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February 28

 

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

 

February 25

 

LMF STILL HAS FRIENDS [Brian Brown]
Sure, liberal lobbyist Betty Gallo and Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Lawlor have split with Love Makes a Family over its role as state puppet for the national pro same-sex “marriage” movement. But LMF still has one ally that will never abandon them: the Associated Press. In a story so slanted that it could have been written by Anne Stanback, the AP informs us today that “Vermonters say gay marriage would be better than civil unions in Conn.”

 

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

 

February 24

 

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 STATE LEVEL.

As usual, in a completely undemocratic fashion, the Judiciary Committee leadership scheduled the vote only hours before it occurred. We lost on civil unions by a 25-13 vote.  This shows you just how out-of-touch our elected officials have become. (In the days ahead we’ll be posting a recap of their remarks prior to the vote, as we did for the Feb. 7th hearing.) Once again T.R. Rowe (R-Trumbull), did us a massive service in getting the word out and leading the fight to protect marriage. You can read the coverage in the Courant by clicking here.

It is now essential that we move our campaign to the next step.  WE MUST NOW CONTACT EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE CIVIL-UNIONS/SAME-SEX "MARRIAGE" LEGISLATION.  Same-sex unions legislation still has to be approved by both our House and our Senate and signed into law by our governor.  While our chances for stopping the bill in the Senate are minimal, we can still stop the bill either in the House or by a veto by the governor.  You can send an e-mail to your elected officials by clicking the button at the bottom of this page.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY! Without a grassroots response unlike this state has ever seen, same-sex "marriage" will be coming to our state.

We are also planning another massive rally, a poll, and a lobby day at our capitol.  We will do absolutely everything in our power to protect marriage.  We are up against a biased media, a liberal judiciary, an out-of-touch legislature, and a well-financed homosexual lobby.  We are more in need of your support now than ever.  Click here to donate online on our secure server.

Without your help, Connecticut will likely become the second state in our nation to pass civil unions.  What is more, passage of civil unions will make it almost assured that our courts will mandate same-sex "marriage." 

TAKE ACTION NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

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!


Click the link below to log in and send your message:
http://votervoice.net/target.asp?id=fict:4224224  

Posted at 10:04 AM

 

February 23

 

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

 

February 21

 
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
 

February 18

 

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.


"When (being gay is) called sinful it’s a personal attack," Besse-Rankin said.

 

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

 

February 17

 

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)

E-Mail: Meyer@senatedems.ct.gov

Phone: (860) 240-8600

 

Rep. Michael Cardin (D-Ashford, Tolland, Willington)

E-Mail: Mike.Cardin@cga.ct.gov

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

 

February 16

 

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 was blunt.

"In my opinion, civil unions probably would have come out of the judiciary committee this year," DeLuca said. But, following the all-or-nothing stand of the advocacy groups, "I don't think it will now."

 

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

 

February 14

 

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

 

February 11

 

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:

 

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.

 

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.

Instead of marriage or civil unions, lawmakers should be debating a state constitutional amendment banning such unions, said Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut.

"Democrats and Republicans, suburbanites and urbanites, African Americans, Hispanic and white Americans - the majority of all major groups in America agree that marriage is and only can be the union of one man and one woman," Brown said.

He held a petition that he said contained 90,000 signatures of residents who support a constitutional amendment. "We are seeing the will of the few trumping the will of the many," Brown said. "This committee itself is not even giving a public hearing to a bill that would let the people decide the future of marriage."

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

 

February 10 

 

ANNE STANBACK’S TESTIMONY [Brian Brown]
Anne Stanback, head of the pro same-sex “marriage” lobby “Love Makes a Family,” testified after me at the Judiciary Committee’s public hearing on Monday. In her brief testimony she essentially argued that tolerance wasn’t enough—society owes same-sex couples its approval. “Marriage equality,” she said, is more than benefits and protections. The current law denies “us”—homosexuals—respect under the law. Marriage is more than the sum of its legal parts. It is a cultural institution. Therefore, only marriage helps same-sex families. She cited the Massachusetts court case legalizing same-sex “marriage” in that state and a recent ruling that could have the same effect in New York City. “Does the ‘constitution state’ deserve less?”

 

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

 

February 9

 

MONDAY’S SAME-SEX "MARRIAGE" HEARING [Brian Brown]
On Monday the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on two bills that would legalize same-sex "marriage" in
Connecticut. Pro-family supporters contacted their legislators, attended the hearing and prayed for the protection of marriage in larger numbers than ever before. Those prayers were heard during the lottery to choose the order of speakers, when I happened to pick a number making me the first to testify.

 

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 tomorrow.
Posted at 3:07 PM

 

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:  

 
I wanted to congratulate you and your team on the great work done in Conn. yesterday. After receiving your update...we are all encouraged (but prayerful) by the efforts of you and the dedication you have shown. I...look forward to working with and learning from those who are making such a tremendous difference like yourself. Thank you for all you're doing...
 
Keep up the great work!  This is a fight we must win.  I will mail in my contribution for the Harris Interactive poll.

 

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.


Why don't they  (the representatives) "trust" the people of Connecticut with this most important issue? Trust us enough to let us decide, let us vote on an amendment to our Constitution.... Rep. Walker (the one who accused you of discrimination) I am amazed, uses the Webster's Dictionary as her only legal means of research on marriage? Amazing!  Don't we have history books and a law library in the capital?  Thank you for all you did and are doing. May God richly bless you for your stalwart efforts!

I was at the Hearing today, myself and our pastor, we heard your argument and want to thank you for such a strong and powerful message you put before the Judicial Committee. You were speaking for me and thousands of others. You are helping us keep this state and the institution of Marriage as God had intended it to be. Please keep up the good hard work. Are you helping other states start a Family Institute like ours? God bless you and your family. We did not get to speak, and I am still unaware of the outcome of today's hearing. I am watching the streamed video now.

I was refreshed by the clarity and persuasiveness of Brian's views expressed during your call to the Ray and Diane Show. I was unaware of your organization until I heard you on this show.  I am against same sex marriage but had been willing to support...civil unions.  Brian's points about the incremental nature of this movement are making me think again. I will be visiting your site to keep posted on your organization's activities.  Thank you for speaking out on WTIC AM!...
 

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

 

February 5

 

ADOPTION SHOULD FAVOR MARRIED COUPLES [Ken Von Kohorn]

The Institute for Marriage and Public Policy has just issued a Policy Brief covering adoption law  in the fifty states.  Here is their Executive Summary:

 

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

 

February 4

 

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.

 

February 3

 

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.

 

February 2

 

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.

 

February 1

 

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.

 

January 31

 

SOCIETY HAS STAKE IN STEM CELL DEBATE [Brian Brown]

In about a half hour from now, the Public Health Committee will be holding a hearing on whether to use our tax dollars to fund the cloning and killing of human embryos in order to experiment on the embryos’ genetic material. If you can still make it to the hearing, please do come. We need to pack the room with citizens who value the sanctity of all human life, including the embryo.

 

People like the family mentioned in today’s New Haven Register article are being misled. Embryonic stem cells have not been demonstrated to be of any medical value. The bio-tech industry is raising false hopes in order to secure funding from the public which they cannot get from the private sector, where savvy venture capitalists refuse to invest in something that does not work. Meanwhile, adult and umbilical cord stem-cell research, which has produced results, gets very little public funding. The drive to use taxpayer dollars for embryonic stem cell research is driven by ideology, not science.

 

We all have a stake in the outcome of this debate, because we as a society will have to live with the results.

Posted at 10:05 A.M.

 

January 28

 

BREAKING…SAME-SEX “MARRIAGE” BILL RAISED [Brian Brown]

A bill legalizing same-sex “marriage” in Connecticut was referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary today. No hearing has been set. You can read S.B. 963, “An Act Concerning Marriage Equality,” by clicking here.

 

As promised by Love Makes a Family — and lamented by its allies — 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. It is, in short, the most “in-your-face” pro same-sex “marriage” bill ever devised by Connecticut’s radical anti-family elites.

 

This battle is just beginning. I will be sending an e-mail alert to all of our supporters next week on what they can do to stop this effort to destroy marriage and to get a vote on a marriage protection amendment. We need your support, your activism and your prayers to convince the politicians to let the people decide the future of marriage in Connecticut.

Posted at 1:56 P.M.

 

ANOTHER GREAT MOMENT IN CONN. JOURNALISM [Brian Brown]

On Jan. 21st I blogged about the Courant’s article on the “historic” importance of a lesbian police recruit declaring her sexual orientation to fellow recruits who already knew she was a lesbian. Today’s Courant brings us another great moment in Connecticut journalism. In a photo and article that takes up half a page in its West Hartford edition, the Courant informs its readers that “about 30 people” at a UCC church in New Britain held a candlelight vigil to “say all are welcome [here], and in particular the gay community.”

 

The vigil was prompted by television controversies involving homosexuality, including the decision by two networks to reject a UCC ad that depicts homosexuals attending a UCC church after being rejected at other churches. But that ad makes the same error the vigil attendees do and the networks were right to reject it. There’s a difference between faithfully upholding the scriptural prohibitions against homosexual activity and forbidding those with such inclinations from entering your church. No pro-family church does the latter. The implication, in both the ad and the vigil, that pro-family churches are bigoted is a slur.

 

Today’s article begins by quoting the thoughts of a 12-year-old vigil attendee who “isn’t quite sure how she feels about the whole debate” regarding homosexuality and the church. The photo in the Courant’s print edition depicts one 14-year-old and four 12-year-olds holding candles at the vigil.

 

One has to wonder about a movement that puts 12-year-olds in front of the media to discuss their thoughts about homosexuality. In fact, one has to wonder about a movement that thinks the rejection of a TV ad and the criticism of a cartoon is a good reason for a vigil.

Posted at 12:25 P.M.

 

January 27

 

DR. FRANKENSTEIN WANTS YOUR TAX DOLLARS [Brian Brown]

The following information was received from the CT Catholic Conference. As I mentioned in today’s e-mail alert, we need as many people as possible to testify at Monday’s hearing if we want to stop the government from using our tax dollars to fund “clone and kill” research on embryonic human beings.

 

ACTION ALERT
January 31, 2005 Public Hearing On
EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
                                     
 
     A public hearing on legislation for State support , including State Funding, of embryonic stem cell research has been scheduled by the Public Health Committee. Bill number SB934. The hearing will be held on January 31, 2005, at 10:30 a.m., in the Legislative Office Building, Room 1D. Sign-up begins at 9:00 a.m. If possible, please bring 40 copies of testimony.  Please try to attend this hearing and express your opposition to human embryonic cloning and embryonic research.

Bill overview/issues.
     1.  The bill does not completely ban human cloning. The human embryo is by its very nature human and this bill clearly allows for the creation and destruction of human embryos for the harvesting of stem cells. It allows for the taking of these cells well into the embryonic stage of development. It is commonly mentioned that the cells are extracted in the first 4 -7 days of growth. However, this bill allows the harvesting of embryonic stem cells up to at least the first 20-22 days of growth and potentially even longer based on language interpretation.

      2.  The bill does not ban invitro fertilization of a woman for the purpose of harvesting embryonic stem cells from aborted embryos or fetuses for the purpose of research.

      3.  The bill allocates $10 million over two years for the purpose of embryonic and adult stem cell research. However, the bill does not setup any ethical standards for who can sit on the advisory board  that oversees the funding. Can people who have financial self interests in this research be able to sit on the advisory board? Will the board be dominated by embryonic stem celll supporters resulting in very little funding for adult stem cell research?

   Contact your State Senator and Representative, and especially members of the Public Health Committee ,to express your opposition to this type of stem cell research.  The Catholic Church fully supports adult stem cell research which is already in the human trial stages on many illnesses.  The immoral destruction of human life (the embyro) for research purposes is not necessary.

For more information visit our website or click here
.

Posted at 2:51 P.M.   

 

“LOVE MAKES A FAMILY” GOES OFF THE DEEP END [Brian Brown]

Dispirited by pro-family victories on the national scene, local pro same-sex “marriage” activists have claimed their cause will fare better here, on what they have dubbed “Planet Connecticut.” Now, even Love Makes a Family’s own allies are beginning to wonder if the group is from another world.

 

You could almost hear the disappointed sigh in the Courant’s headline today: “Tactic May Stall Bid for Civil Unions.” According to the article, Love Makes a Family (LMF), the main pro same-sex “marriage” lobbying group in Connecticut, has made a “controversial decision” to launch “an all-or-nothing” campaign to legalize same-sex “marriage,” rather than “civil unions.”

 

LMF’s decision has distressed its allies in the legislature:

 

"We have a real opportunity to pass a civil union bill this year with all the rights of marriage. The position taken by Love Makes a Family puts that at risk," [Rep. Cameron] Staples [D-New Haven] said. "I was disappointed."

 

Even Rep. Staples and the Courant are beginning to realize that Love Makes a Family is an extremist organization. But they should not be surprised by LMF’s position. It follows naturally from the group’s misreading of Connecticut public opinion on same-sex “marriage.” Pro same-sex “marriage” legislators and the Courant are aghast at LMF’s “all or nothing” push for same-sex “marriage” because they are slightly more tethered to reality. LMF, on the other hand, may really believe its own spin about the fictional “Planet Connecticut,” a land where an “enlightened” majority favors same-sex “marriage.”

 

If so, Connecticut’s pro same-sex “marriage” media establishment bears some of the blame. Today’s Courant piece, for instance, uncritically touts a UConn poll purporting to show that a majority of state residents favor civil unions and a plurality favors same-sex “marriage.” Then, regarding LMF’s current campaign, the paper adds:

 

A same-sex marriage bill faces seemingly insurmountable hurdles: The legislation would originate in the judiciary committee, where it probably would be defeated, and Gov. M. Jodi Rell is strongly opposed to gay marriage.

 

First, some polls are more reliable than others. Who now remembers the UConn poll of a few years ago that supposedly proved that the people of Connecticut wanted higher taxes? The poll’s credibility collapsed after Courant columnist Laurence Cohen examined the wording of the questions. The same thing happened when I wrote an op-ed for the Courant exposing a bogus poll commissioned by Love Makes a Family.

 

Second, Gov. Rell’s opposition is not limited to same-sex “marriage.” On Dec. 10, the New Haven Register published this:

 

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.

 

So far, Gov. Rell’s opposition to civil unions has been noted twice in the Courant: in a sidebar published in tiny print and in a letter to the editor that appeared on a Saturday. In its two major same-sex “marriage” articles published since Gov. Rell made those comments—on page A1 and B1—the Courant behaves as if she never said it. It is this type of slanted reporting that has led Love Makes a Family down a blind alley.

 

Further, the Courant piece does not engage the issue. Same-sex “marriage” is wrong because it would create permanent and obligatory motherlessness or fatherlessness for children who need both a mom and a dad. The disastrous consequences of the divorce revolution of the 1970’s have taught us not to engage in vast, untested social experiments with children. If same-sex “marriage” is legalized, further distortions of marriage—such as polygamy—will become inevitable. Schools would indoctrinate children with a societal redefinition of marriage, regardless of parental opposition.

 

Although it looks like Love Makes a Family has come off the rails, pro-family supporters must remain vigilant. Pro same-sex “marriage” Rep. Michael Lawlor says he does not “rule out offering a civil-union bill.” 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.” 

 

But it would not be a compromise at all. Civil unions are same-sex “marriage” by a different name. We are fighting to protect the institution of marriage, not just the name. If civil unions are legalized in Connecticut, as LMF knows, state courts may seize on it as a pretext to impose same-sex “marriage,” claiming a violation of the constitution’s “equal protection” clause.  

 

The Family Institute of Connecticut and our supporters will continue the fight against the destruction of marriage, regardless of whether its supporters refer to the radical redefinition they seek as same-sex “marriage” or “civil unions.” And we will continue to fight for the right to have a vote on a marriage protection amendment to our state constitution. For there to be a final resolution of this issue, the politicians must let the people decide the future of marriage in Connecticut.

Posted at 1:55 P.M.

 

January 26

 

“NO NAME-CALLING WEEK” [Brian Brown]

5,100 middle school teachers in 36 states have signed onto “No Name-Calling Week,” an initiative of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network to stop what they believe to be an epidemic of verbal abuse against homosexual students. It’s a truism that people ought to respect one another and not engage in name-calling. But, as an editorial in the Waterbury Republican-American notes:

The irony of GLSEN's involvement here is homosexual activists are knee-jerk name-callers. If anyone speaks out against homosexual marriage, for example, GLSEN and its ilk do not attempt to rebut their arguments, but rather immediately brand them as homophobes, as if the principled belief that marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman is based on irrational fear of homosexuals.

That hypocrisy has been evident here in Connecticut, as I noted in my Dec. 16th blog. In fact, we received so much hate mail from same-sex “marriage” supporters recently that we created a new feature on the home page, Comments from Our “Tolerant” Opposition, so the public could see it for themselves. If the pro same-sex “marriage” movement really wants to reduce intolerance in our society, they could start by confronting the hate coming from some of their own members.

Posted at 10:25 A.M.

 

January 25

 

A CAUTION ON HIGHER EDUCATION [Ken Von Kohorn]

 

Some of our readers may have heard about the scolding Harvard president Lawrence Summers has received from academia for even suggesting that there may be innate differences between men and women's brains, when it comes to math, science and engineering.  One of our favorite commentators, Dennis Prager, has published a column today about this incident that is well worth reading especially if you have children nearing college age.  Some excerpts:

Outside of the university, most people know that men and women are innately different, that they therefore have some different innate abilities, and that the latest research shows that the two sexes actually have physically different brain structure and composition. 

But such empirical truths are not utterable in the most intellectually closed places in America -- our universities.

To come to realize that the highest institutions of learning often do not value learning but seek to propagandize their children (largely against everything they, the parents, believe in) is too painful. Most people can't confront the fact that, unless their child is studying the natural sciences, they have paid huge sums of money for their child to be able to share bathrooms with members of the opposite sex, read columns in college newspapers about American evil and tongue techniques for better oral sex, binge drink, and with a few noble exceptions, be propagandized.

As readers are aware, this year I am writing a series of columns making the case for Judeo-Christian values. The secular university provides one of the most cogent arguments for those values: This institution, which is the most opposed to Judeo-Christian values, is also the least committed to truth.

An excellent source of valuable information about the educational atmosphere and political climate on many college campuses is ISI's Choosing the Right College 2005.

Posted at 10:25 A.M.

 

CONN. POST BREAKS FROM THE PACK [Brian Brown]

It’s unusual for a Connecticut newspaper to publish an unbiased article on the concerns of local pro-lifers. It’s even more unusual for that paper to do it twice in one week. The CT Post’s willingness to do so puts it head and shoulders above the pack. Two excerpts from today’s article:

Most of the region's news organizations, including the Connecticut Post, devoted prominent coverage Thursday to an incident in Seymour in which a man cut six puppies' throats.

[Wrote in a pro-lifer:] "This week in Bridgeport alone about 21 innocent children were brutally murdered on Main Street [the location of the Summit Women's (abortion) Clinic]. Did they receive front-page coverage? Have we become so accustomed to legalized child killing that it doesn't bother us any more?"

To read the whole article, click here.

Posted at 9:36 A.M.

