Category archives: Marriage

Civil Rights Gained on the Backs of Little Children

by Cynthia Hill

November 2, 2010

Yesterday the Vermont Supreme Court upheld a 2009 family court ruling that awarded sole custody of Isabella Miller-Jenkins, now eight, to Janet Jenkins as a result of a bitter lesbian custody case. Jenkins and her then-partner Lisa Miller had entered a VT civil union in 2000 which lasted until 2003. Later, their own private business of Lisas 2002 artificial insemination would become the business of a nation, the VT court system, and, sadly, one very innocent and undeserving little girl.

Miller, fearing this outcome of lost custody, failed to appear for both the court-ordered January 2009 custody exchange, as well as the VT Supreme Court ruling yesterday. She has long-since renounced her homosexuality and, to date, she and Isabella are attempting to remain underground.

This case is a loss for all involved. It is a tragic consequence of the civil “right” that, unfortunately, Lisa Miller, fought for - and now has to live in spite of. Only this time, an innocent child suffers at the hands of adults in a political milieu where the innocent loses and no one, especially little Isabella, wins.

Light a Candle? Or Buy a Stamp!

by Robert Morrison

September 14, 2010

I just returned from five days in Iowa. No, Im not throwing my hat in the ring for the famous Iowa presidential nominating caucuses. I did feel like stomping on the hats of some of those whose names are being mentioned. Some of these fellows think the way to victory in ‘12 is to abandon the issues of human life and marriage. When one fellow drawls social issues aint gonna change a single vote, I can assure him: They just changed mine.

I was in Iowa to speak to Lutherans for Life. My hosts took me to Christian schools, churches, and home gatherings. Again and again, the word coming back to me from Iowa was frustration. Those common sense folks who live in farm country and who care deeply about this country told me over and over they were frustrated that both parties seem not to be listening to them.

People there are frustrated with taxes and spending, to be sure, with being forced to pay for abortions through national health care, and with seemingly endless foreign entanglement that do not promise victoryor even enhance our security. If we are winning the war on terror, then why are apologists for terrorists preparing to put a mosque at Ground Zero? If after nine years of war we cannot even make Fort Hood safe, people know something is seriously wrong.

I have a small suggestion to help my frustrated friends in Iowa and elsewhere. It wont change everything, but it will change something. My friend Seth Leibsohn suggested this idea while he was subbing as host for Bill Bennetts talk show. Its very much a Morning in America idea, for that show is dedicated to intelligence, candor, and goodwill.

Seth suggested we all go out and buy 100 Mother Teresa postage stamps. The U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp to honor this Nobel Peace Prize winner, this frail little woman who made sure that the love of Christ was communicated to the poorest of the poor.

President Reagan called Mother Teresa the saint of the gutters. I remember the story of the 1994 Congressional Prayer Breakfast in Washington. President and Mrs. Clinton were seated at the head table. So were Vice President and Mrs. Gore.

When Mother Teresa begged for the lives of unborn children who were being targeted by Clinton-Gore policies. The audience erupted in waves of applause. The Clintons and the Gores sat there like stone statues.

Mother Teresa was fearless. She would tell her Missionaries of Charity in her Calcutta shelters they had to put there hands in the open sores of their dying, outcast patients. You are tending to Jesus wounds, she would say to her squeamish young Sisters-in-training. This is how we show our love of the Lord.

Mother Teresa knew that how we treat unborn children has a lot to do with how we treat each other. Terrorists do not care about human life, born or unborn. One of Nidal Hasans fourteen victims at Fort Hood was an unborn child. She said abortionnot nuclear weapons, world hunger, or global warmingwas the greatest threat to world peace.

Theres an old saying: Its better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. I think of this every year when my family attends Christmas Eve services. There, the tradition is for everyone to light a candle, each person drawing a little flame from his neighbors candle.

Soon, there are 3,000 little lights testifying to the light that came into the world.

Im going to buy 100 Mother Teresa stamps. Its one way we can show there is a government project we definitely approve of. Let the atheizers howl, but this is a wonderful tribute to a saintly woman. Buying those stamps is a way to honor her Lord and ours. Its a way of signaling our respect and our gratitude. Buying and using Mother Teresa stamps is a small way to promote the cause of peace and appeal for the lives of unborn children.

Good News Story on Healthy Marriage Initiative

by Family Research Council

August 31, 2010

A very promising study was recently released involving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) programs in Oklahoma. The report revealed that Building Strong Families is having a lasting and positive impact in Oklahoma, with measurable results including fathers staying more involved in family life, and couples reporting higher quality relationships.

