” factions makes it read more like the in-house journal of the “gay rights” movement, rather than an objective news source that all sides can turn to for accurate reporting.
But we know where the biased liberal media stands. The question is: where does Gov. Rell stand? It is up to the pro-family movement to make clear to her—and to our legislators—that there is no “right” civil unions bill. It is same-sex “marriage” in fact and very likely in name, too. Gov. Rell and our legislators must understand that, because of the Kerrigan case and the stated goals of our opponents, a vote for civil unions is a vote for same-sex “marriage.”
So, what is to be done? First, we need every pro-family citizen of our state to contact their state senator and state representative and ask them to VOTE NO on civil unions. You can use the resources of FIC’s website to contact your legislators by clicking here. You may also send an e-mail to Gov. Rell asking her to veto the civil unions bill by clicking here.
Second, we need to get letters to the editor from pro-family citizens into our state newspapers to counter the overwhelmingly pro same-sex “marriage” bias of the “mainstream” media. You can use the resources of FIC’s website to send letters to your local newspapers by clicking here.
Third, FIC will be holding a press conference on March 9th to unveil new information regarding where the Connecticut public stands on marriage protection. After the 9th it will be clear that legislators who refuse to let the people vote on a marriage protection amendment are not representing their constituents.
Fourth, FIC will be holding a Protect Marriage Rally on Sunday, April 24th, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM on the steps of the state capitol in Hartford. We need as big a turnout as possible to stop the passage of the civil unions bill. Spread the word to your friends, family, churches, pastors, every like-minded pro-family person you know. Whether or not we can defeat civil unions/same-sex “marriage” in Connecticut will depend largely on the number of people who attend this rally.
Fifth, there will be a Protect Marriage lobby day at the state capitol on April 27th, the Wednesday after the Rally. Like the Rally, we need as big a turnout for this event as possible if we want to defeat the civil unions bill. Our opponents have made it this far because they have a large and constant physical presence at the legislative office building. The only way to stop their momentum is for the pro-family movement to outdo them in letting our representatives know—face to face—that their constituents oppose civil unions and same-sex “marriage” and that we want a vote on the marriage protection amendment.
We have a tremendous task ahead of us if we are to protect marriage in Connecticut and there are still other issues that need to be addressed: the proposal to make Waterbury abortion-free, which was almost passed by the city council; the public health committee’s approval of a bill that would use your tax dollars to clone and kill human embryos; the bill that would require a minor to notify her parents before getting an abortion; the bill that would create a special exception allowing someone who assisted in a suicide to get accelerated rehabilitation; the teenage abstinence bills that are bottled up in committee; the epidemic of fatherlessness in Hartford that has led to a wave of youth violence; the list goes on.
FIC intends to have a hand in all of those issues, but without losing focus on the one issue that looms over the future of the Connecticut family: the fight to protect marriage from being radically redefined. Toward that end, I am pleased to announce the hiring of Peter Wolfgang as our new Director of Public Policy. Although a recent hire, Peter has been fighting side-by-side with us from the beginning and many of you already know him. You will be hearing more about—and from—Peter in the days ahead. He will be joining me as a regular blogger on this site.
They say that “March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Policy-wise, March certainly has come in like a lion for the pro-family movement of Connecticut. But for many of us, March will indeed go out like a lamb—the paschal lamb, whose Easter feast we will celebrate on Mar. 27th this year. As we approach that most hopeful of days, let us remember that the darkest of defeats can sometimes be a prelude to the greatest of victories.
Posted at 5:39 PM
WHAT THEY REALLY THINK OF MARRIAGE…AND OF YOU [Brian Brown]
Pastor Rick McKinniss of Wellspring Church in Berlin had a great op-ed in yesterday’s Courant on the pitfalls of legalizing same-sex “marriage.” His closing paragraph is worth quoting in full:
Our legislators need to weigh these considerations carefully before legalizing a redefinition of marriage that would create a court quagmire and further weaken family life. Recent generations have certainly seen how imperfectly people live out the ideals of covenantal marriage between one man and one woman as a foundation for family. But our laws protect and reward that ideal because it best protects children and strengthens society. Radically changing the definition of marriage and family, however, will only make the attainment of that ideal harder—and our social fabric will be further weakened in the process.
The pro-family view put forth by Rev. McKinniss—that a redefinition of marriage will weaken marriage as a societal institution—is usually treated with scorn by our opposition. But it’s amazing what local pro same-sex “marriage” activists will admit to when they wander away from Love Makes a Family’s talking points. In a pro civil unions op-ed in today’s Courant, for instance, attorney Vicki Veltri writes:
Indeed, I'd like the government to move away from the patriarchal institution of marriage. Why are we in the gay community so eager to immerse ourselves in an institution that we've all said is so inherently full of gender stereotyping?
And that’s in the middle of an article from a “gay citizen of Connecticut” arguing that the state should legalize same-sex “marriage.” Thanks for telling us what pro same-sex “marriage” activists really think of marriage, Ms. Veltri.
Indeed, Ms. Veltri’s piece deserves a wide readership. Those few pro civil unions legislators who said they were not accusing opponents of bigotry, as well as Gov. Rell—who has not even said if she would veto the bill—should note this line: “I really would like to have a president and a governor who would stop using my sexuality as a vehicle for whipping up hatred” [emphasis added]. Does the governor know that this is how pro same-sex “marriage” activists describe her (rather mild) expression of concern for the sanctity of marriage?
And the people of Connecticut—the majority of whom oppose same-sex “marriage”—should note Ms. Veltri’s next line: “The only way for that [same-sex “marriage”] to happen is to gain acceptance by educating an ignorant public” [emphasis added].
And there it is, people of Connecticut: what pro same-sex “marriage” activists really think of marriage, the governor and you.
Posted at 11:00 AM
STILL HAS FRIENDS [Brian Brown]
According to the piece, although civil unions is same-sex “marriage” in everything but name it is still not good enough for Vermont homosexuals, who say that Connecticut is settling for what they now believe to be a “moderate, conservative alternative” in civil unions.
First, it is interesting to note that while 1,000 Vermont same-sex couples have contracted civil unions, 6,000 out-of-state couples have. Events in New England appear to be driven by a national homosexual movement desperate for victories wherever possible, not by the perceived needs of their constituents in a given area. Second, that movement’s insistence that legalizing marriage in everything but name is not enough for them confirms what we have said all along. Their goal is the redefinition of marriage, not equality.
Third, if you want to know how the pro same-sex “marriage” movement has made it this far, just read your morning paper. The media in general—and the AP in particular—is incredibly biased in their favor.
