Concerned Women for America

Fate Of The Marriage Amendment To Be Determined "Soon"

The Family Foundation was joined yesterday morning in Norfolk by Concerned Women for America, FRC Action and hundreds of Christians from churches across Eastern Virginia as we stood up in support of marriage, the Virginia Constitution and in solidarity with the brave and principled attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom. Alliance Defending Freedom was in court officially representing the Clerk of the Court of Prince William County, Michele McQuigg, a former member of the House of Delegates, who is seeking affirmation of the Marriage Amendment in her position, which is charged with issuing marriage licenses. Oral arguments for the challenge to the Marriage Amendment were heard with U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, who promised to make a timely ruling, and said, "You'll be hearing from me soon."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs asserted the amendment, passed by 57 percent of Virginia's voters, was unconstitutional, arguing marriage was a fundamental right and that the institution was not ultimately about children but was instead a symbol of freedom, comparing same-sex marriage to marriage allowed only among freed slaves. Attorney General Mark Herring attended the hearing to watch his solicitor general argue on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys argued the government's interest in marriage is in the upbringing of children by a mother and a father and that there exist no constitutional grounds or precedent to change the law to allow for homosexual unions. Its attorney skillfully outlined how marriage is the one and only relationship that is absolutely essential to the future of humanity. In yet another attempt of the liberal left to redefine beyond recognition an important term, plaintiffs actually stood before the judge and stated that "same-sex couples pro-create."

Outside the hearing, traditional marriage supporters held a rally as well as a news conference that included Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb, Josh Duggar from FRC Action, Alison Howard from Concerned Women for America, and Bishop E.W. Jackson of S.T.A.N.D. Supporters of natural marriage numbered in the hundreds, while only a dozen people supporting same-sex marriage protested outside.

Of course the media's coverage was predictably skewed. For a real representation of what happened, see the video and picture below. More photos from the rally can be seen on our Facebook page. Then, please follow this link and sign the petition asking Attorney General Mark Herring to do his job and defend the Virginia Constitution!

The real news.

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From left, Josh Duggar of FRC Action and a star of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting; The Family Foundation's Victoria Cobb; Alison Howard from Concerned Women for America; and Bishop E.W. Jackson of S.T.A.N.D. 

Rallies For Religious Freedom This Weekend!

This Saturday, October 20, tens of thousands of faithful citizens will gather in prayer and public witness in cities and towns all across the United States to oppose the HHS Mandate and stand up in defense of our religious freedoms and First Amendment rights. There are 130 rallies scheduled nationwide, including three in Virginia. Please plan to join these rallies and say no to the new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Mandate, which forces employers — including religious charities — to provide free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs in their health plans or face massive fines.

Initially, this mandate has had the greatest impact on the Catholic Church. However, if it is not reversed, it has the potential to restrict the freedom of religion and conscience of every faith in the entire nation. It is important that those of us who cherish religious liberty, as handed down to us from our forefathers in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, let our voices be heard. We are joining with dozens of state and national pro-life organizations as part of the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Coalition in support of this effort, including Alliance Defending Freedom, Concerned Women for America, Americans United for Life, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and dozens more.

Don't fall for the opposition lie that this is about "birth control access" and "women's health." This simply is an effort by the federal government to force religious institutions and organizations to violate their faith principles and pay for abortion inducing drugs and sterilizations for girls as young as 12 years old. This is about the Left's alleged "wall of separation of church and state" being systematically violated by the state. It's about government control over how we practice our faith and forcing government dictates on it directly contrary to our beliefs. It is about government secularism imposing itself into religion in order to neuter it and its impact on society — a watered down faith is meant to drive people out of the pews and into government care, control and dependency.

All three rallies scheduled in Virginia Saturday are from noon until 1:00 p.m. If you are within driving distance of one of these events, please make every effort to attend.

We also have volunteers at each event with our 2012 Presidential and U.S. Senate Voter Guides, as well as Ballot Question 1, the proposed Virginia Constitutional Amendment to limit the government's power of eminent domain (vote yes). If you would like to pick up copies to distribute them to your church or civic groups, contact these volunteers ahead of time or while you are at the rallies. (You can also read, download and/or electronically share the voter guide at vavotes.net.) The names of our volunteers and their contact information are below, along with the rally details and event coordinator contact information.

