Monday, March 12, 2012

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Canadian MP decries censorship against pro-life students

by Thaddeus Baklinski Mon Mar 12 18:20 EST Comments (6)

 
Leon Benoit

OTTAWA, March 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Conservative MP Leon Benoit spoke out in Parliament on March 6 denouncing the censorship of pro-life students in Canadian universities.

“Universities in Canada are often thought of as the bastions of free speech and expression. Certainly they are the last places where censorship should occur. I wish this were true, but sadly, it is not,” Mr. Benoit stated.

“When it comes to some of the most sensitive issues, such as pro-life issues, many universities are exactly the opposite.”

Mr. Benoit reminded the House of the arrest under a charge of trespassing of pro-life students at Ottawa’s Carleton University on October 4, 2010, for conducting a peaceful pro-life demonstration on the university campus.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

“When students at Ottawa’s Carleton University put up a pro-life display, some students found the photos offensive and complained. I expect that most Canadians would find such photos offensive but that was the point the group was making: that abortion and particularly late stage abortion is offensive,” Mr. Benoit said.

“What is of concern is how the university reacted. It demanded that the group remove its display and then charged the students when they refused.”

Mr. Benoit also brought Parliament’s attention to a more recent denial of freedom of speech at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

“Similar censorship has occurred at universities in Toronto, Calgary, Fredericton and, most recently, Victoria where students are banned from carrying out pro-life activities and were forced to apologize to groups that were offended by their display,” Mr. Benoit pointed out.

On February 6, 2012, the UVic Student’s Society (UVSS) passed two motions that effectively censored the activities of Youth Protecting Youth (YPY), the campus’ official pro-life club.

The UVic Student’s Society found the pro-life club guilty of “harassment” in violation of the UVSS Harassment Policy after they received complaints last November regarding the content of YPY’s “Choice” Chain demonstration, and a complaint about posters produced by the National Campus Life Network the YPY had displayed on campus in October. The posters compared the treatment of Canada’s pre-born, who are currently deemed non-persons, with the similar treatment of other minority groups in the past, including African Americans, Natives, Women, and Jews.

UVSS stripped the pro-life club of their right to book public space on campus for their events, has forbidden the club to hold “Choice” Chain demonstrations or events similar to it, and ordered the pro-life club to apologize to those who were offended by the posters.

“I call on all universities,” Mr. Benoit concluded, “to truly become places where students and society can count on free speech and free expression being allowed and, in fact, encouraged.”

Mr. Benoit is well known as the proponent of an unsuccessful unborn victims of violence bill (C-291) in 2006 that would have seen murderers of pregnant women charged with the death of the unborn child as well as his or her mother. The bill was quashed when it was deemed non-votable by a parliamentary subcommittee.

To contact Mr. Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, CPC)
Ottawa office:
Phone: 613-992-4171
Fax: 613-996-9011
Email: leon.benoit@parl.gc.ca

Tags: abortion, leon benoit

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Writer: My abortion ‘was the best decision of my life’; I’d rather have a dog than a baby

by Ben Johnson Mon Mar 12 18:08 EST Comments (120)

 
Abortion: One Dead, One Wounded

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – American Idol judge Steve Tyler and his then-girlfriend still regret her abortion.  So does former Britney Spears backup singer Kelly Clinger. So do millions of other famous and anonymous women across the country and around the world.

Not Amanda Chatel, a self-described “selfish” New York-based freelance writer. In an online article posted on the website The Gloss on Friday, she claimed she had an abortion in 2005, calling it “the best decision of my life” and writing that she prefers the companionship of her Jack Russell terrier to motherhood.

Chatel left her “very liberal” family and moved to New York City to become a writer. “I wanted a life that sparkled,” she told the New York Post. Within months, she was pregnant but could not believe her diagnosis, because she “drank too much, smoked too many cigarettes, too much pot and had also dabbled in a few other recreational items.”

Despite her fiercely “pro-choice” upbringing and her resolute decision to abort her child – supported by the baby’s father – she began to feel differently about herself. “I was all of a sudden dirty. I was a slut. I was disgusting,” she wrote.

The idea that she was “carrying something unwanted, unloved and a burden to my life and my future” wore her down. “I hated myself for thinking something that was part of me was so repulsive,” she wrote.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

She proceeded to research what 10-week-old babies looked like, “torturing” herself by asking, “Did it have hands? Did it have eyes?”

“The nights leading up to my abortion, I’d lay in my bed with my hands on my stomach apologizing” and calling her unborn child by name. Still, she never saw her baby as more than “just cells.”

