Board of Health to Amend Rules for Abortion Centers . . . Again!Oct. 15, 2018
The abortion lobby is at it again. After years of regulatory efforts under the McAuliffe administration to significantly undercut the common-sense health and safety standards for abortion centers (which led to our ongoing lawsuit against the Board of Health after it broke the law repeatedly in the process), Ralph Northam’s administration has decided that his predecessor didn’t go far enough.
Earlier this month, the Board of Health published an official Notice of its intent to carve up the regulations governing abortion center standards even more. But the way it went about it is truly unprecedented. Unlike the normal process of specifying the types of changes a state agency intends to make to certain regulatory sections and then seeking public comment on them, the Board of Health has simply decided to leave the entire Chapter wide open to any and all changes that suit their fancy, based upon whatever their pro-abortion cohorts call for through public comments.
They have effectively set up a free-for-all smorgasbord of handouts to the abortion industry, in which the Board has given itself the boundless ability to do whatever it wants. While this latest stunt is probably unlawful, our experience reminds us that the law is no obstacle to the abortion-minded Board of Health. With a pending lawsuit that appears likely to overturn most of the Board’s previous changes to these very regulations, you would think they would eventually learn a lesson.
Nevertheless, this does present a prime opportunity to provide the Board of Health with recommendations for health and safety measures that will actually help protect vulnerable women and children and hold this notoriously shady industry to account.
It’s important that we make sure the pro-life, pro-women, pro-safety message is heard and well represented.
Follow this link to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall to leave your comment urging the Board of Health to implement strong health and safety measures that will protect vulnerable women and hold the abortion industry accountable. (See below for a list of suggestions.)
Years of inspection reports have produced evidence of hundreds of egregious safety violations inside these abortion centers. And most of those were reported under the McAuliffe administration’s own oversight. One abortion center was even closed down after Governor McAuliffe’s own Commissioner of Health suspended its license after a 70-page report of violations.
Virginia’s abortion facilities need more oversight, not less. Share your thoughts about this with the Board of Health today!
Here are a few changes we recommend the Board make:
Reinstate all of the health and safety measures the Board unlawfully watered down during its last amendment process.
Require all OLC inspections to verify that ultrasounds have been performed at least 24 hours prior to every abortion performed.
Require annual inspections on abortion facilities instead of biennial.
Remove the ability of the Commissioner to grant permanent variances.
Reinstate the definition of "first trimester" as being the first twelve weeks from conception, not "13 weeks and 6 days after last menstrual period."
Reinstate the ability of the department to deny, suspend, or revoke the license to operate an abortion facility for violating "any provision of Article 1 (§ 32.1-123 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 32.1."
Reinstate the requirement that abortion facilities provide information on post-abortion counseling to its patients.
Reinstate the requirement that the abortion facility ensure that it has removed all of the fetal body parts from inside of the female patient upon the performance of an abortion.
Reinstate the requirement that abortion facilities report to OLC any incidents reported to the malpractice insurance carrier.
Reinstate the reasonable design and construction standards that provided for things such as hallways wide enough to carry patients out on stretchers in cases of emergency.
Planned Parenthood’s Stealth Accounting PracticesOct. 15, 2018
It is widely understood that Planned Parenthood’s primary funding source, close to $500 million, is derived from Medicaid reimbursements. Abortion supporters attempt to make the argument that, under the law, Medicaid reimbursements can only be used for “family planning” services. While that may be the case, it does allow Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to divert funds otherwise used for family planning toward abortion services. It’s nothing short of devious accounting.
During the Medicaid expansion debate in Virginia this year, we warned legislators that Medicaid expansion and other grant programs would permit Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to line their pockets with state funds in order to help them carry out their abortion practice.
Last month, the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood announced that it is planning to open a new abortion center in the East End of Richmond, which is projected to double the number of Richmond clients to 20,000 visits per year. In fact, the abortion provider has already purchased property and plans to invest upwards of $5 million in its renovation. The location of the new Planned Parenthood is in one of Richmond’s more impoverished areas, and will seek to exploit and misguide new Medicaid enrollees.
What gave Planned Parenthood incentive to establish a new abortion center in Richmond you might ask? Simple: Medicaid. In the Richmond Times Dispatch article announcing the new facility, the CEO of The Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, Paulette McElwain, stated that they were motivated by the General Assembly’s passage of expanded Medicaid coverage for low-income individuals.
In addition to expanded Medicaid, there have been two Planned Parenthood affiliates approved for the LARC pilot program, a two year, $6 million pilot program approved through the budget to provide long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) to its clients.
While the Medicaid dollars and LARC grants will not fund abortions directly, it will allow Planned Parenthood to redirect non-Medicaid funding streams to support their primary mission – performing abortions. Money is fungible, and Planned Parenthood has learned how to cleverly use this to skirt federal and state laws in order to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
Some states, most recently South Carolina, are taking direct action to thwart this devious accounting practice. This month the South Carolina House of Representatives voted to uphold the Governor’s line item veto of a budget measure that would have funneled about $15.8 million in state “family planning” funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Last year the South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster also boldly issued an executive order disqualifying abortion facilities from being Medicaid providers (that executive order has been challenged in court by Planned Parenthood). Governor McMaster said in a statement: “[t]here are a variety of agencies, clinics, and medical entities in South Carolina that receive taxpayer funding to offer important women's health and family planning services without offering abortions.”
South Carolina has stood up to the powerful abortion industry and its lobbyists to cut off its funding, which ultimately support abortion practices. It is time for Virginia to do the same, and disqualify any health care clinics that carry out abortions from becoming eligible for Medicaid reimbursements.
As we unwrap Medicaid expansion that was delivered to Virginians through the biennium budget this year, we are now beginning to see some of our predictions related to the abortion industry come to pass. Nevertheless, we will remain steadfast and diligent in our defense of the unborn and the protection of all women who are being influenced by Planned Parenthood and its abortion cohorts.