 

January 24

 

FAMILY-FRIENDLY SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM [Brian Brown]

President Bush’s goal of reforming social security has been much discussed in the news lately. Less discussed has been the role played by families with children in supporting social security and the burdens the current system places on them. The Courant helps to correct that omission today by running Philip Longman’s excellent op-ed on the topic. As Longman notes, it is children that ultimately finance the system and “the only true solution is to ease the burdens on today’s parents that are driving down birthrates…”

 

Yet parents get no compensation from Social Security, nor from the wider economy, for the investments they make in their children. Instead, Social Security pays the same benefits, and often more, to people who avoid the burdens of parenthood. So long as Social Security effectively penalizes people for having the very children the system requires, it contributes to a downward spiral of falling birthrates leading to higher and higher tax rates.   

 

To read the whole article, click here.

Posted at 10:03 A.M.

 

January 21

 

“HISTORIC” MOMENT FOR CT STATE POLICE [Brian Brown]

Stop the presses! Something big occurred in the history of Connecticut law enforcement yesterday:

 

"That was a very first for our organization. We struck history today with the Connecticut State Police," said Carney, of the Springfield Police Department.

 

What was it, you ask? Have the state police done something about the 7.3% crime increase in Connecticut’s capital city? Have they single handedly reduced Hartford’s ranking as the seventh most dangerous city in America?

 

Well, no. But a police recruit “came out” during a diversity training course to fellow recruits who already knew she was a lesbian. The Courant apparently shares Detective Carney’s assessment of the importance of this event, at least enough to publish an article about it.

 

Meanwhile, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruling upholding that state’s marriage protection amendment? The federal judge in Florida who upheld the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act? The Courant has yet to print a word about either decision this week.

Posted at 2:43 P.M.

 

January 20

 

RARE SIGHTINGS OF AN ENDANGERED SPECIES [Brian Brown]

On Dec. 1st in this space I mentioned Anchor Rising, the conservative Rhode Island blog run by Justin Katz. Today, Justin posts his interview with Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe’s lone conservative columnist. It’s subtitled, naturally, “An American Conservative in New England.” Considering all my blogging about the Courant, I found this exchange interesting:

AR. You've written a number of straightforward and obfuscation-dispelling columns about same-sex marriage. To my experience that's a particularly rare action for a member of the New England media. In Rhode Island, for example, the news department of the Providence Journal has practically advocated for same-sex marriage, and even conservative talk radio hosts claim an inability to see anything wrong with it. Why do you think something so clear to you and me barely seems to register as a real argument among New England opinion makers?

JJ. Same-sex marriage, like the mainstreaming — even celebrating — of homosexuality generally, is one of those ideas that you have to believe in to be in the media or opinion elite, especially in a blue state. Just as you have to believe that the United States is a rogue nation led by a crazed cowboy, just as you have to believe that there is no more fundamental qualification for a federal judge than unblinking support for easy abortion, so you have to believe that the understanding of marriage that has prevailed for 5,000 years is a manifestation of ignorant redneck bigotry. Maybe it's a question of DNA. Or maybe it really is true that we come from utterly different origins: Conservatives are from Mars, liberals are from San Francisco.

To read the full interview with one of New England’s most thoughtful conservatives, click here.

Posted at 3:03 P.M.

 

COURANT COVERAGE IS SELECTIVE [Brian Brown]

It is worth noting whenever the Rev. William DuBovik, longtime pastor of one of Hartford’s most thriving Eastern Orthodox parishes, has a letter in the Courant. Here’s his latest:

 

Abortion Coverage Is Selective

How sadly ironic that at a time when people are correctly questioning the propriety of capital punishment and when we collectively mourn the victims of the tsunami disasters, a group at Yale University is staging a film festival to promote the right to kill unborn babies, and The Courant gives it plenty of free publicity [Life section, Jan. 17, "Abortion Rights Subject Of Films"]. One wonders whether The Courant will give news coverage to the thousands who will gather in Washington on Jan. 24 for the annual March For Life.

All life is sacred, and although pregnancy, giving birth and raising children present challenges and require sacrifice, these are not justifications to end life and thus deprive oneself of the joy of participating in God's creative acts.

The argument that this is about freedom falls short because no one is compelling someone to become pregnant. However, once a new life enters the picture, one's responsibilities do change.

The Rev. William DuBovik
Hartford

The writer is pastor of All Saints Orthodox Church in Hartford.

 

Fr. DuBovik’s concern about the Courant’s coverage is a familiar one to readers of this blog. And, in addition to the items mentioned by Fr. DuBovik, or previously on this blog, we can now add one more.

 

Yesterday, the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld as constitutional the marriage protection amendment that was passed last year by 78% of the state’s voters. There is not a single mention of it in today’s Courant. Does anyone doubt that if the Louisiana decision had gone the other way, news of it would have been prominently featured in the paper?

Posted at 11:35 A.M.

 

January 19

 

“THE HEART OF AMERICA IS CHANGING” [Brian Brown]

This Saturday marks the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. The pro-life movement in Connecticut has never had it easy, but we still manage to achieve some successes, as the Connecticut Post reports today:

 

That would bring to 1,335 the number of women talked out of aborting their pregnancies at Summit [the Bridgeport abortion clinic] during the past 15 years, according to Marilyn Carroll of Milford and Carmen Lopez of West Haven, who head the Connecticut chapter of Operation Save America.

"Not one is sorry she kept her baby," said Carroll, whose group offers the women help with food, clothing and counseling.

 

Rev. Flip Benham is quoted in the article noting that abortion clinics in the U.S. have declined from 2,000 in 1991 to 726 today. “The heart of America is changing,” he says.

We need to change the heart of Connecticut, too. Visit the events page of FIC’s website for information about the Hartford March for Life. We will post news of other pro-life events as information becomes available.

Posted at 10:28 A.M.

 

January 18

 

PETITION DRIVES, THEN & NOW [Brian Brown]

Most Mass-attending Connecticut Catholics are choosing not to sign the Church’s petition for the repeal of the state’s death penalty law, according to a front page article by Mark Azarra in the Republican-American today. Azarra asks Fairfield University professor Paul Lakeland to comment:

Low petition turnout or not, "the bishops themselves are going to keep hammering away on the death penalty," Lakeland said. But, he added, "if they don't do well on this it may chasten them on what issues they bring (to parishes) for signup" in the future.

This is wishful thinking on the part of pro same-sex “marriage” activists, including Lakeland, a “liberation theologian” who dissents from Church teachings on human sexuality. Two years ago the Catholic Church in Connecticut worked with other denominations and the Family Institute of Connecticut on a petition drive that generated 90,000 signatures calling for a state Defense of Marriage Act. In fact, it was the laity who approached the bishops for permission to conduct the Catholic portion of the marriage protection petition drive in the first place. In the fight for faith and family in Connecticut, we know we can count on the Catholic Church to be among our strongest allies.

Posted at 11:10 A.M.

 

January 17

 

UNITE FOR LIFE [Brian Brown]

The Courant has another editorial today praising the efforts of pro-abortion lawmakers who want to use our tax dollars to kill human embryos in order to experiment on them. While the Courant diligently notifies its readers every time an anti-death penalty event or a pro-abortion film festival is scheduled, today’s editorial neglected to mention that a public hearing on legislation regarding embryonic stem cell research will take place Jan. 31st.

 

FIC encourages the entire pro-family movement to get active in the effort to stop our tax dollars from being used to kill embryonic human beings. We should not let pro-abortion advocates demagogue the pro-life cause as some mere idiosyncratic Catholic belief.  Too often in the media’s coverage of the stem cell debate, that is exactly what they have done. Let’s show them that the movement to protect embryonic human life is as broad and diverse as the movement for the protection of marriage. Below is the relevant information, courtesy of the Connecticut Catholic Conference.

 

ACTION ALERT

EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH

                                              

       A public hearing on legislation for State support , including State Funding, of embryonic stem cell research has been scheduled by the Public Health Committee. The hearing will be held on January 31, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., in the Legislative Office Building, Room 1D. The exact language of the bill is not yet available.  Please try to attend this hearing and express your opposition to human embryonic cloning and embryonic research.

   Contact your State Senator and Representative to express your opposition to this type of stem cell research.  The Catholic Church fully supports adult stem cell research which is already in the human trial stages on many illnesses.  The immoral destruction of human life (the embyro) for research purposes is not necessary.

              
  For more information visit our website or click here.     
                   
Watch for future updates on this issue.

 

Posted at 10:40 A.M.

 

January 14

 

EAST LYME UPDATE [Brian Brown]

On Jan. 4 in this space, I blogged about how parishioners at St. Agnes Church were fighting back against the efforts of a homosexual couple to make the church remove its “Defend Marriage Now!” banner. The men’s efforts included a media campaign against the church and an attempt by the town government to force the pastor to remove the banner. Parishioners struck back, with an article, an op-ed (re-printed on this blog) and five letters to the editor in the Lyme Times.

 

In the Jan. 7th issue of that paper (not available online), pro same-sex “marriage” activists return fire. In an op-ed, “St Agnes Crosses Free-Speech Line,” John de la Roche claims the banner “does more than exercise their [the parishioners] right to free speech. The banner is offensive to its neighbors” and these parishioners have therefore “crossed the line.”

 

But if free speech is only permitted as long as it offends no one, then there is no right to free speech. Perhaps that is exactly what de la Roche is trying to say. Our opponents often suggest that merely stating opposition to their goals is the equivalent of a hate crime. For all their talk about civil rights, they seem not to believe in either the “free exercise” of religion clause in the First Amendment or in the free speech clause.

 

The same Jan. 7th issue includes three pro same-sex “marriage” letters to the editor. My favorite is by Gretchen Raffa, an official with the CT chapter of the pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America, who describes FIC as believing that "children benefit only from a family defined by a mother and father figure [emphasis added].”

 

Actually, FIC believes that children do best in a family with a mother and a father, not a mother and father “figure.” One has to wonder about the ability of our opponents to engage us in a civil debate when they cannot even manage to state our positions accurately.

Posted at 10:10 A.M.

 

January 13

 

FAST TRACK TO INHUMANITY [Brian Brown]

Connecticut is on the “fast track” toward using taxpayer dollars to clone and kill human embryos in order to experiment on their genetic material.  Of course, yesterday’s Courant article puts it differently, describing a “scientific gold rush” set off by California’s decision to give $3 billion to embryonic stem-cell research, which will supposedly lead to cures for any number of diseases.

 

It’s interesting that the Courant’s stem cell coverage always mentions the effect California’s decision will allegedly have on our state’s politics, but its coverage of same-sex “marriage” never suggests the 13-out-of-13 state vote for marriage protection amendments will matter here.  And while the paper gives fawning coverage to the Catholic Church’s opposition to the death penalty, it sounds like an anthropologist explaining the strange beliefs of an alien tribe when reporting on Catholic opposition to the destruction of human embryos:

 

Marie T. Hilliard of the Connecticut Catholic Conference said her group is opposed to the measure because embryonic stem cells are obtained through the destruction of days-old embryos. Since the Roman Catholic church believes life begins at conception, her group equates the destruction of the embryos to sacrificing children, she said.   

 

In addition to being inhumane, embryonic stem cell research is inefficient. Why is it that scientists have been able to raise private funds for adult stem cell research and not embryonic stem cell research?  Because only the former is producing results and venture capitalists aren’t going to waste their money on what doesn’t work.  No, for that, we have the government.  And your wallet.

Posted at 10:52 A.M.

 

January 11

 

YOUR VOICE MATTERS [Brian Brown]

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to invalidate a Florida law that prevents homosexual couples from adopting children, according to an AP article in today’s Courant. Here’s the money quote:

 

"This shows the justices clearly want to give gay rights a rest, at least for this term," said David Garrow, a constitutional expert and historian. Garrow said Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the 2003 opinion, and the justices who supported it may have sensed a strong backlash lurking behind the Florida case, which brought gay rights together with children and family issues.

 

There is a lesson here for those of us fighting for marriage in Connecticut. Our voice counts. Despite all the false spin from the other side on how the alleged need for same-sex “marriage” should trump the will of the majority, if enough of us raise our voices in protest, it won’t happen. Even the supposedly apolitical courts will back off.

 

But the question remains: will we raise our voices? Will the many citizens of Connecticut that are pro-family finally rise up and demand that the legislature and the courts respect the sanctity of marriage? If we wait until something big happens—until the legislature legalizes civil unions or the state court hearing the Kerrigan case imposes same-sex “marriage on us—it may be too late. The time to speak up is now.

 

If you know someone who believes in our cause but has yet to join the fight, encourage him or her to visit FIC’s website and sign up now. The situation at our state capitol is dire. We cannot hope to turn the tide unless we draw enough new members to our cause to have the same affect on our state government that the pro-family movement had on the Court that refused to invalidate the Florida adoption law.

Posted at 9:50 A.M.

 

January 10

 

TESTING THE WATERS [Brian Brown]

“All we’re asking for is ‘civil’ marriage, not ‘religious’ marriage. We would never try to impose our will on the churches.”

 

How often have we heard pro same-sex “marriage” activists make this claim? Perhaps some of them even believe it. If so, they should read the Chicago Tribune article that appears in today’s Waterbury Republican-American. At a Catholic school in Costa Mesa, CA. the pastor has allowed the sons of a homosexual couple to be students there—despite a letter from eighteen parents complaining about their presence. As the article delicately puts it:

 

The case, along with a similar one at another Roman Catholic school, have raised questions about the church's policies regarding the education of children of same-sex couples.

 

In that other case, a lesbian couple is suing a Catholic parish in Eugene, OR. for $550,000 because the school refused to admit their adopted daughter. The objecting parents at the Costa Mesa school felt their children could not receive full-fledged instruction on faith with the two boys in the school. They said they could not see how a teacher could fully explain the church's policies on homosexuals without causing the two boys anxiety over their fathers' lifestyle.

 

But their feelings—and those of the Oregon parish—don’t matter to a movement that, at least here in Connecticut, still claims not to be opposed to religious liberty:

 

Martha Walters, [the lesbian couple’s] attorney, said that under local ordinances the school, although private, is a place of public accommodation.

"It is like a restaurant," she said. "It is a private business, but the public has access…"

Gay and lesbian advocates said they expect church school access to be a growing cause of concern among same-sex couples with children.

"All parents, gay or straight, want a quality education for their children," said David Tseng, an attorney in Washington who had worked with Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a national advocacy group.

"We are at the cutting edge of a civil rights movement," he said. "There are people out there testing the waters."

 

Make no mistake. Their claims to the contrary notwithstanding, if local activists succeed in bringing same-sex “marriage” to Connecticut, the religious freedom of those opposed to it will be their next target. After all, what does the First Amendment matter when up against “the cutting edge of a civil rights movement?”

Posted at 11:10 A.M.

January 7

MEDIA NOTICES SOMETHING GOOD [Brian Brown]

I’ve had occasion—ok, lots of occasions—to comment on local media bias against people of traditional faith. But I am interested in noting those instances when the press does cover the good work being done by our friends and allies. Such is the case with a piece in the Connecticut Post today about the efforts of Milford’s Kingdom Life Christian Church to provide relief to the victims of the tsunami in Asia. A tip of the hat to the Post for covering this story and to Bishop Jay Ramirez, a friend of FIC, for providing another example of Christian love to a secular world. And, of course, we offer our prayers for all those still suffering from this horrible calamity.

Posted at 1:13 P.M.

 

January 6

 
FAIR AND BALANCED? [Brian Brown]
The Catholic Church in Connecticut will be holding a petition drive this weekend asking parishioners to oppose the death penalty, according to a front page article in the Courant. The Republican-American also has a front page piece on the petition drive (not available online).
 
I do not mention this in order to comment on the death penalty. What I find notable is the media coverage regarding this new petition drive. Beginning in Nov., 2002, the Catholic Church and FIC worked together on the largest petition drive in state history--90,000 signatures so far--calling on our legislators to enact a Defense of Marriage Act. At the time, the Courant ran a brief item about our effort on the back page of its news section.
 
But the anti-death penalty drive makes the front page. In fact, the Courant considers it as important as Gov. Rell's State of the State address, since those are the only two items to get "above the fold" attention on today's front page. The article itself seems designed to increase the public's awareness of, and participation in, the anti-death penalty cause. From reading the piece we learn, for instance, that: 1) There will be a petition available to sign this weekend. 2) There will be a press conference on the state Capitol steps Wednesday. 3) There will be a death penalty forum on Thursday, time and location provided. 4) There will be a worship service the night before Michael Ross' execution, time and location provided. And: 5) There will be a prayer vigil a few hours prior to the execution, time and location provided.
 

Some time toward the end of this legislative session the pro-family movement will be holding another Marriage Protection Weekend, complete with events occurring throughout the state. Can we count on the Courant to give our events the same level of free advertising that it gave to the anti-death penalty cause? Of course not. And the mainstream media still wonders why everyone thinks they're biased.
Posted at 11:00 A.M.

 

January 5

 

BREAKING…GOV. RELL CONCLUDES “STATE OF THE STATE” SPEECH [Brian Brown]

Gov. Rell just finished her first major address to the legislature. She listed the issues she considered to be most pressing for this session. They included the budget, medical malpractice reform, embryonic stem cell research—but not civil unions. Gov. Rell, I believe, does not want that bill on her desk any more than we do.

 

Her speech included many uplifting passages about throwing off “the self-imposed shackle of partisan politics” and working together. Most interestingly, she talked about how her recent surgery for breast cancer has affected her world view. Quoting from my notes:

 

“I have been unexpectedly faced with my own mortality. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am looking at things a little differently now, with new eyes.”

 

As the session unfolds, we in the pro-family movement will continue to hope that Gov. Rell’s new take on things will include a reverence for marriage and the sanctity of human life. On marriage, we have good reason to be hopeful.

Posted at 12:53 P.M.

 

I’M NOT ASHAMED [Brian Brown]

…to tell you that I will be appearing on a public access program called “I’m Not Ashamed.” The theme of the show is “God, Country and Family” and it will begin airing on local stations next week. Here’s a listing of where and when it airs:

 

New Haven, Hamden, West Haven -- Saturday night 8:00 pm Ch 27

Soundview Media (Fairfield county) -- Thursdays at 3:00 pm

Comcast Middletown (Middlesex county) -- Saturday nights 6:00 pm

Comcast Danbury (Danbury, Ridgefield, Bethel, Brookfield) -- Monday nights
9:00 pm

BCTV (Branford) -- Sundays 10:00 am

Comcast Clinton (the shoreline from Branford, Guilford, Madison, etc.)
-- Monday nights 9:00 pm

Charter Communications (Windham county) -- Mondays at 9:30 pm

Tele-Media (the valley towns- Derby, Ansonia, Oxford, Shelton, Seymour,
Naugatuck, etc.) -- Tuesdays at
6:00 pm

ETV (East Haven) this studio runs the show 6 times a month usually
toward the end of the month, no dates given.

NHTV (North Haven) - same as above.


Posted at 11:05 A.M.

 

January 4

 

ST. AGNES PARISHIONERS FIGHT BACK [Brian Brown]

On Dec. 13th in this space I wrote about a homosexual couple in East Lyme who had launched a campaign to force St. Agnes Church to stop displaying FIC’s “Defend Marriage Now!” banner. Their efforts included a biased article in the Lyme Times and an attempt by the town government to curtail the church’s right of free speech.