She claims she had an abortion on Holy Saturday 2005, adding her mother could not be with her because she could not “explain to my Catholic grandmother that Easter is canceled because my mom needs to run to NYC for her daughter’s abortion.”

How does she feel now?

“My abortion is something that never really crosses my mind at all, and in the brief moments that it does, I feel almost guilty that I don’t feel guilty about the decision I made seven years ago,” Chatel writes.

If she had become a mother, she states she would have missed out on other life experiences, like being in a cafe in Paris suffering “a necessary and deliciously inspiring heartbreak.” She would not “write for The Gloss or live in NYC or have my Hubbell.”

Hubbell, her Jack Russell terrier, was a gift from her parents in the wake of her abortion.

“Hubbell is my baby,” she wrote. “Hubbell is the age my child would be this year had I not had my abortion.” She tattooed his name on her arm “as a reminder that sometimes the most difficult decisions end up being the best.”

The author, whose Twitter handle is @AngryChatel, told the New York Post she was dedicated to remaining childless. “I am selfish!” she admitted.

“My sister, who’s two years younger, is married and has two kids,” she said. “I just look at her life, and it’s really my worst nightmare.”

Chatel is shutting down her low-traffic blog to concentrate on freelancing for such outlets as The Gloss, Untapped New York, Jewcy, and Green Shoelace.

Reflecting on her abortion, she wrote last Friday, “It was not a decision I wanted to make, but hell, it was the best decision of my life…I would not have it any other way.”

At least one detail of her story is out of place. Amanda claimed the date of her abortion, March 27, is “ingrained in my memory no matter what I try to do about it,” adding it “was the Saturday of Easter weekend.” But March 27, 2005, was Easter Sunday

If authentic, her remorseless reaction would represent an additional deviation from the norm. Last September, the largest meta-analysis of abortion data, involving more than 877,000 women, discovered abortion led to a 155 greater risk of attempted suicide, as well as greater substance abuse and depression. A 2009 study in New Zealand found 85 percent of post-abortive women suffered a negative emotional consequence as a result of their abortion.

Tags: amanda chatel

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Confusion as Maine bishop signals opposition to gay ‘marriage,’ but backs away from political fight

by Kathleen Gilbert Mon Mar 12 17:21 EST Comments (59)

 
Bishop Richard Malone

PORTLAND, Maine, March 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following the release of a pastoral letter some interpreted as backing away from Maine’s upcoming marriage fight, the office of Bishop Richard Malone of Portland has said that they plan to “promote the cause of defending marriage” regarding a ballot initiative this Fall. However, unlike in a similar 2009 battle, the diocese said it won’t take an active role in or contribute funds to the political effort to stop the redefinition of marriage.

Homosexual activists last month gathered enough signatures to place a redefinition of marriage on the 2012 general election ballot. The question will first be put to the Republican-controlled Legislature and Republican governor, who are expected to reject it, bringing the question before Maine voters.

Maine Today reports that gay rights advocates spent $5.8 million on the fight for marriage redefinition in 2009.

Malone elicited conflicting headlines in the media over the weekend when he issued a letter that emphasized the Catholic Church’s stance on marriage while announcing that the diocese would take a different approach to the push to redefine marriage than it did in 2009.

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

“I feel compelled to teach and speak about marriage in the fullness of truth and in all charity,” wrote Malone, who called the ballot initiative “another attempt underway in Maine to redefine marriage” away from its true nature. The letter emphasized his “primary responsibility is that of teacher” as bishop, and the Church’s public function as a “prophet of the law,” noting, “The Church’s effort to promote and protect marriage in the public square is not a matter of forcing faith on anyone.” 

But media took notice this weekend when Bishop Malone said in a press conference that the diocese wouldn’t take special collections or otherwise join the political campaign to defend marriage, unlike in 2009, when the diocese played a significant role in a successful bid to reverse a new same-sex “marriage” law by voter referendum. Many called the new tack a softening of the diocese’s stance against marriage, a charge Malone’s office denies.

When asked about the change by CNN, Malone said that the diocese would still be “very involved” in the marriage fight but that the focus would be on education.

Suzanne Lafreniere, executive assistant for the diocese’s marriage office, told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that the diocese simply decided that active involvement “wouldn’t be the most effective use of the Catholic Church’s influence” in 2012. Asked why, she responded, “there’s no crystal ball, but in 2012 I don’t think it will be the exact same discourse.”

