The Young and the Not-So-Restless
If you thought defending marriage was tough as an adult, try speaking the truth as a teenager or even a twenty-something. It takes real courage to stand with your face in the wind of pop culture. Fortunately for conservatives, there are plenty of young warriors doing exactly that. Of course, the media would like you to think that these young people don't exist, and that the battle for the next generation is already lost.
They couldn't be more wrong. From 11-year-old Grace Evans to the 20- and 30-year-olds on my staff, the light of young conservatives is only shining brighter in the darkness of the Left's ideology. Their voice is so distinct in the debate that New York Times couldn't help but notice them. In a feature piece, Ashley Parker talks to these leaders about their determination. "They hear that their cause is lost, that demographics and the march of history have doomed their campaign to keep marriage only between a man and a woman. But the young conservatives who oppose same-sex 'marriage'--unlike most of their generation--remain undaunted."
Most of them, like our good friends Joseph Backholm (Washington's Family Policy Institute), Ashley Pratte (Cornerstone Policy Research), Caitlin Seery (Love and Fidelity Network) Ryan Anderson (The Heritage Foundation), and Eric Teetsel (Manhattan Declaration), are taking a long view of the debate and working to change their generation's opinion over time--as conservatives have done so successfully with abortion. "If what I believe is true is true, then I've got a responsibility to be on its side for as long as I can be," Eric said.
Elementary student Grace Evans got a head-start on her advocacy, testifying before a packed Minnesota statehouse. "Even though I'm only 11 years old, I know that everyone deserves to have a mom and a dad." Life hasn't exactly been easy for the Evanses since then, but Grace has no regrets. Even after being called a "bigot" and a "stupid indoctrinated child" and other things so vile I can't repeat them, her dad, Jeff, says Grace is helping to show people how radical the other side is. "I've been monitoring it to keep my family safe... It's really shameful the things that people will say, hiding behind an Internet alias... Supporters of same-sex "marriage" are deceitfully claiming that the legalization of gay marriage won't affect our religious freedoms or freedom of speech. I do not believe them. These attacks on Grace are an example of how we have already lost many of these freedoms. In fact, it's so bad, they aren't afraid to viciously attack an 11-year-old girl. Imagine what it would be like if gay marriage becomes legal in Minnesota."
Of course, if you listen to the media, it's conservatives who are intolerant. Yet, as stated as fact in a federal court, it was a homosexual activist--spurred on by the Southern Poverty Law Center--who came into our building and shot our friend and colleague because FRC stands for natural marriage. No one should be attacked or called names because they're participating in our system of government. But unfortunately, that's been the pattern for brave kids like Grace and Maryland's Sarah Crank. Both girls stood up in a roomful of elected leaders and defended their beliefs--and that takes a whole lot more courage than sitting at a keyboard spewing hate and lies.
The Buck(eye)s Stop Here
Reince Priebus may speak for the Republican National Committee, but he certainly doesn't speak for conservatives-or most Republicans. Two days after disavowing its own party platform, the RNC is getting nothing but blowback for its report. Priebus, who suggested that the GOP's marriage stance isn't "inclusive" enough, put himself directly at odds with the views of most Republicans, new polling shows.
After Reuters helped discredit the "record support" for same-sex "marriage" in the Washington Post's survey, another poll was just released from Pew Research Center that also insists the GOP hasn't moved on the issue of marriage. Despite what the media would have you believe, "Republican attitudes are largely unchanged from 2003" (38% of Republicans say homosexual behavior should be accepted, 54% say it should be discouraged). When it comes to redefining marriage, Republicans are even more opposed. An overwhelming majority of Republicans (68%) say same-sex "marriage" would negatively impact the American family, little changed since 2003.
Regardless of their political affiliation, a majority of Americans (56%) continues to say that same-sex "marriage" would go against their religious beliefs. Interestingly, Pew also took the Washington Post to task for its framing of the survey, saying that the question of same-sex "marriage's" legality "consistently elicits a higher level of support." As for the GOP's supposed trend toward counterfeit marriage, it seems there is no such thing.
Maybe that's why Republicans in the key state of Ohio are blasting the party. In a rare public statement, 83 conservative leaders announced their "rejection of the current direction of the state Republican leadership..." They take issue with Senator Rob Portman's new position, saying he "def[ied] one of the key planks of the Republican Party Platform to take a position in support of same-sex 'marriage.' This dismisses the views of roughly 3.3 million Ohioans who voted in 2004 for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman."
The letter, signers write, was meant to "inform the public that we have not moved on these issues important to our fellow Buckeyes and we will not accept this leadership which is inconsistent with the principles of the Republican Party." And considering Ohio's importance in the broader political landscape, groups like the RNC should think twice before crossing them.
If you're on the fence about marriage or know someone who is, please check out this new booklet from FRC, The Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the National Organization for Marriage. It answers the most challenging questions on the issue and would certainly come in handy if you're looking for ways to educate your kids or debunk the popular arguments for redefining marriage. Please make a point of sharing this with your friends, family, and college students!
At Planned Parenthood, Crime Does Pay!
Planned Parenthood has been lying to women forever--and now they're lying to the government too! Thanks to local whistleblowers, Cecile Richards's group has been implicated in a ring of national fraud. Initially, the scam was limited to a few states like California and New York, but it has since exploded to Southern Texas (which had 87,000 incidents!), Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, and now Washington.
This week, our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) took Planned Parenthood to task in yet another lawsuit that alleges the group made as many as 25,000 false claims to the state's health department. As in other states, Planned Parenthood was running a coordinated effort to either overcharge the state for services or invent services they had never performed! In states like Iowa, the plot was so sophisticated that clinics were getting $26.32 reimbursement checks for a $2.98 package of birth control. State and local governments have poured more than a billion dollars into Richards's group--and this is how she repays them?
ADF Senior Counsel Michael Norton said, "Americans deserve to know, especially in economic times like these, if their hard-earned tax money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it." Regardless of how policymakers feel about abortion, they should all agree that Planned Parenthood should be held to the same standards as everyone else who takes government funds. If Planned Parenthood can't be trusted with the money it already has, why should Congress agree to more?
When a "charitable" organization like Planned Parenthood is suspected of not just fraud, but criminal cover-ups, falsifying medical information, violating safety standards, encouraging prostitution and sex trafficking, medical malpractice, sex-selection abortion, accepting racially-motivated donations, and huge profits, this is no longer about abortion. It's about accountability and the law. And it's time Congress enforced both--if Planned Parenthood won't.
** If you missed the last two installments of Peter Sprigg's "Defining Marriage" blog posts, catch up here with "Do Infertile Couples Undermine the Procreation Argument for One-Man One-Woman Marriage?" and "What about Homosexuals Who Oppose Redefining Marriage?"
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.