Thursday, October 31, 2013

My talk at Man-up’s October meeting

I had a wonderful time with the guys from Man-up on the 24th at their monthly meeting at St. Pius parish in Urbandale.  I was honored to be the featured speaker that evening.  The event was taped and below is my address.  The Man-up crew posted it in two sections and that is how I am posting it here.  If you have the time, listen and take note.  I welcome your comments either here or at my e-mail:

Part 1:

Part  2:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Faith on Trial for Tuesday …

Michael Donnelly 
We have another interesting program planned.  First up is Dana Cody, president and chief legal counsel for Life Legal Defense Foundation.  By my count this will be Dana’s third guest appearance with us and she will be discussing some of the new abortion laws in California that allow non-physicians to perform abortions in that state.  Time allowing, she will tell us about a very strong young lady who was enrolled as a surgical technician student and balked at assisting with abortions, a decision that almost got her terminated from the program. 
Dana Cody

After Dana we will have a first-time guest, Michael Donnelly, staff attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association.  Michael and the Association represent a German family that came to the United States to home school their children – to instill in them Christian values – because home schooling is illegal in Germany.  Initially granted asylum, the Obama Administration has balked and is now trying to deport the family and that case is headed to the Supreme Court.  Join us Tuesday at 9 a.m. (Central) or on our rebroadcast at 9 p.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming live at

Friday, October 25, 2013

From the ‘Wonder why we are losing department:’ Georgetown law class required to work for pro-abortion lobby

A class at Georgetown University’s law school scheduled for next semester will have students working with a pro-abortion rights advocacy organization, taught by that organization’s senior counsel, Kelli Garcia.  Garcia, a radical pro-abortion rights lawyer, wrote the poem titled, “Planned Parenthood, Why Do I Love Thee?” in 2011.  The poem was part of a larger effort by Garcia and her group to halt the potential defunding of Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion provider. 

The Georgetown law class, titled Regulatory Advocacy: Women and the Affordable Care Act, will have students working with the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), “to develop projects that will assist in the organization's regulatory advocacy efforts.” Students will also have the opportunity to participate in strategy meetings and conference calls between NWLC and partnering organizations.
Read the entire story here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A married mom and dad really do matter: Evidence from Canada

by Mark Regnerus 

A new academic study based on the Canadian census suggests that a married mom and dad matter for children. Children of same-sex coupled households do not fare as well.

There is a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children's flourishing. A study published last week in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household--analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample--reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.

Unlike US-based studies, this one evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.

While in the US Census same-sex households have to be guessed at based on the gender and number of self-reported heads-of-household, young adults in the Canadian census were asked, "Are you the child of a male or female same-sex married or common law couple?" While study author and economist Douglas Allen noted that very many children in Canada who live with a gay or lesbian parent are actually living with a single mother--a finding consonant with that detected in the 2012 New Family Structures Study--he was able to isolate and analyze hundreds of children living with a gay or lesbian couple (either married or in a "common law" relationship akin to cohabitation).

So the study is able to compare--side by side--the young-adult children of same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, as well as children growing up in single-parent homes and other types of households. Three key findings stood out to Allen:

children of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes.

Employing regression models and series of control variables, Allen concludes that the substandard performance cannot be attributed to lower school attendance or the more modest education of gay or lesbian parents. Indeed, same-sex parents were characterized by higher levels of education, and their children were more likely to be enrolled in school than even those of married, opposite-sex couples. And yet their children are notably more likely to lag in finishing their own schooling.

The same is true of the young-adult children of common law parents, as well as single mothers and single fathers, highlighting how little--when you lean on large, high-quality samples--the data have actually changed over the past few decades. The intact, married mother-and-father household remains the gold standard for children's progress through school. What is surprising in the Canadian data is the revelation that lesbian couples' children fared worse, on average, than even those of single parents.