Brian Souchet, director of the Diocese of Portland’s Office for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, told LSN that the letter was not a response to the referendum, and would have been issued even without the political battle. “I think the Church always needs to speak out strongly for the truth [in terms of] entering dialogue,” he said, emphasizing that “nothing’s changed” in terms of Maine voters’ feelings on the marriage issue.

Souchet said the diocese’s 2009 involvement, which included soliciting donations from other dioceses and taking up a second collection for the cause, was “absolutely not” a mistake but that it would not take place again, citing the diocese’s recent financial struggles. Asked why collections wouldn’t be taken, he said, “I don’t think [Bishop Malone] believes we need to be doing that.”

Other sources pointed to the extreme political blowback from the Diocese of Portland’s 2009 involvement as possibly contributing to the new direction this year.

When an effort to overturn the state’s redefintion of marriage was placed on the ballot three years ago, gay rights activists portrayed its opposition as merely an arm of the Portland diocese, pointing to the extent of its financial contributions as well as the role of Marc Mutty, the diocese’s Director of Public Affairs who served as chair of the Yes on 1 campaign.

Mutty was later to turn on his own campaign, telling makers of a documentary last year that he “hate[d]” the work and regretted his role aiding the marriage initiative. “I’m not particularly fond of being remembered as the star bigot in Maine — the one who led the charge to deny gays and lesbians their fundamental rights — which is how it’ll be painted, I fear,” said Mutty, who remains with the diocese.

The diocese nonetheless maintains a strong relationship with marriage defenders in the state, and promised to work with the new ballot committee to offer assistance where needed.

Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, told LSN that his group maintains a “close personal friendship” with Bishop Malone. The Christian Civic League is behind the nascent ballot committee to defend the defintion of marriage in November.

“We would prefer they’d be involved in a formal relationship ... but we know how strongly [Bishop Malone] feels about this issue, and we know that he’ll engage Catholics effectively,” Conley said.

Tags: catholic, gay marriage

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Priest who denied communion to lesbian stripped of priestly faculties

by Christine Dhanagom Mon Mar 12 17:00 EST Comments (181)

 
Fr. Marcel Guarnizo

Updated: 03/12/2012 at 9:50 pm

GAITHERSBURG, March 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Maryland priest who denied communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral is being “placed on administrative leave,” meaning he will not be able to exercise his priestly faculties, according to a letter from the Archdiocese signed by auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout.

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo was previously censured by the Archdiocese after denying communion to Barbara Johnson, who had reportedly introduced her lesbian “lover” to the priest in the sacristy right before her mother’s funeral Mass.

According to a source close to the incident who spoke with LifeSiteNews, Johnson’s lesbian lover physically blocked Fr. Guarnizo from speaking further with Johnson when she abruptly left the sacristy following this introduction. When Johnson presented herself for Communion, the priest refused to give it to her, although she ended up receiving from an extraordinary minister. It was later revealed that Johnson is also a Buddhist.

The Archdiocese issued an apology to Johnson and said that Fr. Guarnizo’s actions were “against policy” and that an investigation was underway.

Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.

This past weekend’s letter from Bishop Knestout putting Fr. Guarnizo on administrative leave was read at all Sunday Masses at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg, where Fr. Guarnizo has been serving since last March, and where the incident occurred.

Bishop Knestout alleges in the letter that he has “received credible allegations that Father Guarnizo has engaged in intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others that is incompatible with proper priestly ministry.”

The letter adds: “Given the grave nature of these allegations, and in light of the confusion in the parish and the concerns expressed by parishioners, Father Guarnizo is prohibited from exercising any priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington until all matters can be appropriately resolved with the hope that he might return to priestly ministry.”

According to a report in the Washington Post, the letter was read out loud by the church’s pastor, Fr. Thomas LaHood, who also elaborated further on the situation.

Fr. LaHood claimed that the removal was not due to the incident with Johnson, but rather that it “pertains to actions over the past week or two.”

“I realize this letter is hard to hear. Please keep mind that this is a first [sic] personnel issue, dealing with issues of ministry in the church. Father Guarnizo will have every opportunity to present his position,” he added, according to the Post.

Contact:

To email the Archdiocese: chancery@adw.org.
Communication should be directed to Bishop Barry Knestout.

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Australian legislators propose sterilizing mentally ill children without parental consent

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Mon Mar 12 16:35 EST Comments (10)

 
Helen Morton, Minister for Mental Health

March 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Legislators in the Australian state of Western Australia are proposing a new law that would permit doctors to sterilize mentally ill minors who “consent” to such surgery, without any agreement from their parents.