Posted at 11:49 AM
A DARK DAY FOR CONNECTICUT [Brian Brown]
Yesterday was a dark day for our state. Civil unions
legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the Judiciary
Committee. WE MUST UNDERSTAND THIS: CIVIL
UNIONS LEGISLATION IS SAME-SEX "MARRIAGE" BY ANOTHER
NAME. IT IS IN EVERY WAY IDENTICAL TO MARRIAGE ON THE
Using our Grassroots Action Center you will be able to send an e-mail directly to your own state representative and state senator by clicking the button at the bottom of this blog. You will also be able to download a pre-written letter that you can change and put in your own voice.
CLICK BELOW TO ACT!
Posted at 10:04 AM
CIVIL UNIONS VOTE TODAY [Brian Brown]
Prof. Brown’s claim about public opinion notwithstanding, the Republican-American had its own theory about why Love Makes a Family (LMF) is pursuing an “all or nothing” strategy in Connecticut. Here’s the excerpt, from my Feb. 14th blog:
But [pro same-sex “marriage” activists] are astute election- and poll-watchers. They need to go for the jugular now because outside of the Northeast, resistance to same-sex marriage and support for a constitutional amendment reserving marriage for one man and one woman are growing quickly.
Today’s Courant confirms the Republican-American’s suspicion that LMF is nothing more than the national pro same-sex “marriage” movement’s beachhead in Connecticut. In a story about liberal lobbyist Betty Gallo’s decision to break with LMF over its “all or nothing” strategy, Rep. Lawlor criticizes LMF for taking its orders from the national movement, and Anne Stanback basically admits to the charge.
The upshot of all this is that the Judiciary Committee will vote on an amended version of S.B. 963 that would legalize civil unions. THIS VOTE IS SCHEDULED FOR SOMETIME THIS AFTERNOON. Please make use of our Marriage Protection Action Center to contact the Committee and ask them to vote NO on S.B. 963 and H.B. 6601 in any form and YES on H.J. 29, the marriage protection amendment. Tell them that civil unions is same-sex “marriage” by a different name and the pro-family movement is opposed to both. The only way to win this is to make your voice heard in Hartford and to pray for our state.
Posted at 12:35 PM
WHO'S "FUNDAMENTALLY ANTI-DEMOCRATIC?" [Brian Brown]
Jennifer Gerarda Brown, a professor at Quinnipiac Law School, has an op-ed in yesterday's Courant urging that the legislature not wait for a pending court decision before legalizing same-sex "marriage." Her reasoning is that if a legislature were to vote for same-sex "marriage" without being forced to do so by a court (as happened in Massachusetts and--with some smoke and mirrors--in Vermont) it would demonstrate the "fundamentally anti-democratic" nature of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). She further claims that the pro-family movement is "desperate to enact" the FMA because we "know" the public is turning against us.
Really? Prof. Brown makes an assertion about our "desperation" based on a single poll. Nowhere in her article does she mention last year's 13-out-of-13 state vote for marriage protection amendments to state constitutions, which passed even in liberal Oregon.
But if Prof. Brown and the pro same-sex "marriage" movement really believes that they are the defenders of democracy, there is a way they can prove it. Connecticut's pro-family movement is supporting H.J. 29, a bill that would allow the public to vote on whether or not to amend our own state constitution to protect marriage. Thus far, the Judiciary Committee's pro same sex unions chairmen will not even allow a hearing on the bill. Why does the pro same-sex "marriage" movement not join us in asking for a hearing on a bill that would let the people decide? After all, Prof. Brown informs us that it is pro same-sex "marriage" activists that are fighting for democracy. So what are they afraid of?
Posted at 11:12 AM
COURANT ENDORSES SAME-SEX “MARRIAGE” [Brian Brown]
In an editorial filled with the usual confusions and falsehoods, our state’s largest newspaper endorsed full blown same-sex “marriage” today. Like Sen. Mary Ann Handley’s bizarre comment during Anne Stanback’s testimony (see my Feb. 10 blog), the editorial begins by comparing pro-family advocates to those who opposed “banning slavery, allowing women to vote and permitting interracial marriages.” Ironically, the same paragraph condemns the making of “hurtful statements.” The hypocrisy of our “tolerant” opposition knows no limits.
The Courant notes that the reforms mentioned above did not “bring down civilization.” If the editors actually engaged our argument—instead of a straw man caricature of it—they would have to admit that those who warn about slippery slopes are sometimes right. Or do the editors, like Rep. Themis Klarides, still believe that the divorce revolution of the 1970’s was a wonderful thing?
The Courant accuses the thirteen states that passed marriage protection amendments last year of “prejudice.” The paper fails to note that the “prejudiced” include the liberal states of Oregon and Michigan.
The Courant makes the usual distinction between “civil” and “religious” marriage, claiming that the granting of same-sex “marriage” is “a civil rights issue, not a religious issue.” Tell it to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal order that is being sued by a lesbian couple in Canada for refusing to rent their hall for the couple’s “wedding” reception. If same-sex “marriage” is legalized in Connecticut, similar violations of religious freedom will be coming soon to a church or church-related institution near you.
“It is hard to argue against” same-sex “marriage,” the Courant claims. Nonsense, I do it all the time. What is hard to do is to make an argument for same-sex “marriage” that is logical and does not rely on demonizing the opponents of same-sex “marriage.” As today’s editorial further proves.
Posted at 3:25 AM
GREAT MOMENTS IN CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY [Ken Von Kohorn]
The New Haven Register reported on Tuesday that a small church in Milford, the Woodmont UCC Congregational, has received 30 new members — in part because of its explicit welcome of "gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people." That is certainly one way to grow a congregation. Here are some excerpts:
The membership at Woodmont United Church of Christ, Congregational, has increased dramatically since the congregation made it known it that welcomes gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people, the church pastor said Tuesday.
The Rev. Paige Besse-Rankin said while the church’s formal announcement came Monday, the congregation has made it known for some time that it is open to everyone, a move she concludes led to 30 new members signing up for her church.
Kingdom Life Christian Church Bishop Jay Ramirez said every church should be open to everyone. But Ramirez, who leads a congregation of 2,500 members, said he can’t understand how a church can endorse homosexuality or same sex marriage.
Besse-Rankin needs to take up her complaint with the Almighty. In the meantime, the recent increase of 30 members notwithstanding, her church remains on the order of one-twentieth the size of Bishop Ramirez's church. The church-going people of Milford are not intolerant, they have simply voted with their feet for a church that actually adheres to Biblical teachings — as opposed to opportunistically moving with the tides of human behavior.
