Hilary White

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Anger as UK homosexualists declare Edinburgh cardinal “bigot of the year”

Hilary White
Hilary White

EDINBURGH, November 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Christian believers and others in Britain are expressing outrage after the country’s leading homosexualist lobby group declared the Cardinal Archbishop of Edinburgh, Keith O’Brien, “Bigot of the Year” for his opposition to “gay marriage”. While Stonewall and some others continue to defend the award category, even some of the group’s greatest supporters have criticized it, saying the designation damages their own cause.

Gerald Warner, a Catholic journalist and sometime policy advisor to the Scottish Conservative party, called the award a sign that the homosexualist movement is sinking further into “homofascism”. He told LifeSiteNews.com, “How would the politically correct media respond if the most prominent Catholic pressure group in Britain last night voted Ben Summerskill, of Stonewall, ‘Weirdo of the Year’? We all know the answer.

“So why is ‘hate speech,’ and even a hate award, acceptable, so long as it is directed against a Prince of the Church for reasserting the timeless and unchangeable doctrine of the Catholic Church as it has stood for 2,000 years?”

While Stonewall and other homosexualist activist groups continue to defend the award, others have said it brings the tenor of the debate down to the level of the schoolyard.

“In seeking to humiliate and intimidate those who hold mainstream views on marriage rather than engaging with their arguments, Stonewall is stifling robust public discussion of an issue of great importance to the future of our society,” said Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern. a faith-based legal defence association.

Williams, who is not a Catholic, has called the Cardinal “a courageous Christian leader who has stood up for the truth.” She said, “Stonewall’s attack on him reveals their contempt and brazen attitude to those who will not capitulate to their agenda.”

“It is deeply ironic that an organisation that claims to be opposed to bullying and even runs an initiative in primary schools, entitled ‘Celebrating Difference’, responds to difference of opinion by resorting to name-calling that, were it not more sinister, would be reminiscent of playground antics,” she added.

At their lavish annual awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Stonewall also named Scottish Tory leader and open lesbian Ruth Davidson “politician of the year” but then booed and jeered her at the ceremony when she objected to the “bigot” award.

“It is simply wrong. The case for equality is far better made by demonstrating the sort of generosity, tolerance and love we would wish to see more of in this world,” Davidson explained.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond also criticized the award, but said he will not withdraw any funding from Stonewall.

Homosexualists were infuriated when the Catholic Church in Scotland said it will “declare war” on the Cameron/Clegg government’s plans to institute “gay marriage” and pledged £100,000 in funds to the campaign. Cardinal O’Brien has been a staunch and outspoken critic of the plans, saying that it is a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.”

While most of the Catholic episcopate of Britain have objected to the plans in some way, O’Brien is perhaps being singled out because he is among the extremely small number of Catholic leaders who have been willing to criticize the homosexual lifestyle itself, rather than merely praising natural marriage. O’Brien has said that homosexual activity is “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved.” He was nominated for the “bigot” title along with fellow Scotland prelate, Philip Tartaglia, the archbishop of Glasgow.

Warner said the whole notion of “hate crimes” and “aggravated offences” has created a privileged political position “under Britain’s formerly equitable legal system” for “certain minorities” – who currently enjoy the fashionable caché and social approval of the leftist media and London’s “smart set” political establishment.

If such offenses are to exist, he said, “then there should be a level playing field.” “Christophobia is now the only tolerated - indeed encouraged - hate manifestation in Britain and the West.” He called branding Cardinal O’Brien “Bigot of the Year” “just the latest example of anti-Christian aggression” from the organized left.

“The Cardinal himself is entitled to regard the award as an unintended compliment, testifying that he has spoken up effectively for the Faith,” he said.

Warner also objected to the use of public funds to support, and public officials accepting, the awards. The tax funding of Stonewall, he said, means effectively that the government is paying Stonewall to lobby the government on issues that a small cadre of far-left politicians want to see pushed forward.

Warner also criticized Ruth Davidson for accepting the Politician of the Year award, and then attempting to salvage her position by chiding the group for the “bigot” award. “The point is: what was the leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, who is promoting same-sex marriage while leading the one party that socially conservative voters look to for representation, doing at such an event?”

He added, “No Scottish Catholic or Christian can now vote Conservative.”
 
“If Catholics do not come together and make a stand against this kind of aggression they will be marginalised from society. We hear much about ‘homophobia’ - a propagandist, illiterate neologism used to intimidate - but what would its users say if Christians retaliated with the charge that such conduct amounts to ‘homofascism’?”

Two major banking firms, Barclay’s and Coutts & Co – the latter being the publicly owned bank used by Queen Elizabeth – have threatened to withdraw their support for the annual awards ceremony if the category is not removed from the list.

Coutts & Co said in a statement, “Coutts are sponsors only of Stonewall’s Writer of the Year Award and have in no way been involved in the judging or support of the Bigot of the Year category.

“We have advised Stonewall that we will be withdrawing our support of the awards unless they remove this category.”

Speaking for Barclay’s, Mark McLane, Managing Director and head of the office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, said, “Let me be absolutely clear that Barclays does not support that award category either financially, or in principle and have informed Stonewall that should they decide to continue with this category we will not support this event in the future.

“To label any individual so subjectively and pejoratively runs contrary to our view on fair treatment, and detracts from what should be a wholly positively focused event.”

But Gerald Warner said these statements are not “good enough.”

“The fact remains,” he said, “they have sponsored this insult.

“Barclays’ claim that they were unaware of the ‘bigot’ award suggests they are not very careful in handing out money. Any Catholic with an account at Barclays should close it.”

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

South African mom files ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit on behalf of Downs son

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A South African woman has launched a "wrongful life" lawsuit against the Cape Town-based Foetal Assessment Centre, claiming a failure to inform her that the child she was carrying was at risk of having Down Syndrome prevented her from aborting her baby.

A twist in this lawsuit is that, unlike other "wrongful birth" lawsuits, the mother in this case missed the time limit to file the claim on her own behalf, so she is asking the South African Constitutional Court to allow her to sue the center for “wrongful life” on behalf of her now-born son.

“You have a duty to tell my mother carrying me that I'm malformed so that she can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry me to term,” the statement of claim against the Foetal Assessment Centre reads, according to SABC News.

“It is not as if the foetus is sort of putting up its hand and saying why you didn’t destroy me," the mother's lawyer, Paul Hoffman, explained to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. "The foetus is complaining that its malformation, its development is the result of the bad advice that was given.”

The SABC report did not say what compensation the woman is seeking.

The scope of the case is similar to that of a New Zealand couple who won a lawsuit claiming monetary compensation after a routine 20 week ultrasound scan failed to discover that their daughter had spina bifida.

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The mother, whose name has not been released, claimed that the continuance of the pregnancy was a “personal injury,” and, had she been given the correct diagnosis after that scan, she would have aborted her daughter.

"We consider that the continued pregnancy of the appellant following a misdiagnosis in the 20 week scan is capable of being an injury suffered by the appellant,” the court ruled, and directed the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to make the woman eligible for compensation for the ongoing surgical and physiotherapy expenses incurred by their child.

New Zealand disability advocate Mike Sullivan said the underpinning attitude behind the decision is that those with disability, both born and unborn, are seen as a burden on society.

“This is what happens,” Sullivan said, when “the children become reduced to nothing – wrong even to exist.”

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