200 Attend; Lobby Day A Huge Success!Jan 22, 2008
Yesterday, nearly 200 pro-family Virginians descended on the state capitol for Family Foundation Day. Because of the large crowd, Lobby Day was held at the Library of Virginia, on Broad Street, across from the General Assembly Building. Several legislators spoke to the group about Family Foundation supported bills, including Delegate William Fralin (R-17, Roanoke), the patron of HB 1135, The Student Religious Viewpoint Protection Act; Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-R-37, Fairfax), the patron of SB 725, Mutual Consent for No Fault Divorce; and Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg), patron of SB 542, which prohibits abortion providers from teaching in public schools. Professor Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia addressed the crowd concerning the state of marriage in America and the impact public policy has had on marriage. Dr. Wilcox, a member of The Family Foundation's Marriage Commission, shared how government has a compelling interest to promote and encourage healthy marriages. He shared the social science numbers that show the devastating impact no-fault divorce and out-of-wedlock births have had on children. He said, "Now let me be clear here. Some will tell you that you have no business meddling in the private affairs of Virginians. But the bottom line is that marriage is a public institution that clearly serves public purposes. Don't let your delegates and senators be mistaken into thinking that they should avoid the marriage issue. As we have seen, the health of marriage has everything to do with the welfare of our state's children, families, and communities."
Earlier in the day, The Family Foundation and Pastors For Family Values hosted a pastor's breakfast. Dr. Allen McFarland of Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church in Portsmouth challenged the pastors in attendance to take a strong and clear stand as an example to their congregations and communities. Several of these pastors then joined with the TFF Day activities.
During the afternoon, citizens met with legislators from their districts to make their voices heard, fulfilling a portion of their Christian duties in the civil arena by educating themselves and others on Biblical government, promoting Godly laws and taking action on important issues. They also had the opportunity to watch the House of Delegates in action as it debated abortion clinic safety regulations (which handily passed the House despite an attempt to gut the bill).
Also on hand to visit the grassroots activists were both Republican U.S. Senate candidates, former Governor Jim Gilmore Several legislators mentioned to me how impressed they were with the crowd. Values voters do have an impact and it is being felt as evidenced by recent victories. Complementing Lobby Day was a virtual lobby day on our blog, which included our first live blog interview. Attorney General Bob McDonnell took questions from all over the Commonwealth.