Charlottesville

Jackson Park, Jefferson and 4th Street (map)

E-Mail the Charlottesville Rally Captain

TFF Charlottesville Volunteer: Chardon Jenks (434-977-1871) ecjenks@gmail.com

 

Lexington (Sponsored by Knights of Columbus Council 11557)

Hopkins Green, Jefferson and Nelson Streets (map)

E-Mail the Lexington Rally Captain

TFF Lexington Volunteer: Scott Sayre (540-463-2743) scott@sayreinc.com

 

Norfolk

Norfolk Federal Building, 200 Granby Street

Email the Norfolk Rally Captain

TFF Norfolk Volunteer: Daniel Heffington (515-257-3085) also True the Vote Volunteer Coordinator for Virginia)

Gala Update: New Santorum Book Autographed And Discounted; Fox News Contributor Sandy Rios To Emcee

This Saturday, Rick Santorum will personally sign a copy of his new book, American Patriots, for you. We even have the book for a discount off the list price — only $15! But you need to register right now for The Family Foundation's Annual Gala, where he will be the keynote speaker. More than 1,100 pro-family Virginians will be uniting to show the liberal mainstream media we're not discouraged by their cooked polls.

Family Foundation Gala keynote speaker Rick Santorum explains the fundamental connection between the traditional family and marriage with the economy and everything else.

We also are pleased to announce that Fox News contributor Sandy Rios will emcee the Gala. Host of Sandy Rios in the Morning on AFR Talk, Mrs. Rios writes for The Daily Caller, Townhall.com and Real Clear Politics, and has appeared on a number of conservative talk shows, including The Sean Hannity Show, The Glenn Beck Show and The O'Reilly Factor. She is a past president of Concerned Women for America.

Family Foundation Gala emcee Sandy Rios on Fox News defending unborn life and refuting taxpayer funded birth control against liberal myths. 

We hope to see you Saturday evening for a spectacular evening of food, fellowship and discussion. Tickets and information are available online by clicking here or by calling Candace at The Family Foundation at (804) 343-0010. But hurry. The Gala is just a few days away and there's no time to wait!

Pro-Lifers Rally, Board Adopts Regulations!

The Virginia Board of Health Friday voted to adopt strong abortion center safety standards after a long day of competing protests, debate and tension. An estimated crowd of 500 people lined up at the building where the board met, evenly divided between pro-life Virginians and abortion supporters. It was a stark contrast to the June meeting where more than 100 abortion protestors dominated the day and where the board voted to water down abortion center regulations to exempt existing centers from important building standards required by the Code of Virginia. Because Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli refused to certify those regulations — they didn't meet the demands of the code — the board had to revisit the issue Friday. For weeks both pro-life and pro-abortion groups encouraged people to attend, and hundreds did, in addition to several dozen uniformed and plain clothes police who where there to ensure security.

The day began early, as Family Foundation staff began lining up outside the building at 6 a.m. to ensure we would be in the meeting room to testify. Only 100 seats were available in the room, and only those in the room could testify. After going through security checks, including metal detectors, we settled into the room for a long day.

The difference between this meeting and the one in June was remarkable. That day, the room was dominated by radical pro-abortion protestors and, quite honestly, it was a very spiritually dark day. Friday was radically different. In the room were dozens of pro-life supporters, including several pastors. Those who attended both meetings could feel the difference in the atmosphere. A few pastors who attended our Pastors Summit in Richmond Thursday were there, as were several from the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists.

We could feel the prayers of pastors and pro-life Virginians! I cannot express enough of my gratitude for all of you who attended today's meeting, or who prayed for us. The support was incredible, and I have no doubt it made an impact on the results. During a year where elected officials and others have been viciously attacked by the abortion industry and media, and abortion supporters have mobilized in large numbers, pro-life Virginians needed to show up and prove again that we are the dominant voice in Virginia . . . and show up we did!

Public testimony was extended to one hour (normally 20 minutes) in an attempt to accommodate the crowd. In my testimony, I told the board that after the uncovering last week of more than 80 health and safety violations in nine abortion centers, the industry, which has claimed for years to be safe and in no need of oversight, was not in a position to be trusted and therefore should have no say in how it is regulated. Several other pro-life organizations also testified including the Virginia Catholic Conference, Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists, Family Research Council and the Rutherford Institute. Others attending included the Virginia Society for Human Life, Students For LifeAmericans United for Life and Concerned Women for America Virginia. Our special thanks to Alliance Defending Freedom, which sent a letter to members earlier this week to clarify the board's legal authority and to other groups who encouraged the turnout.