 

The town’s effort at censorship has not yet been successful and the media campaign has only made the lay faithful of St. Agnes Parish angry. Perhaps sensing that its previous article lacked balance, the Lyme Times ran a second, less lopsided, piece in its Dec. 24th issue (not available online). All five of the letters to the editor in that issue supported the church’s right to hang that banner. In addition, the paper ran an op-ed by John Sweeney, a Niantic resident, on the hypocrisy of those attacking the banner. It is reprinted below, with the permission of the author.

 

“Tolerance” as a Weapon of the Intolerant

by John Sweeney

 

I now know something I never knew in the 13 years I have lived here.  Apparently the entire town of Niantic is a group of intolerant homophobes.  We must be, if one pair of homosexual partners is beginning to have “second thoughts” about moving here because of a banner (“Gay Couple Offended by Church Banner,” December 10th).  And I always thought we were so nice; how could I have missed this Nazi-like atmosphere?

East Lyme has just been painted with the brush of intolerance by the Coalition of the Perpetually Aggrieved, a loose confederation of professional victims trying to intimidate a decent society in the name of “tolerance.”  The chief aim of the thin-skinned CPAs (with apologies to Certified Public Accountants) is to claim their Constitutional right to never be offended, by trampling on everyone’s actual Constitutional right to free speech.

According to the story, gay sex partners Joseph Smith and Joshua Parker, incorrectly described as “newlyweds” (since their Vermont civil union is not legally recognized in Connecticut), noticed a banner outside of St. Agnes Church that read, "Defend Marriage Now! Join us in taking a stand for marriage and the family!" The fairly innocuous banner, provided by the Family Institute of Connecticut, sent these two into Code Red.  Rather than first speaking like mature adults to the church’s pastor, Rev. Arthur Archer, they went straight to the newspaper to try to publicly intimidate them into removing the banner.  They also wrote a scathing e-mail to Brian Brown, FIC’s executive director.

The Lyme Times implied that the church caved in, by reporting that they removed the banner following a reporter’s call about the pair’s complaint.  However, Rev. Archer explained to me that church policy places a time limit on posting outside signage, and the time limit happened to coincide with the complaint.  To the church’s credit, the sign has since been returned to a different location.  It will remain there (unless it is vandalized like the banners in six other towns by the “tolerance” crowd) as long as their policy permits, and/or until they are challenged by the East Lyme Zoning Commission, to whom Parker and Smith have tattled.

This temper tantrum by Parker and Smith exposes some issues about “tolerance” that we should explore.  In fact, their e-mail to the FIC has me a bit confused.  It appears that the language they used would fall under their own definition of “intolerant.” 

But maybe it’s just me, so I have some questions for the CPAs.

What is the definition of tolerance, and how is your e-mail to FIC an example of that?  In it, you wrote, "Your so-called 'organization' sickens me and you are an abomination…!” Is calling someone an abomination an example of tolerance?  The Bible calls homosexual acts an “abomination to the Lord.”  Is the word “abomination” an example of tolerance in your e-mail but not in the Bible?

Your e-mail continues, “I think that you and all so-called 'Christians' should not spend all your time trying to condemn gays or hating us because you too are also [sic] committing a huge 'sin' by not practicing God's Word and loving thy neighbor."  Do you hate us because of that?  If my disapproval of your sin of homosexual activity is hatred, then is your disapproval of my “huge sin” also hatred?

I felt offended by being called an abomination.  Should I not feel welcome in this town?  Would you like to see all Niantic citizens leave town, who think marriage is by definition between one man and one woman?

To the pastor who said that discrimination of any kind is against her church's baptismal covenant: So you don’t discriminate at all?  Would an adulterer lead your young marrieds’ ministry?  Would a pedophile teach Sunday school, or an abusive alcoholic become the pastor?  Do you require any kind of special degree to become ordained?  How does that work with your baptismal covenant?

Another pastor indicated that gay people wanting to commit themselves to a monogamous, faithful relationship in marriage is acceptable.  Could bisexuals be monogamous and faithful to qualify for this definition of marriage?  Please provide a definition of marriage that doesn’t discriminate against anyone. 

If a married parishioner was involved in statutory rape, should either party be lovingly confronted, or would that be hateful?  Is it possible to accept and love someone while not condoning their behavior?  I don’t allow my children to smoke; do I hate them?

Did Jesus ever tell anyone that He loved, to “go and sin no more”?  Was He being hateful and discriminatory?

If someone writes an article criticizing this editorial, should I feel threatened by their hatred and make broad accusations against the whole town?  I eagerly await your answers.

 

 John Sweeney lives in Niantic.

 

Posted at 10:12 A.M.

 

January 3, 2005

 

CONNECTICUT, 2005: THE BATTLE BEGINS [Brian Brown]

It’s a new year and a new legislative session. Time to consider where things stand in the battle to preserve marriage in the state of Connecticut.

 

On Jan. 1 the Hartford Courant launched a front page, above-the-fold pre-emptive strike for the legalization of civil unions, which is same-sex “marriage” by a different name. According to the Courant “several legislative leaders say civil unions…are most likely to win broad support in Connecticut.” These include Republican House Minority Leader Bob Ward and Democrat House Majority Leader Jim Amann, who says that for the first time “he expects a spirited floor debate” on the issue. And there is this, from the major champion for the destruction of marriage at our state legislature:

 

"Based on the election results in Connecticut, it seems as though, at a minimum, [the legislature] could support some type of civil union bill," said state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven. "I support marriage and I think that's where we'll end up. The question is, how long does it take to get there?"

 

As everyone knows, the state’s election results were about John Kerry, not same-sex “marriage.” But that’s just one of the items the Courant neglects to mention in its assessment of state public opinion on this issue. The paper does not mention that in little more than a month—November, 2002—FIC and our allies collected 70,000 petitions calling for a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It does not mention that on a freezing cold day—February 8, 2004—six thousand people rallied in front of the state capitol for the passage of the DOMA. And, in its most glaring admission, the Courant neglects to mention in its front page article that Gov. Rell—who, with her 80% approval rating, knows where the people stand—has spoken against civil unions. (The paper grudgingly acknowledged two days later, in a sidebar on page B2, that the Governor was “skeptical” about civil unions.)

 

Despite all this, the threat of a civil union bill being passed by this legislature is very real. As I said on Brad Davis’ radio program this morning, the pro-same sex “marriage” groups have been lobbying every day at our state’s capitol and they are making progress. The people of Connecticut have to stand up on this issue. This is real and it is coming unless we call our state representatives and demand that they stand up for traditional marriage.

 

Thanks to the loss of pro-family stalwarts like Sen. Win Smith, there is no way to predict what will happen in this legislature. Although the pro-family movement did not lose state elections on this issue, we are nonetheless in a difficult position. If a civil unions bill is enacted, the state court hearing the Kerrigan case—a case filed by a group seeking the legalization of same-sex “marriage”—may use it as a pretext to impose same-sex “marriage” on Connecticut.

 

Now is the time for the pro-family citizens of Connecticut to stand up and be counted. Those of us who have been in this fight all along must redouble our efforts. Most importantly, those who have been sitting on the sidelines must get involved. It took the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in Massachusetts before the nation was roused to defend the family. If Connecticut citizens who are not yet active in the pro-family fight are waiting for the same thing to happen here before they get involved, the battle will have been lost before it has even been engaged.

 

In the coming days, weeks and months I will be contacting you, the pro-family citizens of Connecticut, about what you can do to protect marriage in this legislative session. In the meantime, please spread the word about FIC to everyone you know. A call to arms has been issued, and we cannot hope to win the battle unless the everyday citizens of Connecticut hear it.

Posted at 11:54 A.M.

 

December 30

 

STATE’S TOP CENSORED NEWS STORIES OF 2004 [Brian Brown]

“From Rowland to Rell to roundball, take a look back at the top news stories in Connecticut during the past 12 months,” says the teaser for Fox 61’s “News at Ten” program in today’s Courant. Well, if Fox 61 says “roundball”—whatever that is—qualifies as one of the state’s top stories for 2004, who am I to disagree?

 

Still, I have to wonder why 6,000 people rallying on a freezing cold day in February in front of the state capitol for the passage of a Defense of Marriage Act does not qualify as one of the state’s top stories of the year. A few local newspapers have already done their “top state news stories of the year” articles and I have yet to see a mention of our rally.

 

It is possible to find the rally and other stories if you know where to look. Call them “The Top News Stories of 2004 That Our State’s Media Wants You To Forget.” Here, for instance, is an account of the rally, posted Feb. 9 on the website of Catholic blogger Mark Shea:

 

Report: Rally For Marriage 2004

A reader writes:

Where to begin? Perhaps with the media coverage, since that's how most of the state experienced our Rally. It was predictably biased. According to a neutral third party - the capitol police - 6,000 people rallied in Hartford yesterday in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and against efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. The Associated Press, whose reporting throughout this debate has been remarkable - even by the normal standard of liberal media bias - for its pro-gay marriage slant, put our numbers at "about" 3,000. Most of the state's media followed the AP's lead, with WTIC 1080 AM telling its listeners last night that we had "nearly" 3,000 and that a brief pro-gay marriage rally at Bushnell Park had 40 people. Of all the wonderful things said by our speakers, the AP ran only a single quote: Baptist Bishop Bailey's "Are we a nation under God or under gays?" By itself, that quote does not reflect the tenor of the speeches, or even of Bishop Bailey's own speech.

The Hartford Courant never gave a specific number for the people at our Rally, limiting it to a vague "hundreds" in the caption under the front page photo and "thousands" in the first paragraph. A gay counter-rally at a nearby church, however, drew "more than 800," if you believe the Courant. The
Bushnell Park pro-gay marriage rally shrunk from the AP's "40" to "a few dozen." The Courant also claimed that Catholic Bishop Rosazza "mocked" Love Makes a Family when he made a reasoned argument that loves alone does not make a family. However, the Courant did take note of the diverse, multicultural nature of our movement, which is a major breakthrough in the quest for honest media coverage of the same-sex marriage issue.

The New Haven Register put our numbers at 4,000, but claimed the Bushnell Park rally had "75." The paper said our goal was to pass a federal DOMA, a law that has been on the books since 1996 (we're trying to pass a state DOMA). The Register acknowledged the lopsided numbers of the dueling rallies, but added that the pro-gay marriage side "will get their chance" next week, when they hold another rally.

The media coverage was not all bad. Though there was a tendency by local television to give the false impression of a rough parity between our rallies, channel 30 aired a sound byte by Protestant Bishop Ramirez expressing our lack of animosity toward our adversaries and pleading for fair coverage from the media (the Courant mentioned this, too). Leslie and I were treated fairly by CPTV for an interview with Carolee Salerno that aired over the weekend. The New London Day, which published the best article, , was the only media outlet to note: 1) the cold weather that "more than 4,000" endured, 2) that, while six speakers addressed our crowd of thousands, "70" of the "600" people at the church's pro-gay marriage rally were "speakers" 3) that Bishop Bailey told pro-gay marriage lawmakers that we would vote them out of office and 4) that Love Makes a Family's Ann Stanback is apparently pro-life, declaring that we should be fighting "divorce and abortion" instead of gay marriage. I'd love to see a reporter with guts follow up on that comment with Stanback.

What else? There was good participation by Catholics at the Rally: the Sisters Minor of Mary Immaculate, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and lay people holding up signs of the Divine Mercy were all quite visible. Except for my own Council I didn't see any Knights of Columbus that I recognized, though I know there was a bus-full from
East Hartford. The speakers were good, Brian Brown's leadership was excellent and his op-ed in today's Courant, ctnow.com - OPED , is so well-written that it will likely trump the media bias that I have discussed.

After the Rally, several small groups from the counter-rallies showed up to heckle us. I recall in particular one mini-van of angry lesbians that pulled up to us as we were cleaning up. "How's marriage doing, boys?" the driver taunted us. "You save marriage, yet? How are your marriages doing? How many divorces do you have between you, huh? How many divorces do you have?" she kept repeating. "Where were you when the legislature was cutting aid to the poor? Where were your rallies, then?". I suspect our angry lesbian cares as much for the poor as Ann Stanback does for the unborn. But this is the sort of incident that never makes the press. Had it been one of us taunting one of them, it would likely have been added to hate crime statistics.

Finally, my own involvement: I led the Pledge of Allegiance. Here is how I began: "In the 1950's, the Knights of Columbus led the effort to persuade President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the U.S. Congress to add the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the reciting of the Pledge by schoolchildren to be unconstitutional because of those words, 'under God.' As we gather together in this great cause, let us begin by declaring in defiance of those on the 9th Circuit Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Court who would impose their will on us, that we are a free people, a self-governing people, a nation 'under God.'" My comments were well received by the crowd.

 

On May 17, FIC held a counter-rally to protest the judicial imposition of same-sex “marriage” on Massachusetts. A description of the day’s events was posted the next day on www.marriagedebate.com by moderator Eve Tushnet. Here it is:

 

REPORT FROM A CONNECTICUT RALLY AND COUNTER-RALLY: Peter Wolfgang

[Peter Wolfgang, of New Hartford, is a district deputy for the Connecticut State Council of the Knights of Columbus.]

[Eve notes: I'm interested in reading these personal descriptions of events, from any perspective. Please do send them along. I can't guarantee that I will post them in whole or part, but I am always trying to find the telling details that individuals on the ground notice even when reporters might miss them. I should note, of course, that I have no way of verifying any such accounts, since the whole point is that I'm not there--if I were there I'd just post my own impressions! Anyway--here are excerpts from Peter's account:]

On Sunday, pro-gay marriage forces held a rally at the state capitol in anticipation of their victory in our neighboring state. Borrowing a page from their book, the Family Institute of Connecticut held a counter-rally on the opposite side of the capitol an hour before the pro-gay event. Brian Brown gave a forceful presentation on the need for a federal marriage amendment. Bishop Gonzalez, a leader of
Hartford's Hispanic Protestant community, spoke with compassion and sensitivity--but also with honesty--about the Christian teaching on homosexuality found in Romans 1.

As usual, we had a diverse, multicultural crowd, which included some new faces. Mormons, dressed in their Sunday best, seemed more visible than they had been in the past. Among Catholics, there was a strong contingent from Regnum Christi. As each side continues to hold dueling rallies I am left with the impression that the other side has reached the limit of its support while our side continues to gain new adherents.

During our counter-rally we were surrounded by pro-gay marriage protesters, who heckled us and tried to shout down our speakers. Were it not for the capitol police I think they would have dived into the crowd or rushed the stage. One held a sign that read "The Family Institute of
Connecticut Uses the Bible the Way Hitler Uses Gas." After our rally we were heckled by a man dressed in a priest's outfit holding a sign advertising his Web site: www.shameoncatholics.org .

So far as I could tell, none of this made the press. Instead, the media focused on a phony scare caused at the pro-gay marriage rally by one man who left a vial of holy water there. The area was cordoned off as police checked to see if it was something hazardous. Last I heard, the man was arrested for felony breach of peace and was being held on a $10,000 bond.

 

Finally, here’s my Oct. 26 post on this blog regarding a same-sex “wedding” in East Haven:

 

A Morning With The “Tolerant”

 KC 101 did eventually perform a same-sex “wedding” in East Haven. Here’s the story.

 

The Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee (FICAC)—a legally separate entity—bought three billboards in the town of East Haven. Two say “Protect Marriage: Vote McCann” and the third says “A Vote for Mike Lawlor is a Vote for Same-Sex ‘Marriage’...Period.” Mike Lawlor, East Haven’s state representative, is—in the words of the CCLU—the “major champion” of the pro-same sex “marriage” lobby at our state legislature.

 

Last Thursday, the New Haven Register ran an article on the “controversy” sparked by the billboards. In it, Lawlor describes himself as someone who “favors some sort of government recognition of same-sex relationships, whether through civil unions or gay marriages.” Of course, Lawlor’s not just another pro-same sex “marriage” legislator—he’s the man most responsible for forcing the issue on the public.

 

KC 101 eventually found a lesbian couple whose “wedding” was performed Friday by morning DJ Vinnie Penn beneath the FICAC billboards. A small crowd was present representing both sides. Here’s an excerpt from the Oct. 23 Register:

 

“So, as the women said their on-the-air vows, one man kept up a constant patter loud enough for the radio audience to hear.

 

“This is ugly! This is sin! It’s not good!” said the man, who would not give his name.

 

“Why don’t you go tell it to a rock!’ yelled a female supporter, who said she was a 20-year old East Havener but did not want to divulge her name because her parents didn’t know she was there.”

 

I was there. The Register’s article doesn’t begin to cover what actually happened in this exchange.

 

After describing the same-sex “wedding” as a sin the man, an African-American with a thick accent, went on to say “You’re too brilliant for this. You’re too intelligent for this. Please don’t do this. It’s not good for America.” To which the 20-year old responded, “I was born in America. Where the **** are you from?”

 

The man was unfazed. “It’s against God,” he said. “That’s your God,” the girl responded, as she took a wiccan symbol that she wore around her neck and waved it at him. “I have a 3.9 GPA at Southern [Connecticut State University],” she added, for no apparent reason.

 

Other same-sex “marriage” supporters followed her lead. One woman asked the man if he was on welfare. Others asked him if he was himself a homosexual. 

 

Having now attended several rallies, counter-rallies and “guerrilla theater” of the sort hosted by KC 101 on Friday, there are two things I can always count on:

 

1)      Those who claim for themselves the mantle of “tolerance” are often the least tolerant people you will ever meet. And

        2)      The local media will do it’s best to make sure that you never know it.

 

 

In addition to the items above, in 2004 FIC also defended pro-family Bishop LeRoy Bailey’s right to speak at a Martin Luther King Day event, put up billboards around the state calling for marriage protection, responded to criminal attacks and government censorship of churches displaying our “Defend Marriage Now!” banners, filed a motion to intervene in Connecticut’s same-sex “marriage” lawsuit and launched this blog. I personally spoke at several pro-family churches in the state this year as well as the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, held several public debates with same-sex “marriage” advocates like Ann Stanback and the Episcopal bishop of Connecticut, and was honored at awards dinners held by Christian Heritage School and Conquest, a Catholic boys youth group.

 

You wouldn’t know it from the “top state news of the year” stories in our local media, but 2004 has been the busiest year yet for FIC’s fight to protect marriage. 2005 promises to be busier still. We’ll keep fighting until marriage is permanently protected in Connecticut. And when that day arrives, know that it is because you, our faithful supporters, made it happen. Happy almost-New Year.

Posted at 2:33P.M.

 December 29

 ANOTHER GOOD MOVE BY GOV. RELL [Brian Brown]

On Dec. 6 in this space I made this comment in response to an article by Kevin Rennie in Northeast Magazine:

 

Rennie, a former Republican legislator from South Windsor, writes: “Worrisome for the GOP is that in the North, Bush increased his share of the vote while other Republicans were losing.” Yes, but why? Rennie doesn’t tell us.

 

That’s too bad, because it was the most important sentence in the entire “Last Word” issue. The GOP in New England tends to distance itself from President Bush’s pro-family positions out of the belief that those positions will hurt them here. But if the main difference between Bush and the New England GOP is Bush’s pro-family stance, and Bush did better in New England than the local party, what does that say about local GOP reluctance to embrace the pro-family cause?

