Peter Baklinski

Canadian transgender bill faces critical vote March 20

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 18, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A controversial bill that would add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to Canada’s Human Rights Act and Criminal Code will face the vote in the House of Commons this Wednesday. 

Critics say that if passed, Bill C-279 will effectively abolish society's understanding of male and female. 

The preamble to the bill states: “Gender Identity means, in respect of an individual, the individual’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex that the individual was assigned at birth." 

Campaign Life Coalition has slammed the bill’s definition of gender as purely subjective.

“It is an ideological, and non-scientific definition that would abolish society's understanding of male and female, transforming it from an objective, physical reality, to a creation of our minds that can change from one day to the next,” the group stated.

Numerous pro-family organizations oppose the controversial bill, dubbing it the “bathroom bill” since it could give biological men a legal alibi to use women’s bathrooms, shower rooms, and changing rooms. They worry that such a bill will lead to an increase in sexual assaults. Their worry is not unfounded. 

Last November a college in Washington state decided it would not prevent a 45-year-old man who presents himself as a transgender “female” from lounging naked in a women’s locker room, in an area frequented by girls as young as six. Teenage girls on a high school swim team were using the facilities last September when they saw "Colleen" Francis exposing male genitalia through the glass window in a sauna.

Despite the left wing push for the bill in the name of "rights and equality," high ranking representatives from the Canadian Human Rights Commission (HRC) told the Canadian Justice Committee in December that the bill “strictly speaking…isn’t necessary”.

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HRC representative Ian Fine told the committee that “the commission, the tribunal, and the courts view gender identity and gender expression as protected by the Canadian Human Rights Act [CHRA].”

Conservative MPs have said that the bill is redundant since transgender individuals already enjoy Human Rights protection, because "sex" is already a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Canada Family Action says that Bill C-279 is “much more dangerous than it appears”.

The group argues that the bill would give predators of women and girls a “legal defense”; that it would force schools to teach gender curriculum in school that would cause “gender confusion in children”; and that it would jeopardize businesses, organizations, and individuals who could “unknowingly commit Human Rights and/or Criminal Code Violations if they fail to offer ‘gender neutral’ facilities”.

Campaign Life Coalition expects that if the bill passes in the house, then it will sail through the Senate as well.

“Then Canada's laws will actually affirm and promote the dangerous philosophy that a biological male can actually be a woman, if he simply feels that way in his mind. The law will send the message to all in society that one's physical anatomy is irrelevant to whether you are a boy or a girl.” 

“Politicians, by passing Bill C-279, would unleash unintended consequences that are seriously damaging to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the personal security of women and even to the individuals who suffer with the psychological problem known as Gender Identity Disorder (GID).” 

Canada Family Action is urging concerned Canadians to contact their MPs and tell them to vote against Bill C-279 “before it's too late”. The group is also urging people to contact the 16 Conservative MPs who did not vote on the bill last year when it passed its second reading. 

“Their absence allowed Bill C-279 to pass 2nd reading with the help of the 15 Conservative MPs who voted to support it,” wrote Brian Rushfeldt, CFA president, in a press release. 

“Pick up your phone right now and call one of the Conservative MPs who didn't even vote on the Gender/Bathroom Bill and tell them to stand up for the women and girls in their riding by voting NO to Bill C-279.” 

The Conservative MPs who failed to vote on the bill are the following:

John Baird - Ottawa West - Nepean - 613-990-7720 - bairdj@parl.gc.ca
Ryan Leef - Yukon - 867-668-6565 - ryan.leef@parl.gc.ca
Ed Fast - Abbotsford - 604-557-7888 - ed@edfast.ca
Ed Komarnicki - Souris - Moose Mountain - 306-634-3000 - komare@parl.gc.ca
Diane Ablonczy - Calgary - Nose Hill - 403-282-7980 - calgary@ablonczy.com
Colin Mayes - Okanagan - Shuswap - 250-260-5020 - colin.mayes@parl.gc.ca
Peter Goldring - Edmonton East - 780-495-3261 - goldrp1@parl.gc.ca (Independent Conservative)
Stephen Woodworth - Kitchener Centre - 519-741-2001 - stephen.woodworth@parl.gc.ca
Rona Ambrose - Edmonton - Spruce Grove - 780-495-7705 - rona.ambrose.c1a@parl.gc.ca
Maxime Bernier - Beauce - 418-227-2171 - bernim1a@parl.gc.ca
Deepak Obhrai - Calgary East - 403-207-3030 - obhrad@parl.gc.ca
Pierre Poilievre - Nepean - Carleton - 613-990-4300 - pierre.poilievre@parl.gc.ca
James Moore - Port Moody - Westwood - Port Coquitlam - 604-937-5650 - james.moore@parl.gc.ca
Steven Blaney - Lévis—Bellechasse - 418-830-0500 - blanes1b@parl.gc.ca
Kellie Leitch - Simcoe - Grey - 705-435-1809 - kellie.leitch@parl.gc.ca
 

The Conservative MPs who supported the bill are the following:

Shelly Glover - Saint Boniface - 204-983-3183 - shelly@shellyglover.ca
Lisa Raitt - Halton - 905-693-0166 - lisa.raitt@parl.gc.ca
Bruce Stanton - Simcoe North - 705-327-0513 - bruce.stanton.c1d@parl.gc.ca
Bernard Valcourt - Madawaska Restigouche - 506-739-4600 - bernard.valcourt@parl.gc.ca
Cathy McLeod - Kamloops Thompson - 250-851-4991 - cathy.mcleod.c1@parl.gc.ca
Chris Alexander - Ajax Pickering - 905-426-6808 - chris.alexander@parl.gc.ca
Kerry-Lynne Findlay - Delta Richmond - 604-940-8040 - kerry-lynne.findlay@parl.gc.ca
Laurie Hawn - Edmonton Centre - 780-442-1888 - laurie.hawn.c1@parl.gc.ca
Gerald Keddy - South Shore St Margaret - 902-637-3945 - keddyg@ns.sympatico.ca
David Wilks - Kootenay Columbia - 250-417-2250 - david.wilks@parl.gc.ca
Bernard Trottier - Etobicoke Lake - 416-251-5510 - bernard.trottier@parl.gc.ca
Michelle Rempel - Calgary Centre North - 403-216-7777 - michelle.rempel@parl.gc.ca
John Duncan - Vancouver Island North - 250-338-9381 - john.duncan@parl.gc.ca
Jim Flaherty - Whitby Oshawa - 905-665-8182 - jim@jimflahertymp.ca
Michael Chong - Wellington Halton Hills - 519-843-7344 - michael.chong@parl.gc.ca

Visit Campaign Life Coalition's website to learn more about the implications of Bill C-279.

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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

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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, the 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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