The law would also permit doctors to perform “psychosurgery” on consenting minors, again without their parents’ consent, and permits electroconvulsive therapy (previously known as “electroshock therapy”) under the same conditions.

The current law governing such matters, passed in 1996, has no provisions for sterilization, and does not permit minors to be given “psychosurgery” or electroconvulsive therapy without their parents’ permission.

Professor Jon Jureidini, a child and adolescent health expert called the bill’s language “absurd” in an interview with The Australian newspaper, asking: ” “How could you be so psychologically impaired you’re considered for psychosurgery yet be considered competent to give consent?” he asked.

The editors of Natural News, a health food publication noted that “Australia’s youngest members of society will be open game for the eugenicist agenda” and added that “It almost sounds like the plot of a sick movie.”

In paragraph 209 of the draft bill (pages 135 and 136 of the bill), the text provides that “a person must not perform a sterilisation procedure on a person who has a mental illness unless…if the person is a child who has sufficient maturity and understanding to make reasonable decisions about matters relating to himself or herself…” It also provides that authorization to perform such a sterilization on a child can be made by a Family Court judge, again, without mentioning parental consent.

Paragraph 170 (page 110) permits “psychosurgery,” which produces “lesions” on the brain in order to reduce the symptoms of mental illness, if “(a) the person is a neurosurgeon; and (b) the child has given informed consent to the psychosurgery being performed; and (c) the Mental Health Tribunal has given its approval under Part 18 Division 6 to the psychosurgery being performed.”  Parental consent is not mentioned.

Paragraph 155 (page 101) likewise permits “electroconvulsive therapy” on children between 12 and 18 who have “given informed consent,” without any requirement of permission from a parent or guardian.

According to Helen Morton, Western Australia’s Minister for Mental Health, the bill “aims to ensure that people are treated in the least restrictive way, in the most supportive way, and with their rights protected. It aims to keep people connected to families, to friends, to communities, wherever possible.”

However, she adds: “What our parliament needs now is a Bill that has been absolutely pored over by you folks. The people it most affects. Consumers, carers, families, and commissions. (...) We want to hear your views, everybody’s views on the draft Bill, both positive and negative and I do have to emphasise the importance of giving both positive and negative…”

A spokesperson for Morton suggested to The Australian that the government may be willing to re-evaluate when it comes to some of the more controversial clauses, saying there is “a likelihood things will be taken out once” once the consultation process is complete.

The state government is receiving comments by email at: contactus@mentalhealth.wa.gov.au, or by physical mail at: GPO Box X2299, Perth Business Centre, WA, 6847, although the official deadline for comment submission has passed.  A full page of information is displayed for the public here .

Tags: child abuse, parental rights, state power

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Researcher: Coverage of abortion-mental illness link ‘an excellent example’ of media bias

by Ben Johnson Mon Mar 12 16:20 EST Comments (2)

 
Dr. Priscilla Coleman
Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University defends her study from critics.

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO, March 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A professor at the center of a controversy over the link between abortion and mental illness has responded to her critics, charging the media with biased coverage that is misleading the public on a critical issue relevant to public health.

Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, published a 2009 study in for the Journal of Psychiatric Research finding a high incidence of mental health issues in post-abortive women. After the journal’s editor-in-chief co-authored an editorial criticizing the study, the mainstream media reported that abortion’s negative psychological impact had been “debunked.”

Dr. Coleman told LifeSiteNews.com her study joined 21 others included in her meta-analysis that incorporated data from 877,181 women. She called her analysis, which was published last September in the British Journal of Psychiatry, “the largest estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion in the world literature.”

Media coverage of the flap ignored the findings of the 21 other studies.

“A corrected error in a single study that reported associations between abortion and mental health is apparently more news worthy than a major meta-analysis,” Dr. Coleman wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. “This is an excellent example of the media bias that permeates the study of abortion and mental health.”

“There is not one study that would show that [if] people who have mental problems” have “an abortion, it makes their mental health better,” Dr. Martha Shuping, a North Carolina-based psychiatrist, told LifeSiteNews.com. “No, all the studies show it makes it worse.”

But widespread silence about these findings puts women at risk, Coleman said. “The victims of this irresponsible journalism are the millions of women, who have not easily moved beyond an abortion, suffered psychologically, and found very little assistance from the medical and psychological community,” she wrote.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

The tussle over her own study began shortly after it was published.

Coleman’s paper correlated data from the National Comorbidity Survey – a national study of mental health issues – to find a high association between abortion and mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.