The truly unique aspect of Allen's study, however, may be its ability to distinguish gender-specific effects of same-sex households on children. He writes:

the particular gender mix of a same-sex household has a dramatic difference in the association with child graduation. Consider the case of girls. . . . Regardless of the controls and whether or not girls are currently living in a gay or lesbian household, the odds of graduating from high school are considerably lower than any other household type. Indeed, girls living in gay households are only 15 percent as likely to graduate compared to girls from opposite sex married homes.

Thus although the children of same-sex couples fare worse overall, the disparity is unequally shared, but is instead based on the combination of the gender of child and gender of parents. Boys fare better--that is, they're more likely to have finished high school--in gay households than in lesbian households. For girls, the opposite is true. Thus the study undermines not only claims about "no differences" but also assertions that moms and dads are interchangeable. They're not.

Every study has its limitations, and this one does too. It is unable to track the household history of children. Nor is it able to establish the circumstances of the birth of the children whose education is evaluated--that is, were they the product of a heterosexual union, adopted, or born via surrogate or assisted reproductive technology? Finally, the census did not distinguish between married and common law gay and lesbian couples. But couples they are.

Indeed, its limitations are modest in comparison to its remarkable and unique strengths--a rigorous and thorough analysis of a massive, nationally-representative dataset from a country whose government has long affirmed same-sex couples and parenting. It is as close to an ideal test as we've seen yet.

The study's publication continues the emergence of new, population-based research in this domain, much of which has undermined scholarly and popular claims about equivalence between same-sex and opposite-sex households echoed by activists and reflected in recent legal proceedings about same-sex marriage.

Might the American Psychological Association and American Sociological Association have been too confident and quick to declare "no differences" in such a new arena of study, one marked by the consistent reliance upon small or nonrandom "convenience" samples? Perhaps. Maybe a married mom and dad do matter, after all.

Mark Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.

This article originally appeared in Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, NJ, it is reprinted with permission.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Faith on Trial broadcast resumes LIVE Tuesday

We’re back, broadcasting LIVE starting Tuesday morning at 9.  On tap for our first live show is Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute on problems with the transgendered bathroom rules.  Several states and localities have ordinances that allow students to use the school rest room or shower facilities of the gender they “feel” they are.  This is causing some problems, as you can well imagine, and in one case high school girls are being harassed by a boy in their own bathrooms.  Unfortunately for the girls, their parents’ complaint was dismissed by the local school which said the boy’s rights as a transgender trump their daughters’ privacy rights.

Following Brad we will have local attorney Frank Harty and Becket Fund Attorney Eric Baxter about a local case.  A Mennonite family in Grimes, Iowa is being investigated by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission because they refuse to allow their property to be used for a same-sex wedding ceremony.  The family is not taking this laying down, they have filed a suit against the Civil Rights Commission challenging its right to infringe on their deeply held religious beliefs.
Tune in Tuesday at 9 a.m. or listen to the re-broadcast at 9 p.m. on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming live on  Times listed are Central.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thomas More Law Center files lawsuit after government closes Catholic services on Georgia naval base

In the wake of the government shutdown, despite provisions in the Pay Our Military Act, Catholics at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia are being denied religious services. The Catholic priest who serves this community has been prohibited from even volunteering to celebrate Holy Mass without pay, and was told that if he violated that order, he could be subject to arrest. Protestant services continue to take place.  Only Catholic services have been shutdown.

This is an astonishing attack on religious freedom by the federal government, and the latest affront towards the military since the beginning of the shutdown. As a result, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, today, filed a federal lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Father Ray Leonard, a Catholic priest contracted to serve as base chaplain and Fred Naylor, one of Father Leonard’s parishioners and a retired veteran with over 22 years of service. Fr. Leonard is a civilian Catholic Pastor contracted by the Department of Defense (DoD) to serve as a military chaplain at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia.

Fr. Leonard who served Tibetan populations in China for 10 years, informed the court in an affidavit; “In China, I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in China. I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do, and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community.”

On October 4, 2013, Fr. Leonard was ordered to stop performing all of his duties as the base’s Catholic Chaplain, even on a voluntary basis. He was also told that he could be arrested if he violated that order. The approximately 300 Catholic families, including Fred Naylor’s, served by Fr. Leonard at Kings Bay have been unable to attend Mass on base since the beginning of the shutdown.