 

Unlike the national party, Connecticut Republicans suffered significant losses last month. If the state party had been as firmly committed to protecting marriage as the national party—and ran explicitly on that commitment—the results would have been different. Instead, the state GOP has dug itself into a hole by its reluctance to fully embrace the pro-family cause. It’s time for them to reconsider.

 

Four days later I noted with appreciation the following comments by Gov. Rell, from an interview with the New Haven Register:

 

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.

 

Now, according to a Dec. 23 article in the Courant, Gov. Rell wants pro-family Rep. William Hamzy, R-Plymouth, to be the next chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party.

 

Maybe someone in Gov. Rell’s office is reading this blog. Or maybe not. Either way, there will be less in the state’s 2006 election results for Kevin Rennie to find “worrisome for the GOP”  if the Governor continues along her current path.

 

In the meantime, we at FIC wish her a speedy recovery following her recent surgery, and many good wishes.

Posted at 2:00 P.M.

 

December 28

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS - II [Brian Brown]

Yes, I know Kathy Lee quit her show with Regis a few years ago. But this editorial from the National Catholic Register, a Connecticut-based newspaper, is the best commentary on anti-Christmas bias that I’ve seen. The paper has given FIC permission to reprint it in its entirety. Enjoy.

 

Christmas Scares Them

 

This Christmas, thank God the culture is so set against mentioning Christ.

 

After you get angry about it, we mean.

 

Christians in 2004 America find themselves in a situation that a reader summed up rather nicely. “A few years ago we were asked to ‘Keep Christ in Christmas,’” wrote Ed Lynch of West Nyack, N.Y. “Now it seems we should ask to ‘Keep Christmas in Christmas.’”

 

The Catholic League has noticed the same thing—and has kept a record.

 

Fontana, Calif., skipped Christmas and celebrated a Festival of Winter this year. Said Catholic League President Bill Donahue, “Santa Claus, who is not associated with anything other than Christmas, was inexplicably present…and there was a tree lighting ceremony, though no one said why trees are lighted in December.”

 

Chapel Hill, N.C., sponsored a “Holiday Parade” and “Community Sing and Tree Lighting,” as part of “a series of holiday events.”

 

Glendale, Ohio, had a Holiday Walk on the Village Square.

 

Historic Franklin, Mich., has held an annual Holly Day Festival for years. This year, they dropped the word “holly,” because “holly” suggests Christmas.

 

In Kansas, the Catholic League found the following correction in The Wichita Eagle newspaper: “A story in Monday’s paper referred to a tree that was lighted at Tuesday’s Winterfest celebration as a ‘Christmas tree.’ In an effort to be inclusive, the city is actually referring to this tree as the ‘Community Tree.’”

 

Does it seem that there is excessive shame, or worry, about mentioning Christ’s name? Does it make you angry? It made rapper Kayne West angry, too.

 

He was recently nominated for 10 Grammy awards. His hit song “Jesus Walks” is laced with profanity, but its basic message is summed up in lines like these: “The way schools need teachers / The way Kathy Lee needed Regis / That’s the way I need Jesus.” In it, he makes the point that everybody needs Jesus.

 

Since he’s no Christian music artist, a reporter on CBS news’ “60 Minutes II” asked West how people reacted to the new song when he recorded it.

 

Said the rapper, “People would be like, ‘Yo, it’s the best song I ever heard, but it’ll never make it on radio,’ and it frustrated me, so the second verse I wrote about how they say you can’t say Jesus on radio…The word Jesus was like saying [the ‘N-word’]…It’s gonna offend people for you to say Jesus.”

 

He’s right. People are very offended if you use God’s name respectfully—though, ironically, it’s socially acceptable to use it in vain.

 

But this should give us great hope.

 

Why? Because there was a time, not so long ago, when you could speak about Christ much more freely—in part, because fewer people took him seriously.

 

The word “Christmas” didn’t offend the irreligious element in society back then. Nativity scenes in public didn’t make agnostics rage. These things were harmless references to a quaint old story. Science was the new vehicle for answering men’s questions and many people assumed it would eclipse religion altogether, just as it had done in Europe. In the meantime, why complain about pious old stories?

 

But it didn’t turn out that way in the United States.

 

If anything, the past decade has seen signs of a religious revival. First it was the high school students who would burst into prayer at school-sponsored events as school officials looked on, horrified. Then it was the rise of the Christian shadow-culture, with its own music, books and videos that became such a major business force in the 1990’s. Now, in 2004 alone, in addition to the success of “Jesus Walks,” The Passion of the Christ became a blockbuster movie and a groundswell of support by Christians was credited for the president’s re-election.

 

Jesus isn’t so harmless anymore. Suddenly, the word “Christmas” doesn’t fall on the ear of the culture like a quaint harking back to a sweet old story. Now, it’s more likely to be a direct challenge to the listener, because it refers to a particular person—a radical, polarizing person who can’t be ignored.

 

This has actually brought our culture closer to the ethos of the first Christmas. That first Christmas wasn’t so sweet, really: Christ’s coming was brutally opposed by Herod, who had soldiers kill baby boys because he wanted Christ dead.

 

If Christ’s name is making our neighbors uncomfortable again, we can thank God. It means they’re taking him seriously. And it means they need to hear from us how they can overcome their fear and find much to receive from the newborn King.

 

Posted at 3:14 P.M.

 

MARRIAGE PROTECTION VOTE NEEDED [Brian Brown]

An AP story in today’s Courant reports that, despite pro-family gains in the last election, the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) still faces an uphill battle in the next Congress. Pro-family Senators point to court cases pending in several states and tell the AP that Congress will approve the FMA after more courts impose same-sex “marriage” on their states, as occurred in Massachusetts.

 

But Matt Coles of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project said that's unlikely - and not entirely by accident.

Many of the cases making their way through the courts were filed by individuals not affiliated with leading gay rights organizations, he said, and were not framed to challenge the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Frontline groups have held off, he said. "People think that neither the country nor the courts are ready for it and probably we'll lose. Nobody likes to take cases and lose."

 

But same-sex “marriage” proponents are not limiting their legal tactics to attacks on the federal DOMA. In Connecticut, a “frontline” pro-same sex “marriage” group has filed a suit asking the court to use the equal protection and due process clauses of our state constitution to impose same-sex “marriage” on us. This is one of the major reasons why Connecticut needs a vote on a marriage protection amendment to our state constitution; whether or not to redefine society’s most precious institution is a question that ought to be decided by the people, not the courts.

Posted at 10:45 A.M.

 

December 25, 2004

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Connecticut in the Crosshairs will resume Tuesday, December 28th.  FIC wishes all readers an enjoyable Christmas time.

Posted at 10:05 A.M. [Revised]

 

December 23

 

FIC ACTION COMMITTEE VINDICATED [Brian Brown]

On Oct. 28th in this space I linked to a New Haven Register article about a bogus complaint that had been filed against FIC ACTION COMMITTEE by a member of a pro same-sex “marriage” group. Here’s the relevant quote:

 

“The group’s treasurer, Brian S. Brown, who is executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a separate tax-exempt group, said Currie need not worry.

 

“Currie’s complaint is ‘totally baseless and I look forward to the elections commission finding that it’s baseless, because we’ve already worked through all this’ and ‘we’ve been in constant contact with the Elections Enforcement Commission,’ Brown said...

 

“[Brown] said the payments Currie says appear to be payments to itself actually are payments from the FIC Action Committee to a third organization, Family Institute of Connecticut Action Inc., a lobbying organization.”

 

Yesterday we received a letter from the Elections Enforcement Commission stating that it unanimously voted to dismiss the complaint after finding that FIC ACTION COMMITTEE did not violate the law. I said at the time that the complaint was totally baseless and that has now been confirmed by the Commission. This is yet another failed attempt by the “tolerance” hypocrites to silence those who dare to oppose their agenda.

Posted at 4:15 P.M.

 

IN NEWINGTON, IDEOLOGY TRUMPS COMMON SENSE

A recently negotiated contract will give school district employees in Newington medical insurance benefits for their “same-sex partners,” according to an article in last Sunday’s Courant. Upon learning that they will be compelled to fund a contract that equates same-sex unions with marriage, outraged taxpayers signed petitions and attended town meetings to register their opposition.

 

The teachers won the same-sex benefits, which will cost taxpayers $80,000, in exchange for lower wage increases and increased insurance payments. This is a strange negotiating strategy for Newington’s teachers since, as the Courant notes, “teachers’ unions try to keep the status quo rather than relinquishing anything that affects all members in exchange for new perks that benefit only a few.” The paper quotes the comments of a few experts, including this from a labor attorney:

 

"It is unusual that a bargaining unit would take on higher costs that are going to affect all of its membership in order to obtain a benefit that will be used by so few," he said. "It is contrary to every trend and may become an issue in the future for the union itself."

 

How will the union’s leadership explain to its members that it let pro same-sex “marriage” ideology trump the best interests of those members? I’m sure that will indeed be “an issue in the future for the union itself.” 

Posted at 4:00 P.M.

 

December 22

 

COURANT COLUMNIST ON ANTI-CHRISTMAS BIAS [Brian Brown]

Don’t be fooled by the article’s title. Although the Courant’s Business page headline says “Right Hijacks Holiday Simplicity” Dan Harr, a self-described “liberal, Jewish columnist” has written a sympathetic piece on the dwindling public presence of Christmas in Connecticut.  Harr believes this is a result of commerce, not ideology, and he throws a few digs at uppity Christians who think otherwise.  But he finds it “mildly annoying” that stores won’t say “Merry Christmas,” and does a fine job of documenting the near-total absence of Christmas at the Westfarms mall.

Posted at 3:45 P.M.

 

December 21

 

THE “TOLERANCE” HYPOCRITES LOSE A LOCAL BATTLE [Brian Brown]

The mayor of Milford said the city will not remove the privately-funded Nativity scene from the town green, despite a threat of legal action from the CT state director of American Atheists. You can read about it here (link requires registration).

 

When a group of six atheists protested the Nativity scene on Sunday, they were met by 250 Christian counter-protesters. What motivates the Left to provoke these confrontations? Do they really believe the world is a better place for it? Writing in the Dec. 27 National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru pretty much nails it:

 

If I’m right about liberalism’s instinctive reflexes, then contemporary liberalism has forfeited the creed’s ancient claim to promote civil peace. The modern liberal version of separation of church and state is supposed to keep us from refighting the European wars of religion. That’s what the liberal justices on the Supreme Court tell us in their opinions in church-state cases. But if liberal secularism amounts to the unwitting imposition of the views of an irreligious minority on a religious majority, then it hardly seems likely to foster social harmony. Nor has it.

 

Posted at 5:00 P.M

 

December 20

 

UCC JOINS FORCES WITH HATES CRIMES SUPPORTER [Brian Brown]

Commentary on the hypocrisy of our “tolerant” opposition is a regular theme of this blog and our opponents certainly do provide enough examples of it. But even for someone as used to it as me, this next item really takes the cake. Pro same-sex “marriage” activists joined forces with a defender of hate crimes against pro-family churches yesterday to hold a rally to “defend tolerance.”

 

The Courant tried to drum up support for the “Rally to Defend Church’s Tolerance” on Saturday but only a “crowd of about 50” showed up, according to today’s story. The rally called “for tolerance and freedom of speech” in response to the banning of a United Church of Christ (UCC) advertisement by two TV networks. Frank O’Gorman of People of Faith for Gay Civil Rights called the networks refusal to show the ad “a critical example of the silencing of progressive voices” and a UCC conference minister is described as grateful for the support.

 

He shouldn’t be. Last summer, pro-family churches that displayed our “Defend Marriage Now!” banner had those banners stolen or vandalized in Norfolk, Wallingford, South Windsor, Stamford and Darien. We held a press conference denouncing these hate crimes, saying we would not be silenced or intimidated. Even many pro same-sex “marriage” media outlets understood our point, with the Hartford Advocate, for instance, noting that “For folks trying to legalize [same-sex “marriage”] with a civil rights argument, church vandalism is not exactly the best way to do it.”

 

But someone forgot to tell Frank O’Gorman. In a comment on the website of a pro same-sex “marriage” church, O’Gorman defended hate crimes against pro-family churches, asking rhetorically whether their property should “enjoy immunity” from what he called “justice actions.” (You can read O’Gorman’s twisted logic in his own words by clicking here.)

 

It is shocking that the UCC would organize a rally to “defend tolerance” against those who “silence” others with a man who defends hate crimes against pro-family churches. But then again, the UCC ad that was banned by the networks is itself exclusionary. According to a spokesman for CBS, the ad was rejected “because it implied that other churches turned away people.” Here’s the description of the ad that appeared in the Dec. 2 Courant:

 

The 30-second ad, called "Night Club," shows two bouncers standing in front of a nameless church, selectively letting in worshippers. A white heterosexual couple is admitted past a velvet rope into the church, but the bouncers block a male couple and several individuals of color. Later scenes show smiling people of various races - including a pair of women - standing together.

"Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we," the commercial's voice-over says.

 

This is simply slanderous. Not only is it a lie to suggest that pro-family churches exclude congregants with homosexual inclinations, the ad’s suggestion that pro same-sex “marriage” churches are multicultural while pro-family churches are racist is completely false. The pro-family movement is the most racially diverse, multicultural, multiethnic and ecumenical social force since—well, since the civil rights movement of the 1960’s which our opponents falsely claim as their own. The pro same-sex “marriage” movement, by contrast, is overwhelmingly white and upper middle class. It is one thing for our opponents to refuse to acknowledge this, but to create a media event around an ad that turns reality on its head is an act of desperation.

 

Pro same-sex “marriage” activists, not pro-family supporters, are the most intolerant element in our public life today. Just last week another “Defend Marriage Now!” banner was defaced, this time on Boulevard Street in Hartford. In East Lyme the town government, at the behest of a homosexual couple, is trying to force a church to remove its banner. Here at FIC, we continue to receive a steady stream of vile hate mail from pro-same sex “marriage” supporters, complete with Nazi swastikas and messages like “screw you Jesus freaks” and worse. There is nothing in Connecticut’s pro-family movement that compares to the hate and intolerance that we constantly experience from the advocates for same-sex “marriage.”

 

But we are not deterred. If anything, we are inspired. Our opponents would not be trying to silence us if they did not think we were making progress. And they are right to think so. In 2004 thirteen states voted to protect the “one man-one woman” definition of marriage. In 2005 a dozen more states will have that opportunity, and we will fight to make Connecticut one of them. As the hypocrisy of the “tolerant” becomes more evident, the goal of securing marriage protection becomes more possible. In the long run, the UCC’s embrace of hate crimes supporter Frank O’Gorman will only further our cause.

Posted at 4:48 P.M.

THE “TOLERANCE” HYPOCRITES [Brian Brown]

The “tolerance” hypocrites are in overdrive this week. Yesterday, a handful of atheists protested the mere presence of a privately-funded Nativity scene on the town green in Milford. They were met by over 200 Christian counter-protesters. You can read about it here and here.

 

The atheists have the right to express their view, of course. But the Left behaves as if its right to free speech is a right to be free from criticism, and so it equates criticism of its statements with censorship. We are glad people do not fall for this rhetorical sleight of hand, and we salute those Christians who exercised their own right of free speech to let the atheists know what they think of attacks on Christmas.

 

Opposition to public displays of Christmas decorations is nothing more than hate-driven paranoia. Just because someone is an atheist does not give him a license to become an anti-Christian bigot.

 

And that’s not just me talking. Those words come from Michael Cook, an atheist from Windsor, in an op-ed that appeared in Saturday’s Courant:

 

I am sick and tired of anti-Christian bigots complaining about religious Christmas decorations on public lands. If you are a Christian, these decorations represent religious beliefs. If you are not a Christian, they are simply pretty decorations, no more significant than a jack-o’-lantern on Halloween or a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day. Christmas decorations are not going to harm anyone. There is nothing offensive going on here. We are not talking about displaying posters of Adolf Hitler. It frightens me that neo-Nazis can stage a parade and be supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, but a Nativity scene is considered offensive.

 

Good for Mr. Cook for seeing through the hypocrisy of his fellow atheists and good for the Courant for having the courage to run his piece. Now watch for the Courant to run letters from atheists accusing Cook of attacking their right to free speech. Those who make reason their god are often the most unreasonable people of all.

Posted at 12:18 P.M.

 

December 16

 

COURANT STILL FIGHTING “YESTERDAY’S WARS” [Brian Brown]

Perhaps recognizing that yesterday’s “Hooters” editorial was the single lamest thing it ever published in support of same-sex “marriage,” the Courant’s editors take a second stab at it today. Unfortunately, today’s editorial is not much more coherent than yesterday’s.

 

The paper notes that “No floods, fires, earthquakes or other cataclysmic events” have occurred in the seven months since same-sex “marriage” was legalized in Massachusetts. As Rabbi Greer asked rhetorically at our Rally for Marriage last year, "What did they expect? An earthquake? A tidal wave?  It will be decades before we see the disastrous results."  In fact, an AP story over the weekend—which the Courant fails to mention—has reported on the significant number of same-sex “divorces” that have already occurred in Massachusetts.

 

The Courant claims that the refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the challenge to the Massachusetts case means that states are free to make their own decisions on same-sex “marriage” and a Federal Marriage Amendment is, therefore, unnecessary. This is the sort of cracker-jack analysis that caused the editors to dismiss opposition to same-sex “marriage” as “yesterday’s wars” just prior to the election. The challenge was dismissed because it was based on the “guarantee clause,” an unusual approach that was unlikely to gain a hearing with this Court. When a pro same-sex “marriage” case does make its way to the Court, it will be based on the “full faith and credit” clause, on the claim that the other 49 states must give “full faith and credit” to same-sex “marriages” performed in Massachusetts. In light of the Court’s sudden discovery last year of a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy, it is unlikely that the Justices will allow the states to make their own decisions about same-sex “marriage.”

 

The Courant notes that “most Americans are leery” (adamantly opposed, actually) to same-sex “marriage” but are “evenly divided” over “equal benefits,” etc. As Gov. Rell noted last week—in an interview that has received no mention in the Courant—same-sex couples in Connecticut already have the rights they claim not to have. And according to a poll that was reported on WTIC 1080 last night—but not in the Courant—most people oppose civil unions.

 

The editorial makes reference to the pro same-sex “marriage” lawsuit pending in Connecticut and ends with this:  “More legal challenges elsewhere are likely in both state and federal courts until this contentious issue is resolved.” When pro same-sex “marriage” advocates say the states should decide the issue for themselves, this is what they mean: state courts, not legislatures. Theirs is a movement for judicial tyranny, not democracy. The only way for the people to have a say on whether marriage should be radically redefined is to have a vote on amending our constitution. Because, one way or another, our constitution is going to be amended: either by the people or by their robed masters.

 Posted on 3:30 PM

 

GOT HATE? [Brian Brown]

Pro same-sex “marriage” activists and their supporters in the media claim that their movement is all about “tolerance” and “diversity.” According to them, it is the pro-family movement—those of us who fight to protect marriage from radical redefinition—that are motivated by hate and intolerance. In fact, it often seems that the only response pro same-sex “marriage” activists know how to make to well-reasoned opposition is to simply dismiss their opponents as a bunch of haters.