Senator Amanda Chase: The Face of CourageOct. 12, 2018
I’m going to guess that Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) surely did not foresee the severity of the backlash that would come her way before she unflinchingly stepped up to the podium at last week’s “Conversion Therapy Work Group” meeting, during which she cautioned against a policy proposal guaranteed to significantly undermine parental rights, patient autonomy, free speech, religious liberty, and the very notion of truth itself. I also get the distinct impression that, had she been able to foresee the consequences ahead of time, she wouldn’t have changed a thing. The General Assembly could really use a few more legislators with that kind of courage, fortitude, and moral clarity.
As soon as Senator Chase posted about her involvement in the meeting on her Facebook page, the sharks began circling, and the madness inherent in the so-called “conversion therapy” discussion ensued. Passions ran high on all sides, but especially among those disinclined to recognize objective biological realities. Critical comments are to be expected towards legislators, but this was at a different level. And that was just Facebook.
Two days later, Senator Chase was being lambasted by Richmond2Day, which seemed to mostly take issue with the fact that she often provides retorts to statements from hostile constituents on social media. The real story here should be that Senator Chase actually takes the time to personally acknowledge and interact with her constituents - even the ones who disagree with her on various issues. A legislator who actively listens to and engages with her constituents? How refreshing. Moreover, she even talks openly about current issues on her weekly radio show, including this topic, which was featured on last week's show.
But what was it about this particular situation that caused Senator Chase to become the object of so much fury? She had the audacity to stand up on behalf of the General Assembly, struggling children, concerned parents, professional counselors, and people of faith and declare that children should be able to receive professional guidance when they are experiencing unwanted same-sex attractions or confusion about their biological sex, that we should trust parents to seek therapeutic methods that are in the best interest of their children and in accordance with their faith, and that we should permit counselors the professional latitude to help their clients through a variety of reasonable methods. I suspect that what really sent some over the edge, though, was that Senator Chase dared to stand before a body of mostly liberal bureaucratic "professionals" and clearly imply that, when it comes to the new radical agenda to force misaligned sexual identities onto vulnerable children, "the emperor has no clothes."
Plenty of others also showed up to share a similar message, including professional counselors, individuals who had received such counseling, pastors, and citizens of goodwill. But none besides Senator Chase had to subsequently face the firing squad - because she's an elected official, and well, elected officials are supposed to know to stay away from such "controversial" issues. For the sake of our Commonwealth and the many people impacted by this proposal, I'm glad Senator Chase didn't shy away from speaking the truth on such an explosive, but critically important, matter. The Family Foundation was there to address the Work Group, but we were grateful to have had a legislator lay the groundwork for our cause up front.
The Family Foundation stands resolutely behind Senator Chase and any other legislators who stand up to fight for children, parents, counselors, free speech, and religious liberty. Others are definitely out there, but our Commonwealth could use a few more.
America's Biggest Serial Killer and Our LawsuitOct. 11, 2018
Did you know that the most prolific and successful serial killer in American history was convicted and jailed for multiple life-sentences just five years ago? The Philadelphia man killed hundreds of victims over the course of a few decades without getting caught. He was finally caught after an unrelated drug investigation. He was convicted for the first-degree murders of five of his countless victims.
This story is shocking. It is horrific. And the major news media was all but silent as it happened.
Why were they silent? Because Dr. Kermit Gosnell was an abortionist and his victims were the survivors who were born alive in his abortion clinic.
Very few people know that America’s Biggest Serial Killer was an abortionist. NPR won’t even allow this fact to be printed.
Stories like this one remind us why the health regulations in Virginia are so important. This serial killer was only able to continue his decades-long killing spree because the State of Pennsylvania refused to regulate abortion clinics.
The Family Foundation is currently involved in a lawsuit to enforce Virginia’s abortion facility regulations which the McAuliffe administration unlawfully obliterated. We must enforce these regulations so that we never have a Kermit Gosnell in our Commonwealth.
This story needs to be told. And this weekend it is finally being told in movie theaters across the country.
I strongly recommend this movie, which I saw at a special preview showing, to you and your families. It is a courtroom drama that shows the failure of the government to protect innocent lives. This movie also strongly rebukes the mainstream media for their failure to report this sensational criminal trial as it was happening.
While the source material of the story is intensely emotional and disturbing, the filmmakers have done a great job to avoid any graphic content that would upset viewers. This movie will make you think, and it should make you angry about what we are doing in our society. Check your local theater listing to find a showtime and see this movie. The true story of the sordid work of the abortion industry enabled by the government and ignored by the mainstream media must be told.
The Family Foundation will tell this story and continue to hold our own government accountable to protect Virginians from killers like Gosnell. Thank you for your support.
The "Gay Cake Row" Across the PondOct. 10, 2018
You’ve heard of Jack the Baker of Masterpiece Cakeshop, right? He’s the Christian man who won his case at the Supreme Court this year.
Now you should hear about Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland. Today they finally won their case at the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court.
Both cases were about whether nondiscrimination laws can be used to force bakers to create custom cakes celebrating gay marriage.
Four and a half years ago, Ashers was asked to make a custom cake with a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street and the phrase “Support Gay Marriage” on it. The clerk accepted the order, but the Reformed Presbyterian Christian family who owns the business decided this message would conflict with their deeply held religious beliefs. So they refused the order.
The cake would have cost £36.50. Instead of looking for another bakery to make the cake, the customer, gay rights activist Gareth Lee, brought a lawsuit against Ashers for discrimination.
His case was initially successful. The lower courts ruled that refusing to make this custom cake was discrimination against Mr. Lee on the basis of his sexual orientation. It is against the law in the United Kingdom to discriminate on that basis.
The appeals have continued in Northern Ireland, and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom finally reached a decision this morning. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed with what the McArthurs and Ashers have been saying all along: “We did not turn down this order because of the person who made it, but because of the message itself.”
Lady Hale of the Supreme Court gave the opinion of the court.
This unanimous decision in favor of the Christian bakery owners made it clear that “nondiscrimination” cannot be interpreted as a right to force Christians to celebrate something they disagree with.
“The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr. Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage, but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.”
After four and a half years, freedom of speech has prevailed in the United Kingdom. It cost the taxpayers over £200,000 in legal fees that the State provided to Mr. Lee through the “equality commission.”
Facing the prospect of hundreds of thousands of pounds in costs for the years-long legal battle would have silenced many Christians. But the McArthurs stood their ground and won their case.