Additionally, Fr. Leonard was locked out of his on-base office and the chapel. Fr. Leonard was also denied access to the Holy Eucharist and other articles of his Catholic faith. The order has caused the cancellation of daily and weekend mass, confession, marriage preparation classes and baptisms as well as prevented Fr. Leonard from providing the spiritual guidance he was called by his faith to provide.

The submarine base is remotely located.  It consists of roughly 16,000 acres, with 4,000 acres comprised of protected wetlands.  There are approximately 10,000 total people on the base.

A Catholic Church is located off base in the town of St. Mary’s.  However, many of the parishioners both live and work on base and do not own a car and cannot otherwise access transportation.  Therefore a sixteen (16) mile journey to and from the off-base church is simply not possible.  Moreover, many of the sailors have an extremely limited amount of time off.  With their time highly regimented, they are not given a long enough break time for this exceptionally long walk and the Mass service.

Defendants in the lawsuit are the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Department of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Department of the Navy, Ray Mabus. 

Currently, about 25% of the US Armed Forces is Catholic and due to a shortage of active duty Catholic Priests, the DoD contracts Catholic Priests to provide religious services, sacraments and support for other religious practices for military base communities. Catholic Priests serve the Military Archdiocese.

For active duty service members, on base religious services are extremely important given issues associated with off base transportation, extremely limited time off and the highly scheduled lifestyle of active military duty. Additionally, as service members tend to have high rates of divorce, depression and suicide, the need for readily available spiritual encouragement and guidance is critical.

The Pay Our Military Act, which was enacted before the beginning of the government shutdown, provides provisions for the funding of employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale and well-being of the military. The government has previously been criticized for interpreting the Act to not include military death benefits. Now, in yet another bizarre interpretation of the Act, some chaplains are not considered covered by these provisions, leaving Catholic members of some military facilities without spiritual guidance. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Catholic League: Senate must act on military priests bill

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League commented on the absence of priests on military installations:

"There are not enough priests in the military to service all Catholics, which is why the government contracts with members of the clergy to celebrate Mass, baptize children, and the like. But last weekend, many Catholic men and women in the armed forces were denied their constitutional right to practice their religion: non-active duty priests who are hired as government contractors were furloughed due to the partial government shutdown.
"The inter-party battles between Republicans and Democrats are of no particular interest to the Catholic League, but the denial of First Amendment rights are. There is absolutely no excuse to deny Catholic members of the armed forces access to their clergy. Worse, the very idea that a non-active duty priest who volunteers to say Mass may be arrested is shocking: this is the kind of thing we would expect from totalitarian regimes.
"While both parties are to blame for the shutdown, it is the Obama administration that has decided to war on the civil liberties of Catholics; it has had plenty of practice. It is one thing to deny services that carry no constitutional weight, quite another to censor the First Amendment.

"A resolution was passed in the House on Saturday calling on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to allow these priests to resume their duties. The Senate has thus far done nothing.

"Catholics are urged to ask their senators, and Secretary Hagel, to end this disgraceful assault on the constitutional rights of Catholics immediately."

Contact Department of Defense Press Office:

Legal briefs of interest: Supreme Court denies free speech rights by Christian employee, student; Washington judge admonished for refusing to perform “same-sex marriage”

The Supreme Court has denied a request by a former University of Toledo employee who wrote an op-ed column expressing her views against same-sex marriage. The court ruled that the former employee’s First Amendment rights were not violated by the University.

The high court also refused to review a free speech claim by a middle school student, co-president of the student council who was not allowed to close a school assembly with a blessing for her classmates.
And in the State of Washington, the state’s commission on judicial conduct has reprimanded a state trial court judge who stated that he would not perform so-called same sex marriages. The commission cited the judicial code of conduct which says judges are “to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety by acting at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in their independence, integrity and impartiality.”