 

Those who buy into the “pro same-sex ‘marriage’ people are tolerant/pro-family people are hateful” picture ought to see the love letters we’ve been getting from the “tolerant” lately.

 

Most of them are anonymous. Many of them are scrawled in black magic marker. For people who endlessly mention the separation of church and state or their dislike of religion, a surprising number of them try to engage us in theological debate. These are usually letters of the “your behavior is an affront to God, shame on you” variety.

 

One writer informs us that our work makes him “imbarrassed” [sic] to be a Republican. Another says, “I consider the election of Bush to be reinforcement for bigots and the ignorant. If CT weren’t Democratic, I’d move to Canada.”

 

Our mere willingness to express a viewpoint that our hostile correspondents disagree with is, to them, proof of our bigotry. One correspondent, apparently unable to tell the difference between people who work democratically toward a goal she opposes and mass murder, refers to us as “the conservative Christian Taliban.” Another writer claims that after we pass a Marriage Protection Amendment our next goal will be to “exterminate” homosexuals.

 

But FIC has never advocated violence, hate or bigotry toward anyone. Instead, we’re the ones receiving anonymous phone messages like this: “I hope you all get cancer of the testicles and die.” Pro same-sex “marriage” activists may call us fascists, but it was not someone on our side who mailed us the letter that read “GO F*** YOURSELVES” with a Nazi swastika on it. Nor was it someone on our side that left the note on the windshield of one of our volunteers, whose car had a pro-DOMA bumper sticker, which said, “You should have been aborted in your mother’s womb. You Christians should all be lined up and shot.”

 

It seems the true feelings of our opponents are best described by this succinct note, which we received yesterday: “SCREW YOU JESUS FREAKS.” Remember this the next time pro same-sex “marriage” activists drone on about how “tolerant” they are and how “hateful” we are.

Posted on 2:11 P.M.

 

December 15

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE COURANT [Brian Brown]

It’s been over six weeks now since President Bush was re-elected by voters who said moral values was their top concern. The Courant, which had endorsed the President but advised him to drop his opposition to same-sex “marriage” and abortion—since these are, the paper claimed, “yesterday’s wars”—still does not know what to make of it. In today’s edition the editors are reduced to citing the preponderance of “Hooters” restaurants in red states as an argument for same-sex “marriage.” Values voters are hypocrites, the paper implies, so why not ignore them on same-sex “marriage?” From shouting false-but-high-falutin’ arguments about equality to mumbling about “Hooters.” How far the mighty have fallen.

 

The sad thing about the Courant is that if it did not waste so much newsprint on marriage-destroying propaganda it could actually be a useful tool for families, who need all the help they can get. A piece on the physical difficulties faced by older parents with small children—which the Courant reprinted from the Baltimore Sun yesterday—shows how the paper can disseminate information that will actually help its readers, rather than cause them to roll their eyes. We need more stories like this from the Courant and fewer cheap shots at values voters who dare to reject the paper’s advice.

Posted at 10:10 A.M.

 

December 14

 

STATE WANTS TO FUND THE KILLING OF HUMAN EMBRYOS [Brian Brown]

In an article in today’s Courant Gov. Rell says she would like to make “a one-time revenue deposit” of $10-$20 million dollars from the state surplus to fund stem cell research. Undeterred by a projected deficit of about $1.3 billion in the next fiscal year, Rep. Jim Amann, the House Speaker-elect, wants to spend $2 billion on stem-cell research.

 

Here’s the key excerpt:

 

Legislators, Amann said, must be sensitive to opposition to embryonic stem cell research from the Roman Catholic Church and others on moral grounds. Part of the controversy revolves around the belief that human embryos should not be destroyed because they constitute life.

"Absolutely, we have to be extremely careful," Amann said. "What they fear is they confuse it with cloning sometimes. It's going to require a study that makes it quite clear that we're not aborting or using fetuses."

 

FIC appreciates Rep. Amann’s civility, which is in marked contrast to the cries of “bigotry” we usually hear from our opponents in the same-sex “marriage” battle. But with all respect, it is the funding proponents that are confusing the issue.

 

Nowhere does this article make clear the distinction between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Nor does it make clear that funding proponents want the money for embryonic stem cell research. There is no moral dilemma in research on stem cells from adults or umbilical cords. In fact, adult stem cells are the only kinds that have thus far produced real advances in medical research.

 

But embryonic stem cell research involves the creation of human life specifically for experimentation. Proponents confuse the issue by making a false moral distinction between “therapeutic” research and cloning. They claim that, while it would be wrong to create a human being through cloning, there is no harm in extracting stem cells from an embryo if the embryo is destroyed afterwards.

 

Their moral logic is exactly backwards. If it is immoral to create a human being through cloning, it is even more immoral to create one specifically to experiment on his genetic material and kill him afterwards. What proponents call “therapeutic” cloning is really a policy of “clone and kill.”

 

Connecticut should not go down this path. As the recent election showed, our country wants to pull back from the culture of death, not plunge deeper into it. State funding for the destruction of human embryos would implicate all of us who pay taxes in the killing of innocent human life.

FIC will continue to monitor this situation and keep our supporters informed of any new developments. Until then, we can all educate ourselves further on this issue by visiting the web site of the Connecticut Catholic Conference: www.ctcatholic.org.

Posted at 11:00 A.M.

 

December 13

 

PRO-SAME SEX “MARRIAGE” ACTIVISTS TRY TO CENSOR CHURCH [Brian Brown]

On Dec. 2 in this space I wrote about an e-mail we received from Joshua Parker, a homosexual resident of East Lyme who said our “Defend Marriage Now!” banner on a local church “sickened” him and was an “abomination” in the eyes of God. Parker wrote that he and Joseph Smith, an East Lyme native with whom he had a “civil union” in Vermont, would launch a media campaign to force the church to remove the banner. Their opening salvo appeared in the Lyme Times on Friday.

 

“It is disingenuous for any mature church leader to assert that the words ‘defend marriage’ are anything but code for anti-gay political action,” claims Smith. In fact, the only disingenuous thing here is Smith’s attempt to paint anyone who disagrees with him as a bigot.

 

We have seen this before. When our banners were first displayed on churches across the state last summer, those churches were subject to a campaign of harassment and intimidation. Banners were stolen or vandalized in the dead of night. One prominent pro-same sex “marriage” supporter described hate crimes against pro-family churches as “justice actions.” But we were not deterred. We stood up to the cowardly criminals who tried to silence us then and we will stand up to the hypocritical self-professed champions of “tolerance” who try to censor us now.  

 

Interestingly, Parker and Smith help make our case for us. Initially, pro-same sex “marriage” activists claimed that religion was the only possible motivation for opposing their cause. But last summer they claimed that the attacks on pro-family churches did not qualify as hate crimes because the message on the banner was political, not religious. FIC, having always considered religion one of several legitimate reasons for opposing same-sex “marriage,” noted the opportunistic change of tune in our opponents’ spin.

 

Smith and Parker prove our point. “My first reaction [upon seeing the banner] was indeed theological,” Smith says. In both the article and their e-mail to us, Smith and Parker, who claim to be born-again Christians, clearly see our banner in religious terms and react to it on that basis. Their comments ought to put to rest the claim that opponents of the banner are not motivated by religious animus.

 

This episode also calls into question the commitment of pro-same sex “marriage” activists to the separation of church and state. Last summer the town of Norfolk, at the behest of pro-same sex “marriage” activists, claimed falsely that a church that hung our banner violated zoning laws. Now, Smith and Parker say they will contact their “elected representatives” as part of their effort to have the banner removed from the East Lyme church. Indeed, the article ends with the mayor of New Paltz, N.Y. declaring ominously, “The banner wouldn’t go up in New Paltz.”

 

Against all attempts at harassment, intimidation and government censorship, pro-family churches will continue to publicly proclaim their support for the protection of marriage against those who seek to radically redefine it. Contrary to the Lyme Times, for instance, the banner at St. Agnes Church was not taken down; it was moved to a more prominent location. Inspired by these examples of courage, more churches have called to request our banners. FIC will continue to stand by them and support them in any way we can. In fact, we are currently in talks with churches in New Paltz.

Posted at 4:26 P.M. (with previously missing last paragraph added at 8:50 A.M. on December 14th).

 

December 10

 

UKRAINE’S CONNECTICUT CONNECTION [Brian Brown]

The Most Rev. Basil H. Losten, the Ukrainian Catholic bishop of Stamford, has declared Sunday, December 12, a day of prayer for peace and freedom in Ukraine. FIC joins Bishop Losten, one of our state’s pro-family leaders, in prayer for the success of Ukraine’s democracy movement. Below is the bishop’s statement, from The Sower, Stamford’s Ukrainian Catholic newspaper (not available online).

 

PROCLAMATION

A Day of Prayer and Vigils for Peace and Freedom for Ukraine

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

We are living in historic times: our Ukrainian nation is demonstrating before the whole world the indomitable spirit that has characterized it throughout decades of persecution. A new generation of young people, who have built a tent city in Independence Square in Kyiv, is giving voice to its fierce patriotism and defiant heroism, becoming a symbol of what it means to be children of God, free from all fear, seeking only justice. Their sincerity could no longer suffer the evil of deceit, falsification and lies, and has become an inspiration to the whole nation and a standard of freedom and democracy held high for the world to see.

 

The world marvels at what is taking place in Ukraine, and supports the rightful demands of the Ukrainian nation to free itself of the long-standing interference of Russia, which persists in its attempts to control Ukraine by supporting the present corrupt government.

 

Ukrainians in many countries on all continents stand united behind their brothers and sisters in Ukraine, for the hunger for freedom has no borders to contain it. You, dear children of Ukraine, who find yourself far from your motherland, and all freedom-loving peoples who care about the future of Ukraine, can support this defense of democracy by joining your voices in this cause, by your prayers and by your financial support.

 

We, hereby, proclaim Sunday, December 12, 2004 to be a day of prayer and vigils for peace and freedom for Ukraine in all the parishes of the Stamford Eparchy and ask that a special collection be taken up for the dire needs of our freedom fighters in Ukraine.

 

Joining you in prayer and the hope for a bright future for the land of our forefathers, I bestow my Episcopal Blessings.

 

Most Rev. Basil H. Losten

Eparch of Stamford

 

Posted at 4:12 P.M.

 

TWO CHEERS FOR GOV. RELL [Brian Brown]

As Ken notes, the greater accountability of government in the U.S. makes it less likely that we will follow Canada’s lead on same-sex “marriage.” We saw proof of this on Election Day when 11 out of 11 states—even liberal Oregon—voted a Marriage Protection Amendment into their constitutions. Two additional states did the same thing earlier in the year, bringing the total number to thirteen. Whenever the people are given a choice, they vote to protect marriage.

 

If Connecticut had been given that choice we, too, would have voted to protect marriage. But a Marriage Protection Amendment was not on the ballot in Connecticut. Recent election results in our state, therefore, do not reflect majority opinion on same-sex “marriage.”

 

And we are not the only ones who know this. In an interview published in the New Haven Register today, Gov. M. Jodi Rell has this to say:

 

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.

 

If the spin coming from the state’s pro-same sex “marriage” movement were true—that the election proves Connecticut is different than the rest of the country on same-sex “marriage” and that the passage of a civil unions bill is “almost inevitable” in the next legislative session—Gov. Rell would not have made these comments. A governor does not earn an 80% approval rating without knowing where the people stand.

 

So, Connecticut’s pro-family movement offers two cheers for Gov. Rell. We’ll withhold the third cheer until she vetoes a civil unions bill, if that should become necessary. For now, though, the Governor’s comments are most encouraging to the state’s pro-family citizenry, as we prepare for the battle ahead.

Posted at 11:30 A.M.

 

AS CANADA GOES ... ? [Ken Von Kohorn]

By now you may have heard reports about the Canadian Supreme Court decision that has opened the door to same-sex marriages in Canada.  Canada is rapidly becoming an important test case as to how same-sex "marriage" legalization would alter the cultural landscape -- and the portents are not good.  Fortunately, as yesterday's David Frum's Diary points out (we have also posted his column on our website), there are important differences between the political processes in the U.S. and Canada.  We have many more checks and balances that can temper the power of unelected judges.  However, for those checks and balances to work effectively, We the People must roll up our sleeves and get involved.   We will be letting you know how you can help, here in Connecticut, as the new legislative session begins next month.

Posted at 6:02 a.m.

 

December 9

 

CONFESSIONS OF A “CAL” READER [Brian Brown]

“Cal,”—short for “Calendar,”—is the weekend entertainment section that appears every Thursday in the Courant. Nearly every issue features a mention of the latest pro-homosexual propaganda show at one of our local college campuses. A few weeks ago it was a homosexual film festival at Trinity. The descriptions of some of the films—a woman finds liberation through a lesbian affair with a domestic servant from Ghana, etc.—sounded like a parody of political correctness.

 

Today’s Cal announces a play running at UConn this weekend. The headline is “Gay ‘Confessions of a Mormon Boy.’” The accompanying photo—which includes two pictures of the same actor—illustrates the play’s theme. In one picture you can tell the character is Mormon because he’s wearing a suit and holding the Book Of Mormon. In the other picture you can tell he’s “gay” because, well, he’s disrobing.

 

Before you accuse me of stereotyping, consider that it is the play’s publicists that created this photo. As for myself, I still don’t understand why the New Haven Advocate felt it necessary to run a photo of me with the caption “Brian Brown: not gay.” But in light of today’s Cal, perhaps that’s for the best.

Posted at 4:01 P.M.

 

December 8

 

HAPPY CHANUKAH [Brian Brown]

The Family Institute of Connecticut would like to wish a Happy Chanukah to all our Jewish supporters. Chanukah, the Jewish Feast of Lights, began at sundown Tuesday. In an essay published last Chanukah, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, president of Toward Tradition, offered important insights on why the message of Chanukah is “not just for Jews.”

Posted at 11:05 A.M.

 

HOW TO REACH THE COURANT [Brian Brown]

Yesterday I encouraged our supporters to write to the Courant to counter the false portrayals of the pro-family movement that it frequently publishes. Here are the paper’s guidelines for letters to the editor:

 

The Courant welcomes letters of public interest. Letters must include an address and day and evening phone numbers and be exclusive to The Courant. Generally, letters should not exceed 200 words. We reserve the right to edit and shorten letters and run them in any electronic form. Writers ordinarily are limited to one published letter every two months.

 Posted at 10:28 A.M.

 

KUDOS TO THE COURANT [Brian Brown]

The Courant has a feature article today on the support husbands give to wives who suffer with breast cancer. The article is not untouched by some of the silliness one expects from the Courant—a reference to “sweat lodges” and “energy healers”but nothing on how traditional faith aids those who suffer. Still, a positive portrayal of marriage without a plea for its redefinition is such a rare thing for our local paper that it is worth noting. Kudos to the Courant.

Posted at 10:20 A.M.

 

December 7

 

SPEAK UP ABOUT ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIAS [Brian Brown]

There’s a letter to the editor in today’s Courant that is worth re-printing in full:

 

Speak Up About Anti-Gay Bias

We were heartsick to hear the following account from a friend. Over Thanksgiving dinner with her extended family, Grandma proclaimed that 16-year-old Sandy, long-time family friend and recently out of the closet as a lesbian, would have been better off if her suicide attempt several years ago had been successful. After all, Grandma said in her righteousness, the Bible tells us that homosexuality is an abomination.

Could this be how the current "moral values" will enrich us? And what about
Sandy? Do we really want more gay-bashing that will encourage more suicide among gay and lesbian teenagers, already the highest group at risk for suicide attempts?

The recent refusal by CBS and NBC to air a United Church of Christ ad celebrating the inclusiveness of God's love has exacerbated the situation. Do Americans believe that a church ad declaring that "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we" is too controversial to air?

We're thankful that there are many religious and highly moral people worshiping in congregations that do not consider gays to be a fringe element to be merely tolerated. Or worse, that they are abominations in the eyes of God, unworthy of membership in a religious community.

Silence is not golden. It's time for Americans who hold deeply spiritual commitments to the values of justice, fairness and equality to speak up.

-- Donna and Gary Gianini, Co-chairmen, Welcoming Congregation Committee, The
Universalist Church of West Hartford.  

 

Did the story told by the Gianinis—that a Christian Grandma wished death upon a lesbian teenager at a Thanksgiving dinner—really happen? I don’t know. Neither do the Gianinis. They are merely repeating hearsay by a third party in a public forum. It would be inadmissible evidence in a court of law, but it’s good enough for the Courant.

 

There are some reasons to doubt the veracity of this story. Aside from its being told by someone who did not actually witness the event, it seems to fit perfectly the caricature that pro-same sex “marriage” activists have of pro-family Christians as people motivated by hate. Add to that its authorship by the “Co-chairmen” of the “Welcoming Congregation Committee, The Universal Church of West Hartford” and one might fairly conclude that the letter, like the UCC ad, was an attempt to pump up a liberal church by falsely portraying pro-family Christians as haters. And yet the Courant saw fit to run it.

 

Imagine the co-chairmen of a Protect Marriage Committee at an Evangelical church submitting a letter to the Courant. Imagine that in the letter, they described hearing from a friend about a Thanksgiving dinner attended by a homosexual couple who bragged about their infidelity following their “marriage” in Massachusetts and that their liberal church affirms their behavior. Imagine the authors closing the letter by saying they’re “thankful that there are many religious and highly moral people” at their church, unlike the church the homosexual couple attends.

 

The Courant would never let that letter see the light of day. But a letter using flimsy evidence to depict pro-family Christians as haters? The Courant’s just fine with that.

 

The letter in today’s paper is part of a deliberate strategy by pro-same sex “marriage” activists to portray pro-family citizens as haters. Our opponents have resorted to these tactics because they know they cannot win on the merits of their arguments. Instead, they’re hoping that enough letters like this will cause the pro-family movement to lose public support, thus suffering a “death by a thousand cuts.”

 

We should not take this lying down. Readers of this blog know that it is the pro-family movement that is really on the receiving end of hate and prejudice. We know that we are motivated by love—for our families, our country and even our opponents—and not by hate. I encourage everyone in our movement to write their own letters to the editor so that people will know what our movement is really about, rather than the lies perpetrated by the other side. Letters can be e-mailed to the Courant at letters@courant.com.

Posted at 11:22 A.M.

 

December 6

 

THE WORD AFTER “THE LAST WORD” [Brian Brown]

Pity the Courant, the presidential election did not go its way. Sure, the paper endorsed Bush. But that decision belonged to the publisher. Given much of the news and opinion slant of the Courant these last four years, it’s unlikely the endorsement would have survived a vote by those responsible for the paper’s daily content. Further, the endorsement condemned as “yesterday’s wars” President Bush’s support for the protection of marriage and the right to life—the very issues that won him reelection. Small wonder, then, that for the last month reading the Courant has been like eavesdropping on a group of liberals engaged in primal scream therapy.