Find out more information on this program and study here. See here or here for more information on the Healthy Marriage Initiative.

Tony Perkins on CBS’s Face the Nation

by Jared Bridges

August 9, 2010

FRC President Tony Perkins appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday (8/8/10) to discuss the implications of the federal court ruling striking down California’s “Proposition 8.” Here’s a clip of the interview below, followed by links to other media coverage of the interview:

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT (CBS) [PDF]

Same-Sex Marriage Decision: “Far From Over” (CBS)

Family Research Council compares Prop. 8 to Roe; says fight not over (The Hill)

Perkins: We hope ‘sanity will reign’ on gay marriage ban (Politico)

Activists Gear Up for Next Round on Gay Marriage (CQ Politics)

Gay-Marriage Ruling Should Be Upheld, Ex-Solicitor General Ted Olson Says (Bloomberg)

Prop 8 attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies say judge’s ruling is ‘constitutionally sound’ (NY Daily News)

Olson backs gay marriage ruling (Boston Globe)

Did Pioneering Pro-Homosexual Judge Have a Conflict of Interest?

by Peter Sprigg

July 9, 2010

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has vetoed the bill to create civil unions that the legislature passed in a last-minute legislative maneuver in April. It was refreshing to see Gov. Lingle declare straightforwardly, I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same gender marriage and find that HB 444 is essentially marriage by another name. Its refreshing mostly because last year, two other governorsNew Hampshires John Lynch and Maines John E. Baldaccicaved to homosexual activists under similar circumstances, and signed bills to legalize same-sex marriage.

However, in reading a news report about the veto, something else caught my eye. Heres what the Honolulu Star-Advertiser said about one of the critics of the veto:

It’s beyond problematic,” said Steven Levinson, a retired associate justice of the state Supreme Court, whose daughter is a lesbian… . Levinson authored the landmark 1993 ruling that held that it was discriminatory for the state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Now wait a second. The author of the very first court decision in American history that was supportive of same-sex marriagehas a lesbian daughter? Doesnt that suggest a little problem of judicial ethics known as a conflict of interest?

Of course, Levinsons landmark ruling was 17 years ago. His lesbian daughter might not have been out of the closet in 1993 (or might not have been born, for that matter). But it raises an interesting question, which iswhy am I the only person asking if this is a conflict of interest? If judges are going to rule on issues involving the supposed civil rights of homosexuals, dont they have a conflict if a close family memberor even they themselvesare homosexual? Shouldnt they be required to recuse themselvesor at least disclose the potential conflict?

Of course, its logically quite possible that a judge could rule objectively on the issue of same-sex marriage even while having a family member who self-identifies as gay. It is liberalsnot conservativeswho assume that there is a contradiction in loving a homosexual person while opposing same-sex marriage. But the way that Levinson spoke out publicly this week suggests that for him, liberal emotionalism trumps conservative logic. So its reasonable to ask whether it might also have trumped judicial restraint back in 1993.

You can only imagine the complaints of bias from liberals if the judge ruling on a case that arose from the Gulf oil spill were found to own stock in BPor even if his daughter did. Given their hostility to religion, the reaction might be even worse if a judge ruling on an issue involving a local churchsay, one of the Episcopal churches whose ownership is disputed by its conservative congregation and liberal diocesewere found to be a member of that same church (or even if his daughter was).

Why are there not similar howls when a judge who has a gay childor is gay herselfrules on issues involving homosexuality?

I guess liberal political correctness includes a lot of double standards.

Hospital Visit Horrors? Heres the Rest of the Story

by Peter Sprigg

April 21, 2010

On April 15, President Obama issued a memorandum to the Secretary of Health and Human Services instructing her to prepare regulations that will protect the right of homosexual partners (and other non-family members) to visit their loved ones in the hospital.

In a series of interviews the next day, I emphasized that the Family Research Council does not have any objection to such visitation in principle, as long as it is premised on the patients personal choice rather than on a redefinition of family or marriage. However, I also pointed out that the main reason this is even a topic of discussion is because it is used as a political talking point by the advocates of same-sex marriage, who see it as a golden opportunity to tug at peoples heartstrings and generate emotional sympathy for their cause.

