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Take Action Now! Defend Marriage and Religious Liberty in North Carolina!



Dear Marriage Supporter,

You may have heard that the North Carolina House passed a bill that would protect magistrates and registers of deeds who have deeply-held religious objections to personally performing same-sex 'marriage' ceremonies. With this legislation, government officials would be put in the terrible position of having to choose between keeping their job or being true to their religious convictions.

Unfortunately, Governor Pat McCrory (a Republican) has vetoed the bill.

Please click here to let Governor McCrory know that you disapprove of his mistaken rejection of this common sense legislation, and to urge your elected representatives to override the Governor's veto!

The bill would have make it clear that no one can be denied a marriage license, but that magistrates or clerks could recuse themselves from the process behind the scenes should they have sincere objections to same-sex marriage. The legislation treats same-sex couples and heterosexual couples equally. If an official agrees to perform a traditional marriage, he or she would also have to perform same-sex 'weddings.' However, it allows a person to opt out of performing any weddings, and thus avoiding the choice of being fired or violating their beliefs.

The reason this bill is needed is because a federal judge has imposed a redefinition of marriage despite the overwhelming percentage of North Carolina voters and legislators who acted in 2012 to enact the Marriage Amendment defining marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. We hope the US Supreme Court will reverse this illegitimate ruling when they issue their opinion in the marriage case next month. But in the meantime, it is important for states to act to protect supporters of marriage, including those like magistrates and clerks who are being put in the position of having to choose between keeping their jobs or being true to their constitutionally-protected religious views.

Without this accommodation, magistrates, registers of deeds and other government officials who refuse to take part in same-sex 'marriages' because of their sincere religious beliefs will be removed from office, and "shall" be guilty of a crime that is punishable by up to 120 days in jail.

Please spend a moment to take action right away! It is imperative that we act immediately to defend marriage and uphold religious liberty.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


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North Carolina Passes Legislation Protecting Officials Against Government Coercion to Perform Same-sex ‘Weddings’

ThinkstockPhotos-99272117The North Carolina House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed legislation to allow local magistrates and registers of deeds, the officials who perform marriages in the state, to refuse to participate in a same-sex ‘wedding’ if doing so violates their deeply held religious objections, and similarly if they refuse to perform heterosexual wedding ceremonies. The vote in the House was 67-43, following similar lop-sided passage in the State Senate. The legislation was pushed in response to the illegitimate decision of a federal judge to overturn North Carolina’s marriage amendment that was overwhelmingly adopted by voters in 2012.

Supporters of Senate Bill 2 say it effectively balances the rights of state employees who object to same-sex marriage and the rights of the couples seeking a wedding.

“This bill provides a balancing act – to make sure marriages across this state are performed in a blind fashion,” said Rep. Dean Arp, a Monroe Republican. “The question is should you be fired from a job because you choose to live your life by those religious beliefs.”

Unfortunately, Governor Pat McCrory (a Republican) has tragically promised a veto of the legislation and appears to have swallowed the false talking points of same-sex marriage activists and the left. This will likely prove to be a tremendous miscalculation on McCrory’s part. There is a real chance that the Legislature would override McCrory’s veto. Sen. Phil Berger, the President of the Senate, authored this legislation. Further, McCrory is up for reelection next year. A veto of the bill invites a primary challenge and certainly will alienate him from the conservative base of the Republican Party. NOM will be working with allies in the state to assess our options.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday afternoon that he’ll veto a bill to allow magistrates to opt out of performing marriage if they have a religious objection.

The governor’s announcement came just hours after the N.C. House approved it in a 67-43 final vote Thursday.

. . .

“Whether it is the president, governor, mayor, a law enforcement officer, or magistrate, no public official who voluntarily swears to support and defend the Constitution and to discharge all duties of their office should be exempt from upholding that oath; therefore, I will veto Senate Bill 2.”