Bakers in Colorado and in the United Kingdom have had to fight all the way to the Supreme Court because of nondiscrimination laws that were used as weapons against them. If we pass “nondiscrimination” laws that uphold “sexual orientation” as a protected class, then we can expect to see it happening to Virginian bakers as well. And that’s just the bakers.
The Family Foundation will continue to stand against these destructive policies in Virginia. Thank you to all of our supporters who make this stance possible.
State Bureaucrats: 'You Can't Change'Oct. 05, 2018
“Quackery,” “fraudulent,” “dangerous,” “harmful,” “ineffective,” “no legitimate purpose,” “abuse in every way, shape, and form,” "torture."
These are some of the words used today by members of the Conversion Therapy Work Group and of the public to describe the process of licensed professionals helping children to cope with and even overcome their unwanted same-sex desires or the confusion they’re experiencing about their true gender as either male or female.
With such explosive feelings against this method of treatment – which they have termed “Conversion Therapy” – you might think they could point to some pretty shocking evidence.
As it turns out, one by one the representatives of the various medical boards openly admitted that they were not aware of ANY complaints having been received by their respective agencies about this practice. Meanwhile, they simply refuse to acknowledge the real-life examples of those who have found help and healing through these therapeutic methods – pretending, it seems, as though these people don’t exist.
Our team was there to address the work group’s proposal from a policy, a constitutional, and even a personal perspective. We also rallied counselors, pastors, and concerned citizens to show up to express their opposition.
In listening to all of the workgroup's discussion today, there were two key themes that ran throughout their remarks:
1) A licensed professional must choose between their profession or their faith, but they cannot possibly practice both at the same time. (A view that is totally misinformed and patently unconstitutional) And,
2) Parents cannot be trusted with acting in the best interest of their children. (Delegate Patrick Hope, who has patroned the “conversion therapy ban” bill in the House for several years, actually stated: “The reason I brought this bill is because I do think the government’s role is to take care of kids.”)
And then there was the unspoken but obvious implication by nearly all the members, that any religiously-motivated convictions that lead parents to seek counseling for their struggling child in this way are simply wrong, dangerous, and illegitimate.
Think about what they’re really saying through this policy to children with very real sexual struggles: You cannot change. You are what you feel, and you are destined to remain that way, unless of course you wish to modify your body or your behavior in an unhealthy and unnatural way. There is no help or hope for you, even if you desire it.
Now consider how that message flies in the face of what the Christian faith teaches:
I Corinthians 6: 9-11 – 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
By this policy, these bureaucrats directly attack the very ESSENSE of the Gospel message – the basis of the Christian faith, which declares that through the power of God, every person can actually be transformed through the renewing of their heart, mind, and soul.
Clearly, this battle is about so much more than what appears on the surface.
Today’s meeting did not take any actions, but they will recommend that several regulatory boards in Virginia do take action to ban “conversion therapy.” We anticipate that many boards will propose regulations that are a direct threat to religious liberty and parental authority. As we continue to meet this threat head on, we will keep you up to speed as things unfold. Thank you to everyone who spoke up at today’s meeting with passion and clarity. We will let you know when the next opportunity to speak comes up.
Drag Queens, Toddlers, and the Biblical FamilyOct. 01, 2018
On Saturday I was at the Joint Use library in Virginia Beach. I got there just in time to see over a dozen children walking out with paper crowns and colorful masks on.
Playfully I bowed to the children with crowns on their heads, showing proper respect for their “majesties” as they walked by. I was joining their imaginary exploration of what it would be like to be royalty.
Then I ran into someone who promoted something different than pretending. Joshua Martin, dressed as “Gillette Black,” was walking out of the children’s reading room where he had just led the “Drag Queen Story Hour” for dozens of toddlers. He was dressed up in an enormous wig and colorful outfit that reminded me of Wonder Woman.
This was part of a nationally promoted campaign to have drag queens read stories that affirm sexual and gender identities beyond “male and female” to children at local libraries.
Joshua Martin said that his goal for reading to children was to encourage them to be themselves, “no matter who they are.”
That’s the core of the disagreement between us. I call it imagination; he calls it true identity.
He believes that a person’s true identity is determined by their own feelings. I recognize that a person’s true identity is determined by the Creator who has made us in His image.
How did the community respond to this Drag Queen Story Hour? Well, one pastor spoke up.
He didn’t protest and curse this cultural darkness. Instead, he called together different Christians from across Virginia Beach to publicly proclaim what God has made good. He held the “Celebration of Biblical Family.” He held this celebration of truth and beauty in the same Joint Use library where the Drag Queen Story Hour had been held.
During this public event, several people shared about their own experiences with sexual brokenness and how the promise of the Gospel is so much better than anything the world can offer. The confusion of the world and the confusion in our own hearts cannot overwhelm the goodness of God.
Biblical families protect children from harm. My own father and mother, joined together in covenantal marriage for life, have guarded me from some of the immense suffering that many of my peers have gone through. I praise God for that blessing.
It was a joy to praise God publicly at the library on Saturday afternoon.
It isn’t hard to reserve a room and hold a similar event at your own local library. These are public institutions that cannot discriminate based on your message. All you have to do to hold your own celebration of the Biblical Family is to call the library, choose a date, and then invite your neighbors to join you. I’d love to join you, too!
Instead of shrinking back from our confused culture, we have the opportunity to make a huge impact by speaking the truth and shining the light into our communities.
We are the light of the world which is set on a stand and cannot be hidden. We do not curse the darkness, we light a candle.
Could Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Coming to Virginia?Sep. 28, 2018
We’ve spent two years participating in an administrative work-study group put together to analyze whether Virginia should legalize physician-assisted suicide (“PAS”). For our part, we made sure that the truth about the value and dignity of every human life – regardless of age or disability – was firmly and persistently made known. We provided solid data validating many of the moral, ethical, sociological, and scientific problems with PAS.
In short, we made it very clear that Virginia is no place for physician-assisted suicide.
Now the Joint Commission on Health Care has been presented with the Commission staff’s Final Report, and the legislative members of the Joint Commission will soon make a recommendation on whether it thinks the General Assembly should legalize PAS.
Please add your comment today urging the Commission members to reject PAS!