Sgt. Monk cleared by Air Force after lesbian’s complaint over “same-sex marriage”

Last month we reported on the complaint against Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk that was filed by his lesbian commander because he disagreed with her over so-called same-sex marriage.  At the time Monk was relieved of his assignment and placed under investigation by Air Force authorities.

We interviewed Sgt. Monk’s attorney, Mike Berry of Liberty Institute, and his pastor, Steve Branson of Village Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, on Faith on Trial on successive weeks.
Today, we received word from Pastor Branson that Sgt. Monk has been cleared of all charges and his military record will be cleared of any negative information.  Pastor Branson also reports that Sgt. Monk and his family are on their way to Washington, D.C., to speak at a convention sponsored by the Family Research Council.

Thank God for good news on this front; and a big thank-you to Mike Berry, Liberty Institute, and Pastor Steve Branson for all their efforts in this matter.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Saving Our Locker Rooms

by Brandon McGinley 

We need to offer cogent, rational arguments against non-discrimination laws that would de-segregate single-sex personal facilities.

California Governor Jerry Brown recently garnered headlines for signing a bill requiring all public schools to permit students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and other personal facilities that correspond with their "gender identity." The purpose of the law is to ensure that transgender Californians can use facilities corresponding to the sex they perceive themselves to be, rather than the one they appear to be.

Conservatives must resist two temptations in considering this development.  First, we can't dismiss the bathroom bill as a ridiculous "Left Coast" idiosyncrasy concocted by "Governor Moonbeam" and his crazy cabal of unreconstructed hippies. Second, we cannot and ought not assume that we can rely on disgust, discomfort, or any other visceral reaction to carry the day in opposing such progressive legislative innovations. Efforts to remove gender distinctions from public facilities are national and serious, and should be treated as such.

The Supreme Court of Maine is considering whether, under the state's new gender identity non-discrimination law, a fifth-grade boy who identifies as a girl can be permitted to use a staff restroom but not the girls' restroom. In Colorado, state courts have already ruled that a six-year-old boy who identifies as a girl must be permitted to use girls' facilities. And in Washington state, a state college says it is powerless to prohibit a 45-year-old man who identifies as a woman to parade around locker rooms used by young girls' swim teams because, per a spokeswoman, "gender identity is one of the protected things in discrimination law in this state."

In my home state of Pennsylvania, official legal guidance published by the city of Philadelphia on its gender identity ordinance declares that discomfort with sharing personal facilities with those of the opposite biological sex stems from "unsubstantiated fears and discriminatory attitudes" that employers are bound by law to attempt to "eliminate." And legislators from both parties have signed onto a bill--HB/SB 300--in the Pennsylvania legislature that would effectively expand this concept statewide.

None of these jurisdictions has a law exactly like California's. Which is to say: California's "bathroom bill" is not a unique innovation, but merely the codification of the necessary implications of sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) non-discrimination statutes all over the country.

Proponents of bills like Pennsylvania's HB/SB 300 and the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) forswear the implications of these measures for use of personal facilities, focusing instead on issues of employment and workplace discrimination. But not only have these bills led to the de-gendering of personal facilities as a matter of fact, they must do so as a matter of principle, no matter what pragmatic proponents argue.

Under the logic of measures like ENDA, strictly sex-segregated personal facilities represent invidious discrimination because they deny "gender-non-conforming" individuals a right that most take for granted--the use of personal facilities in accordance with one's "gender identity." Simply placing the words "gender identity" and "gender expression"--the inward/psychic and outward/physical manifestations of gender, respectively--into discrimination law enshrines these concepts in our jurisprudence, where they will be invoked to eliminate perceived discrimination of all kinds.

To be clear, the scandal here is not that legislation like ENDA introduces the distinction between sex and gender into our law. We could affirm that gender is distinct from sex, and even that its contours are complex, fluid, and partially socially-construed, without affirming the radical view that our biology is irrelevant to our gender.

Conservatives embark on a fool's errand when they try to argue that our--or any--particular social understanding of manhood and womanhood represents the essential nature of our being as gendered creatures. Pinkness does not inhere in womanliness. More seriously, neither courage, nor fortitude, nor any other virtues inhere exclusively in manliness as opposed to womanliness.