The U.S. Constitution and federal law protect people from religious persecution and coercion, specifically requiring the government to make reasonable accommodations for people of faith. This modest legislation in North Carolina simply protects people from having to choose between keeping their job and their religious beliefs. Nobody should be forced to participate in any ‘wedding’ against their wishes:

The conservative N.C. Values Coalition, which has advocated for the bill, issued a stinging critique of McCrory’s decision Thursday afternoon.

“Senate Bill 2 will protect the fundamental American freedom to exercise one’s religious beliefs, and it is unacceptable for any governor who calls himself ‘conservative’ to veto legislation like SB2,” spokeswoman Jessica Wood said.

The solution to this situation, of course, is for the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the right of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, which would reinstate the North Carolina Marriage Amendment and make legislation like this unnecessary. We hope that the justices are watching the chaos that is occurring in the states as they struggle with ways to deal with the damage done by federal judges who have illegitimately imposed their own views of marriage, despite the democratic decisions of voters and elected legislators.

Source and quotes via News Observer.

Texas Reaffirms Support for Marriage

200445153-001The Texas Senate reaffirmed Christian principles when passing a resolution to “affirm the preservation of the present definition of marriage as being a legal union of one man and one woman…” Although the resolution is not binding, it does make a statement to Texas and the country that they will be upholding the true definition of marriage, no matter what it might cost. It is a worthy stand for them to make, and one they know must be done:

Same-sex marriages already are prohibited by the Texas Constitution. But senators who supported the resolution 21-10 said they wanted to make a point, and take a stand on principle.

In their late-night vote, 10 years after Texans voted to ban gay marriage in the state, every Senate Republican effectively said they still support that decision - with a resolution reaffirming the state's 2005 voter-approved ban.

The proposal touched off passionate speeches for and against the measure.

We affirm the preservation of the present definition of marriage as being a legal union of one man and one woman as a husband and wife, and pledge to uphold and defend this principle that is so dearly held by Texans far and wide," the resolution read.

As the day comes closer to the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage, stands such as the Texas Senate’s will become more important. Important to show the Supreme Court that the states can decide on the definition of marriage for themselves, and that is not the right of SCOTUS to decide the beliefs of the American people.

Source and quotes via SF Gate.

“Science-Gilding” of Public Policy

ThinkstockPhotos-160503703The American Public Health Association (APHA) released a study as an Amicus brief to the Supreme Court offering ‘“another compelling reason” for the Supreme Court to overturn state laws that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.’ However, the study is a sham and is an abhorrent misuse of science to back up the same-sex marriage agenda. Jason Richwine from The Public Discourse, explains the errors in how the study proceeded:

Let’s first consider the weakness of the evidence. The APHA’s brief cites only two studies that directly test the claim that marriage laws affect the health of LGB individuals. (First Study)

. . .

First, the whole exercise of comparing outcomes in two different groups of states is fraught with imprecision. Because no state-level controls are employed, the study effectively assumes that the only relevant change between 2000 and 2005 is that sixteen states passed amendments defining marriage as the union of husband and wife, while the other thirty-four did not.

And there is considerable ambiguity in the findings. Many health disorders among LGBs seemed to increase in both groups of states, but they seemed to go up more in the states that passed amendments. I say “seemed to” because the sample size of LGBs who had certain disorders is small, leading to estimates with wide confidence intervals.

He continues to cite and explain issues with the second part of the study:

The authors of this study refer to it as a “quasi-natural experiment.” Emphasis on quasi. Unlike a real experiment, this study has no control group. It focuses on a single urban clinic dedicated to serving gay and bisexual men, two thirds of whom have a college degree and almost all of whom are under sixty-five. The authors include a one-sentence reference to overall health costs in Massachusetts going up over the same time period, but that is obviously inadequate. A proper control group must resemble the treatment group.

Please read the full article at The Public Discourse.

Clear and Present Danger to Christianity

ThinkstockPhotos-56382560Marco Rubio, Florida Senator and Presidential Candidate, stated to CBN News that due to the recent infringement on free speech rights, there is a real danger to Christianity in this country. Rubio, a Christian himself, sees the family as the highest form of social order in the world. He believes that the recent attempts to redefine marriage as an unnatural entity in same-sex marriage will pervert the social order, and in doing so, act against Christian principles.