In 2010, Julia Steinberg of the University of California-San Francisco, and Lawrence Finer of the Guttmacher Institute published a critique of her study. Coleman acknowledged an error with the sampling weight she had given different sets of data.

“We sincerely apologize to Dr. Schatzberg, the journal staff, and to the readers for this error,” she wrote in the Journal in 2011. “We would also like to express our appreciation to the researcher who brought this to the Editor’s attention, Dr. Schatzberg, and Dr. Kessler for their kind assistance. Fortunately the overall pattern of the results has not changed very much.”

Steinberg and Finer accused Coleman of improperly including women in her study who were mentally ill before obtaining an abortion.

In a letter to the editor of the Journal in January, Coleman wrote it was “certainly true” that that method made it “difficult to ascertain whether or not the abortions preceded the documented mental health problems.” However, “we do know that the majority of mental health problems likely occurred after the abortions based on the following facts: 1) for nearly 70% of the participants in the sample, first abortions occurred by age 21; 2) the average age of women who had aborted when the life-time data were obtained was 32.9 years, and only 4.4% of first abortions occurred after this age; 3) [Ronald] Kessler et al. (2007) reported the median ages of onset for most anxiety, mood, and substance disorders in the U.S. to be between 25 and 53, 25 and 45, and 18 and 29 respectively.”

But one of the researchers she cited, Dr. Ronald Kessler, co-authored an editorial with JPR editor-in-chief Alan Schatzberg that concluded “the Steinberg-Finer critique has considerable merit and that the Coleman et. al. (2009) analysis does not support their assertions that abortions led to psychopathology in the NCS data.” The journal, however, did not retract Coleman’s article, as Finer and Steinberg requested. Instead, they suggested to better control the data, future studies should compare women who ended unwanted pregnancies through abortion with those who carried the child to term. “These strategies should be the focus of future research on the extent to which elective abortions lead to mental disorders,” they wrote.

Dr. Coleman vowed to continue her research as part of her new website, WeCareExperts.org.

“Continued mainstream efforts to deny the significant distress that easily affects a minimum of 20 percent of those who abort…will become even less effective, because we all likely know at least one person, who has had trouble coming to terms with an abortion experience,” Coleman told LifeSiteNews.com. “These women are everywhere and their voices are echoed in honestly collected and reported data.”

 

Tags: priscilla coleman

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Parents: school board duplicity on anti-gay bullying vs. Christophobia, other bullying

by Peter Baklinski Mon Mar 12 16:15 EST Comments (26)

HAMILTON, Ontario, March 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Hamilton’s Orthodox Christian community leaders have cried foul as a public school board superintendent responsible for safe and caring schools has told the faith group that their own concerns about Christian bullying “require no further attention”.

The Pan-Orthodox Association of Greater Hamilton, a group representing the city’s 20,000 Orthodox Christians, met on two occasions with Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board superintendent Pam Reinholdt to discuss their concerns over the board’s selective promotion of anti-gay bullying strategies which they say ignores the vast majority of bullying incidents in schools.

Leaders of the faith group say that at their last meeting, Reinholdt “repeatedly attacked” their concerns over the special status given by the board to anti-gay bullying strategies. The leaders had pointed out to Reinholdt the Board’s support for the anti-gay bullying initiative, including awareness weeks, guest speakers, pink t-shirt events, and a regular conference for secondary students on gay issues.

The faith group noted that a recent report from Statistics Canada showed that there were twice as many hate crimes motivated by religion than those based on sexual orientation. Topping the list was race or ethnicity as the most common motivation for a hate related crime.

Leaders of the faith group are now criticizing the board for repeatedly rejecting their offers to help provide assistance with staff training and student education to raise awareness of what they call “Christophobic bullying” while at the same time accepting such services from other groups, including the help of a self-described lesbian “youth worship leader” from a synagogue who recently tried to convince the audience at a gay-straight alliance assembly held at a Hamilton-area public school that biblical teaching on homosexuality was obsolete, archaic and “wrong”.

“Despite years of responsibility for preventing bullying in schools, Reinholdt explained that she did not know the definition of the word Christophobia, nor did she believe that students of faith were regular victims of bullying,” said Father Geoffrey Korz, general secretary of the Orthodox Association, in a press release.

The faith group leaders allege that Reinholdt added insult to injury by indicating that she and her administration view religious people as a contributing factor to the problem of gay bullying. “Superintendent Reinholdt made it quite clear to us that her office believes that people of faith are part of the problem,” said Korz.