We can say all of this without saying that our socially- and personally-constructed gender constitutes our essential identity exclusive of our biological sex. And it is precisely this idea--that sex is irrelevant to gender, and that gender is "who we are"--that is smuggled into our law when the phrases "gender identity" and "gender expression" are placed there.

We are told, though, that biological sex cannot really matter because it doesn't really exist, at least in the traditionally understood male-female binary. This binary is undermined, even more than by transgender individuals, by intersex and hermaphroditic people who are born with mixed or ambiguous genitalia and/or chromosomal structures. Gender, then, must be an internal, chosen identity--not a collection of macro or micro physical traits.

But does the existence of congenital blindness mean that humans are not sighted creatures? It is not insulting or demeaning to blind persons to say that humans are sighted by nature; it is a fact of our species. Do intersexuality and hermaphroditism mean that humans are not by nature male and female? No; they mean that some people are afflicted with abnormal sexual and reproductive capacities, in a similar way that blind people have abnormal human capacity for sight.

These afflictions, as with any other, call for care and compassion, not for trying to redefine the human species. They are a reminder, also, that we are all imperfect, physically and morally, and require the compassion of our fellow men.

Just as same-sex marriage redefines the most fundamental human relationship, enshrining "gender identity" into law redefines human sexuality itself. And, whether proponents of such legislation say so or not, this redefinition will reach public personal facilities from elementary schools to nursing homes.

For many Americans, understanding this eventuality would be enough to turn them against adding "gender identity" to our legal lexicon. But we err if we think visceral discomfort with sharing restrooms will win the day, just as many erred in thinking visceral discomfort with homosexuality made same-sex marriage unlikely. The laws are changing just slowly enough not to raise wide alarm in our apathetic society, and when they do change it is with an air of progressive inevitability (abetted by the media) that subtly suffocates opposition.

We must argue, then, for why we have sex-segregated personal facilities to begin with. Are they a holdover from a bygone era, like facilities segregated by race, or legal employment discrimination against women? Or are there reasons beyond the fact that it has always been this way?

The various activities that take place in restrooms and locker rooms implicate the distinct physical differences between men and women. In most other public places--offices, restaurants, sidewalks--these differences don't matter. Men and women require no particular accommodation in virtue of their sex in these places; it is often illegal to treat men and women substantially differently precisely because the differences between them are irrelevant.

Sex-segregated personal facilities exist because there are some very particular ways in which men and women remain different, and always will be different. We need not go into detail to observe that men and women have different experiences in restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated places because of the differences in their anatomy. Separating the sexes in these facilities allows for distinct physical accommodations proper to the needs of men and women, but more importantly it allows for camaraderie among those who share the whole life experience of manhood or womanhood--among those who are the same. Advice, help, humor--there are some things that only those of the same sex can fully understand and appreciate, and which would not only be awkward but senseless to discuss with someone of the opposite sex (other than, perhaps, a spouse).

Secondarily, these personal facilities also implicate parts of the body that are particularly sexual in nature, even if nudity is not present. Personal facilities are sex-segregated in order to reduce their sexual nature. Healthy and professional non-sexual relationships between men and women depend on banishing the specter of sexuality from public facilities--even placing to one side the threat of harassment and general boorishness.

That visceral discomfort many feel when confronted with the idea of sharing personal facilities with those of the opposite biological sex can thus be explained rationally, and not just as the unreasonable result of social conditioning. And we must make the argument, for without it, as with marriage, those who feel this discomfort but do not understand it will be cowed into thinking that they're the unwitting products of a grand scheme of disenlightenment, and will sheepishly acquiesce in the march of progress.

The de-gendering of personal facilities is the next logical step in the introduction of radical theories of gender into public policy. Governor Brown has explicitly codified this step, and probably knows exactly what he's doing, but across the country at the state and federal level legislators are lining up behind "non-discrimination" legislation with no understanding of its meaning or repercussions. We must take these efforts seriously and offer cogent, rational arguments against them. Relying on disgust and discomfort would be like building a sandcastle as the tide rolls in.