Rubio comments on the attack on the family stating:

"If you think about it, we are at the water's edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech," Rubio told CBN News. "Because today we've reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater."

"So what's the next step after that?" he asked.

"After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there's a real and present danger," he warned.

He warns that if America doesn’t lead the world in social and economic issues that the world will spin into chaos; such as in Ireland recently.

"You don't want to be engaged in every conflict on the planet. We're not the world's policemen," he said. "But I question - what would happen in the alternative? If America doesn't lead, what happens? Well, what happens is chaos."

Source via CBN News.

Why to Expect More Faked Studies

ThinkstockPhotos-453892969A number of commentators have weighed in on the scandal of the widely publicized study claiming that attitudes about same-sex ‘marriage’ were permanently and profoundly changed when a gay canvasser spoke to someone at their home. However, the philosophy behind such an act as faking a study that was promulgated as irrefutable proof is one of a complete disregard for civil argument on social topics. The LGBT lobby is showing a trend in forcing their conclusions instead of relying on actual scientific data or popular approval.

As Ian Tuttle of National Review writes:

The reduction of all same-sex marriage opposition to irrational hatred is not a reasoned conclusion, but a matter of dogma among many on the left.

And the inevitable result of casting one’s opponents as sub-rational or anti-rational is the end of debate. From the position of Maggie Haberman, the Times writer so perplexed by Cruz’s visit, trying to convince Ted Cruz to support same-sex marriage is like trying to convince a caribou.

The problem, of course, is that community life is subverted when matters of public importance are removed from the realm of debate. And if I can’t convince you, I am left to appeal, finally, to force.

Ian continues to give examples and proofs of his point that the LGBT lobby prefers to use force instead of civil discourse. He ends the article on a sobering note, referring to how our country should be able to resolve these matters, but most likely won’t due to malicious agendas:

The health of a democratic polity depends in no small part on the generousness of its civic discourse — that is, opposing sides ought to give one another the benefit of the doubt. If same-sex marriage proponents allowed that same-sex marriage opponents might, just might, be motivated by something other than animal hatred, we might be able to reach solutions that balance the competing interests unavoidably present in any political body.

But our discourse is growing increasingly ungenerous. We ought not be surprised when the result is less debate and more dishonesty and coercion.

Source via National Review.

A New Level of Intolerance in Canada

We are all too familiar with the reality of how anyone who does not wish to participate in celebration of a same-sex ‘wedding’ – whether they be florists, bakers, photographers, inn keepers or what-have-you – are targeted by the LGBT community. Also, they are increasingly targeted by government officials for harassment and punishment, sometimes under threat of losing all their personal assets. The message has been that the law must force everyone to participate in the “celebration” even if it violates a business owner’s deeply held beliefs. Now comes word from Canada – which has been dealing with the consequences of redefining marriage for over a decade – that it’s not even enough for a business owner merely to participate in the celebration.

ThinkstockPhotos-471991807Steve Weatherbe from LifeSite News wrote:

Nicole White and Pam Renouf liked the service they got from Esau Jardon of Today’s Jewellers in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, who took their deposit and proceeded to design and build them two engagement rings. They even recommended the store to friends.

But by the time one friend went there, the Mexican-born Jardon had put up a sign in his shop window marking Mother’s Day—and his strong, traditional Christian beliefs: “The Sanctity of Marriage IS UNDER ATTACK; Help Keep Marriage Between Man & Woman,” it read.

In redefining marriage, Canada has opened up private citizens to serious discrimination for their own personal beliefs, marking the end of freedom of speech:

Referring to recent decisions by courts and human rights tribunals against Christian vendors who refused to serve homosexuals, Dreher (Blogger at The American Conservative) concluded on an ironic note. The pressure on Jardon to return the deposit marked “the next phase in the March of Progress. You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.”

Jardon defends his right to his own opinion. “One of the reasons my family chose to move to Canada was the rights that it offered, the freedom of religion and freedom of speech, both of which at the time seemed to be very limited in Mexico,” he said.