Posted at 11: 45 AM
ACTION NEEDED ON PARENTAL CONSENT [Brian Brown]
H.B. 5484, a bill requiring parental consent before a minor can receive an abortion in Connecticut, is being held up in the legislature’s Select Committee on Children. At least half of the committee members support holding a public hearing on the bill, but the co-chairmen have not agreed to it. Please contact them and ask them to bring this bill to a hearing. They are:
Sen. Edward Meyer (D-Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, North Branford)
Phone: (860) 240-8600
Rep. Michael Cardin (D-Ashford, Tolland, Willington)
Phone: (860) 240-8500
Connecticut is one of the few remaining states in the nation where a minor child can receive an abortion without her parents being made aware of it. Please help us put a stop to it. For more information, see the Connecticut Catholic Conference’s fact sheet by clicking here.
Posted at 4:04 PM
ISSUES FORUM [Brian Brown]
The Courant held its “issues forum” yesterday. This is what was reported about the same-sex “marriage” discussion:
Legislators then discussed the prospect of passing
legislation that would allow same-sex partners to form
civil unions despite a call from some advocates to settle
for nothing less than the right to marry. Amann guaranteed
there will be debate on the issue this year, but DeLuca
We hope Sen. DeLuca is correct. But even if he is, that is only half the battle. The co-chairmen of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lawlor and Sen. McDonald, must allow a hearing on a marriage protection amendment. If the amendment bill were to pass, it would allow the people to decide the future of marriage in Connecticut. That is the only proper way to resolve an issue of this magnitude.
Posted at 2:30 PM
THE CULTURE TURNS [Brian Brown]
The Hartford Advocate and its sister publications usually provide a reliable barometer of left wing opinion in Connecticut. Which makes the article about Pope John Paul II in the current Advocate all the more amazing:
What informed this great will was a Polish strain of "personalism," an existential philosophy that stresses the dignity of the individual. We only can attain full personhood through moral action. Whatever one's position on abortion, birth control, pre-marital sex or whatever, the Pope's position on these matters is not arbitrary, but consistent with a philosophy that stresses the importance of each human life. Each of us -- just conceived, or standing outside a coal mine in the rain -- is eternally valuable. We matter. Can we be mad at this fine Pope because he wanted us to believe this?
To be sure, the Advocate piece is not uncritical about the Catholic Church. But as recently as ten years ago it would have been impossible to imagine the Advocate publishing the paragraph excerpted above. Something is changing in our culture and the Advocate is right to recognize John Paul II’s role in it. Hats off to Alistair Highet for writing this piece and to the Advocate for publishing it.
Posted at 1:54 PM
GATHERING STEAM [Brian Brown]
Love Makes a Family’s demand for same-sex “marriage” has helped gather steam for marriage protection in Connecticut. On Sunday, the Republican-American ran a succinct, tightly-argued editorial against same-sex “marriage.” The editors have a theory as to why pro same-sex “marriage” activists are pushing an “all or nothing” strategy in our state:
But they are astute election- and poll-watchers. They need to go for the jugular now because outside of the Northeast, resistance to same-sex marriage and support for a constitutional amendment reserving marriage for one man and one woman are growing quickly.
But our opponents’ “all or nothing” strategy has caused resistance to same-sex “marriage” to grow quickly here, too. In a Saturday article in the Bristol Press, four Democrats—Sen. Tom Colapietro, Rep. Kosta Diamantis, Rep. Betty Boukas and Rep. Roger Michele—and one Republican, Rep. Bill Hamzy—all express opposition to same-sex “marriage” and civil unions. These legislators, and their constituents, provide further evidence that marriage protection is a bipartisan cause:
Diamantis said that gay marriage is about the only issue that constituents have been phoning him on. "Their sentiments are strong," he said, and they’re against it. "Clearly, on this one, people come out," Diamantis said.
Posted at 10:50 AM
BRAVERY IN THE BRASS CITY [Brian Brown]
It is rare for a public official to tackle the abortion issue head-on in Connecticut. But that is exactly what one Waterbury Alderman plans to do later this month, according to this front page piece in today’s Republican-American:
WATERBURY -- For at least a few minutes on Feb. 22, abortion will take center stage at the Board of Aldermen. Independent Party Alderman Frank J. Caiazzo Jr. has placed an item on the agenda, suggesting the city pass an ordinance making Waterbury an "abortion-free city." …Caiazzo said he thinks the pro-life agenda is something Waterbury residents agree with, particularly given the religious and family-oriented middle class communities that make up his Town Plot base. He also is the father of two adoptive daughters, which is in keeping with the anti-abortion view on what alternatives should be.
It is not clear what effect the ordinance might have on Waterbury Hospital, the city’s only abortion provider—or even if the ordinance will pass. Nevertheless, it is a public service for Alderman Caiazzo to provoke conversation about one of the grave moral issues of our time. We hope that elected officials in both major parties will follow his lead.
Posted at 9:43 AM
WHAT NEXT FOR MARRIAGE PROTECTION? [Brian Brown]
Pro-family supporters who receive our e-mails already know what first steps must be taken following Monday’s hearing. If you do not already receive our e-mails, you can join us in fighting for marriage protection by clicking here.
The media coverage of the hearing helps illustrate the long-term challenges we face. The most obvious is to make sure the public knows the truth. The Danbury News Times, for instance, falsely reported that Gov. M. Jodi Rell “favors expanding rights for gay couples.” In fact, this is what was reported about Gov. Rell’s position in the Dec. 10th New Haven Register:
issue of gay marriage, Rell said she does not favor it.
At the time, we offered “two cheers” for Gov. Rell and we said we would reserve the third cheer until she vetoes a civil unions bill, if that should become necessary.
And it just might. Despite the opposition of both FIC and Love Makes a Family, “state lawmakers said they plan to push ahead with civil union legislation,” according to the Courant’s article about Monday’s hearing. If so, then, as the Courant reported, FIC will oppose it as much as same-sex “marriage” and we will continue to push for a hearing on the marriage protection amendment:
Opponents of gay marriage also spoke against civil unions,
which they condemned as gay marriage by another name.
Posted at 1:50 P.M.