Brandon McGinley is the field director of the Western region for the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

This article originally appeared in PublicDiscourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, NJ, it is reprinted with permission.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Military priests face arrest for celebrating Mass in defiance of shutdown

As posted on Catholic Vote:

Our government is out of control.

First, it was the World War II veterans who had to break down barriers to see the open air, un-attended memorial erected in their honor.  A memorial which is on public land but is supported – including the National Park Service fee – with private funds. This week there was more security surrounding this memorial — just to keep elderly veterans out — than there was at our embassy in Benghazi the night it was attacked.
* * *
But now there’s a story just coming to light that takes things even further. According the Archdiocese for Military Services, GS and contract priests (who are paid by the federal government as independent contractors in places where there aren’t enough active-duty priests to meet the needs of Catholics in military service) are being forbidden from celebrating Mass, even on a volunteer basis.

If they violate this restriction, they face possible arrest FOR CELEBRATING MASS. 

From John Schlageter, General Counsel for the Archdiocese:

“[I]f a Catholic family has a Baptism scheduled at the base chapel at Langley AFB this weekend, unless they can locate a priest who is not a GS or contract priest, they should consider it cancelled.   Likewise, a Marine who attends Sunday Mass at the Quantico Chapel will have to go elsewhere this weekend.” 

This is outrageous. It is a violation of the First Amendment. It is a prohibition of the free exercise of religion to order priests under penalty of arrest that they cannot volunteer their time to offer Mass to the faithful on base. This cannot be allowed to stand.

We are also learning that some chapel musicians will not be able to play at Sunday Mass during the furlough.

Please do contact your local member of Congress and welcome our service members into your parishes. And continue to spread the message about these restrictions.

Read the entire story here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ruling against college for permitting disruption ofpro-life display allows lawsuit to continue; motion by college to dismiss is denied.

Late Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott issued his recommendation that the civil rights lawsuit filed by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) against several officials from the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo) for permitting an unruly mob of protestors to purposely disrupt a peaceful, anti-abortion demonstration on the university’s campus proceed to discovery.  

Robert Muise
In his report, the federal judge recommended denying the motion to dismiss filed by the SUNY-Buffalo officials, who argued that the lawsuit failed to state a constitutional violation.

AFLC filed the case in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. (CBR), a California-based, pro-life organization; Gregg Cunningham, the executive director of CBR; Darius Hardwick, an employee of CBR; BU Students for Life; and two student officers of the pro-life student organization. 

For two days back in April, CBR partnered with the SUNY-Buffalo chapter of Students for Life to bring CBR’s Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to the university campus.  GAP is a traveling photo-mural exhibit that compares abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide, such as the Holocaust.  

CBR and the student organization followed the university’s procedures to reserve a prime location outside of the Student Union for the anti-abortion display.  The request was initially met with resistance from university officials.  However, the organizers pointed out that this location had been reserved in the past for student speech activity; therefore, to deny access to this forum for the anti-abortion display would violate the First Amendment.  The officials reluctantly approved the request.

During the actual GAP display, however, university officials permitted protestors to purposely block the graphic, anti-abortion images.  At times, the student protestors would use umbrellas and bed sheets to accomplish their task.  When the organizers of the event requested assistance from the university police, including its chief of police, they refused, thus prompting this lawsuit.

In his report, the federal judge concluded that AFLC had set forth sufficient factual allegations to demonstrate a violation of the First Amendment, stating: “Plaintiffs thus have pled that what defendants did or allowed equated to a denial of the use of the reserved area, since their message was obstructed as much as if defendants had forbidden the GAP exhibit outright.”  