The United States needs to pay attention: as Canada is clearly exemplifying, everyone is affected when marriage is redefined.

Jeb Bush Stands Up For Right Not To Be Coerced

ThinkstockPhotos-chariastThe beginning stages of the presidential campaign are starting to bring the views of the various candidates into focus. Jeb Bush recently told CBN that he supports the right of a Christian small business owner to decline to provide services for a same-sex ‘wedding.’ He correctly understands that people ought to remain free to exercise their beliefs about marriage and that this is not discrimination. He also reiterated his position that same-sex ‘marriage’ is not a constitutional right:

"A big country, a tolerant country ought to be able to figure out the difference between discriminating someone because of their sexual orientation and not forcing someone to participate in a wedding that they find goes against their moral beliefs," Bush said.

Shouldn’t it be obvious that as our own free arbiters of what we support, we should also be able to choose what not to support? Americans being forced to conform to other people’s opinions on social issues, is a brazen attack against individual rights:

In recent months, the question of service provision, religion and sexuality has become a hot button issue, with court cases arising over incidents of people being refused service because of their sexual orientation, or business owners being forced to provide services to same sex partners despite their religious convictions.

The issue was further fanned by the recent signing of Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, which allow business owners to cite religious rights as a reasons for refusing service. Gay rights group have condemned the acts, and cited them as a form of discrimination.

Source via Christian Today.

The Real Revelations from the Faked Same-sex Marriage Study

An op-ed in The American Spectator reviews muted media reaction to the disclosure that a widely publicized study claiming that a gay canvasser speaking to a voter at their home would produce remarkable and long-lasting change in support of same-sex ‘marriage’ was faked. They note that the media’s coverage of the scandal was tepid, especially compared to the original coverage when the false study was issued.

dv763009Some news outlets even carried comments from same-sex marriage activists stating that even though the study was completely fabricated, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t true! Some even urge the study be redone properly. The author provocatively suggests that social scientists instead conduct studies to determine the effect on public opinion of the media portraying supporters of marriage as bigots, or the impact of judges ignoring the will of voters and imposing their own views in the law, or the impact on public opinion of a small business owner losing her shop rather than her religious principles.

Daniel Flynn, author of the article, comments on the fraudulent study.

Two aspiring political scientists exposed a widely referenced study, which maintained that homosexuals discussing gay marriage with citizens proved “capable of producing a cascade of opinion change,” as a total fraud.

Berkeley grad student Joshua Kalla and Stanford professor David Broockman, eager to add to the project with their own study, discovered that the survey firm identified in “When Contact Changes Minds: An Experiment on Transmission of Support for Gay Equality” maintained “no familiarity with the project,” “never had an employee with the name of the staffer” believed as assisting the research, and “denied having the capabilities” to conduct such an endeavor.

He continues to show that voters never really wanted same-sex marriage in many of the places such laws were passed, and the result of such laws on the average person.

What happens to donations to traditional marriage initiatives when they result in job loss, let’s say from a tech company that produces a popular web browser, for one who gives to a ballot initiative protecting man-woman unions? Perhaps an experiment could focus on the effects of the mass media’s incessant, not-so-subliminal name calling—e.g., “bigot,” “homophobe,” “hater”—on public opinion. Or, maybe, researchers could study the rather straightforward cause-and-effect of how judges refusing to allow people to vote on the laws that govern them transform the laws that govern people—and ultimately the public’s views. Another alternative might be to gauge the uptick in support for gay marriage resulting from a small business owner—a baker, for instance, who refuses to cook up a wedding cake for a homosexual couple—losing her shop instead of her religious principles.

Codifying gay marriage has never been about canvassers, gay or straight, persuading Americans. Voters, after all, rejected same-sex marriage in California, Wisconsin, Oregon, and other blue states only to watch judges order them to embrace it. America’s evolution on gay marriage came as a conversion by the sword.

His commentary shows the corruption in academia, and the media, for what it is:

We imagine science as disinterested, dispassionate, impartial, objective. The reality of science, particularly so-called social science, occasionally reveals biased partisans gathering data to support a predetermined conclusion.

