Obama Jilts Voters at the Altar
When the President promised change, most people assumed he was talking about America--not his own policy positions. But after yesterday's decision on California's Proposition 8, the Potomac may actually be less fluid than this White House's stance on marriage. After years of insisting the debate is a state issue, the President peeled back another layer of hypocrisy by arguing the exact opposite in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Although conservatives have come to expect this kind of duplicity from President Obama, the announcement was all the more stunning coming on the heels of the Justice Department's other brief in the case to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In a highly unusual move, the President's Solicitor General, has even petitioned the Court for time to argue its position. Since 2011, the administration's biggest complaint about DOMA is that it "federalizes" state law.
The President repeated that position as recently as last May, when he told ABC News's Robin Roberts that he "continue[s] to believe that [marriage] is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level." "...[S]tates," he said, "are working through this issue--in fits and starts, all across the country. Different communities are arriving at different conclusions, at different times. And I think that's a healthy process..." Now the President is saying this "healthy process"--which we like to call democracy--is "insufficient," and its participants, who President Obama congratulated for "car[ing] about families," are "impermissib[ly] prejudice[d]."
To the 7,001,084 Californians who exercised their constitutional right to protect marriage, the President's decision is a deep betrayal of the democratic process and America's identity of political diversity. Making matters worse, the President's plan for disenfranchising these millions of voters is bringing the full weight of the government to bear against its own people! By enlisting the Justice Department, the White House is using Americans' own resources against them to take away their ability to participate in the democratic process. That's not equality--it's tyranny. In the hands of this administration, the Justice Department is no longer the gatekeeper of U.S. law but a weapon to bludgeon the American people and change laws. And until the administration puts constitutional principle ahead of its extreme liberal political agenda, marriage will be the first of its many casualties.
Andrew Pugno, the general counsel for the supporters of Proposition 8, is as disappointed as FRC by President Obama's fierce aggression on the issue. "[T]he President has impugned the motives of millions of Californians, turned his back on society's longstanding interest in both mothers and fathers raising the next generation, and disregarded the rights of each state to decide for itself whether to redefine marriage." All of this from a President who said, "I'm not gonna be spending most of my time talking about this, because frankly--my job as President right now, my biggest priority is to make sure that--we're growing the economy..."
Two briefs, an Inauguration speech, one State of the Union address, countless regulation changes, and a Pentagon policy on same-sex benefits later, and the President hasn't stopped talking about marriage since his second term began. We continue to pray that the Supreme Court finds a way to do what no else has: silence the White House by upholding the people's will on marriage in California--and across the country.
A Move in the Write Direction
In all of U.S. history, there have never been so many women in Congress--and yesterday, they made sure their voices were heard. Thirteen members, all women--except for Rep. (and Dr.) John Fleming (R-La.)--sent a letter to House leadership urging Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to refuse to pass a budget bill unless conscience rights are a part of it. With regard to the ObamaCare contraception-abortion drug mandate, they write, "Nothing short of a full exemption for both nonprofit and for-profit entities will satisfy the demands of the Constitution and common sense."
In the name of "affordable" health care, the administration has stripped businesses, charities, and even schools of their First Freedom: religious liberty. And while Health and Human Services insists it is "accommodating" religious institutions, the reality is that HHS's "solution" provides "no remedy for individuals and small business owners, such as Hobby Lobby..." Instead, the Congressmen write, it continues to exact a "heavy moral and financial burden on religious and non-religious affiliate employers who seek to provide quality health coverage consistent with their beliefs."
The administration likes to argue that "comprehensive care" is the goal, when the real objective is obviously ideological conformity. If it weren't, the penalty for not providing employee insurance ($2,000 a year per employee) would be far greater than exorbitant fines ($100 per employee, per day) for refusing to provide contraception and abortion pills. At its core, this mandate is about strong-arming Americans into the President's abortion orthodoxy.
I understand that not everyone is affected by the mandate, but every American will be affected by the loss of their religious liberty. And once it's gone, there will be no going back. Don't wait to get involved in the fight. Contact your congressman and urge him or her to protect the conscience rights of every American!
Bebee Boomers: Arkansas Overrides Veto on Pro-Life Policy
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe (D) may have vetoed the state's 20-week abortion ban, but the state legislature had the last say. A day after the Arkansas House voted to override Gov. Beebe's veto, the Senate followed suit. Thanks to both majorities, the law, which blocks abortions at five months (when it's widely believed the baby can feel pain), took effect immediately. Minutes after overriding Beebe's veto, the Senate went to work on a second pro-life bill, voting overwhelmingly in favor of a measure that outlaws most abortions after 12 weeks when doctors can detect a heartbeat. Gov. Beebe will have until next week to decide if he wants to risk another override or side with the majority of Arkansas voters.
In nearby Kansas, the state Senate moved one step closer to making the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center a reality by passing SB 199 off the floor and into the House. FRC's own Dr. David Prentice, who was instrumental in both crafting the bill and testifying on its behalf, sees the potential of a center specializing in adult stem cell therapies.
For many years, Dr. Prentice and FRC have educated policymakers and the media on the ethical problems of embryo-destructive research and the true promise of adult stem cell research. "Kansas is moving forward as a potential leader in the area of adult and cord blood stem cell therapies. Estimates are that the University of Kansas Medical Center has done over 1,000 adult stem cell transplants, from bone marrow as well as a growing number from umbilical cord blood. These include stem cell transplants for various cancers and leukemias, but also initiating clinical trials to treat heart damage. Much more is possible."
Fresh off of the Kansas Senate victory, Dr. Prentice joined FRC's Anna Higgins in Georgia to testify on behalf of another piece of legislation that would protect perhaps the most vulnerable people of all, human embryos. David and Anna are speaking at the request of our friends with Georgia Right to Life to make the case that a person is a person, no matter how small.
** If you missed today's edition of "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins," click over to TonyPerkins.com tomorrow morning to hear the latest on the Boy Scouts with the Southern Baptist Convention's Frank Page, as well as learn about the sequester cuts taking effect today with Rep. Vicki Hartzler (R-Mo.).