NOT QUITE WHAT ST. VALENTINE HAD IN MIND [Brian Brown]
You may remember “People of Faith for Gay Civil Rights (PFGCR),” the pro same-sex “marriage” group whose most outspoken member, Frank O’Gorman, refers to crimes against pro-family churches as “justice actions.” It seems O’Gorman has an “action” planned for Monday, according to his group’s website: the “MCC Third Annual Valentine’s Day Marriage Equality Action.” Says the flier, “On Monday, February 14th, members and friends of Metropolitan Community Churches all across the USA will visit their town or city halls to request marriage licenses as same-sex couples.” Despite O’Gorman’s verbal support for crimes against churches, Love Makes a Family is co-sponsoring the event with his group.
“Join us on this national MCC campaign to highlight the discrimination inherent in current marriage laws which segregate out same-gender couples,” PFGCR’s site proclaims. But one must wonder—as our legislators are beginning to wonder—why is it “discriminatory” to limit marriage to members of the opposite sex, but not “discriminatory” to limit it to two people? “What is the magic about the number two?” Rep. Cafero asked pro same-sex “marriage” activists this week. “That has to be a question that needs an answer.”
But activists for the other side could not answer him. Which leads us to ask: how much longer before polygamists join pro same-sex “marriage” activists at town hall on Valentine’s Day to demand their own marriage licenses?
Posted at 11:10 AM
REP. WALKER AND THE REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE [Brian Brown]
At Monday’s public hearing on the pro same-sex “marriage” bill, Rep. Toni Walker (D-New Haven) questioned my definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. She said Webster’s Dictionary is her “foundation” and that when she looked up the word “marriage,” she did not see the words “man and woman.” In fact, Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (tenth edition) includes this definition of marriage:
The institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.
This edition was published in 1995. Perhaps Rep. Walker was reading from a more recent edition. But if Webster’s editors removed this definition of marriage as recently as some time in the last ten years, they—and Rep. Walker—are making our point for us. When we say that marriage is being “redefined,” we mean it literally.
Posted at 9:33 AM
STANBACK’S TESTIMONY [Brian Brown]
The legislators questioned Stanback for almost an hour and they were about as tough on her as they were on me. But whereas their questions to me were mostly about first principles—What is marriage? Why not same-sex “marriage?” etc.—their questions to her were mostly about the politics of the issue. Rep. Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk) told her that the members of the Committee had “evolved” on this issue. He said he favored legislation in 2000 and 2002 giving same-sex couples additional benefits, however he “struggles” with the concept. “With all respect to Rep. Walker,”—who had made the bizarre claim that marriage is not defined by the union of a man and woman because she could not find that definition in Webster’s Dictionary—“the man-woman definition of marriage is the one we all grew up with. You (Love Makes a Family) were in favor of civil unions before. Back then, you said ‘we’re not talking about gay marriage, we’re talking about civil unions.’ The legislature moves your way and now, all of a sudden, Love Makes a Family is not interested in civil unions. It’s same-sex ‘marriage’ or nothing.”
Stanback responded by making a blanket—and false—claim that at the time of her birth “in this country, legally marriage was between people of the same race.” She claimed that a plurality of the population now supports same-sex “marriage” because “same-sex couples have shared their stories.” Rep. Cafero seemed not to appreciate Stanback’s insinuation that his hesitation to support same-sex “marriage” makes him the moral equivalent of a racist. “I struggled [with this issue], I was a hero three years ago [for supporting previous legislation backed by Stanback] and now I’m criticized for not supporting full same-sex “marriage”—from Love Makes a Family. That is somewhat disconcerting.”
At this point Rep. Cafero asked Stanback about language in the pro same-sex “marriage” bill that says that Connecticut does not condone homosexuality. Stanback’s response: “Yes, I’d like that taken out of the bill. Nor should the state condone heterosexuality. I don’t like that language. When people get to know us, they’ll see they have no reason to fear condoning it [emphases added].” Despite all previous claims to the contrary, Stanback was clear that her aim was not mere tolerance, but the reshaping of society’s mores.
Rep. Cafero noted that current marriage laws place limits on the sex, number, age and familial relationship of those who can marry. If same-sex “marriage” is legalized, “it is a logical next question to ask: what is the magic about the number two?” It was the first indication that the pro-family movement’s much-derided concern about polygamy was finally being taken seriously. Rep. Cafero also mentioned Tom Greene’s lawsuit in Utah and reiterated his point: “That has to be a question that needs an answer.”
“I don’t know what the magic is about the number two,” Stanback replied. “It’s about who can marry, not how many. It [polygamy] is a hollow argument. I can’t answer you any better than that.” But Stanback answered better than she knew, essentially proving our point for us. Rep. Cafero pressed the matter with her. “People [polygamy proponents] can come forward and press their ideas,” she said. “That doesn’t mean it would happen.” She repeated her line about “who can marry, not how many” and claimed that legalized polygamy was not a logical extension of same-sex “marriage.” Rep. Cafero tried to get a more definitive answer from her. “I don’t know if it’s discriminatory to limit marriage to two,” she said, in a remarkable concession [emphasis added]. “I haven’t seen polygamous groups in Connecticut [emphasis added].” It was an amazing qualifier—“in Connecticut”—and Rep. Cafero knew it. “Ten years ago, groups weren’t asking for same-sex ‘marriage,’” he reminded her. He closed by asking her if she would support a civil unions bill if it makes it out of committee. She said no, calling it “separate and unequal. We oppose civil unions.”
Sen. Mary Ann Handley (D-Manchester) opened with a comment that somehow managed to work in references to women’s suffrage, desegregation and Auschwitz all in the space of a minute. That was the wind-up. Here was her pitch: “If we pass same-sex ‘marriage,’ do you see any hurt to society?” Stanback answered “no.”
Sen. Ernest Newton (D-Bridgeport), after noting that his own experience as an Afro-American has taught him that legislation has not ended bigotry, asked “Are you willing to risk not having anything unless you can have same-sex ‘marriage?’” Sen. Newton said he had read the Courant’s pro-same sex “marriage” op-ed by civil rights hero John Lewis “whom I respect, but I don’t understand how this is a civil rights issue.” Stanback’s response: “I would never be so presumptuous as to say the African-American struggle and the gay struggle are the same.” It was a rare backing-away from one of the pro same-sex “marriage” movement’s more grandiose claims. The fact is, they say or imply it all the time.
“It hurts that we backed you before and now it’s ‘same-sex ‘marriage’ or nothing,’” Sen. David Capiello (R-Danbury) told Stanback. He also raised a concern about polygamy. “What if,” he asked her, “in the interim, you end up with the marriage protection amendment because of your ‘all or nothing’ strategy?”
Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen) cited a post-election New York Times article about a chastened pro same-sex “marriage” movement pursuing a slower strategy. He suggested that, unlike the more sober national movement, the state’s pro same-sex “marriage” activists were putting their personal interests over their political interests. He said there must be a “division of opinion in the gay community” over Love Makes a Family’s opposition to civil unions. Sen. Roraback expressed displeasure that “what was heralded as a civil rights triumph a few years ago is now derided as an affront.”
“Every national gay group backs us,” Stanback responded. On Love Makes a Family’s ‘all or nothing’ strategy, these groups told her “that is the right decision in Connecticut.” She reminded him of FIC’s opposition to civil unions and told him “you’re not getting a break” from the pro-family movement by supporting civil unions. Sen. Roraback told her she could have waited for the Kerrigan decision. “Love Makes a Family would love to pass a bill through the legislature,” she responded. “We don’t want to wait three years.”
Sen. Roraback returned to the New York Times article as being more in tuned with public opinion. “I wish I could share with you the 500 e-mails I’ve received” showing that there would be a backlash if same-sex “marriage” were legalized, he said. At this, pro same-sex “marriage” Rep. Michael Lawlor (D-East Haven) suggested that Stanback could produce 500 e-mails too, if needed. “It does not appear hard to do,” he said.
We know differently. It was not an accident that Rep. Lawlor’s one intervention on behalf of Stanback’s cause during her testimony came at that moment. Sen. Roraback’s reference to the e-mails you, our supporters, are sending to the Judiciary Committee was one of the most important moments of the entire hearing. Rep. Lawlor and the pro same-sex “marriage” movement know the only thing standing in their way is the willingness of our fellow citizens to stand up and be counted on this issue. That is why FIC will never stop fighting for your right to be heard. That is why, if this issue is ever going to be resolved, the politicians must let the people decide.
Watch this space in the coming days and weeks for more information on what you can do to persuade our legislators to allow a hearing on the marriage protection amendment.
Posted at 4:56 PM
THE PROPAGANDA BEGINS [Brian Brown]
Any doubt that Sen. Roraback’s proposal to lessen the penalty for assisted suicide is just the opening shot in a renewed effort to legalize it in Connecticut was erased by today’s Courant. Here is an excerpt from Helen Ubinas’ column on the suicide in Litchfield that inspired Sen. Roraback’s proposal:
In 1995, the judiciary committee held a public hearing to consider making Connecticut the second state to legalize assisted suicide. Obviously that didn't happen. And obviously it's time to take a look at the law again…But another judiciary committee member, Sen. Andrew Roraback, offered a good alternative to overhauling the statute. Wednesday he pitched a bill that would make someone accused of aiding, not causing, another person's suicide eligible for accelerated rehabilitation. [Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael] Lawlor said he supports the proposal. The thing that complicates these cases, Lawlor said, is that there is always love behind them.
It’s all there: the admission of the ultimate goal, the praise of an incremental step toward achieving it, the exploitation of a headline-grabbing event to get the ball rolling and the assurance that, after all, it’s all about love. But killing someone is not an act of love. Making certain your loved one gets treated for the depression that made him or her suicidal is an act of love.
If Sen. Roraback’s bill becomes law, it will further a culture of death that does not value the weak, the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged and the unborn. This is one more battle — one of many — that the pro-life/pro-family movement must fight at our state legislature if we hope to protect human dignity in the “Constitution State.”
Posted at 1:15 PM
GOV. RELL’S DILEMMA—AND OURS [Brian Brown]
Gov. Rell proposed her first state budget in an address to the General Assembly yesterday. Good people can and will disagree over any number of items in her budget, but Connecticut’s pro-life community will be united in opposition to the last item mentioned in this excerpt from today’s editorial in the Republican-American:
"We must not embark on a spending spree of new programs and policies," [Gov. Rell] declared, and then announced her plan to embark on a spending spree of new programs and policies: $1.3 billion more for transportation improvements, $58 million more for the Department of Children and Families, free college education for children adopted after Jan. 1, $5.5 million for a pilot program for universal preschool, $57 million more for public education, $2.5 million more for the Indian casino host towns, $15.5 million for laptops for high school English classes, $5 million more for mental-health services AND $20 MILLION FOR EMBRYONIC STEM-CELL RESEARCH [emphasis added].
FIC will continue to follow the progress of the budget and to keep our members informed of opportunities to prevent our tax dollars from being used to clone and kill embryonic human beings.
Posted at 10:10 AM
MONDAY’S SAME-SEX "MARRIAGE" HEARING
During my three minute speech I told the members of the Judiciary Committee that if the people of Connecticut had a choice on this issue, they would decide the same as 13 other states -- including liberal Oregon -- did last year: to protect marriage. I pointed to my left, where we had parked six boxes containing 90,000 signatures by people "as diverse as Connecticut itself" asking for a marriage protection amendment. I reminded the legislators that children do best with a mom and a dad and that same-sex "marriage" severs the tie between marriage and childrearing. Its legalization would mean the will of the few trumping the will of the many. It is not a message of fairness for the Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the two pro same-sex "marriage" bills but not on H.J. 29, the bill calling for a marriage protection amendment. They should let the people decide. If pro same-sex "marriage" legislators truly believe the people are on their side, I asked, why will they not allow a hearing on our amendment?
The legislators questioned me for an hour and a half. Pro-same sex unions Sen. Andrew McDonald (D-Stamford) asked about the difference between "civil" and "religious" marriage. Marriage pre-exists the state, I explained. It is an anthropological institution. The state recognizes it because it is in the state’s interest to do so, as the negative consequences of the 1970’s divorce revolution further proved. The core definition of marriage has not been contested across time or culture.
Against Sen. McDonald’s questions, I maintained that the pro same-sex "marriage" bills do affect people’s religious beliefs and can infringe on those beliefs. "How does the bill detract from religion?" he asked. I pointed to our petitions, which were signed by everyone. Marriage is a central part of culture. Pro-family citizens oppose the redefinition of marriage out of altruism, not because it will have some immediate negative affect on their own marriage. Marriage is for the greatest good, the common good. The primary purposes of marriage are childrearing and social cohesion. I quoted Edmund Burke on marriage being society’s first little platoon. Yes, marriage involves companionship and love, but love alone does not make a family. To say otherwise is to sever one of its most important functions.
"We allow gay adoption," Sen. McDonald pointed out. He also cited single moms and abusive nuclear families and asked me why marriage is the defining element of the ability to rear children. "There’s no contradiction," I told him. Yes, single parenthood is a problem. I was not laying blame and single parents do need our help. But legislation should be the viewed from the perspective of what can occur. With same-sex "marriage" the state creates an institution where children will *never* have the ability to have both a mom and a dad. It does not work well for society. I pointed to pro same-sex "marriage" Scandinavia, where more parents now cohabit and never marry. The state should shoot for the ideal, I said. In general, children do best with both a mother and a father.