“Clearly, the superintendent is eager to paint Christians as bigots,” said Korz. “This is completely unacceptable for someone who is supposed to be safeguarding every student against bullying in our schools.”

The faith group claims that Reinholdt’s treatment of their concerns only confirms to them their fears that the anti-gay bullying strategies are being used as a means to silence and even attack people with traditional Christian values. They say there is a “double standard” at work in the strategy.

In an e-mail to the Orthodox Christian Association sent last May, Superintendent Reinholdt dismissed the need to address anti-Christian and anti-religious bullying as part of the Board’s overall anti bullying initiative. In the e-mail Reinholdt reportedly refused to conduct further meetings with the faith group’s representatives, directing them to “address any remaining questions…(to) a future IFAC (Interfaith Advisory Committee) meeting”.

Representatives of the faith group believe that Reinholdt’s “lack of professionalism” raises “serious questions” about her competency for her position as superintendent.

“Her behavior is a definitive example of anti-Christian bullying,” said Korz

Tags: education, faith, gay activism, homosexuality

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Virginia bill protects faith-based adoption agencies from placing children with homosexual couples

by Christine Dhanagom Mon Mar 12 14:26 EST Comments (8)

 
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, March 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Virginia bill set to become law will protect the right of faith-based adoption agencies in the state to limit adoption placements to heterosexual couples.

The bill, which cleared the Virginia Senate last Friday by a vote of 22-18, allows private adoption agencies to refuse to participate in adoptions that “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.” It also protects the agencies from being denied government licensure, funds, or contracts based on that refusal.

An identical bill had passed the state’s House of Delegates early last month, by a vote of 71-to-28. All House Republicans and three Democrats supported the measure.

Now that the bill has been approved by both chambers, it will head to desk of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, who is expected to sign the legislation.

Roman Catholic Church officials have supported the move because of previous threats to the state’s faith-based adoption agencies posed by anti-discrimination provisions added under the administration of Democratic Governor Timothy Kaine. Kaine added same-sex behavior to Virginia’s anti-discrimination laws by executive order in 2009. He is currently running for the state’s U.S. Senate seat.

Kaine’s revision became the center of public controversy last year, when the Virginia Board of the Department of Social Services was considering a proposed change in adoption regulations that would have forced faith-based agencies to abide by the anti-discrimination regulation in their placement of children for adoption.

Under protest from the Virginia Catholic Conference and Virginia Catholic Charities, the Board eventually ruled against the change.

The current law takes last year’s decision a step further, legally authorizing the rejection of adoptive parents on the basis of sexual orientation and providing protection from liability for the agency.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

According to Senator Jeff McWaters, a Republican who favors the bill, the law “codifies and clarifies what we now call the status quo,” reports Metro Weekly.

State Senator Adam Ebbin, an openly gay Democrat, called the bill “an all-out effort to stop LGBT people from adopting children,” according to the news service.

Sen. Ebbin also said he thought it would lead to future legislation that would do “directly what this bill does indirectly,” by imposing a state-wide ban on homosexual adoption.

Tags: bob mcdonnell, virginia

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Homosexual activists demand removal of Chick-Fil-A from college campuses

by Christine Dhanagom Mon Mar 12 13:37 EST Comments (177)

 

March 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The fast food chain Chick-Fil-A, which has come under attack in the past for the conservative Christian values of its owners, is now fighting homosexual activists who want to see the restaurant kicked off college campuses across the country.

According to a Baptist Press report, the company has been at the center of controversy on at least nine campuses, including Duke University, Northeastern University, and New York University (NYU).

Students who want to see the restaurant kicked off campus or blocked from coming point to its donations to conservative Christian charities as evidence of its “anti-gay” agenda. According to IRS documents, WinShape, a charitable foundation funded by the company, funneled about $2 million to groups such as the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund, Focus on the Family, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council in 2009.

These donations, say NYU freshman Hillary Dworkoski, show that the restaurant is out of sync with her university’s “open and inclusive campus.”

“Maintaining a contract with an anti-gay vendor like Chick-fil-A undermines what makes this university so great,” she wrote, in a Change.org petition asking the school to give the fast food chain the boot.

Dworkoski, a bi-sexual, acknowledges that the Student Senators Council recently voted against removing vendors for “political reasons,” but argues that the school still allows the removal of companies that “violate human or labor rights.”

“As Secretary Clinton recently announced, ‘gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,’” she writes. “As such, I respectfully request that NYU remove Chick-fil-A from campus.”