In addition, Delegate Kathy Byron (R-22, Lynchburg) testified that the General Assembly did not intend to exempt any abortion centers. In 2011, Delegate Byron amended SB 924 to include abortion centers. She said that during the legislative debate, the intent was clear and that the bill was passed by chambers controlled by different parties. Her testimony was crucial to clarify some misunderstanding on the board over whether the General Assembly wanted existing abortion centers to be "grandfathered in" without the building standards. We so appreciate Delegate Byron's willingness to once again stand up for life in a hostile atmosphere, as she did time and again during this year's General Assembly.

Representatives of the abortion industry continued their pattern of deception. Incredibly, one person testified that the industry “supports regulations” but just opposed the building standards. The same individual has testified several years in a row at the General Assembly against bills that would have required only licensing, inspections and emergency equipment!

They also attacked The Family Foundation's release this week of inspection records showing widespread health and safety violations, saying that the centers inspected had received their licenses anyway and that the violations were minor. We don't consider a bloody patient table minor. We don't consider a freezer two-thirds filled with fetal remains and blood minor! But they do. The fact is, however, that those centers were not licensed until after they submitted plans to correct the violations and those centers are now subject to unannounced inspections. For years, they fought against the very inspections they now say they support and that uncovered the problems listed.

But the primary target of the abortion industry was, and still is, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. They continued their assault because he made the decision to uphold the law of Virginia and not certify the regulations in June. Of course, I'm sure they'd rather pick on the AG and cry "politics" instead of having to answer to questions about bloody patient tables, frozen fetal remains and untrained staffs.

The board, however, was not fooled. By an overwhelming vote of 13-2 it rejected several more attempts by one board member to water down the regulations and then voted to adopt the standards by the same vote.

While a major victory, the process to finalize these standards is not finished. They must go through several more steps in the next several months, including two lengthy public comment periods. It is crucial that pro-life Virginians make their voice heard once again during that time. If you spoke or wanted to speak Friday, please write your comments down and hold on to them for submission during the public comment period. We will provide ample notice.

Thanks again to everyone who attended Friday's meeting, testified or prayed. A special thank you to those post-abortive women who attended, some speaking publicly for the first time. We are so grateful and encouraged by your support, and I know the Board of Health members were as well. To get a feel for what it was like at the meeting, please click here for a series of photos.

Pro-life Virginians were not out manned at the crucial Board of Health Meeting Friday. For more scenes from the historic vote, click here or the image above.

She Votes Bus Tour Brings Message To Virginia Women

She's conservative. She's confident. She's Christian. She votes! That very direct message was conveyed verbally and emblazoned emphatically on the Concerned Women for America "She Votes" Bus as its tour rolled throughout Virginia yesterday and today after finishing up its North Carolina leg earlier in the week. The tour emphasized the potential role conservative Christian women have in deciding the outcome of the 2012 election. Speakers included CWA CEO Penny Nance, Senator Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield) and Family Foundation Policy Analyst Jessica Cochrane. In addition to debunking many liberal myths about women and what the Left insists women do (or should) believe, CWA announced its extensive campaign plans to register, identify and turn out conservative Christian women voters for the November election. As Ms. Nance said, "Conservative Christian women are underrepresented in elections. We have to change that!"

Concerned Women for America is the largest women's advocacy organization in America — as one speaker said, "The one that likes men" — though it gets a fraction of the media attention of a certain left-wing women's group. Its "She Votes" campaign is a national effort in which anyone can participate, made convenient by a special web site that can track whether you or friends and family are registered to vote.

Amazingly, through its second-to-last-stop at the capitol in Richmond, the tour encountered no Leftist protesters. Did they all find jobs all of a sudden? Doubtful in this economy. More likely, it's because their crude tactics have been exposed. Ahhhh, the beauty of the digital age.

Speaking of the digital age, we don't have to rely on the Mainstream Media to report on these types of events anymore. So, in the comfort of your home (and not in the blazing heat for those of us who attended), you can see the event for yourself on the video below. In addition to the terrific speakers, a speaker provides information on how to get involved in "She Votes!"

"She's conservative. She's confident. She's Christian. She votes!" The bus almost says it all; it might add that they vote in large numbers and may determine the outcome of this November's election.