In an apparent reference to my negative mention of cohabitation, Sen. McDonald asked, "Would same-sex ‘marriage’ ameliorate your convictions? I know you think it would dilute the institution of marriage, but would it make it worse? How?" This is how we got here, I told him, with the divorce rates so high. Same-sex "marriage" did not get us to this point, but is only conceivable because we’re here. Same-sex "marriage" further destroys the shared public understanding of what marriage is. If same-sex "marriage" is ok, why not polygamy? By taking this last step (same-sex "marriage"), you do away with a shared understanding of marriage.
Noting FIC’s opposition to civil unions, Sen. McDonald asked "So you’re against more rights for people who live together and love each other?" I took exception to the question’s premise. "That’s like asking if an aunt who is a caretaker for her niece should have more rights," I said. The granting of rights should not be based on sexual relationships other than marriage. So, of course FIC would oppose civil unions. Taking one last stab, Sen. McDonald asked about special arrangements for the children of same-sex couples who end up in court. I noted that in most custody cases of same-sex couples, the mother and father are still alive and that, depending on the issue, probate court is available.
Sen. Ernest Newton (D-Bridgeport) asked why the residents of Connecticut should have a say on this issue by voting on a constitutional amendment. I agreed that the constitution should not be amended lightly. But it will be amended one way or the other because of the Kerrigan case. Four judges imposed same-sex "marriage" in Massachusetts and it could happen here. The only way to stop it is the marriage protection amendment. Courts should not make law. Both sides come to the legislature every year on this issue. Why not let the people decide? And this is not your average issue -- it’s crucial to the well-being of society. We are not denying anyone rights or benefits. Same-sex couples can already write wills and have health conservator documents written up. To say the amendment denies them rights is like saying a grandfather and grandson who live together are being discriminated against. Marriage should be protected because of its uniqueness, it is not discriminatory. "Why wouldn’t voters trust us with this?" Sen. Newton asked. Some issues, I replied, are so salient, so monumental, so important that the people must decide. The legislature should give people that chance.
Rep. Bob Farr (R-West Hartford) noted the existence of illegitimate children, lack of commitment, co-habitation and companies that provide "domestic partnership" benefits. "Isn’t civil unions better because it stops the erosion of marriage?" he asked. Look to Sweden, I responded, where both homosexuals and heterosexuals can have civil unions. Where there is no shared definition of marriage, such as Sweden, these in-between way stations lessen the number of marriages. I reminded the Committee that before people began trying to legalize same-sex "marriage" in Connecticut, FIC’s efforts were focused on strengthening marriage. We oppose same-sex "marriage" because it takes a sledgehammer to all our previous work by destroying a shared definition of marriage.
Sen. David Cappiello (R-Danbury) said that while he joins us in opposing judicial usurpation, he was concerned that our amendment would break with the constitutional tradition of granting more rights, not less. I told him that we are not taking rights away because same-sex "marriage" does not exist in Connecticut. The issue will not go away once the courts can trump the people. If you want people to decide, then we need an amendment vote. Sen. Cappiello asked about other arrangements. Anything that creates a separate institution, I responded, a way-station to marriage, we would oppose. We need to protect marriage from redefinition by the courts.
Some of the most hostile questions of the entire 90 minutes came from Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby). She noted the failure of some traditional households and accused me of wanting to keep children in unhappy nuclear families. Citing Rutgers’ David Popeno, I explained that, if you control for other variables, social science shows that kids overall do best with a mom and a dad, despite the exceptions. Gender is not unimportant and marriage is based upon the complementarity of male and female. Same-sex parenting is new and so there is not a lot of data on it yet. But the research on motherlessness and fatherlessness does exist and scholars like David Blankenhorn in "Fatherless America" have demonstrated its harmful effects. We did not have this data in the 1970’s when divorce laws were first liberalized, but we now know that no-fault divorce was not a panacea. It is the same thing with same-sex "marriage." Based on what our culture experienced with the divorce revolution, why would we again change the societal model of marriage?
Rep. Klarides praised liberalized divorce laws and said that she thought it unfair that divorces used to be harder to obtain. She said she didn’t care if a child’s parents are two men or two women and that she did not believe I was putting the best interests of the children first. I reminded her that I said children "do best" with a mom and dad, not that they could "only" be in a home with them. I was not creating an either/or scenario. But the social science is clear. As legislators, I reminded her, you have a duty to create the best culture you can. You can do that by allowing an amendment vote. We should create a marriage culture. Statistics show that the divorce rate is declining. "But," I told Rep. Klarides, "you’re suggesting one extreme or the other." You can’t support a bill that, by its very nature, destroys marriage. There is already a Canadian commission looking into polygamy. If you support same-sex "marriage," then you have to answer, why not polygamy?
Rep. Klarides could not answer my question. "Polygamy is a hollow argument," she said. "Then, why not?" I replied. At this, she went for the cheap applause line. "Do you think if same-sex ‘marriage’ is passed, I’ll say tomorrow I’ll be a lesbian?" I reminded her that I had explicitly said from the beginning that, no, I’m not saying that. We’re making arguments from the public good. Marriage is a shared public good.
"When you say ‘we,’ for whom are you speaking?" asked pro same-sex "marriage" Rep. Michael Lawler (D-East Haven). I reminded him of the 100,000 petitions on the floor to my left. "You’re opposed to any legal recognition for same-sex ‘marriage?’" he asked me. You word it to suggest it already exists, I responded. We’re opposed to same-sex "marriage." We oppose civil unions because it is same-sex "marriage" by a different name. "For any two persons?" Rep. Lawlor asked. I told him that we oppose any attempt to create institutions that mimic marriage. "We recognize business entities but you’re opposed [to civil unions]," he responded. "You’re just opposed to the fact that there’s same-sex couples that love each other? It seems like opponents are against anything having to do with homosexuality. You’re so concerned about a slippery slope that any recognition is opposed by you guys." I reiterated our opposition to any mimic or counterfeit of marriage. I pointed to the amendments passed in Oregon, Michigan and 11 other states to illustrate that people are waking up to the fact that marriage is being redefined and they are opposed to it.