Five states now have some form of legalized PAS. While that’s a small number, it’s still five too many, and we cannot allow it to gain any grip in our Commonwealth.
The citizen comment period for this PAS study will end at 5:00 P.M. on October 15th. It’s so very important that the delegates and senators on this Commission hear from those of us who know the value of life.
CLICK HERE to send your comment to the Joint Commission on Health Care, because in Virginia, we don’t want or need physician-assisted suicide!
Will Virginia Ban the Truth?Sep. 26, 2018
This bill prohibited any licensed professional in Virginia from offering “Sexual Orientation Change Efforts” to people under the age of 18. Sexual Orientation Change Efforts was defined as “any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender” (Emphasis mine.)
That means that any child who is engaged in same-sex sexual behaviors cannot be counseled to change those behaviors by a licensed professional in Virginia! The ban would have even covered pastors who are also licensed by the state to provide counseling – and plenty are!
A dozen states, several cities, and the District of Columbia have all banned “Conversion Therapy” for minors. Virginia is not one of them, but now regulators may try to push this through without the legislature.
Our legislators in Richmond recognized that this proposed law was completely wrong. It violates free speech, religious liberty, and endangers children who should be able to receive helpful and godly counsel to avoid dangerous behaviors and to address the underlying issues likely contributing to certain feelings.
Now regulators are considering whether to impose this policy upon Virginians anyway!
The Department of Health Professions recently called for representatives from the boards of Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Medicine, and Nursing to come to a meeting to “consider inclusion of such a prohibition in their unprofessional conduct regulations.”
This meeting will be held in Henrico on Friday, October 5, at 10:00 a.m.
We must speak up against regulations that would silence counselors who want to serve children and remain true to their deepest convictions. We must protect religious liberty. We must protect free speech.
Public Comment is invited at this meeting. Each speaker will be given up to 3 minutes.
Please take time during the morning next Friday, October 5, to attend and speak up at this Department of Health Professionals “Conversion Therapy Working Group.” If you would like help drafting something to say, I would be happy to help you write out a public statement. Please also pass this information along to your pastor and any counselors, doctors, nurses, or other licensed professionals you know.
As a personal note: I have been the recipient of counseling that encouraged me to change my behaviors with respect to my own same-sex sexual attractions. If this law had been in place when I was growing up, my pastors would not have been allowed – by state decree – to help me resist sexual temptations and to live in a godly way. The professionally licensed counselors I visited as a teenager helped me to live in accordance with the obligations I have as a male image bearer of the Holy God.
This law will silence those counselors, and would leave young men and women who are struggling like I was without any godly counsel in their lives.
These regulations will also go beyond what is done for children. A bill in California came incredibly close to being passed as a law that would ban Sexual Orientation Change Efforts for adults, as well. A ministry in New Jersey who serves adults who want to change their homosexual behaviors was recently shut down after a lawsuit was brought against them.
No counselors, doctors, nurses, or social workers should be treated as “unprofessional” when they stand up for what is true and what is best for children or adults. Please join me next Friday to speak up in opposition to any regulations that would silence these professionals.
Join me on Friday, October 5th, in speaking up against this regulation.
Department of Health Professionals
“Conversion Therapy Working Group”
Friday, October 5, 10:00 a.m.
9960 Mayland Drive Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233
Parents: Get Involved In SchoolSep. 24, 2018
Keep your public school district from becoming just like Fairfax!
Fairfax County Schools may be excellent in their academic training, but their social engineering is out of control. This year the School Board voted to teach children that “sex is assigned at birth” and that abstinence is not 100% effective at preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Now the school board is paying Dr. Amy Przeworski to speak during their mental health and wellness conference this weekend. Perhaps Dr. Przeworski is the best candidate for the presentation, but one of her current projects is an online survey of “Coming Out in the LGBT Community,” and the questions in that 45-minute long survey skew very strongly toward an ideological position decrying “homophobia” and celebrating “diversity.”
Fairfax County Public Schools is buying into the LGBTQ ideology more completely every year.
So what does this have to do with you and your local school district?
The decision about who comes to speak at school events is made by various committees in the schools. Do you know who makes those decisions in your schools?
Would you be surprised to learn that you can help make the decisions about what speakers, events, programs, and mandatory staff training is pushed through your school district? You can.
Right now the Henrico County School District has formed an Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee to shape decisions about sexual orientation and gender diversity policies in those schools. The members of that committee have been required to undergo mandatory training from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC).
VCIC includes school resources on gender that say “All Teachers Should Be Trained to Overcome Their Hidden Bias,” and “It’s OK to Be Neither: Teaching That Supports Gender-Variant Children.”
Another group currently influencing school policies is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which has resources for elementary and middle school students. Some of the resources promoting the radical LGBTQ agenda from the ADL include books like “PRIDE: the Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag,” and lesson plans about “Marriage Equality” for elementary and middle school aged children!
Is your school district being directed by the influence of the VCIC and the ADL with respect to the LGBTQ agenda? Would you rather have that influence?
You can be a guardian for those school children. You can be the voice of reason in the school system. Contact your local school district to find out ways that you can volunteer either with a Diversity Committee (like in Henrico) or another committee that makes decisions about what children are taught about sexuality and gender.
One way of getting involved is by joining the committees that already exist in your school district. You can also volunteer with programs operated through your local pregnancy resource center to provide abstinence education, like the “I Am Enough” curriculum, in the Family Life Education classes.
The main point is to be present and be involved in the education in your community, to shine a light in your community.
As you participate in your local school, it is important to be civil. Our speech should always be gracious, so that we can speak the words that make a positive difference in our communities.
Planned Parenthood is Racist, Classist, and AbelistSep. 19, 2018
According to the Planned Parenthood Glossary of Sexual Health Terms, “Eugenics” is “a racist, classist, and ableist movement to control who should and shouldn’t have children.”
Racism, classism, and ableism are all horrible ideas. These ideas say that a human being’s worth is based on their ethnicity, position, or abilities. Eugenics applies those ideas to reproduction, and says that only the “good” people should give birth.
Planned Parenthood is right to identify Eugenics in this way. It’s ironic, though, since Planned Parenthood was originally founded by a major advocate of Eugenics.
Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood (then called the Birth Control League) in 1921.
Margaret Sanger was a big supporter of eugenics. She held eugenic views until the day she died. Her views about promoting birth control as a way to “regenerate” the human race and eliminate “undesirables” were known around the world.
Even MSNBC admits that Margaret Sanger was a “proponent of eugenics.” She was clear in her public writings about her goal of using birth control to prevent the “chance and chaotic breeding” of the lower classes.
She believed that white people were the superior race, that those of intelligence and means were better than those who were uneducated and stupid, and that those who were sick, diseased, or mentally infirm should never reproduce. Margaret Sanger was racist, classist, and ableist.
The Pro-Life, Pro-Family view which is guided by Biblical Christianity is not racist, classist, or ableist. The Family Foundation works to protect every human life, no matter what their ethnicity, their position, or their abilities.
God created all people in His image, not just some. There are no degrees of value based on the place someone was born.
Margaret Sanger said that the Australian Aboriginal was “the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development.” The Bible says that “God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27)
Despite the fact that Eugenics is a racist, classist, and ableist movement to control who should and shouldn’t give birth, Planned Parenthood still celebrates their founder, Margaret Sanger, by giving out the “Margaret Sanger Award” every year.
The abortion industry giant still promotes abortion and birth control – particularly targeting minorities, economically disenfranchised, and weak populations.
Planned Parenthood was founded by a eugenicist, and continues to promote eugenic ideas. Biblical Christianity answers them by loving all people, because all people are made in the image of God.
Owner of Virginia Abortion Facility Has License RevokedSep. 13, 2018
We’ve just learned that Virginia’s most notorious abortionist has finally been stripped of his medical license in New Jersey, his home base of operation, by the state’s Appeals Court. This is encouraging news, since Stephen Brigham has been a lingering menace in the abortion industry for years, having been convicted of numerous crimes and found to be running a multi-state underground operation of illegal late-term abortions.
You may remember that one of Brigham’s abortion centers in Virginia was permanently shut down, after then-Governor McAuliffe’s own Health Commissioner suspended its license in April 2016, citing a 52-page inspection report full of egregious health and safety violations. The abortion center health and safety standards we fought hard to implement in 2011 made it possible for that to happen. Before abortion centers had oversight through these regulations, the Stephen Brighams and Kermit Gosnells of the world were left completely to their own devices.
Even though he is no longer licensed to practice in Virginia, Brigham still owns one abortion center here – Virginia Women’s Wellness in Virginia Beach. This latest development provides all the more reason to be diligent in making sure our abortion center health and safety regulations are robust and are being actively enforced.
That’s why we are currently engaged in a significant legal battle with the State Board of Health, which broke the law in numerous ways in order to strip the abortion center regulations of much of their force. We are determined to reinstate the original common-sense standards that helped lead to the closure of one-third of the state’s licensed abortion facilities. When these facilities are forced to live up to the same reasonable health standards as other realmedical clinics, so many of them continue to prove (through documented inspection reports) what we suspected all along – they are unsanitary, unsafe, and unfit to operate.
Meanwhile, all of this does not even take into account the most glaringly outrageous aspect of all – the fact that these centers kill thousands of babies every year. But rest assured, their days are numbered.
Child Birth Empowers WomenAug. 16, 2018
Yesterday morning, I shared with a reporter from World Radio how true feminism should embrace all aspects of my femininity and the meaningful ways in which I am different from men, while recognizing equal respect and dignity for both sexes. Equality doesn’t necessitate the denial of our profound differences. Nor should it, lest we miss seeing the great value that our differences can offer one another. Hence, in the context of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which was the subject matter of our interview, the ideal of equality in the workplace must not require “sameness” between men and women to ensure merit-based compensation.
Sadly, it is this fundamental point where progressive feminism, like the brand Chelsea Clinton espouses, gets confused, and in turn actually harms true progress. The path of “sameness” (as in, our culture must nullify all real differences between men and women) supposedly requires abortion on demand because, in order to earn equal pay and make a contribution to Wall Street or K Street, women must enter these zones childless. For Chelsea to attribute the $3 trillion economic boom of women entering the workforce to Roe v. Wade, she clearly believes childlessness is key to success, and that pregnancy, which is a critical difference from men, detracts from our rightful role in the workforce.
In this moment, I struggle not to call her a flat-earther or a science-denier. Just last month, the Boston Globe noted recent studies that have observed neurological changes in women as a result of pregnancy. Science now reveals that women become both more empathetic and better multi-taskers as a result of the surge of hormones that occurs as we bring new life into the world. Coupled with the latest research on the value of emotional intelligence and the complexity of most jobs, it would appear that moms add more to the workforce than if we women pursue the path of sameness or remain childless through abortion.
I would add that even if having kids hasn't actually made me better at being a boss, they are still worth it. Every parent knows that having kids is actually pretty incredible, no matter what the implications are to their economic outlook, and they wouldn't trade their children for all the money in the world. Most people recognize that life is about so much more than the strength of the economy, and that relationships are of greater value than things or achievements.
So I say to Chelsea, come out of the dark ages, embrace your role as a mom, recognize motherhood as a unique advantage and joy for women, and abandon the misguided notions that suggest abortion is the path to prominent and powerful careers that will strengthen our economy. You've got everything reversed, Chelsea. Just imagine how much better off women and our economy would be with those 60 million unique and talented souls that have been brutally taken from us since 1973.
More Gambling Will Hurt Virginia FamiliesJul. 27, 2018
Although Virginia has historically been a gambling free state - minus the state lottery, charitable gaming such as bingo, and horse-track betting – it has been recently bombarded with a torrent of gambling expansion efforts. In March of this year, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe announced its plan to build a $700 million casino in the near future. In April, the governor signed a bill that legalized historical horse-race machines, devices which essentially function like slot-machines. Then, in May, the Supreme Court gave states the authority to regulate its own sports betting laws, which means that Virginia will soon face a strong push for its legalization.
Consequently, even though gambling is not typically an issue on most Virginians’ radar, it is important to now give it thoughtful consideration as the gambling issue begins to loom large on the horizon. For a host of reasons, the recent move towards wide-spread gambling is dangerous and careless public policy.