The petition has garnered over 11,000 signatures, and may have been the inspiration for a recent prank in which two men accompanied by a person in a cow costume distributed a fake flier on the school’s campus advertising employment opportunities at the restaurant.

The flier warns that applicants should “be prepared to discuss your religion, family history, personal relationships etc upon interviewing,” and that “anyone living in sin need not apply.” A Youtube video by the distributors of the fliers shows one man telling bystanders that Chick-Fil-A is offering a special deal where customers can “trade in” their homosexuality for a free chicken sandwich.

The company fired back against the pranksters last week, writing on its facebook wall that the flier “was not created or distributed by any Chick-fil-A Restaurant,” and that “Chick-fil-A serves all of our customers, team members and potential team members with the utmost honor, dignity and respect.”

Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-Fil-A, Inc., also responded to the controversy in a statement last month, saying that the company had “no agenda against anyone.”

“At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions,” Cathy wrote. ‘‘While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”
He also said that the company did not “champion any political agendas on marriage and family,” but would “continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families.”

Dworkowsi’s petition has not succeeded in removing the company from NYU. School officials told the Huffington Post last week that they did not plan to cancel their contract with Chick-Fil-A.

At Northeastern University in Boston, however, the student senate voted last week to block the restaurant from coming to campus because of the controversy. The company was also successfully ousted last year from Indiana University, where it sold food once a week.

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Advocacy group launches World Down Syndrome Day video to protect the unborn

by Thaddeus Baklinski Mon Mar 12 12:25 EST Comments (10)

 
UN flag
A strong pro-life message comes to the UN-sponsored World Down Syndrome Day.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - A pro-life Down syndrome advocacy group has released a video to raise awareness about the fast-approaching, UN-sponsored World Down Syndrome Day, to be celebrated at United Nations headquarters in Turtle Bay on March 21, 2012.

The video is a project of the International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life, a U.S.-based group dedicated to promoting dignity and respect for all individuals with Down syndrome, from conception and throughout life. The worldwide coalition’s mission is to celebrate and enhance the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as to ensure fair and accurate representation in the case of prenatal diagnosis.

Noting that abortion is now the greatest threat to persons with Down syndrome, Diane Grover, co-founder of the IDSC for Life, said that World Down Syndrome Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the tragedy of the rate of abortion of babies who have Down syndrome, when a prenatal diagnosis is made.

“We see WDSD as an opportunity to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what life is like for individuals with Down syndrome, and how they have a valued and vital role in our lives and communities,” Grover told LifeSiteNews.com.

Diane Grover told LifeSiteNews that her organization asked parents to write advice they would have given to themselves prior to experiencing having or adopting a child with Down syndrome on a poster board, take a picture of it, and submit it to the IDSC for Life for inclusion in the video.

“Their responses were beyond anything we dreamed,” Grover said.

“This video, celebrating World Down Syndrome Day, summarizes and brings to light exactly why we celebrate this day. We hope that others will see that our lives are filled with love and joy, and all things that are good and amazing.”

The organizers of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) say their aim is to raise awareness and understanding of a condition which affects approximately 1-in-800 births worldwide, and to promote the inherent rights of people with Down syndrome to enjoy full and dignified lives and be active participants in their communities and society.

World Down Syndrome Day was established by Down Syndrome International and has been celebrated without UN sponsorship since 2006. More than 60 countries in the world observe the day, which is held on March 21 (3/21), to signify the three copies of chromosome 21 which is unique to people with Down syndrome.

“From 2012, the United Nations will invite all its Member States, relevant organizations of the UN system, international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe WDSD and actively raise public awareness of Down syndrome,” Down Syndrome International announced in a press release.

“World Down syndrome Day is needed now more than ever as advances in prenatal testing and government funded screening programs are implemented,” Grover told LifeSiteNews.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

“We want parents to be prepared when their physician offers a genetic screening. Too often, parents are given test results without any prior understanding of the tests they have been given, and they make decisions when they are most vulnerable,” Grover told LifeSiteNews.com. “The IDSC for Life hopes that the awareness that is created about the tests offered to women during pregnancy, and about Down syndrome, will better prepare them.”

“We want people to know the unlimited possibilities that can happen for individuals who have Down syndrome. Today, more than ever, people with Down syndrome are breaking barriers. We are very happy that World Down Syndrome Day exists!”

You can watch the International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life video on YouTube here or on the IDSC for Life website here.

Tags: diana grover, down syndrome, united nations

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256 babies saved during 40 Days so far: here are some of the stories how

by Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life Campaign Director Mon Mar 12 11:04 EST Comments (3)

 

March 12, 2012 (40DaysforLife.com) - It’s another Good News Monday! So I’ll get right to the information I know you want to hear. So far during this 40 Days for Life campaign, we are aware of 256 babies who have been saved from abortion!