"Where do your funds come from?" Rep. Toni Walker (D-New Haven) asked. "Where does your definition of marriage between a man and a woman come from?" Our funds come from private donors, I responded, and our definition of marriage comes from social science, common sense and all of human history. Marriage is the most trans-historical, multicultural institution we have. If you propose a different definition, what is the foundation? Rep. Walker claimed that Webster’s definition of marriage does not mention man and woman. In the weirdest moment of the entire 90 minutes, she said Webster’s was her "foundation" and she went on to discuss the definition of discrimination. I told her that I was not arguing in favor of discrimination. Is Tom Greene in Utah being discriminated against because he can’t practice polygamy? I’m not trying to deny people their rights and people can disagree without being accused of evil motivations. "You’re creating a law that discriminates," Rep. Walker insisted, "the amendment amounts to not hearing other people." That’s not correct, I told her. The law currently allows marriage between a man and a woman. The marriage protection amendment stops any court-ordered redefinition.
Anne Stanback of "Love Makes a Family" testified
after me. I will comment on her testimony in this space
SO, HOW DID IT GO MONDAY? [Ken Von Kohorn]
That's the question FIC has repeatedly been asked during the last 48 hours or so. "It," of course, is the Judiciary Committee's hearing on two bills legalizing same-sex "marriage," and the short answer is that it went well. Brian will be posting a longish blog on his testimony later today and tomorrow he will offer a recap -- and some thoughts of his own -- about Anne Stanback's testimony. For now, though, we thought you might appreciate some of the feedback from FIC's in-box, all directed at Brian:
Both on WTIC radio and at the
Judiciary Committee, you did an excellent job. You were
very articulate, easy to follow and pleasantly engaging with
the committee. This was one of your finest hours!...
I saw you last night on the [CTN] at the hearing on same sex marriage. I was riveted watching you defend marriage bravely and so capably. I also marveled at your cool and knowledgeable responses to...questions. You did a great job of teaching...people with your answers as well as all those who were watching.
Firstly, I want to say thank you for all the work you are doing to protect marriage in Connecticut. Without you we would have lost this battle long ago. I will continue to keep you and your staff in prayer for God's guidance and help...
Posted at 1:26 PM
PROPOSED BILL WOULD MOVE CT CLOSER TO ASSISTED SUICIDE [Brian Brown]
According to an article in today's Waterbury Republican-American, State Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen) plans to introduce a legislative proposal in the Judiciary Committee TODAY that could lessen the legal penalty for assisting in a suicide by making a distinction between "causing" the suicide and "aiding" in it. The passage of this bill would move us closer to the legalization of assisted suicide in Connecticut. Please use the resources of the Family Institute of Connecticut's Marriage Protection Action Center to contact the members of the Judiciary Committee and ask them to OPPOSE Sen. Roraback's proposal to lessen the penalty for assisted suicide. Please call attention to this issue to every like-minded person and ask them to do the same.
Posted at 9:30 AM
ADOPTION SHOULD FAVOR MARRIED COUPLES [Ken Von Kohorn]
While all 50 states assert that adoption is governed by the “best interests of the child,” legal preferences for married couples in adoption are rare. More states explicitly ban "discrimination” based on marital status than contain even mild preferences for marriage. Five states (Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York) make it illegal to prefer married couples in placement decisions. Only one state (Utah) codifies a clear preference for married couples in adoptions. Recommendation: State legislatures should codify appropriate preferences for married couples (where available) in adoption law.
Connecticut should explicitly favor married couples for adoptions. Social science -- as well as common sense -- recognizes that kids do best with a mother and a father in a stable marriage. Any policy that does not pay homage to that basic truth shortchanges children in need of adoption.
Posted at 12:05 AM
ABSTINENCE EDUCATION HEARING ON FEB. 8th [Brian Brown]
Our state legislature’s Select Committee on Children will be holding a public hearing this Tuesday, Feb. 8th, on two bills that could lead to increased abstinence education in Connecticut’s public schools. Click here to read the action alert received today from the Connecticut Catholic Conference. FIC supports the passage of these two bills and urges the pro-family movement to attend Tuesday’s hearing.
Posted at 12:34 P.M.
COURANT PLUGS MARRIAGE ADVICE BOOK [Brian Brown]
On the front page of the Courant’s “Life” section today, staff writer Kathleen Megan has an article about a book by Steve Campbell
that contains marriage-saving advice in terms that he believes guys will understand. That is, using football and other sports analogies to explain the intricacies of relationships. Called "Third and Long: Advice From a Guy Who's Learned the Hard Way" ($12.95 at Amazon.com), it's a book that Campbell wishes had been available to him several years ago, when his marriage began to fall apart….His title, he said, is drawn from that moment in a football game where all is not lost, but when "you have to buckle down and get that first down - or else you'll lose the game."
Based on Megan’s piece, “Third and Long” seems to be worth the $12.95. We are grateful to the Courant for making the public aware of it.
Posted at 11:10 A.M.
SAME-SEX “MARRIAGE” HEARING ON FEB. 7 [Brian Brown]
The pro-family movement has spent the winter warming up for the main event: the battle to protect marriage in 2005. Here in Connecticut, it’s time for Round One.
The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly will hold a public hearing on legislation legalizing same-sex “marriage” this Monday, Feb. 7th, from 1:00 to 6:00 P.M. in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
The bill under consideration, S.B. 963, is the most extremist pro same-sex “marriage” bill imaginable. It legalizes “marriage” for “any two persons…regardless of the sex.” It removes the words “bride and groom” from the current statute and replaces it with “both persons.” It adds language listing various types of families that are in “the best interests of the child” while omitting any mention of a child’s need for both a mom and a dad. It removes the statutory language declaring Connecticut’s public policy to be that marriage is between a man and a woman. nIt is, in short, the most “in-your-face” pro same-sex “marriage” bill ever devised by Connecticut’s radical anti-family elites.
The decision by Love Makes a Family that it will only support the most extreme pro same-sex “marriage” bill proves what FIC and other pro-family groups have said for years. The goal of pro same-sex “marriage” activists is not equality or compromise, but the radical redefinition of marriage for all of society. That the majority of our fellow citizens believe that marriage should remain the union of man and one woman is a fact held in utter contempt by pro same-sex “marriage” activists. n Even if legislators were to enact the false compromise of “civil unions” these activists would not stop pushing for same-sex “marriage.”
FIC sent an e-mail alert earlier this week calling on pro-family supporters to contact Judiciary Committee members and ask them to oppose S.B. 963, the bill legalizing same-sex “marriage.” We also oppose H.B. 6601, a bill that would force Connecticut to recognize same-sex “marriages” from Massachusetts and other countries. We support H.J. 29, a bill that would allow a referendum on amending our state constitution to read “that it is the policy of the state of Connecticut, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage.”