Warning from Canada: Do Not Redefine Marriage

Many same-sex marriage advocates continue to falsely present the redefinition of marriage as simply providing respect and recognition to loving same-sex couples, with no consequences for anyone else. But as we have seen with the frequent attacks against supporters of traditional marriage - bakers, florists, and others - this has already been proven to be false. To get a fuller exposition of the consequences of redefining marriage, we only have to look at what has happened with our northern neighbor.

Mid adult couple holding their childrenThe article from Dawn Stefanowicz is not the first such warning we’ve had. In 2012, the backers of the proposed marriage amendment in Minnesota held a day-long seminal featuring many speakers from Canada, including a prominent Archbishop, who detailed the 300 plus cases of supporters of marriage being punished, and the constant pressure of the government to push this radical understanding of marriage on children. Dawn Stefanowicz uses Canada’s decline due to legalizing same-sex marriage as an all too apt example of what kind of fire the United States is playing with today:

We have great compassion for people who struggle with their sexuality and gender identity—not animosity. And we love our parents. Yet, when we go public with our stories, we often face ostracism, silencing, and threats.

I want to warn America to expect severe erosion of First Amendment freedoms if the US Supreme Court mandates same-sex marriage. The consequences have played out in Canada for ten years now, and they are truly Orwellian in nature and scope.

. . .

In Canada, freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association have suffered greatly due to government pressure. The debate over same-sex marriage that is taking place in the United States could not legally exist in Canada today. Because of legal restrictions on speech, if you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including, by definition, anything questioning same-sex marriage), you could face discipline, termination of employment, or prosecution by the government.

She continues to warn Americans that a federal redefinition of marriage will authorize the “State as Ultimate Arbiter of parenthood”:

Over and over, we are told that “permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive anyone of any rights.” That is a lie.

When same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada in 2005, parenting was immediately redefined. Canada’s gay marriage law, Bill C-38, included a provision to erase the term “natural parent” and replace it across the board with gender-neutral “legal parent” in federal law. Now all children only have “legal parents,” as defined by the state. By legally erasing biological parenthood in this way, the state ignores children’s foremost right: their immutable, intrinsic yearning to know and be raised by their own biological parents.

. . .

In effect, same-sex marriage not only deprives children of their own rights to natural parentage, it gives the state the power to override the autonomy of biological parents, which means parental rights are usurped by the government.

In addition, the rights and freedom that made our nation a land of liberty will too be disregarded if same-sex marriage is legalized:

In Canada, it is considered discriminatory to say that marriage is between a man and a woman or that every child should know and be raised by his or her biological married parents. It is not just politically incorrect in Canada to say so; you can be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, fined, and forced to take sensitivity training.

Anyone who is offended by something you have said or written can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals. In Canada, these organizations police speech, penalizing citizens for any expression deemed in opposition to particular sexual behaviors or protected groups identified under “sexual orientation.” It takes only one complaint against a person to be brought before the tribunal, costing the defendant tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The commissions have the power to enter private residences and remove all items pertinent to their investigations, checking for hate speech.

. . .

It means that no matter what you believe, the government will be free to regulate your speech, your writing, your associations, and whether or not you may express your conscience. Americans also need to understand that the endgame for some in the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.

Many more issues will occur if the Supreme Court decides to redefine marriage. We recognize the flagrant lies that are told, the false “tolerance” that is being promulgated, the egregious attacks on our liberties. Our neighbor Canada knows these first-hand as well, even to a more frightening degree. We must never give up the fight for marriage, because if marriage is redefined, we know that first amendments rights will also be “redefined.”

Read the full article at The Public Discourse.

The War on Free Speech

Kirsten Powers has a new book that outlines the agenda and strategy of the same-sex marriage lobby to suppress free speech throughout the country. The American Unity Fund seems to be spearheading this attack by exhibiting it’s ability to sway policy against the American people. As Stella Morabito reports via The Federalist:

ThinkstockPhotos-186674643Powers has dubbed today’s intolerant purveyors of leftist causes the [sic] “the illiberal left” because, as a liberal herself, she sees them as anything but liberal about allowing a voice to those who don’t toe their rigid line. Her book catalogues and analyzes the dehumanization and demonization techniques the illiberal Left applies towards anyone who dares to veer from their rigid narratives. Their sacred cows include abortion, climate change, same-sex marriage, and second-wave feminism. Dissenters are systematically smeared and destroyed.