 

But no longer. Yesterday’s Northeast magazine is, the title assures us, “The Last Word” on the election. Most of it consists of typical Courant commentary: Mike Swift listing the ways Connecticut supposedly differs from red-state America (we have better teeth, etc.), Lowell Weicker taking umbrage at the belief held by many that America “was founded by those fleeing religious persecution” (“Not so.”), Jerry Dunklee recommending as a model Mother Devine—a woman who mixed Buddhism and Christianity to create her own church (“America’s like that.”), and so on.

 

It was not all bad. Jeff Shult’s guide to the new political correctness was funny (“When encountering a ‘Liberal’ on the street, an Evangelical Christian should resist the urge to use an offensive greeting such as ‘Who’s your daddy?’”) and Courant publisher Jack Davis makes keen observations on the misuse of the term “progressive.”

 

And then there was Kevin Rennie. Rennie, a former Republican legislator from South Windsor, writes: “Worrisome for the GOP is that in the North, Bush increased his share of the vote while other Republicans were losing.” Yes, but why? Rennie doesn’t tell us.

 

That’s too bad, because it was the most important sentence in the entire “Last Word” issue. The GOP in New England tends to distance itself from President Bush’s pro-family positions out of the belief that those positions will hurt them here. But if the main difference between Bush and the New England GOP is Bush’s pro-family stance, and Bush did better in New England than the local party, what does that say about local GOP reluctance to embrace the pro-family cause?

 

Unlike the national party, Connecticut Republicans suffered significant losses last month. If the state party had been as firmly committed to protecting marriage as the national party—and ran explicitly on that commitment—the results would have been different. Instead, the state GOP has dug itself into a hole by its reluctance to fully embrace the pro-family cause. It’s time for them to reconsider.

Posted at 12:40 P.M.

 

WHEN “TOLERANT” PEOPLE ATTACK [Brian Brown]

The Courant’s music reviews are not part of my normal morning repertoire, but it’s hard to resist a headline like “Violent Assault of Ministry.” Ministry, it seems, is a “left-wing industrial-metal” band that played at Toad’s Place in New Haven over the weekend.

 

During the performance the band “fed its hatred of President Bush” with the singer “shooting a Bush-masked stagehand while the crowd raised fists, devil-horns and voices in approval.”

 

“This, of course, is the irony,” the reviewer informs us. Of course. “Ministry is undoubtedly preaching peace.” Undoubtedly. A fake assassination of a hated President is just an “ironic” way of “preaching peace.” What don’t you understand about that?

Posted at 10:55 A.M.

 

APPELLATE COURT GETS ONE RIGHT [Brian Brown]

Courant columnist Frank Harris III reacts today to a recent decision by our state appellate court:

 

Last week's Connecticut Appellate Court ruling was a welcome sign that the clock may be ticking away from the notion that one should not spank a child, no matter what.

The court overturned a ruling that essentially says any marks left on a child from a parent who metes out corporal punishment amounts to child abuse. It found that spanking a child does not automatically make one a child abuser. It found that parents have the right to impose reasonable physical punishment.

 

The discipline of children is an inexact science and reasonable people will naturally disagree over the best way to go about it. What’s notable about the state agency rule struck down by the court is that it left no room for reasonable disagreement. Under the old rule, the slightest mark caused by the spanking of a child made the parent who administered it a child abuser.

 

Families need to make their own decisions about the upbringing of their children, without undue interference by the government. We in Connecticut’s pro-family movement are pleased that our appellate court has reaffirmed that principle.

Posted at 9:52 A.M.

 

December 2

 

CRITIC’S CORNER [Brian Brown]

In the two months since the blog began I’ve received a lot of feedback, most of it positive. But there is the occasional grump. Most of them sound like this guy:

 

ATTN:  Mr. Stanley Kurtz

 

Dear Mr. Kurtz:

 

Your so-called "organization" sickens me and you are an abomination to all Christians as well as in the eyes of my God!  My God is not a vindictive God and he loves all people, and I think that you and all so-called "Christians" should not spend all of your time trying to condemn gays or hating us because you too are also committing a huge "sin" by not practicing God's Word and loving thy neighbor.

 

We are all God's children by far, and there is enough hate and crime as well as war going on in this world.  We are people too, and we are as well very capable of raising and having strong families. The reason that I even wasted my time and energy to visit your Website is due to the fact that my husband and I had our Vermont Civil Union over the summer and we have recently migrated back to Niantic.  My husband, [name withheld], is a native to this area and graduated from East Lyme High in 1980 and introduced me to this very beautiful village during the summer.  I too fell in love with Niantic, so we decided to move here and to make this our permanent home.

 

During our walk to the beach on the afternoon of Nov 29th, we walked past St. Agnes Church and to our dismay noticed your huge banner strung across the back of the church.  After seeing this abomination we were sickened.  We want you to know that we are very committed Christians who are deeply saddened by this unneccessary public expression of hatred, and we have now begun the process of notifying the news media as well as our elected representatives.  All of us are working together to encourage St. Agnes Church to remove this inflammatory and asinine banner and to let the community know that East Lyme will not have this kind of garbage in our community.

 

We are people too, and again:  We are _all_ God's children and we are _all_ a part of the community!

 

 In Christ,

[name withheld]

East Lyme, CT

 

First, I’m not Stanley Kurtz. This poor fellow evidently confused me with the author of one of the articles linked to on our homepage. Second, I’m accused of “condemning” and “hating” others by a man who declares in his first sentence that FIC not only “sickens” him, it’s an “abomination” in the eyes of God. Who’s the hater here? As usual, our adversaries need to take a look in the mirror.

 

This e-mail is representative of the general tone of much of our opposition. Their inability to debate us on the merits—rather than dismiss our view as a mere “expression of hatred”—explains why they keep losing elections.

Posted at 3:03 PM

 

PROGRESS? [Brian Brown]

The Courant has a front page article today declaring that the “generation-long erosion in ‘traditional’ parenthood is now over.”

 

I hope so. Making Connecticut as family-friendly as possible is, after all, FIC’s reason for existing. But newspaper articles are, as is often said, “the first draft of history.” Time will tell if the statistics cited by the Courant prove the paper’s conclusion.

 

The data available does not seem to indicate that we have emerged from the post-1960’s crisis of the American family. Rates of divorce and single parenthood are still astronomically high. What it does show is that those rates are not getting higher. The drive toward the destruction of the family seems to have been thrown in neutral. The challenge ahead for the pro-family movement will be to throw the destructive trends into reverse.

Posted at 10:14 A.M.

 

THE NETWORKS GET ONE RIGHT [Brian Brown]

NBC and CBS are refusing to run an ad produced by the United Church of Christ (UCC), a denomination whose leadership is adamantly pro-same sex “marriage.” Liberal radio host Colin McEnroe was in a quite a tizzy about it yesterday, insisting that viewers could barely notice the homosexual couples in the ad. In the first sentence of today’s Courant article, we are told the ad was “created as a message of tolerance and inclusion.”

 

No, it wasn’t. The ad was created by smug liberals to proclaim their moral superiority to those Christians who are so uncouth as to actually be faithful to Christian morality. Here’s the Courant’s description of the ad:

 

The 30-second ad, called "Night Club," shows two bouncers standing in front of a nameless church, selectively letting in worshippers. A white heterosexual couple is admitted past a velvet rope into the church, but the bouncers block a male couple and several individuals of color. Later scenes show smiling people of various races - including a pair of women - standing together.

"Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we," the commercial's voice-over says.

 

This is one time when the networks got it right. According to a spokesman for CBS, the ad was rejected “because it implied that other churches turned away people.”

 

The people who made this ad are the ones always insisting that they are “open and affirming”—that it is only those dastardly conservatives who judge others. But can you imagine Catholics or Evangelicals producing an ad that promotes their churches specifically by attacking other churches? And then trying to air it on CBS and NBC? And then throwing a hissy fit in the media when they didn’t get their way? “Chutzpah” is a word that comes to mind.

 

“Clueless” is another. There’s a difference between faithfully upholding the scriptural prohibitions against homosexual activity and forbidding those with such inclinations from entering your church. No pro-family church does the latter. The UCC ad is a slur. Our congratulations to the networks for not allowing one instance of liberal bigotry on to their airwaves.

Posted at 9:35 A.M.

 

December 1

 

“WE NEED A RESOLUTION” [Brian Brown]

Mary Bonauto, the attorney who won the same-sex “marriage” case in Massachusetts and has filed suit in Connecticut in hopes of achieving the same thing here, spoke to “50 students and visitors” at the University of Hartford yesterday, according to the AP. Given the AP’s tendency to exaggerate the numbers for pro-same sex “marriage” events while downplaying the numbers at pro-family events, plus the fact that the Hartford Courant couldn’t be bothered to cover a lecture in their own back yard, it doesn’t seem to have been much of an event. This, after the Courant ran an announcement encouraging people to attend and Bonauto herself took to the local airwaves to drum up interest.

 

Bonauto calls it “an encouraging sign” that Gov. Rell opposes a Federal Marriage Amendment. But governors have no role in the passage of federal amendments. Bonauto is grasping at straws.

 

Which is understandable. If the U.S. Constitution is eventually amended to protect marriage, Bonauto’s colleagues in the pro-same sex “marriage” movement will have her to thank for it. More than anyone else, it was Bonauto’s victory in Massachusetts that made the passage of a Federal Marriage Amendment possible.

 

“It’s just clear that the discussion here in Connecticut is at a point that we need a resolution,” Bonauto told the audience. That’s the one thing she and I agree about. And the way to have a resolution is to allow the people to vote up or down on a Defense of Marriage Amendment to our state constitution. Otherwise, we will be stuck with an unelected court or an unaccountable legislature imposing their will on us regarding the most important moral issue of our time: the preservation of marriage. That’s no way to “resolve” differences.

Posted at 2:27 P.M.

 

FMA NOW! [Brian Brown]

The Republican-American’s editorial page offers a rousing endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) today. The editors are right to remind us what we’re up against:

 

Politics at the Capitol in Connecticut similarly have taken a hard left turn in recent months. With more liberal legislative leadership -- that's saying a lot -- and a governor who supports public financing of benefits for homosexual couples and opposes a constitutional amendment affirming traditional marriage, those advocating same-sex marriage in Connecticut will have an easier row to hoe.

 

The editorial’s title offers the only legitimate resolution of the same-sex “marriage” issue: “Let the people decide.”

Posted at 1:44 P.M.

 

ANCHOR RISING [Brian Brown]

We are not alone. In addition to this blog, there are others throughout New England that have established a presence on the internet in order to fight the anti-family elites in our region. One of the best websites can be found at anchorrising.com, a Rhode Island blog. Run by Justin Katz, a conservative writer/musician/artist, Anchor Rising is a good resource for connecting with like-minded people throughout our region. Having spoken before a large pro-family audience at Rhode Island’s state capitol in early October, I can tell you that there are many in our neighboring state that are committed to putting all of New England “on the right side of hope.” Thanks to Justin, pro-family New Englanders now have another outlet for their voices to be heard.

Posted at 1:14 P.M.

 

NOT “INEVITABLE” [Brian Brown]

Whenever I debate anti-family activists or legislators there is one assertion they always make: that same-sex “marriage” is “inevitable.” As Joshua Baker and Maggie Gallagher explain on National Review Online today, there is nothing inevitable about it. Contrary to claims made by pro-same sex “marriage” advocates, young people’s opposition to same-sex “marriage” is actually increasing.

 

When I last testified before the Judiciary Committee, Chairman Lawlor asked me about polls showing young people being more favorable to same-sex “marriage.” “We have a lot of work to do with the youth,” I said—a response that caused shocked gasps from the pro-same sex “marriage” audience.

 

It looks like they’ll have a lot more to gasp about in the years ahead. The only thing “inevitable” about same-sex “marriage” is that some will continue to make the false claim that same-sex “marriage” is inevitable.

Posted at 12:39 A.M.

 

CIVIL UNIONS = SAME SEX “MARRIAGE” [Brian Brown]

It’s the first of the month—time for a refresher on where things stand in the battle to protect marriage in Connecticut.

 

The “gut punch” of thirteen out of thirteen states voting to amend their constitutions to protect marriage combined with supposed pro-same sex “marriage” victories in Connecticut has left local anti-family activists with a case of vertigo. Their dizziness has caused them to conclude that they live in a (by their standards) better place called “Planet Connecticut,” a land where it is “almost inevitable” that the next legislature will legalize civil unions. You can read about it from their perspective here.

 

It is possible—though not inevitable—that our legislature will legalize civil unions next year. FIC will fight for the family with every resource at our disposal. Whether we succeed will depend largely on the support of you, our grassroots activists. You can help our efforts by using our home page to contribute to the Family Institute.

 

The same-sex “marriage” issue could be resolved once and for all by allowing Connecticut’s voters to vote up or down on a Defense of Marriage Amendment (DOMA) to our state constitution. Anti-family advocates will oppose this because they know and we know what they’re not telling the media: that a few legislative races in Connecticut do not reflect the will of the majority on same-sex “marriage.”

 

This is confirmed by the fact that anti-family legislators are focusing on civil unions, not same-sex “marriage.”

 

But how will the public react when they realize that a vote for civil unions is a vote for same-sex “marriage?” As the Connecticut Catholic Conference makes clear, civil union is a phony compromise. The courts will use it as a pretext to impose same-sex “marriage” by claiming that civil union is a violation of the equal protection clause. The same activists pushing for civil unions will be only too happy to push the equal protection argument in court; they’ve said so repeatedly.

 

Civil unions will not prevent same-sex “marriage”—it will guarantee its passage. The only way to permanently protect marriage in Connecticut is to allow voters the opportunity those in thirteen others states had: to vote for or against a Defense of Marriage Amendment.

Posted at 12:00 P.M.

November 30 

DOMA NOW! [Brian Brown]

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take a case that could have led to the overturning of the decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” in Massachusetts. Does this, as the New Haven Register claims, “boost the chances” that marriage will be redefined here in Connecticut?

 

No. Even Anne Stanback, head of Love Makes A Family, told the Courant she “doubted it would have a significant effect” on her effort to destroy marriage as we have known it. The case was based on a claim that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of a “republican” form of government when it undemocratically imposed its will on an issue that should have been decided by the people’s representatives. We are in complete sympathy with that claim. But it is hardly surprising that the same entity that imposed Roe v. Wade on the nation—the ultimate usurpation of politics by a court—would not support the claim. At least not until there are more Justices on the bench who respect the Constitution they are supposed to be interpreting.

 

But even without the “boost” the Register hoped for, the pro-family movement will have a tough fight in the next legislative session. Bob Ward, the head of the Senate Republicans, is quoted in that same Register piece saying that he would “probably” support a civil unions bill.

 

Our goal for this next legislative session will be to convince Ward and his colleagues—on both sides of the aisle—not to join the courts in imposing the destruction of marriage on an unwilling public. They must put the issue squarely before the voters by allowing us to vote on whether to amend our constitution to protect marriage.

 

You can help our effort by using the resources on our home page to call your state senator and representative. Tell them you want the people to vote on a Defense of Marriage Amendment (DOMA) to our state constitution.

 

You can also use our home page to donate to the Family Institute of Connecticut. As you can tell from the items linked to on this blog, we have never been in more need of your support.

 

As always your support—in money as well as time, prayer as well as activism—is deeply appreciated.

Posted at 11:07 A.M.

 

November 29

 

PLANET CONNECTICUT, 2004 [Brian Brown]

The pro-same sex “marriage” movement suffered its most crushing political defeats this year, with thirteen out of thirteen states—even liberal Oregon—voting to amend their constitutions to protect marriage. Most of these Defense of Marriage Amendments passed by 70-80 percent.

 

So how do Connecticut’s pro-same sex “marriage” activists respond to the public’s overwhelming rejection of their cause? By pretending they live in a different place, a fantasy land called “Planet Connecticut.” At least, that’s the impression one gets from Carole Bass’ article in the Nov. 25 New Haven Advocate.

 

Yes, in the last election pro-family Sen. Win Smith lost and pro-same sex “marriage” Rep. Mike Lawlor won. But most Connecticut voters cast their ballots based on their choice for President, not for or against same-sex “marriage.” As a recent headline put it, “Nobody asked Connecticut voters about moral issues.” If they had—that is, if there had been a DOMA on the ballot—Connecticut would have voted the same as blue-state Oregon: against the President but for the protection of marriage.

 

Because there was no DOMA on the ballot, same-sex “marriage” activists are reading the defeat of a few pro-family state candidates as a public endorsement of their cause. In the Bass piece and elsewhere, they now describe a civil unions bill as “inevitable.”

 

The threat is real. But “inevitable?” No.

 

We’ve been here before. The state election results in 2002 also favored the anti-family side. Yet in the 2003 session Rep. Lawlor couldn’t even pass a “domestic partnerships” bill through the committee he chairs.

 

That’s not to say that victory is assured for our side, either. It will be a long, hard fight for the pro-family movement.

 

The only way to resolve the same-sex “marriage” issue once and for all in Connecticut is to put it before the voters, as was done in Oregon and elsewhere. Let the people decide: Should we preserve the meaning of marriage or radically redefine it? The legislature must allow the people to vote on whether to put a Defense of Marriage Amendment into our state constitution.

 

Same-sex “marriage” supporters should not mind putting the issue squarely before the voters. That is, if they really believe that “Planet Connecticut” is on their side.

Posted at 2:00 P.M.

 

November 25

 

THANKSGIVING [Ken Von Kohorn]

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Today the Family Institute thanks God for our many blessings and especially for you, our supporters.  Without you, to put it bluntly, we would not exist.

 

Today we also offer thanksgiving for blessings from a far off location:  China.  Today's New York Times has a front page story which, in typical Times fashion when it comes to matters of religion, accentuates the negative ("Violence Taints Religion's Solace for China's Poor").  But reading between the lines lurks a major story:  the gratifyingly large number of new Christians in the People's Republic of China.  In the story's fifth paragraph, Times readers learn that there are more church-going Protestants in China than in Europe.  This is a little-reported story in the Mainstream Media and is an astounding development, portending great things for the future of peace and prosperity in the world. 

 

A recent book, Jesus in Beijing:  How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power by David Aikman (Regnery - 2003), gives the amazing details of how courageous believers in China have prevailed, despite imprisonment and torture, in bringing the message of God's salvation to millions of Chinese -- peasants and even high party officials who had been hungering for spiritual uplift after decades under the repressive communist regimes.

 

So let us give special thanks for what even the New York Times can't ignore.  As people become freer after living in chains, they thirst for God's word.  That this is manifesting itself in China can only be a blessing for the world.

Posted at 12:45 P.M.

 

November 24

 

Kinsey [Brian Brown]

The Advocate newspapers—and similar media outlets—have done their part to de-legitimize marriage and make this world a more dangerous place for children. But where did this trend begin? It began with Alfred Kinsey.

 

Kinsey, a “sex researcher,” published “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male,” in 1948. Though Kinsey’s research has been widely discredited, he launched the sexual revolution by offering pseudo-scientific evidence for his claim that all manner of perversion and deviance were already widespread in America.

 

Naturally, Hollywood has just produced a hagiographic film about Kinsey. Naturally, the Courant’s feminist film critic gives the film four stars today in a review titled (of course) “BRINGING SEX OUT OF THE DARK AGES.” 