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, and another former guest on Faith on Trial, commented: “Government officials have an affirmative duty to protect a private citizen’s right to peacefully engage in free speech, particularly when he or she is doing so pursuant to a permit.  Here, SUNY-Buffalo officials grossly breached that duty in violation of the U.S. Constitution.  And while the judge’s report and recommendation is a first round victory, we are confident that we can prove the factual allegations in the lawsuit to ensure an ultimate and final victory.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, added: “Instead of fostering the free exchange of ideas in the ‘marketplace of ideas’ that is a university campus, SUNY-Buffalo officials legitimized and encouraged its students to respond to political speech they don’t like with censorship and the denial of free speech.  This is very much the tactic of Alinskyite progressives, who would rather violate the Constitution by denying speech that is contrary to the established ‘liberal orthodoxy.’”
AFLC is asking the court to declare that university officials violated its clients’ fundamental constitutional rights, to permanently enjoin the officials from permitting protestors to disrupt and silence future anti-abortion speech activities on campus, and to award nominal damages.

Hostility towards Christianity continues in our schools

We received the following from Robert Tyler, president and general counsel for the Advocates for Faith and Freedom, and a frequent guest on Faith on Trial:

Robert Tyler
Recently, concerned parents came to us with a story that is all too common.  Their child attends Margarita Middle School in Temecula, CA, and his teacher had given students a reading assignment assignment: read a nonfiction book for 30 minutes to an hour, and then bring the book into class.  This student had read the Bible and, as per the assignment, brought it to school and placed it on his desk. 
As the teacher came by – stamping the other students’ assignments as approved – he stopped at his desk. He told the boy that the Bible was not a nonfiction book, and the student responded, “Honestly, I believe it is.”

The teacher then turned to the class and asked, in a demeaning fashion, how many of the students believed that the Bible is nonfiction. All but two kids raised their hands. Instead of humiliating our client, it was the teacher that was humiliated! Undeterred, the teacher responded that he thought the Bible is a work of fiction. Right then, class ended, and the matter was left unresolved.

We will be sending a letter to the school in order to protect the rights of this student. This is an example of the growing hostility towards Christianity that is being displayed in our public classrooms, and we believe we must take a stand! We believe that the actions of this teacher violate the Establishment Clause, which requires the State to remain neutral on issues of religion.

At Advocates, one of the main goals of our ministry is to protect our children from the persecution and hostility that they are facing in schools more and more as a result of their faith. We are actively looking for more cases such as this one where school officials express hostility toward Christianity. If you hear of any kind of violation of a teacher’s or student’s religious liberties, please contact us at (888) 588-6888 end_of_the_skype_highlightingor through our website at
God bless you,
Robert Tyler
General Counsel

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Do abortion clinics cover-up statutory rape? Do they protect the predators who prey on young girls? Life Dynamics’ study says “Yes”

A few weeks ago we posted the story of a Fort Wayne, Indiana abortionist who was being investigated for failure to report on an abortion he performed on a 13 year old girl.  Sexual relations with a girl of that age is considered statutory rape and in this doctor’s case he did not make a timely report.

That led us to do a bit of research about how many rapes – and rapists – of young girls are being covered up by the abortion industry. So we went to the Life Dynamics website where it posted the results of an investigation it conducted in this matter.  First, some interesting statistics Life Dynamics reported:
§  Between 60 and 80 percent of girls 15 and younger who become pregnant were impregnated by adult men.

§  As the age of the victim – the young girl – goes down, the age of the perpetrator goes up.

§  It is now more likely that a junior high girl who becomes pregnant will become pregnant by an adult rather than by someone close to her own age.

§  The average age of men who father children with girls 13 and under is now higher than the average age of men who father children with 18–year-olds.
Life Dynamics then conducted a “covert survey” of approximately 800 abortion clinics around the country. In the survey a caller to an abortion clinic claimed she was a 13-year-old-girl who became pregnant by her 22-year-old boy friend.  She claimed she needed an abortion so her parents would not find out she was sexually active.  Here, according to Life Dynamics, are the results:
“Even though many of these clinic workers openly acknowledged to our caller that this situation was illegal and that they were required to report it to the state, the overwhelming majority readily agreed to conceal this illegal sexual activity.