Here are just a few of the 256 stories of mothers who changed their minds.

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

A young woman walked past 40 Days for Life vigil participants and straight into Planned Parenthood.

“She was not able to receive any free services or options counseling,” said Brian in St. Louis, but “she was however showered in prayer the entire time she was in the abortion facility.”

Those prayers were answered. The woman left Planned Parenthood and spoke to one of the volunteers. She said while she was inside Planned Parenthood, she just didn’t feel right. She had changed her mind and decided against the abortion.

“We must remember that it’s not by human hands that these children are saved,” Brian said, “but instead by the work of the Holy Spirit.”

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

Vigil participants prayed as they watched a difficult scene unfold. A woman had arrived for an abortion. The child’s father, who was opposed to the abortion, tried his best to stop her — until the security guard finally ushered him out of the abortion center. He then waited in the parking lot.

The woman remained in the building, and didn’t come out until hours later — after the abortionist had left for the day. She finally walked out, she got into the car with the baby’s father … and they began to drive away.

Bob, one of the volunteers praying outside the abortion center, said the car approached the group and stopped. “They told us they had changed their minds and were going to keep their baby.”

It was, Bob said, an emotional moment. “The radiance of their smiles in realizing they had not done what their consciences had undoubtedly told them was wrong was amazing. What an experience. Praise God!”

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

At the 40 Days for Life vigil in Lincoln, Sue watched as a young woman walked out of Planned Parenthood and sat down on the steps. “I thought maybe she was having second thoughts,” she said.

“When I got her attention and it was quiet, I asked if she wanted to talk,” Sue explained. “She said she had decided against the abortion, and gave me a huge smile.”

Sue and the other volunteers then prayed for the young woman and her child’s safety. “I am sure God is saving more babies here,” she said.

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND

Janice says several women leaving the abortion center in College Park have told vigil participants that they did not have abortions — because they saw the people who were praying outside.

“Come pray in front of the clinic and help save lives,” Janice said. “You really can make a difference! If you are unable to join us in front of the clinic, please say an extra prayer for the unborn. Each life saved — as well as their families and friends — will be forever grateful.”

Here’s the link to today’s devotional.

As we hit the midway point of this 40 Days for Life, let’s double our efforts and finish strong!

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“LifeSiteNews a Wonderful Contribution to the Culture of Life” says President of HLI

by Steve Jalsevac Sun Mar 11 21:23 EST Comments (0)

We recently sat down with Fr. Boquet, President of Human Life International, to talk about the importance of LifeSiteNews’s work and what it meant to his organization and the Culture of Life movement as a whole. 

With affiliates and associates in over 100 countries, Human Life International is the largest international pro-life organization in the world.  Fr. Boquet thanks LifeSiteNews for our contribution to the pro-life and pro-family cause, understanding the vital role we play in providing an alternative and dependable source for Culture of Life news - news that has helped to serve the entire movement for 15 years! 

Watch his glowing endorsement of LifeSiteNews in the short video below:


Fr. Boquet, recognizing the unique and vital role we play in the movement, encourages all of our readers to support the work of LifeSiteNews.  In doing so, together we can continue to build a Culture of Life.

Please support LifeSiteNews as we try to raise
basic operating expenses for the Spring.
 
(Click Here to Donate)

 

 

 

 

 

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“LifeSiteNews a Wonderful Contribution to the Culture of Life,” says President of HLI

by Steve Jalsevac Sun Mar 11 21:23 EST Comments (0)

We recently sat down with Fr. Boquet, President of Human Life International, to talk about the importance of LifeSiteNews’s work and what it meant to his organization and the Culture of Life movement as a whole. 

With affiliates and associates in over 100 countries, Human Life International is the largest international pro-life organization in the world.  Fr. Boquet thanks LifeSiteNews for our contribution to the pro-life and pro-family cause, understanding the vital role we play in providing an alternative and dependable source for Culture of Life news - news that has helped to serve the entire movement for 15 years! 

Watch his glowing endorsement of LifeSiteNews in the short video below:


Fr. Boquet, recognizing the unique and vital role we play in the movement, encourages all of our readers to support the work of LifeSiteNews.  In doing so, together we can continue to build a Culture of Life.

Please support LifeSiteNews as we try to raise
basic operating expenses for the Spring.
 
(Click Here to Donate)

 

 

 

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