. . .

But I would add that most of this is coming straight out of the Left’s holy of holies: the LGBT lobby (whose agenda Powers happens to support.) Because next up on the LGBT hit parade is the literal silencing of America—with the force of the federal government behind it.

Morabito's article, outlining Powers’ book and the LGBT agenda, defines AUF and its next step after the Supreme Court decision is finished.

The American Unity Fund is a heavily funded new super-PAC looking to blanket the country with LGBT anti-discrimination laws. In effect, those laws aim to wipe out any alternative voice to the LGBT agenda. The effort is being spearheaded by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer and another wealthy hedge fund manager, Tim Gill. Gill’s operations—the Gill Foundation and Gill Action—have been dedicated to “nonpartisan” gains for the LGBT lobby on the legislative and judicial fronts.

But with an expected federal win for gay marriage from the Supreme Court, the LGBT movement is poised to shift its focus to policing speech in the workplace, schools, businesses, and public squares across America.

While it seems that the target of AUF actions is anyone who supports traditional marriage, the issue is far more pervasive: America is about to be blanketed by anti-free speech policies from the same-sex marriage agenda.

Assuming the Supreme Court signs on to the same-sex marriage meme come June, we can expect to see a noose tightening around both public and private speech, including spontaneous conversation, in America. The ultimate effect of the “Freedom for All Americans” campaign will be to criminalize the expression of conservative as well as traditional religious thought on issues of marriage and family. In doing so, it will further stunt independent thought or debate in the wider political context.

. . .

There’s so much to unpack here, but if pressed to dissect this vat of worms, I’d say that the Orwellian “Freedom for All Americans” meme boils down to the ancient urge to centralize power. That always begins with controlling people, which, in turn, requires the control of human relationships. To control relationships, central planners need to divide and conquer people by restricting their ability to communicate with one another.

Read full article via The Federalist.

Louisiana’s Fight for Freedom

True Americans are open to all ideas, but they are not willing to redefine society norms merely to please special interest groups. Recently, Louisiana has demonstrated that they uphold the American belief that citizens, not unelected judges, should decide the laws for themselves:

ThinkstockPhotos-176954063In Louisiana, a new bill has been proposed to protect those who have suffered unjust government discrimination. Opponents are demonizing the bill’s supporters and calling them names, misrepresenting the contents of the proposal, using scare tactics, and generally acting with fundamentalist zeal instead of dispassionate deliberation and rational discourse. They would deny to an entire class of Louisiana citizens legal protection from discriminatory acts, simply because members of that class do not share their own moral views.

Naturally, those zealous opponents are supporters of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.

The bill is known as the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act. As its name suggests, it is designed to codify legal protections for those who have moral and religious convictions about the nature of marriage and whose convictions are out of favor with cultural elites and powerful political actors. Specifically, it would protect those who perceive that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The bill is timely, necessary, and well-justified.

. . .

The truth is that Louisianans, like Americans generally, disagree about the nature of marriage and they do so because they have reasons to believe what they believe about marriage. States do not use their considerable power to prevent marriage revisionists from advocating the redefinition of marriage or from acting on their views, and states should not use their power to prevent natural marriage proponents from acting on their conviction that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

You can read the full article via Public Discourse.

All States Should Take Texas’ Lead

Texas is taking a strong stance to protect their State’s right to define marriage, regardless of what ruling the Supreme Court issues:

State lawmakers are considering at least five bills designed to block same-sex marriages, which are currently illegal in the state, and some state leaders say they’ll battle to bar the unions regardless of any Supreme Court decision.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement reaffirming his opposition to same-sex marriage. He said, “Texans — not unelected federal judges — should decide this important issue for their state.”