First of all, the U.S. is already enduring a major gambling addiction problem, as nearly 10 million people struggle with a gambling habit. A sudden expansion of gambling opportunities would dramatically exacerbate the problem. Studies have shown that the existence of a gambling facility roughly doubles the number of problem and pathological gamblers within 50 miles. If the mere presence of a physical casino doubles gambling addiction, then one can only imagine the ramification of having access to gambling on a smartphone, which is exactly what could occur if sports betting is legalized. Combining the dangers of gambling with the instant access of smartphones would almost certainly lead to an explosion of gambling addictions. An increase in gambling addiction is of grave moral concern, since gambling addiction inflicts significant damage upon the individual, the family, and the common good of society.
The consequences of gambling on pathological gamblers are often severe and difficult to remedy. Casinos thrive off of the losses of problem gamblers, which constitute about 35 to 50 percent of casino revenue. It is no surprise, then, that many pathological gamblers are afflicted with crippling financial loss, including massive debt, bankruptcy, and even homelessness. Financial ruin, along with the other ramifications of gambling addiction, contributes to the high rate of suicide attempts for pathological gamblers.
The second victim to fall prey to the harmful consequences of chronic gambling is the family. In addition to the obvious financial burden of mounting gambling debt, chronic gambling also creates tension and instability in the home. Many communities even report an increase in domestic violence and child neglect in correlation with the arrival of casinos. The financial, physical, and emotional problems drive many families to the breaking point, as 53.5 % of pathological gamblers have been divorced, compared to 18.2 percent of non-gamblers.
Eventually, the problems of wide-spread gambling extend to the entire community. Studies have shown that casinos significantly increase crime, including robbery, aggravated assaults, auto theft, burglary, larceny, rape, and murder. Also, due to a variety of factors, including the increased crime, each pathological gambler costs society about $9,393 per year. In order to compensate for the increased financial burden of pathological gamblers, the government faces immense pressure to increase taxes. Although they cannot be empirically measured, there are numerous other social consequences brought by gambling that can be clearly seen and felt by all.
In view of these realities, a sudden and massive expansion of gambling would be a tremendously imprudent public policy decision. High stakes and easy accessibility are a lethal combination that would inflict considerable damage upon Virginia. While gambling may not be intrinsically immoral, it contains within itself an inherent capacity for substantial harm. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to curtail the expansion of gambling whenever the opportunity arises. If gambling is allowed to run free and unhindered, it will inevitably sink its teeth deep into the fabric of our society.
By James Rossi
James is a 2018 Summer Policy Intern at The Family Foundation and a student at Christendom College.
The 'Wedding Wars' Come to VirginiaJul. 25, 2018
You’ve no doubt heard about the trouble with cake baker Jack Phillips in Colorado, florist Barronelle Stutzman in Washington, and other creative professionals who refused to lend their artistic talents to same-sex weddings in recent years. Now that trouble has come to Virginia.
Brett and Alex Sandridge, owners of the wedding photography and videography business Gardenia Weddings, have become the latest victims of intolerance. The young married couple faced immediate backlash after politely telling a same-sex couple that they “would not be the best match to film [the] wedding.” Brett and Alex made this decision because of how important it is for them to remain true to their beliefs. You can read about it here:
WDBJ 7: Same-sex couple claims Charlottesville-based photographer discriminated against them
CBS 19 News: Charlottesville-based wedding photographers refuse to serve same-sex couple
Brett and Alex probably had no idea that their small act of declining their artistic services in accordance with their conscience would ignite such a firestorm. Within 24 hours they had experienced a huge amount of backlash and a smear campaign so big that Facebook deactivated their page. Outraged crusaders from everywhere flooded the page with so many negative reviews that it may even put them out of business for good.
Sadly, this is what has come to be expected for anyone who doesn’t fully embrace – and even lend their artistic talents in celebration of – the judicially-created concept of same-sex marriage.
What’s unique about this situation is that it appears to be the first major flashpoint of the “wedding wars” within Virginia. Our state has enjoyed relative immunity from the merciless targeting of conscientious business owners in the wedding industry in large measure because Virginia has wisely declined to add the classifications of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (“SOGI”) to our nondiscrimination laws. We know that such a law would be used to punish religious business owners, and we continue to point out this connection every chance we get. (Read my recent Op-Ed in The Roanoke Times about it.)
It is worth noting that Brett and Alex Sandridge are experiencing the market equivalent of a tar-and-feathering for their decision without any non-discrimination law on the books to punish them for their convictions. The free market – all on its own – acted with incredible swiftness to address the “harm” that this same-sex couple felt in being turned down by Gardenia Weddings. (The highly connected and instantaneous world of social media brought about a kind of swift response that a court could never dream of offering.) Now the Sandridges are on the verge of losing everything within just days of their decision because it was not in lock-step with the demands of the uncompromising Sexual Revolution. Now just imagine how terrible it would be for them if the same-sex couple had access to a “nondiscrimination” law with which they could use as a weapon against these business owners and tie them up in expensive litigation for years.
This situation certainly puts to rest the oft-repeated argument that Virginia needs SOGI laws because LGBT people are unprotected in society. Far from being unprotected, those identifying as LGBT have an army of motivated supporters ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice– and in this case, even a long list of other wedding photographers all too eager to bless the couple with a free wedding photo/video package. It is clear that the only people in this scenario who may need more protection are the faith-based owners of Gardenia Weddings.
The ERA Does Not Help WomenJul. 25, 2018
Recently, there has been a renewed push by radical feminists to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution, which removes any legal distinction between men and women through its broad and rigid language. The ERA states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” It conspicuously lacks any language that provides for reasonable exceptions. Instead, its inflexible language could potentially invalidate any law that recognizes the inherent differences between the sexes.