“Some employees of these organizations even coached our caller on how to avoid detection, how to circumvent parental involvement laws and what to say or not say when she came to the clinic. In a significant number of instances she was encouraged to lie about - or conceal - her age or her boyfriend's age or to give false names.
“One of the clinic representatives who acknowledged that she was required by state law to inform at least one of our caller's parents in writing that their daughter was seeking an abortion, went on to advise our caller that the best way to hide this from her parents was to use a fictitious address when she checked-in for her abortion.

“During these calls it was not uncommon for the Planned Parenthood or National Abortion Federation representative to warn our caller that if someone were to find out about this situation her boyfriend could go to jail. In those situations it was unmistakable that our caller was being instructed to be more careful about what information she gave out and to whom. It was also not uncommon for the employee to interrupt our caller when she started talking about her age or the age of her boyfriend. On those occasions the obvious indication was that the employee did not want to hear this information.
“In other calls the facility employee advised our caller that she had already provided too much information for them to be able to help her. In those instances she would often be given the number of another family planning facility and encouraged to tell a different story when she called there. At times, this advice was quite specific with the employee telling her exactly what to say - or not say - to the people she talked to at the second facility.

“In states requiring that parents be informed when their underage daughters seek abortions, the law allows those girls to have abortions without their parents being notified if they get permission from a state judge. This is called a judicial bypass. During our calls to states with parental involvement legislation in place our caller was often informed about this option while also being instructed not to voluntarily tell the judge about the age of her boyfriend. In some instances these employees even encouraged her to lie to the judge if specifically asked for that information. Other employees advised her that neighboring states have no parental involvement requirements and that if she went there and either concealed or lied about the age issue, she would have no problem getting a secret abortion. In other words, these people were suggesting to a minor girl that she travel outside the state in order to cover up a crime that was being committed against her.
“In some calls she was given instructions on how to circumvent the parental involvement requirement altogether, even to the point of suggesting that she bring someone along to sign for her who looked old enough to impersonate one of her parents. In one particularly egregious case, the clinic worker lamented the fact that because our caller's boyfriend was only 22 he wouldn't look old enough to pass as her father. She went on to suggest that our caller look for an older person to help her out. When our caller said her boyfriend had a 50-year-old uncle who would do it, the employee said that would be okay as long as the uncle was instructed to not say anything while at the clinic to indicate he was not really her father. The employee stated that the uncle could even drop by, sign the papers, and leave before she actually came in for the abortion, and that the clinic's notary public would notarize the uncle's signature for the state's required documentation - despite knowing that it was a fraudulent representation.

“In a number of cases the employee would not react at all to the age issue, causing us to question whether it had registered with them or not. At that point our caller would simply ask outright if her age or her boyfriend's age was a problem. Generally what she got was a very cavalier "wink and nod" type of response.
“Sometimes she would be told that, technically speaking, the clinic was required to report this activity to the state but that if the caller would either lie about her age or just keep her mouth shut when she came in for her abortion, no one would ask any questions. Several times she was told that the facility had no interest in the ages of the parties involved or that they do not verify ages or check IDs and would accept whatever she told them at face value. One employee went so far as to tell her that if she came in with the cash she could be any age she wanted to be.

“Unfortunately, during these calls, responses like those described here were neither rare nor isolated. In the final analysis, virtually every Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation facility we contacted was willing to illegally conceal the sexual abuse of this 13-year-old girl.”
And, of course, the Obama Administration is making it easier for sexual predators to prey on young girls; it has, among other things, made “Plan B,” the “morning-after” pill available over the counter to girls of any age, a certain boon to any older man who needs to cover up an illicit affair with a pre-teen girl.

Today Obamacare goes into effect with approved plans covering abortion (they said it wouldn’t) and rules that force all organizations, even Catholic groups and those opposed, to provide free contraception and abortifacients to their employees.
So much for religious freedom; so much for protecting our daughters.  Thanks, Obama.  Thanks, Democrats who pushed for this and to protect Planned Parenthood, and gave, in prayer, their thanks to God for abortionists at the Iowa State Capitol last month. And thanks to all you good Catholic voters who see abortion as a political – not a moral or societal – issue and voted for these folks.

You can read the full Life Dynamics report here.