FIC calls upon all pro-family supporters to contact the Judiciary Committee members and tell them you OPPOSE the two bills legalizing same-sex “marriage” and you SUPPORT H.J. 29, a bill that would let the people decide the future of marriage in Connecticut. If you did not receive our e-mail alert, you can use the resources on our Marriage Protection Action Center to contact Judiciary Committee members and to give us your e-mail so that you can receive future alerts. We also need as many pro-family supporters as possible to attend Monday’s hearing so that the legislators can see that most people want marriage protected, not redefined.
For those who are willing, we also need pro-family citizens to testify at the hearing. Speaker order will be determined by lottery and sign up to be included in the lottery is from 9:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. on Monday in Room 2500. You must bring 65 copies of your testimony. Speaker order will be posted in Room 2C at 12:45 P.M.
While the 2005 battle for marriage protection in Connecticut is just beginning, this first round is crucial. Whether we succeed or fail in preserving society’s most important institution for the well-being of children will depend largely on the willingness of you, the pro-family citizens of Connecticut, to stand up and make your voice be heard. Won’t you please join us?
Posted at 12:03 P.M.
CANADIANS WANT TO PRESERVE MARRIAGE [Ken Von Kohorn]
According to today's National Post, Canadians overwhelmingly want to maintain the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman -- and they would prefer a referendum rather than letting Parliament decide the definition marriage for them. Here is an excerpt:
As MPs begin debating the government's same-sex marriage bill, a healthy majority of Canadians would actually prefer to see the contentious issue decided by a country-wide referendum, a new National Post/Global National poll suggests.
More than two-thirds said they would prefer a direct say on the gay marriage question, rather than a free vote in Parliament that lets politicians act according to their conscience, the survey indicates.
And the poll suggests the same-sex legislation might go down to defeat in a plebiscite, with 66% saying they support keeping the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Sounds more than a little like our prescription for Connecticut: Let the People Decide.
Posted at 11:08 A.M.
EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH HEARING [Brian Brown]
The Public Health Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly held a hearing yesterday on whether the state should give $10 million of our—the taxpayer’s—money to embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). The Hartford Courant’s article on the hearing was notable for its fairness and balance, and for stating clearly what ESCR supporters are trying to hide: that the proposed bill “endorses cloning as a means to obtain embryonic human stem cells.” It also requires the destruction of the cloned embryos, which is why we rightly call it a “clone and kill” bill.
The hearing began with a panel of three pro-ESCR speakers. Paul Pescatello of Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE), a lobbying group established to build up the state’s economy, said the bill was about “bricks and mortar”—the building of research centers. Dr. Dianne Krause of Yale—perhaps the most heavily endowed university in the nation—worried that Yale’s ESC researchers would be hired away by other schools if $10 million of taxpayer funds were not forthcoming (actually, she called the $10 million figure “a nice start”). Nicole Phaneuf, whose five year old daughter has juvenile diabetes, unintentionally provided heartbreaking evidence of how the biotech industry is misleading people. “Embryonic stem cell research is our only hope,” she testified. “Without this, we have no hope.”
During the Q and A with the pro-ESCR panel, Rep. Mary Ann Carson (R-New Fairfield) zeroed in on Dr. Krause’s definition of cloning as beginning at implantation. “The word ‘cloning’ just has too many meanings,” said Krause, who believes the human embryo is not a human being prior to implantation. Under questioning from Rep. Carson, however, Dr. Krause conceded that if the same embryos she wishes to experiment on are implanted, they could continue to grow into human beings.
The highlight of the hearing was the testimony of Dr. Micheline Mathews-Roth, a professor of medicine from Harvard who spoke for the pro-life panel that followed the pro-ESCR panel. Dr. Mathews-Roth stated what should be obvious: to obtain embryonic stem cells, you need to destroy a 5-7 day old human. “That is a fact of science, not religious belief.” She quoted several biology textbooks to support her statement.
A slight, elderly woman, Dr. Mathews-Roth was nonetheless a whirlwind of intellectual clarity. The only way to get embryonic stem cells, she said, is to “break open” the embryo, killing it. “They are whole, intact members of our species. This is a fact of embryology.” She noted that injection of embryonic stem cells can cause immunological rejections in patients and other problems that are not present with adult stem cells.
Ethically, she said, patients in a hypothetically successful ESCR experiment should be informed that a very young human is being killed to treat them. “Otherwise, the doctor is intellectually dishonest.” Because some patients may not wish to have other people killed in order to treat them, lack of full disclosure could lead to lawsuits. She noted that the CURE handouts on ESCR fail to be forthright about this. “CURE ought to say ‘we think killing humans is justified’ and give the reasons.” ESCR, she said, amounts to the ultimate age discrimination, saying that the youngest human lives are not worth preserving. “Does Connecticut really want to sanction the practice of deliberately starting the lives of members of our own species for the purpose of harvesting their parts?” Dr. Mathews-Roth noted that the Iacocca foundation is funding adult stem cell research that could help the little girl with juvenile diabetes whose mother testified earlier. “Isolating embryonic stem cell research,” on the other hand, “does kill a growing human. And that’s pretty awful.”
The Rev. Ted Tumicki of the Diocese of Norwich, a moral theologian, underlined the ethical questions raised by the bill. Would you create your own twin and kill him for his stem cells? How about human/animal hybrids? How about your own biological child? “The bill answers ‘yes’ to all these questions.” Fr. Tumicki noted that the bill’s review provisions leave too many questions unanswered and amounts to a rubber stamp. “This is a fast bill. We need a good bill.”
Individual testimonies following the two panels began with Connecticut’s pro-abortion Lieutenant Governor, Kevin Sullivan, who accused pro-lifers of putting out “massive amounts of disinformation” regarding ESCR. But if this were true, wouldn’t pro-ESCR legislators have exposed the misinformation during their question and answer session with the pro-life panel? During the Q and A with the pro-life panel, however, the only adversarial questions asked by legislators were the usual chestnuts about favoring one religion over another and philosophical disagreements over when human life begins. Not one pro-ESCR legislator challenged the pro-life panel on an item of “disinformation.” But during the Q and A with the pro-ESCR panel, Rep. Carson exposed Dr. Krause’s false claim that the bill forbids cloning.
The only people putting out “massive amounts of disinformation” in this debate are working on behalf of the clone and kill bill, not against it. FIC will continue to support the honest side in this debate as they strive to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to deliberately destroy human life.
Posted at 4:45 P.M.
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