A Texas state representative backs this judicial move with several historical precedences. In addition to Texas, Alabama, Michigan, and Louisiana are also taking a stance:

ThinkstockPhotos-126425189In Louisiana, lawmakers are studying the “Marriage and Conscience Act,” which, if passed, would allow employers to deny same-sex spouses marriage benefits and give state contractors the right to refuse to hire gays and lesbians who marry.

“As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, wrote in The New York Times.

These states are holding up the right of not only their citizens, but also the right of the State to not be dismissed by unelected officials in the federal government.

In 2005, Texas voters passed a referendum banning same-sex marriages. A federal judge last year ruled the ban unconstitutional but issued a stay on his ruling as the issue moved through higher courts.

The fact that the Supreme Court is considering cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky but not Texas should preclude state officials here from automatically following any decision from the highest court, said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, which opposes same-sex marriages.

The people’s will, proved through the 2005 referendum, outweighs any decisions by a federal court, he said. One of his bills would bar public funding to license or recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples, regardless of any Supreme Court ruling. As of late Monday (May 11), the bill appeared to have a majority of support in the state House.

Leading by example is one of the highest and effective forms of leadership, and Texas is proving that their ideals and their government truly are led by the people. All states and all citizens should take up the American cause to give the power back to the people, and let the states decide their own fates.

“The sovereignty of states is not something to be taken lightly,” Bell said. “It’s something intended by the framers of our Constitution.”

Source and quotes via Religion News.

There's Something Different About a Wedding: Same-sex Marriage Affects Everyone

In a recent article from The Washington Post, Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, defends her decision to abstain from providing flowers for her friend’s same-sex wedding ceremony:

ThinkstockPhotos-479346023I’ve been a florist in Richmond, Wash., for more than 30 years. In that time, I’ve developed close relationships with many of my clients.

One of my favorites was Rob Ingersoll. Ingersoll came in often and we’d talk. Like me, he had an artistic eye. I’d try to create really special arrangements for him. I knew he was gay, but it didn’t matter — I enjoyed his company and his creativity.

Then he asked me to create the floral arrangements for his wedding. I love Rob, and I’d always been happy to design for his special days. But there’s something different about a wedding.

Ultimately, Stutzman decided to act according to her religious conscience, and had to turn down the offer:

When I told Rob, I felt terrible that I couldn’t share this day with him, as I’d shared so many with him before. I took his hands and said, “I’m sorry I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.” Rob said he understood, and that he hoped his mom would walk him down the aisle, but he wasn’t sure. We talked about how he got engaged and why they decided to get married after all these years. He asked me for the names of other flower shops. I gave him the names of three floral artists that I knew would do a good job, because I knew he would want something very special. We hugged and he left.

I never imagined what would happen next. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued me after hearing in the media what had happened. That was shocking. Even more surprising, Rob and his partner Curt, with their ACLU attorneys, filed suit shortly thereafter. A judge ruled against me, but this week, with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, I appealed.

We’ve always heard that same-sex marriage would never affect anyone aside from the same-sex couples who wanted to be married. But a judge recently told me that my freedom to live and work according to my beliefs about marriage expired the day same-sex marriage became the law in my state.

You can read the full article here.

Texas Bill Would Protect Local Officials From Issuing Same-sex Marriage Licenses

From The Washington Post:

ThinkstockPhotos-496264349Texas Republicans are pushing legislation to bar local officials from granting same-sex couples licenses to marry, launching a preemptive strike against a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling next month that could declare gay marriage legal.

Supporters of the measure, which is scheduled for a vote as soon as Tuesday in the Texas House, said it would send a powerful message to the court. Taking a cue from the anti-abortion movement, they said they also hoped to keep any judicially sanctioned right to same-sex marriage tied up in legal battles for years to come.

The measure, by Rep. Cecil Bell, a Republican from the outskirts of Houston, would prohibit state and local officials from using taxpayer dollars “to issue, enforce, or recognize a marriage license . . . for a union other than a union between one man and one woman.”

Bell said the bill “simply preserves state sovereignty over marriage.”

You can read the full article here.