 

As Frederica Mathews-Green explains, Kinsey did not liberate us from the dark ages; he put us there.  As Sue Ellin Browder writes, he did it on the basis of phony science. If you want to know more about Kinsey—and what you can do to stop Hollywood and the Courant’s lionization of him—click here and here.

Posted at 4:05 P.M.

 

 

November 23

 

WHAT ARE THESE “MORAL VALUES” THINGIES ANYWAY? [Brian Brown]

On Nov. 9 in this space I noted that the Connecticut Post’s regional/local section for that day had articles on six different sexual crimes. I’m not the only one who noticed. Joe Miksch writes about it in the Nov. 18 issue of the Fairfield County Weekly, one of the chain of left-wing newspapers associated with the Hartford Advocate.

 

Miksch’s main point is that we should not blame the newspaper for printing disturbing news. “[I]f you really want to blame someone for that, try the child molesters.”

 

That seems rather obvious. But in making his case, Miksch adds this: “And to think people have the temerity to criticize this newspaper for those naughty advertisements toward the rear of our paper.”

 

Miksch doesn’t get it. The reason those crimes are so prevalent is that we have a culture where anything goes and no act can be stigmatized, lest one be thought “judgmental.” There is no reason why consumers of ads for every kind of adult perversion will not eventually turn their attention to children. Pop culture and academia have already begun the process of legitimizing pedophilia, the final taboo. History will record that it was media outlets like the Advocate chain that helped put us on this road.

 

Miksch ends his piece by taking swipes at the comic strips “Family Circus” and “Mallard Fillmore.” But Miksch’s moral logic—or lack thereof—makes him a dead ringer for Mallard’s clueless “Mainstream Media Man” who, after the election, had to ask Mallard: “What are these ‘moral values’ thingies anyway?”

Posted at 1:07 P.M.

 

November 22

 

SMALL STEP FORWARD FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS [Brian Brown]

The AP has an interesting piece today on how same-sex “marriage” is part of a broader attack against marriage and what the pro-family movement is doing about it. Of course, the reporter does not put it in quite that way. But then, this is the AP we’re talking about. The reporter noticed the comprehensive nature of the pro-family effort to protect marriage. We’re happy with that, even if he fails to understand that this is not something new.

Posted at 3:56 P.M.

 

MEMO TO BESSY: IT’S CALLED AN “ELECTION” [Brian Brown]

“Until Nov. 3,” Courant columnist Bessy Reyna writes, “I had been complacent in my belief that I lived in a country that welcomed the exchange of ideas.”

 

But because her preferred candidate did not prevail on Election Day, Reyna has concluded that we do not live in a country that welcomes an exchange of ideas. Instead, we live in a country where voters “stifle debate and impose ideological homogeneity.”

 

It’s too easy to point out that Reyna exhibits all the dissent-stifling characteristics she attributes to those who dare to vote differently than her. So, here’s another question: Where does the Courant find these people? Is there a journalism school that specializes in churning out columnists that are this lacking in self-awareness?

Posted at 2:44 P.M.

 

November 18

 

FOR STRONGER MARRIAGES [Brian Brown]

There is some good news in today’s papers. The Republican-American has an AP piece on Smart Marriages, a conference held in Dallas to help strengthen the institution. Protecting marriage from the attempt to radically re-define it is an urgent priority. But we must also fight to strengthen traditional marriage, which has been so de-valued in our culture in recent decades. Conferences like this are a good place to start.

Posted at 4:45 P.M.

 

YOUNG PRO-LIFERS [Brian Brown]

They get less attention from the Courant than pro-abortion interns. But the young have been trending pro-life for some time now. In 1997 the Courant ran one article on Feminists for Life.

 

The Courant should take a second look. Through its college outreach program, FFL has been at the forefront of changing young minds about abortion. Now that would be a story worth covering.

Posted at 4:17 P.M.

 

LATEST DISPATCH FROM “YESTERDAY’S WARS” [Brian Brown]

Wednesday’s Courant included a sympathetic look at local pro-abortion activists, who want the recently re-elected President Bush to “know that there’s a large constituency that disagrees with his stance on reproductive rights.” Can you imagine the Courant running an equally sympathetic piece, say, eight years ago, on local pro-lifers who wanted a re-elected President Clinton to “know that there’s a large constituency that disagrees with his stance on the right to life?” To ask the question is to answer it.

 

Anyway, it seems that all is not well with the younger pro-abortion activists. There’s a concern that, following the election, they feel “dejected and could be difficult to rally for another battle.”

 

But supporters of the culture of death need not fear! “The interns are re-grouping.” At the University of Hartford there will be a “fund-raiser and education plan for World AIDS Day.” (Will the “education plan” include abstinence? Don’t hold your breath.) At Yale there will be an “abortion-rights film festival.” (Will it include “The Silent Scream?” I’m guessing no.) Yale will also hold an “emergency contraceptive day” run by a pro-abortion student group whose membership “has doubled since the election.”

 

The Courant would have us believe that the pro-abortion movement is experiencing a reaction to President Bush that could have political repercussions. There’s just one problem. They told us the same thing before the election.

 

At the beginning of this year, the Courant ran a fawning profile of the energetic Erin Aiello, a UHart student and Planned Parenthood intern who organized local support for the pro-abortion march in Washington. The paper gave her a full page, big photos, the works. But that was then. Here’s what she sounds like now:

 

“All of us interns worked so hard for the last three years…We did voter registration. We marched in Washington. It was kind of frustrating to know here we have another four more years. I was personally hurt.”

 

Ms. Aiello, of course, is nowhere near as hurt as the victims of her activism.  But this is a good reminder to the rest of us not to take too seriously the abortion coverage of a newspaper that seems incapable of understanding what’s at stake.

Posted at 3:35 P.M.

   

November 17

 

THE DEATH OF MARRIAGE: COMING SOON TO CT? [Brian Brown]

Fasten your seat belts. Connecticut’s in for a wild ride in the next legislative session. According to the Danbury News Times, it’s full speed ahead for the legalization of same-sex “marriage” or civil unions next year.

 

Rep. Robert Godfrey (D-Danbury), who chairs the committee that decides what bills make it to the House floor, says it is “almost inevitable” that a civil unions bill will become law in 2005. Gov. Rell’s spokesman refused to say that she would veto the bill. A pro-same sex “marriage” activist from Bridgeport says civil unions will be “a great first step” toward the legalization of same-sex “marriage.” Rep. Mike Lawlor (D-East Haven) says that once civil unions pass, legislators will ask “Why not marriage?”

 

Every poll of Connecticut voters conducted by a reputable polling company (Wirthlin, etc.) shows our state is overwhelmingly opposed to having a radical re-definition of marriage imposed on us. The information reported by the News Times confirms Robert Satter’s thesis that we have “A Legislature Beholden—But Not To The People.” As Satter writes:

 

A legislature in which more than three-quarters of its members feel themselves immune from accountability to the voters, and start thinking of their safe seats as personal fiefdoms, threatens the quality of our democracy.

 

Between an unaccountable legislature and an activist court, things look grim for the family in Connecticut. But it also looked that way two years ago, right before we defeated the “domestic partnerships” bill in Mike Lawlor’s own committee. Peter Wolfgang’s article on that victory is worth re-reading, as we steel ourselves for the challenges ahead.

 

We beat back the destruction of marriage before in Connecticut. We can do it again. But we’ll need your help. Watch this space for updates as the battle heats up.

Posted at 9:50 A.M.

 

November 16

 

UNREASONABLE [Brian Brown]

In a letter to the Courant, Frank O’Gorman, a board member of People of Faith for Gay Civil Rights, “beg[s] to differ” with my quote in Saturday’s paper that “a person of faith and reason understands that marriage is about a man and a woman.” You see, “[a]s a gay Catholic who is usually fairly reasonable,” O’Gorman believes...

 

Well, I don’t really know what he believes. I was so struck by O’Gorman’s self-description that I never finished the letter.  O’Gorman, the most extreme pro-same sex “marriage” activist in Connecticut, is best known for having described hate crimes against pro-family churches as “justice actions.” At an FIC rally last May, a member of his group held a sign that said “The Family Institute uses the Bible the way Hitler used gas.”

 

Yes, there are homosexual Catholics who are “fairly reasonable.” But Frank O’Gorman is not one of them.

 

(For information on Catholic outreach to homosexuals, click here.)

Posted at 10:17 A.M.

 

November 15

 

DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM THIS MAN [Brian Brown]

You have to hand it to Dan Haar. While other local lefties are still crying in their lattes, the Courant’s liberal business columnist claims that “[a]s the nation lurched to the right on Election Day, Connecticut moved hard the other way,” and he smells an opportunity:

 

Eventually, progressive-minded folks would settle—or choose to stay—in Connecticut and other like-minded states. Since socially liberal people tend to be well educated, the ranks of technology workers and creative types could swell here.. And, that, clearly, would be a boon for the state’s vibrancy and prosperity.

 

Never mind the bigoted assumption that religious conservatives lack education and creativity. If Haar’s thesis was true, we would have seen it by now. Yes, the Republicans gained seats in Congress while losing seats in the Connecticut General Assembly in 2004. But it also happened in 2002. In fact, in happened in 1994, the year a pro-family majority took over Congress.

 

So by Haar’s standards, Connecticut and the nation have been on opposite ideological tracks for a decade now. The result? Connecticut’s population growth was so slow that we lost a seat in Congress.

 

If Dan Haar is the kind of thinker that the state’s business elites turn to for advice, it’s no wonder our local economy isn’t in better shape.

Posted at 10:49 A.M.

 

MESSAGE RECEIVED [Brian Brown]

The Left is having a tough time adjusting to the news that most of the country rejects their agenda as a matter of moral principle.  In Saturday’s Courant, local lefties express their dismay that “conservative Catholics, white evangelicals and black Protestants...found common cause on gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research,” a convergence which led to a “formidable political tide.” The article quotes my observation that it was those “non-negotiable issues” that created our coalition.

 

In response, we pro-family citizens are accused of being a bunch of fear-mongering, diversity-hating, poor people-ignoring, narrow-minded, hypocritical, simple-minded fundamentalists who can’t think for ourselves. It was also claimed that the religious left “did not respond” to us.

 

In fact, we’ve been hearing the Left’s response for years. That’s why they lost.

Posted 9:47 A.M. 

 

November 12

 

STATE LEADER OF UCC COMES UNHINGED [Brian Brown]

The Northfield Congregational Church has voted unanimously to leave the United Church of Christ denomination because of the UCC’s support for abortion and same-sex “marriage.” In an official withdrawal letter mailed to Davida Foy Crabtree, the head of the UCC in Connecticut, the church noted that the UCC’s positions run counter to the “straightforward teachings of the Bible.”

 

This is the fourth UCC Church in Connecticut in the last year or two to leave the denomination. The recent vote by the UCC state convention to tell state legislators that the UCC favors same-sex “marriage” means there will probably be more.

 

But while Davida Foy Crabtree was nonchalant last summer about losing the UCC church in Wethersfield—the largest in New England and fifth largest in the denomination—the loss of Northfield, her childhood parish, has pushed her over the edge. Naturally, she sees a conspiracy:

 

Crabtree said all the churches that are withdrawing because of these doctrinal wars have been pastored by clergy not ordained in the United Church of Christ. And, she added, "I don’t think this is unintentional."

 

While acknowledging she has no hard evidence of collusion, "I believe there are intentional efforts being made by individuals to identify churches that are vulnerable to this kind of influence and then to take them out of the denomination," Crabtree said.

 

I for one have reached the point where I’m not going to let it be unnamed any longer—the kind of work that these outside pastors are doing in our midst.

 

Ms. Crabtree has come unhinged. First, if the UCC leadership had not strayed so far from orthodox Christianity, they would not have had to borrow clergy from other denominations in the first place. Second—given the key role of FIC in organizing pro-family Christians in Connecticut to protect marriage—if there was a conspiracy of pro-family UCC pastors, we would probably know about it. The truth is that most of our Congregationalist supporters are fiercely loyal to the UCC and deeply grieved over its direction under people like Crabtree.

 

Crabtree marvels at “how far” the departing churches have “strayed from our historic and traditional commitments.” She complains that “[o]ne generation of church leadership makes a decision like this...really without consideration for all those who have gone before.”

 

This, from someone who thinks Christians have a duty to advocate for the legalization of same-sex “marriage.” But then again, we were warned about false prophets.

Posted at 10:37 A.M.

 

November 11

 

CCLU ATTACKS CATHOLIC SCHOOL [Brian Brown]

The far-left Connecticut Civil Liberties Union has faxed a letter to officials in Berlin declaring that town’s annual grants to St. Paul Catholic School illegal. You can read about it here.

 

The town of Berlin has been issuing these grants for 30 years. In that time the grants have paid for a counselor, remedial reading teacher, psychologist, speech therapist , a medical supervisor, supplies, printing telephone bills and clerical services. It’s money well spent, considering that if the school closed down, the town would have to educate those students at a greater cost than the grants.

 

But the CCLU declares the arrangement illegal based on it’s belief that the town can’t guarantee that “public” money isn’t being spent on religious programs. In the CCLU’s worldview, that would be a terrible thing. But that explicit sex-ed program being taught to the kids in Bristol? Well, that’s just fine with them.

 

These are, of course, the same people who can’t understand why they lost an election over something called “moral values.”

Posted at 10:56 AM

 

November 10 

 

THEY’RE TEACHING WHAT IN BRISTOL?! [Brian Brown]

Larry Cohen is a great writer and his latest column is no exception. But the pro-family community in our state should pay particular attention to his second-to-last paragraph:

The Holyoke story may sound familiar to parents in Bristol, Conn., who earlier this year were amazed to learn that the middle school life skills course included rather detailed information on oral and anal sex. Who has time for long division?

 The local newspapers would have us believe that the people of Connecticut don’t care about moral issues. If the sex-ed curriculums in Bristol—or just over the border in Holyoke—were front page news in the Courant, you can be darn sure it would generate a response that would leave no doubt about our state’s concern for morality.

 

The fact is, the state media pick and choose what they think people should care about by deciding what does and does not get coverage and how much attention should go to what they do cover. Most people would not know what’s happening in Bristol if Cohen had not mentioned it in passing.

 

But it ought to be front page news. Similar programs could be—or are being—enacted by other boards of education across our state because the people are being kept in the dark.

 

Last summer, FIC helped organize a campaign against a homoerotic, anti-Catholic play being put on by the town of Cheshire. We responded because alert citizens in Cheshire told us about it. When we know of similar happenings around the state, we will respond. And we once again ask the media to do a better job of reporting on these outrages.

Posted at 12:05 PM  

 

THEY SHOULD HAVE ASKED STAN SIMPSON [Brian Brown]

Here is the second Stan Simpson column in less than a week to deal sympathetically with the concerns of pro-family African-Americans. Simpson is one of the best columnists at the Courant and I hope his colleagues are paying close attention to what he has to say.

 

In every interview I give, I have repeatedly stressed the broad range of support for our multicultural, ecumenical pro-family movement. Many of our opponents refused to believe it. Maybe they’ll believe it now.

Posted at 11:37 AM

 

“NOBODY ASKED CONNECTICUT VOTERS ABOUT MORAL VALUES” [Brian Brown]

Further proof that the recent election of pro-same sex “marriage” candidates in Connecticut does not reflect our state’s pro-family majority arrives today, courtesy of the Republican-American. It seems state voters were not asked about moral issues “largely because Connecticut was considered a decidedly pro-Kerry state and was not voting on controversial issues, such as gay marriage." [emphasis added]

Oregon, another “decidedly pro-Kerry state” nonetheless voted in favor of a Defense of Marriage Amendment (DOMA) to its state constitution this month. In fact, that amendment passed in all 13 states where it was on the ballot this year.

 If the pro-family citizens of Connecticut—both Democrat and Republican—are ever to see their values permanently protected, we need a vote on amending a DOMA to our own state constitution.

Posted at 11:15 AM

 

WHY NOW? [Brian Brown]

According to an Associated Press (AP) article in our local papers today, “Scientists report no evidence for abortion-cancer warning, [women] are wrongly told it could hike breast cancer risk.”

The AP is concerned that in some states the law requires that women considering abortion be informed that it “could” increase their risk of breast cancer “despite scientific evidence to the contrary.” Later on, the reporter grudgingly acknowledges that there are studies that “suggested” a link and that the women are told the issue “needs further study.”

Never mind that the AP skews it’s reporting in a pro-abortion direction. We’re used to that. What I wanted to know as I read this article is: what new development in the last 24 hours—or even the last week—caused the AP to suddenly publish an article on informed consent laws in today’s newspaper? The answer is: nothing. The “hook” for writing the article is the negative verdict on an abortion/breast cancer link issued by the National Cancer Institute “more than a year ago.”

Ah, but there was a new development last week. President Bush was re-elected on a pro-life platform. As a result, expect even more of this pro-abortion-propaganda-pretending-to-be-neutral-reporting from the Mainstream Media (MSM) as in the next four years.

Meanwhile, to find out what the MSM is not telling you about the abortion/breast cancer link, click here.

Posted at 10:43 AM

November 9

IT'S THE VALUES, STUPID [Ken Von Kohorn]

Gersh Kuntzman writes in Newsweek that he cannot understand why this year the Democratic Party was not perceived as the party of values.  One of his thought-provoking questions:  "If abortion is such a big issue to these moral value folks, why don't they support gay marriages — the only abortion-free relationships?"

 

Governor Janet Napolitano (D-Arizona) is also confused.  She asks, "How did a party that is filled with people with values – and I am a person with values – get tagged as the party without values?"

 

Luckily for Kuntzman, Napolitano and other confused onlookers, Dennis Prager has solved the mystery.  Surprisingly, it seems to have had something to do with the party's embrace of the Hollywood left, including the paragon of American values, Michael Moore.   After one Bush-bashing evening filled with obscenities, Senator Kerry remarked that "these people are the heart and soul of America."

 

That last comment alone should have cleared things up for Kuntzman and Napolitano without the assistance of Dennis Prager.

Posted at 1:45 PM

 

NOT EXACTLY “COSMO” [Brian Brown]

This is from “Today’s Woman,” a section that appears every Tuesday in the Waterbury Republican-American. Anne Hendershott, a University of San Diego sociology professor and Waterbury native, has published a new book, The Politics of Deviance.

Filling in for Brad Davis this morning, local radio host Dan Lovallo wondered aloud why “women’s organizations” like N.O.W. are silent about the exploitation of women on network TV. But Hendershott argues persuasively that groups like N.O.W. helped cause the problem.

Her thesis is that society’s celebration of behavior it once stigmatized—and its subsequent loss of a moral foundation—is directly attributable to the P.R. efforts of left-wing advocacy groups. Not surprisingly, the head of Love Makes A Family is quoted in opposition to Hendershott.

But Hendershott’s concern that we are headed toward “a social anarchy of sorts” is well founded. The (Bridgeport) CT Post’s Web site carries not one, not two, but SIX articles regarding sexual crimes, mostly against children. And that is just today’s local/regional section.

 I would have missed the Hendershott article if the wife of a friend hadn’t mentioned it. “Today’s Woman” is not part of my normal Tuesday regimen. But it’s good to know that the female readership of the Republican-American have available to them something better than the garbage found in most “women’s magazines.” Can you imagine Anne Hendershott’s book receiving fair treatment in, say, Cosmopolitan?