In the words of ERA supporters themselves, “the ratification of the ERA would at long last end the legal distinctions between men and women in the United States of America.” The fear that any reasonable legal distinction would be removed is not merely a matter of speculation, but has been realized in states that have adopted an ERA. For example, the Supreme Court of Washington cited their state’s ERA in ruling that all schools must open their sports teams to both sexes. Even more significant than the particular details of the case is a statement from one of the justices that illustrates just how sweeping and uncompromising the ERA’s language really is. He states,
“With some qualms I concur in the result reached by the majority. I do so, however, exclusively upon the basis that the result is dictated by the broad and mandatory language of Washington's Equal Rights Amendment. Whether the people in enacting the ERA fully contemplated and appreciated the result here reached, coupled with its prospective variations, may be questionable. Nevertheless, in sweeping language they embedded the principle of the ERA in our constitution, and it is beyond the authority of this court to modify the people's will. So be it.” (emphasis added).
The removal of all legal distinctions between men and women would be devastating for several reasons, but first and foremost because it fails to recognize God’s natural order. Sacred Scripture, reason, science, and common human experience clearly reveal that God, in his infinite wisdom, created mankind male and female. Since God created men and women in His own image and likeness, both possess an intrinsic and equal dignity. At the same time, God also created them with unique yet complementary natures. Instead of denying this eternal truth, the law should take the distinct natures of men and women into account in appropriate circumstances. One evident example is designating separate bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and changing facilities in public spaces for the sake of privacy, dignity, and safety. Various physical and strength-related distinctions are also appropriate in many circumstances, such as the military or team sports.
When stripped of its shallow soundbites and boiled down to its essence, the ERA is nothing more than radical feminism’s attempt to abolish the unique and God-given dignity of women in exchange for a futile attempt at complete sameness with men. We should see the ERA for what it truly is: an affront to the dignity of every woman. We know that in woman, as in men, God has created a beautifully unique nature that should be celebrated and cherished. While the Left fashions itself as the champion of diversity, the ERA reveals the egalitarian commitment that drives this dangerous vision of equality. In reality, the Left’s worldview rejects the authentic diversity of men and women in favor of a corrupted understanding of equality as sameness. Even at the risk of being called sexists, people of faith and decency must continue to fight for the unique dignity of both men and women before it is lost to the ever devouring throngs of radical feminism.
By James Rossi
James is a 2018 Summer Policy Intern at The Family Foundation and a student at Christendom College.
What is Being Taught in Your School?Jul. 23, 2018
On Friday the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution calling on state legislators to protect children from exposure to unsuitable content in sex education (“Family Life Education”) classes across the nation. Click here to read the Resolution Protecting Students From Exposure to Potentially Unsuitable Content by Supporting a Parent's Right to Grant Prior Written Consent for Sex Education.
This resolution was brought forward by Virginia’s National Committeewoman, Cynthia Dunbar. The resolution was passed unanimously by the full General Session.
"I'm thrilled this resolution passed.” Cynthia Dunbar said, “This should not be a partisan issue. Parents everywhere deserve the right to know what their children are being taught, and afforded an opportunity to consent to it."
She is right on. Parents deserve the right to know the content of the curriculum their children are being taught about sex and sexuality, and schools should have to get parental consent before exposing their children to that content.
Although Virginia law currently requires the FLE curriculum be made available to parents for review, we know that in Western Albemarle County salacious videos were shown to 14-year-old girls without ever being available for parents to review.
Parents in Fort Worth Texas were not allowed to review the materials in their children’s sex-ed classes, and the Attorney General of Texas issued a statement reminding the school district that the law requires the disclosure of these public documents.
Here in Virginia, school districts across the Commonwealth have been dragging their feet when asked to provide parents the Family Life Education curriculum taught to their young children. Parents in Loudoun County were refused access to the full curriculum, and told that they could only review it all during a three day review session coming up in late August – after school has begun.
I am so glad that the Republican National Committee has adopted this resolution in support of parental authority. The other political parties should do the same.
The Family Foundation is working to get legislation passed through the General Assembly to accomplish the goals set forth in the resolution. Indiana has already taken significant steps toward that goal. You can help us by signing this petition. Use your voice to urge the Virginia General Assembly to protect children from unsuitable content, and to protect parental authority.
You can also help keep your school district accountable by reviewing the Family Life Education there. If you would like to be involved in this effort in your school district, please email me, Sean Maguire, at email@example.com. I’d like to be in touch with you about how to effectively approach your school district to find out what is being taught in Family Life Education.
Schools have to get prior parental permission for their children to be involved in something as innocuous as music ensembles. There is no reason why schools shouldn’t have to get parental permission before exposing children to the sensitive and ideologically charged content of Family Life Education.
"Nazis" - Yep, The Supreme Court Just Went ThereJul. 17, 2018
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against California and in favor of the speech and conscience rights of pro-life pregnancy support centers in the case of NIFLA v. Becerra. A Virginian could read the opinion, determine that we have no similar compelled speech law in the abortion arena, and promptly close the book on it. Not so fast, though. In light of the Virginia’s brand new 2018 budget, this case might also have something to say to our state lawmakers.
It’s hard to read the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of NIFLA and not envision railroad crossing bars with red lights and loud bells coming down stopping the government from crossing what the Justices clearly see as a bright line of freedom. Particularly illuminating is the Court’s depth of discussion on the concept of “professional speech.” The Court described professional speech as a potential class of speech that could inappropriately be used by the government to compel a subset of citizens or businesses—the professionals— to express a government approved message. Nestled in the multi-paged warning that government can easily usurp a profession and compel speech violating our first freedoms are examples from history where “governments have ‘manipulated the content of doctor-patient discourse’ to increase state power and suppress minorities.” (p.12 of the majority Opinion) Specifically, it puts Chinese physicians being dispatched to convince peasants to use contraception on rhetorical par with doctors in Nazi Germany holding and making decisions based on the required government opinion that the collective health of the people was more important than the health of an individual - the result of which was tragic, mass murder.
There is an unwritten rule in politics—a rule that is oft repeated within our office walls to ensure compliance— that nothing, regardless of its reprehensible nature, should ever be compared to Nazi Germany. No person or government should be compared to Nazis. No amount of deaths - even abortion with its obvious parallels - should be compared to the Holocaust. We strictly comply with this rhetorical canon not because the analogy might not hold, but because, among other prudential reasons, we don’t want to contribute one word or thought that, if misinterpreted, could result in a victim or family’s experience being diminished. Let each unique awful atrocity stand on its own. (Besides, for some of the unconscionable occurrences we’re witnessing in our own time, there are and need be no comparisons.)