I further asserted my belief that the frequency with which homosexuals are barred from visiting their partners in the hospital is grossly exaggerated. As I pointed out in an online chat on the Washington Post website,

The idea that homosexuals are regularly denied the right to visit their partners in the hospital is one that has only one source—homosexual activists who want to change the definition of marriage. Where are the media surveys of hospital administrators to determine how many hospitals actually have such restrictive policies?

In the reporting on the Obama memorandum, however, many media outlets cited the case of Janice Langbehn, a lesbian who sued a Florida hospital claiming that she was denied the right to visit her partner Lisa Pond when Pond was dying from an aneurysm. Langbehns story is apparently a familiar one in the homosexual activist community, thanks in large part to a sympathetic New York Times article last year.

In fact, Langbehns story was instrumental in moving Obama to act. According to the Washington Post:

Officials said Obama had been moved by the story of a lesbian couple in Florida, Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond, who were kept apart when Pond collapsed of a cerebral aneurysm in February 2007, dying hours later at a hospital without her partner and children by her side. Obama called Langbehn on Thursday evening from Air Force One as he flew to Miami, White House officials said.

The New York Times story last year did report that the hospital disputes some of Langbehns charges, but media reports on the Obama memo last week, like that in the Post, did not even bother mentioning that. They were content to repeat the storyline of the homosexual activists verbatim, without even stopping to ask if there was another side.

There is, however, another side. On the website of the Miami Herald, I discovered that the hospital which Langbehn accused of mistreating her has sent its own letter to President Obama. Here is part of what the hospital said:

We would also like to take this opportunity to provide you with some clarification on the allegations being made by Janice Langbehn, whose partner was treated at Jacksons Ryder Trauma Center in 2007. From the beginning, JHS has vehemently denied that Ms. Langbehn was denied visitation due to her sexual orientation. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed Ms. Langbehns lawsuit against Jackson Memorial Hospital in September 2009.

Ms. Langbehns allegations and those made by published articles, blogs, etc., are inaccurate and have damaged the reputations and deeply hurt the feelings of the personnel in our trauma center. They have devoted their careers to all who come through our doors, from all walks of life.

JHS grants hospital visitation to all individuals equally, regardless of their relationship to the patient, as long as doing so does not interfere with the care being given to the patient or other patients in the area. With that said, our first priority when a patient is brought to our trauma center is always to stabilize the patient and save their life. As the only adult and pediatric Level 1 trauma center in Miami-Dade County to support a population of more than 2.3 million people, our facility is one of the busiest and most renowned in the nation.

The Trauma Resuscitation Unit in Ryder Trauma Center, where Lisa Pond was treated when airlifted to Jackson, is more like a large operating room with multiple beds separated by glass partitions rather than a traditional hospital floor. Sometimes, visitors are not able to see a loved one in the trauma bay as quickly as they would like or they may have to wait until the patient is moved to the ICU or to another area of the hospital that is better suited for visitation. This all depends on the circumstances of the situation, how busy the unit is at the time and the medical conditions of the patients in the unit at the time. The patients in this area are facing life-threatening injuries or illnesses and are extremely vulnerable.

The most important piece of information to consider from our side of this story is that the charge nurse on duty the night Ms. Pond was in our care and the person who made all visitation access decisions that evening is herself a lesbian with a life partner. In addition, numerous members of the medical team working in our trauma unit are openly homosexual. We can assure you that Ms. Langbehn was not treated differently because of her sexual orientation.

When homosexuals complain that they are denied the right to visit their partners in the hospital, they may give some people the impression (I suspect deliberately) that in some hospitals they are never able to visit their partners, simply because they are not legally recognized as family members. I pointed out that for ordinary patients in ordinary hospital rooms (the vast majority of hospital patients), there are few if any restrictions on visitation. You dont go through security, no one checks your IDyou just walk up to the room and visit. Some hospitals have even done away with the tradition of visiting hours, and instead allow visitors to come in at any hour of the day or night.

I did acknowledge that there might be exceptions to these liberal visitation policies, such as when a patient is in intensive care. But there was one point so obvious that I did not bother making it (until now)and that is that in situations of emergency, trauma, or intensive care, hospitals may sometimes keep away all visitors from a patient for medical reasonsnot for reasons of discrimination. If the hospitals account is accurate, that is what happened to Janice Langbehn.

Is the thought of a person dying without their loved ones at their bedside an agonizing one? Of course. But it is an agony that is probably experienced by many people, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status, every day, for one simple reasontheir beds are surrounded by doctors and nurses fighting to save their lives.

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