Posted at 10:12 AM; Updated at 3:12 PM

 

November 8

 

“Homophobia?” How About “Christophobia?” [Brian Brown]

This letter appeared in the Sunday Courant:

 

Church Is No Place For Votes

I have voted in many elections, but this election year astonished me.
The school where I was to cast my vote is under renovation and could not be used as a voting center. I received a postcard from the Wethersfield registrar of voters notifying me that my polling place had been changed to the Church of the Incarnation on Prospect Street. This totally astounded me.
In all my years, I have never heard of using a religious institution as a voting place. Whatever happened to the separation between church and state? Are there no available municipal buildings, senior centers or firehouses in all of Wethersfield that could have been utilized?
On the days leading up to the election I noticed The Courant contained listings of designated voting places. Churches were listed for a number of towns. I find this practice to be totally out of line in this country, let alone this state.
A friend told me I was overreacting because I would be casting my votes in the church hall, not the actual church. Well, little did I know that I would be greeted by a cross that stands 30- to 50-feet-high just outside the hall's entrance. Overreacting? I don't think so.

Daniel F. Duggan
Wethersfield

 

 ...”and it’s not just because I’m a vampire!” Seriously, Mr. Duggan, lighten up. A Christian church is as legitimate a polling place as any other, despite the bigotry it may provoke in some.

 Posted at 9:50 AM

 

“It Would Be A Mistake To Think It Was Just Conservatives Who Opposed Gay Marriage.”

 Seems the Courant’s editors should have consulted their own columnist, Stan Simpson, before writing off the protection of marriage as “yesterday’s wars.”

Posted at 9:36 AM

 

November 4

 

Getting Back To The “Real Issues” [Brian Brown]

The mayor of Hartford has an important op-ed in the Courant today on how “Kerry Lost The Values Vote.” His conclusion is that “to regain status as the national majority party, [Democrats] must be willing to embrace those for whom faith in God is a key component of civic participation.”

Yes, but let’s spell it out explicitly. If they want to “embrace those for whom faith in God is a key component of civic participation,” politicians—of both parties—have to drop their support for abortion and same-sex “marriage.” Doing so shouldn’t be a problem for them, since these are just “distractions from the real issues,” right?

Posted at 4:35 PM

 

Courant Wisdom Undone [Brian Brown]

Speaking of which, the Courant has a wonderful lead editorial today on common predictions that didn’t come true. The editors list the prediction and then describe what happened instead. Here’s my favorite one: 

 

“Pocketbook issues, not moral values, will make the biggest difference.

Many voters who rewarded Mr. Bush with a second term seemed more alarmed by what they perceive to be the erosion of family values.”

 

Don’t you just love that “what they perceive to be” part?

Posted at 4:17 PM

 

 Unexpected By Whom? [Brian Brown]

 

So President Bush gets re-elected on the moral issues. The Courant’s headline? “AN UNEXPECTED MORAL VICTORY.” Only to those clueless enough to write off the effort to preserve morality as “yesterday’s wars,” guys.

Posted at 4:10 PM

October 29 

See What Happens When You Forget To Read The Courant?  [Brian Brown]

The Courant may think that Connecticut cares less about the right to life than states in the mid-west do. The editors measure local voter concerns by what “garners bigger headlines” in their own paper, after all.

They should think again.

According to a front page piece in the Republican-American, a dozen Waterbury-area Catholic priests are publishing a four-column ad in tomorrow’s paper “that spells out for Catholic voters the church’s position on abortion and four other ‘non-negotiable’ issues.”

Someone forgot to tell these priests they were fighting “yesterday’s” war. Thank goodness.

 Posted at 3:21 PM

 

“Yesterday’s” War? Or Future Victories? [Brian Brown]

The Courant’s front page today carries an article on the “pivotal” role religion may play in the swing states on election day. I’m sure it will. But a closer look at the article reveals something else.

It’s abortion that will play a pivotal role in the election. Specifically, it’s President Bush’s pro-life position that may put him over the top. 

Interesting news from the paper that just last Sunday advised the President to drop his opposition to abortion. What was that again about “yesterday’s wars?”

Posted at 3:01 PM 

 

“Low” On Who’s List? [Brian Brown]

A headline in the Courant today says “Same-Sex Marriage Low on Voters’ List.” How does the Courant know this? Because other issues “have all garnered bigger headlines in Connecticut.” In other words, same-sex “marriage” is not important to voters because the Courant says so. And oh yes, a pro-same sex “marriage” activist in Washington and a professor in Rhode Island say so, too.

The Courant could not be more wrong. As today’s Waterbury Republican-American more accurately reports, “Election may hinge on same-sex marriage:”

“Four of the states with marriage amendments on the ballot are presidential battleground states, led by potentially decisive Ohio. The issue could tip results in Michigan, Arkansas and Oregon by energizing Republican-leaning Christian evangelicals and other social conservatives.”

Despite its headline and lead paragraphs, the truth eventually emerges even in the Courant piece:

"Advocates on both sides of the issue, however, are preparing for a bitter debate once the [Connecticut] General Assembly reconvenes early in 2005.

It’s a crucial issue, whether the candidates want it to be or not,’ said Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and a leading opponent of gay marriage. Brown blames the media for failing to press politicians about where they stand on the question.

We’re getting calls every day from people wanting to know which candidates are pro-marriage,’ he said.”

Anne Stanback of the pro-same sex “marriage” lobby “Love Makes A Family” allows that the issue will become “more visible once the session starts.” Of course she’d prefer that it be less visible now, when voters have their say.

The # 1 proponent of same-sex “marriage,” Rep. Mike Lawlor, adds “I don’t think people care that much.” But:  

Brown...pointed to polls conducted on behalf of [FIC ACTION COMMITTEE] that show 67 percent of Lawlor’s constituents oppose same-sex marriage.”

The attempt by radical activists to destroy marriage may be “low” on the Courant’s list of priorities. But to the rest of us, nothing could be more urgent.  

Posted at 12:34 PM

October 28, 2004

FIC ACTION COMMITTEE Under Attack [Brian Brown]

 John K. Currie, a West Hartford member of “Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays” (PFLAG), has filed a bogus complaint against  FIC ACTION COMMITTEE. You can read the New Haven Register article about Currie’s complaint here (link requires registration).

These are the key excerpts:

“The group’s treasurer, Brian S. Brown, who is executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, a separate tax-exempt group, said Currie need not worry.

“Currie’s complaint is ‘totally baseless and I look forward to the elections commission finding that it’s baseless, because we’ve already worked through all this’ and ‘we’ve been in constant contact with the Elections Enforcement Commission,’ Brown said...

“[Brown] said the payments Currie says appear to be payments to itself actually are payments from the FIC Action Committee to a third organization, Family Institute of Connecticut Action Inc., a lobbying organization.”

Posted at 11:45 AM

 

October 27

 

Church Teachings Mandate Kerry Vote? [Brian Brown]

The UCC is not the only church in Connecticut with a few adherents who hold bizarre interpretations of faith and morals. Consider Kathy Grace, a Catholic from Beacon Falls, whose letter in today’s Waterbury Republican-American is titled “Church teachings mandate Kerry vote.”

What I find interesting is not Grace’s choice for president. It’s her claim that, precisely because of Catholic Social Teaching, she has “a moral obligation” to vote for John Kerry.

According to Grace, because the U.S. bishops are “emphatically multi-issue,” other issues—“peace and disarmament, structures that favor people over profit, care for the environment, and better options for the poor”—must be weighed equally with abortion.

There’s just one problem. The Catholic Church does not actually teach what Kathy Grace says it teaches.

Last summer Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote the memorandum “Worthiness to Receive Communion” to the archbishop of Washington, D.C. In it, Ratzinger writes “When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

But as Catholic teaching makes clear, none of the issues mentioned by Kathy Grace are “proportionate” to the slaughter of 1.5 million unborn babies every year. In “Worthiness” Ratzinger specifically states that other issues do not have “the same moral weight” as abortion and euthanasia. The U.S. bishops’ documents stress the defense of life as the foundation of all human rights. And in his 1995 encyclical “The Gospel of Life” Pope John II writes, regarding a law permitting abortion, that it is “never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it.”

Good people can and do disagree about politics. But the claim that Catholic Social Teaching mandates a “moral obligation” to vote for John Kerry is simply false. 

Posted at 3:55 PM

 

October 26

 

And the “U” in UCC Stands For...? [Brian Brown]

 Mark Azzara is the best religion reporter in Connecticut’s secular press and the Waterbury Republican-American is lucky to have him. In “United Church of Christ an increasingly divided denomination”—a story on Page D1 last Thursday—Azarra breaks from the media pack to tell us what’s really going on inside the UCC:

 

“The United Church of Christ may need to reword its logo,” Azarra writes, “especially the phrase ‘That they may be one,’ because that’s increasingly not the case. Winsted Church of Christ recently voted to leave the denomination. Sherman Congregational Church and First Church in Wethersfield are gone, too.

 

“Torrington’s First Congregational Church voted last year to cover up or erase all reference to the denomination from the parish’s signs and letterhead.”

 

What’s causing good Congregationalists to blush at the mention of their denomination? A recent vote by its state convention stating that opposition to same-sex “marriage” amounts to “an unwarranted act of exclusion” and that the UCC should “communicate” this new faith to legislators.

 

Our hearts go out to our pro-family friends within the UCC, who continue to fight this nonsense. Pro-same sex “marriage” activists knew this vote would drive orthodox Christians out of the UCC and they did it anyway. Funny how those who complain the most about “unwarranted acts of exclusion” are the ones committing them.

Posted at 9:00 AM

 

“Yesterday’s Wars”? [Brian Brown]

 The Sunday Courant offered a few surprises for state liberals. The most obvious, of course, was the paper’s endorsement of President Bush for re-election. As if to soothe the blow, the Courant offered this advice for a second Bush term:

 

“For the sake of uniting the country, say no to fundamentalists who want to impose their brand of theology on social issues. These crusades range from relentless attacks to restrict women’s reproductive rights to opposing federal funding of promising embryonic stem-cell research to fighting for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Those are yesterday’s wars.”

 

We’re sure our liberal friends caught the Courant’s other surprise. After all, it was only buried in the 47th paragraph of a 59 paragraph article. In a front page piece on the Latino head of the Connecticut Young Republicans, Helen Ubinas eventually gets around to mentioning this:

 

“Polls also suggest that a majority of Hispanic voters, young and old, are more likely to share Republican views on controversial issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.”

 

Which causes us to ask two questions:

 

1)      Do Hispanics know that the Hartford Courant considers them to be “fundamentalists who want to impose their brand of theology” on the nation? And

2)      If the fastest growing segment of our population supports the right to life and the protection of marriage, how could these possibly be “yesterday’s wars?”

Po Posted at 9:46 AM

 

A Morning With The “Tolerant”  [Brian Brown]

 KC 101 did eventually perform a same-sex “wedding” in East Haven. Here’s the story.

 

The Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee (FICAC)—a legally separate entity—bought three billboards in the town of East Haven. Two say “Protect Marriage: Vote McCann” and the third says “A Vote for Mike Lawlor is a Vote for Same-Sex ‘Marriage’...Period.” Mike Lawlor, East Haven’s state representative, is—in the words of the CCLU—the “major champion” of the pro-same sex “marriage” lobby at our state legislature.

 

Last Thursday, the New Haven Register ran an article on the “controversy” sparked by the billboards. In it, Lawlor describes himself as someone who “favors some sort of government recognition of same-sex relationships, whether through civil unions or gay marriages.” Of course, Lawlor’s not just another pro-same sex “marriage” legislator—he’s the man most responsible for forcing the issue on the public.

 

KC 101 eventually found a lesbian couple whose “wedding” was performed Friday by morning DJ Vinnie Penn beneath the FICAC billboards. A small crowd was present representing both sides. Here’s an excerpt from the Oct. 23 Register:

 

“So, as the women said their on-the-air vows, one man kept up a constant patter loud enough for the radio audience to hear.

 

“This is ugly! This is sin! It’s not good!” said the man, who would not give his name.

 

“Why don’t you go tell it to a rock!’ yelled a female supporter, who said she was a 20-year old East Havener but did not want to divulge her name because her parents didn’t know she was there.”

 

I was there. The Register’s article doesn’t begin to cover what actually happened in this exchange.

 

After describing the same-sex “wedding” as a sin the man, an African-American with a thick accent, went on to say “You’re too brilliant for this. You’re too intelligent for this. Please don’t do this. It’s not good for America.” To which the 20-year old responded, “I was born in America. Where the **** are you from?”

 

The man was unfazed. “It’s against God,” he said. “That’s your God,” the girl responded, as she took a wiccan symbol that she wore around her neck and waved it at him. “I have a 3.9 GPA at Southern [Connecticut State University],” she added, for no apparent reason.

 

Other same-sex “marriage” supporters followed her lead. One woman asked the man if he was on welfare. Others asked him if he was himself a homosexual. 

 

Having now attended several rallies, counter-rallies and “guerrilla theater” of the sort hosted by KC 101 on Friday, there are two things I can always count on:

 

1)      Those who claim for themselves the mantle of “tolerance” are often the least tolerant people you will ever meet. And

2)      The local media will do it’s best to make sure that you never know it.

Po Posted at 11:25 AM

 

October 24, 2004

 

Heard on Imus This Morning [Brian Brown]

“Some distressing news about the city’s youth according to a new survey,” said Charles McCord  this morning. “One in four students reported not using a condom when they have sex.”

 

What’s even more distressing is that our media finds nothing else distressing about that factoid. As Christian blogger Mark Shea often says, “Show me a culture that denigrates virginity and I’ll show you a culture that hates children.” 

Posted at 10:30 am

 

October 23, 2004

 

KC 101 Proves Our Point  [Brian Brown]

FIC Action Committee has purchased three billboards in East Haven to help the opponent of pro-same sex marriage Rep. Michael Lawlor. Two of them say “Protect Marriage: Vote Dan McCann.” The last one is more blunt: “A Vote For Michael Lawlor is a Vote for Same-Sex Marriage.”

 

That didn’t go over well with KC 101, a local radio station. Yesterday, their morning DJs said they would retaliate by performing same-sex “marriages” underneath the billboards—and on Dan McCann’s  front lawn.

 

But today they admitted that they’ve run into a little problem. It seems they can’t find any local homosexuals who want to get “married.”

 

Which only goes to prove our point. The pro-same sex “marriage” agenda is being pushed by a small minority of radicals bent on imposing their anti-family views on the rest of us. Most people don’t want this. Even many homosexuals don’t want this. 

Posted at 10:45 am

 

October 22, 2004

 

I Wed Thee...and Thee...and Thee [Brian Brown]

If Susan Campbell wants to understand why opposition to same-sex “marriage” is anything but silly, she should check out Monday’s Wall Street Journal. In it, Kay Hymowitz discusses a recent op-ed by Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley.

 

Turley argues in favor of legalizing polygamous marriage.  He believes that it follows logically from the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which invented a constitutional right to sodomy. Since Lawrence “recognized the constitutional right to engage in any form of consensual sexual relation”  the 1878 decision upholding a ban on polygamy is, in Turley’s view, no longer valid.  

 

And so it is that the slippery slope from same-sex marriage to polygamy is becoming a reality. In Bronson v. Swenson a “Utah threesome” have already filed suit because they were denied a marriage license. Here in Connecticut same-sex couples have sued for the “right” to be “married.” If they win, how long will it be before our state faces its own Bronson case?

 

Pro-same sex “marriage” activists who sincerely believed their quest would not result in legalized polygamy should reconsider before it’s too late.

Posted at 10:00 am

 

October 21, 2004

 

The Gates of Full Human Potential? [Brian Brown]

Ok, so Courant columnist Susan Campbell can’t tell the difference between a doctrinal dispute and “where homosexuals can sit at the table” or a public policy debate and “who gets to walk all the way to the throne of God” (see previous post).

 But the Courant must have a pretty high regard for marriage if its columnist accuses opponents of same-sex “marriage” of wanting to keep homosexuals “outside the gates of full human potential,” right?

 

Well, not quite. You see, the Courant only trots out a lofty view of marriage when it’s talking about “marriage” between homosexuals. For the rest of us, the Courant provides articles like, “What’s A Little Phone Sex Between Consenting Adults?”

 

In its advocacy for same-sex “marriage” the Courant sings the praises of monogamy and commitment and deplores what it sees as homosexuals’ legal exclusion from these goods. But monogamy is not on the agenda in this remarkably judgment-free article:

 

“Many others use commercial phone sex and Internet sex-talk services. Such businesses are highly lucrative worldwide, at least for the folks who own them, if not for the women they hire to do the talking. Alternative newspapers typically run back-of-the-book ads for "hot phone sex" and "naughty local girls [who] want to get nasty with you." Sexually oriented spam e-mails offering sex talk and videos litter the Internet. And there also are numerous, heavily used sites offering free chat rooms where sex in all its variants is topic A through topic Z.”

The article gets worse:  

 

“For those who simply want a quick way to reach orgasm, it eliminates spending time and money on a date that may not lead to the desired result.”

 

Remember this the next time the Courant tells its readers how highly it values “committed relationships.”

 

 Click here for the full, nauseating article.

Posted at 7:33 am

 

October 20, 2004

 

“Real” Christian Compassion and Real Dishonest Reporting  [Brian Brown]

Thanks to “blogging,” non-journalists finally have an opportunity to correct the distorted view of the world that has been spoon-fed to us by the liberal media for years. In pursuing that noble task there can hardly be a more target-rich environment than the columnists of the Hartford Courant.

 

Take Susan Campbell, for instance. A cheerleader for same-sex “marriage,” her columns on the topic are so devoid of evenhandedness—never mind logic—that one can’t help but wonder if she does more harm than good for the cause she espouses. Today’s column was no exception.

 

In “Real Christian Compassion” Campbell asserts the United Church of Christ (UCC) Connecticut Conference’s recent vote to support same-sex “marriage” was a “victory for God’s people.” Really? Then whose people are pro-family Christians? How is it that the same activists who falsely accuse us of bigotry and exclusivity can so casually engage in the very rhetoric they claim to deplore? Imagine what Campbell’s reaction would be if I gave a quote to the media describing a pro-family victory as a “victory for God’s people.”

 

Campbell writes that the vote comes at an “ugly time when ‘gay’ equals ‘sinner.’”  Actually, Christians believe that “human” equals “sinner.” The effort by pro-same sex “marriage” activists to paint the pro-family movement as motivated by an animus toward homosexuals is deeply dishonest.   

 

Because we oppose same-sex "marriage," Campbell claims, we are trying to keep people “outside the gates of full human potential.” Opposition to homosexual activity in the Episcopal Church means we are “wrestling with where homosexuals can sit at the table.” We should not oppose same-sex “marriage” because “choosing who gets to walk all the way to the throne of God would be God’s job, not ours.” And our concern over the issue is “silly” because our focus should be on “the indecency of poverty.”

 

This is all utter nonsense. If Campbell believes the issue is less important than helping the poor then she should encourage her friends at Love Makes a Family to close down their operation and open a soup kitchen. Better yet, they could volunteer at one of the many run by pro-family Catholics or evangelicals.

Posted at 9:21 am

 

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