So, when Justice Thomas in the majority opinion quotes from a Law Review that compares anything to Nazi Germany, it demands our attention. Interestingly, in NIFLA, we find that it was government working through its doctors to entice peasants to go on contraception. While the details of that situation were not elaborated, the fact that it was a program intended for the poor seems to be relevant, with an underlying sentiment that if the poor would simply stop reproducing, the government would benefit.
Herein lies the alarming parallel to this year’s budget. For the first time, our state budget included $6 million that is intended specifically to incentivize healthcare and abortion “professionals” (if that term can be used for those who take the life of the unborn) to encourage low-income women to use long active reversible contraception. In both discussions and floor speeches surrounding the budget item, government officials can be heard expressing the underlying sentiment that if the poor would simply stop reproducing, the government would benefit (less money spent in welfare type programs, criminal reform, and the list go on). Although one could argue that our government is not requiring Planned Parenthood and others to encourage low-income women to go on contraception, being handed money to do so will presumably achieve the same effect. If the program our budget funded comes anywhere close to what the majority Opinion tacitly compares to Nazi Germany, it’s a good indication that it should never have been funded.
I’ve got a better idea for our state government: How about, instead of funneling millions of taxpayer dollars into a long-term contraception program for low-income populations, let’s celebrate every new life as a gift rather than a burden. And let’s promote strong families as the only viable and sustainable means of reducing dependency on publicly-funded programs.
What's Mark Herring Doing?Jul. 16, 2018
By now you’ve probably heard that on Friday, Attorney General Mark Herring filed a motion asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the $1 billion abortion industry against Virginia’s pro-life laws.
Some may have been surprised at the Attorney General’s action, given he’s one of the most pro-abortion elected officials in Virginia history. I wasn’t. And I can say why in three words.
Justice Kennedy retired.
The lawsuit, brought by Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and others, asked the court to find unconstitutional Virginia’s abortion center safety standards, 24-hour waiting period, informed consent, a requirement that only doctors can perform abortions and a requirement that second and third-trimester abortions take place in hospitals. (Read our recent blog about it here.) The abortion industry was counting on Kennedy, the swing vote in two of the most atrocious pro-abortion decisions since Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 and Hellerstedt two years ago, to once again come to its rescue.
The Casey decision gave us the “undue burden” concept that claimed any law that caused an “undue burden” for a woman seeking an abortion was unconstitutional. Hellerstedt found Texas abortion center safety standards unconstitutional because, in their words, they were, guess what- an “undue burden.”
But Mark Herring clearly saw that with Kennedy’s retirement and the possibility that his replacement will most likely come to very different conclusions when it comes to abortion laws, the lawsuit brought by the abortion industry could actually give the Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold all of Virginia’s reasonable pro-life laws. He simply doesn’t want to take that risk.
But that’s not the only deception in Mark Herring’s motion.
Hidden deep within his office’s “analysis” is the Attorney General’s handout to the abortion industry: the argument that because abortion centers are defined as “hospitals” in the Code, it is legal for these centers to not only perform abortions during the first trimester, but during the second trimester as well.
The problem, of course, is that this wasn’t the General Assembly’s intent at all, as evidenced by the past six years of implementation of the 2011 law. In fact, there are several different types of “hospitals” in Virginia law, including nursing homes and mental health facilities – places where you certainly wouldn’t want to have surgery! Neither of those, nor abortion centers, are “general” hospitals, which is where the General Assembly always intended second and third-trimester abortions to take place because of the possibility of serious complications.
But the Attorney General had to give his friends at Planned Parenthood something, so he once again chose to undermine Virginia law in a way that favors the abortion industry’s bottom line – and puts women’s health at risk.
Despite the Attorney General’s actions, The Family Foundation is preparing to help defend our hard-fought pro-life laws. Perhaps a lawsuit that was intended for evil will end up being used for good.
Great Hopes For New Supreme CourtJul. 11, 2018
With the big news of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the possibility of a conservative majority on the Court (i.e. 5 of 9 Justices who attempt to read and apply the Constitution as written) is now within reach. This opens up exciting possibilities for the years ahead. We remain prayerful that whoever the next Justice is, he or she will faithfully uphold the Constitutional rights and protections of all people (no matter how small or weak), while vigorously reinforcing the Constitutional constraints on government (no matter how big or powerful).
In many ways, it seems as if there was never so much on the line as in this cultural moment. And here we are, about to witness the biggest political fight of a generation unfold before our eyes over the confirmation of a single judge who could tip the balance of the highest court in the land. And while we should never be fooled into thinking that any one governmental official is the answer to solving all our problems, we should also never underestimate the impact of just one person, used of God for His purposes and in His timing, appointed to a place of influence within government. (For some good Biblical examples, see Esther, Daniel, Joseph, Nehemiah, etc.)
In Virginia, there are many issues at stake, chief among them life and marriage. Given that President Obama packed the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals with far-left leaning judges over the course of eight years, the need for another chance at a fair hearing on important cases is critical. Take, for example, the major lawsuit the abortion industry filed last month challenging the constitutionality of basically all of Virginia’s laws putting common-sense restrictions on abortion. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are planning to undo with a few judges what The Family Foundation has fought for decades to implement and defend in the legislature. With a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, not only could that be prevented from happening, but the so-called “right to abortion” could actually be overturned altogether.
Virginia is also facing a significant campaign this coming year to remove from the state constitution our Marriage Amendment declaring that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. But now with Justice Kennedy gone (he authored the 5-4 opinion three years ago redefining marriage), the game has changed, and that opinion is ripe for being challenged and overturned. If that happens, Virginia’s Marriage Amendment would immediately go into effect once more – but not if it’s removed before then. And keep in mind, it is the redefinition of marriage by the Court that has driven most of the religious liberty conflicts popping up all across the country.
Even in a political environment where hyperbole is the new norm, it is perhaps no exaggeration to say that this Supreme Court appointment may be the most consequential political decision in decades and for several decades to come. If ever there was a time for fervent prayer, it is now.
The Family Foundation has a weekly prayer focus through Team Timothy. Please consider joining us in prayer every Tuesday morning by contacting Sean Maguire at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-343-0010 ext. 240.