Ben Johnson

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Lawsuit against New York’s homosexual ‘marriage’ law moves forward

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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WASHINGTON, December 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A New York state judge has allowed a lawsuit that could overturn the state’s homosexual “marriage” law to move forward.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert Wiggins ruled that the courts could decide whether Governor Andrew Cuomo violated a law requiring his meetings with Republicans in the state senate to be open to the public.

“There is no demonstration that the public welfare on this issue required secrecy,” Justice Wiggins wrote in his November 18 decision.

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Cuomo secretly met with weary Republicans in the Governor’s Mansion in Albany on June 24, as they prepared to vote on the “Marriage Equality Act.” They locked out the public and press, and denied registered lobbyists access to politicians.

The plaintiffs contend that “at least two meetings” violate the 1976 New York Open Meetings Law, which requires that “public business be performed in an open and public manner.”

“We are contending that when the 32 Republicans met with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg and perhaps some others, it was a flagrant disregard for the intention of the law,” Rev. Jason J. McGuire told LifeSiteNews.com. Rev. McGuire is executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), which filed the lawsuit.

McGuire told LifeSiteNews.com that as he attempted to attend one of the meetings, he found the sergeants-at-arms blocking the hallways to the Republicans’ chambers. “They said it was an issue of ‘safety and security,’” McGuire said, but “the only hallways blocked were Republican hallways.”

The act capped off a series of closed doors conferences that homosexual “marriage” supporters held to convince the GOP-controlled senate to schedule a vote on the bill. In May, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn, the speaker of the New York City council and a lesbian, lobbied Republican senators to support the act. Bloomberg held another meeting with Republicans on June 16.

While state law allows one-party meetings to occur in secret, Bloomberg is a registered independent, and Cuomo and Quinn are registered Democrats.

McGuire told LifeSiteNews.com, “In the new year, we’ll have an opportunity to present our argument” on the merits of the law. If a judge agrees, the same-sex “marriage” law could be overturned. “We’ve asked for nullification and that’s ultimately where this could lead,” he said.

Rena Lindevaldsen of Liberty Counsel, which is representing NYCF, says the lawsuit is acting “as a check on an out-of-control political process that was willing to pass a bill regardless of how many laws and rules it violated.”

In his decision, while allowing the lawsuit to move forward, Justice Wiggins had reluctantly dismissed some of the claims of the plaintiffs.

One of these related to New York law that requires pending legislation to be made public for three days before passage. On June 24, Governor Cuomo overridden that law by issuing a “message of necessity” to pass the bill. Wiggins ruled that since the senate accepted the measure, he lacked jurisdiction to rule on it. But the judge wrote that Cuomo’s “disregard for the statute seems evident.”

The plaintiffs also charged politicians with establishing an implied quid pro quo, exchanging votes for campaign cash. They state that in his June 16 meeting with Republicans, Mayor Bloomberg offered to financially support any Republican who backed the marriage bill and to help the opponent of anyone who opposed it. Four Republican state senators promptly changed their votes: James Alesi, Mark Grisanti, Roy McDonald, and Stephen Saland.

The “Marriage Equality Act” subsequently passed after the Assembly approved it by a vote of 80-63, and the Republican-controlled state senate voted to pass it 33-29. The law took effect on July 24. The next day, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms filed the lawsuit.

Shortly after the vote, Bloomberg contributed the maximum amount allowed by law, $10,300, to all four Republican senators who changed their vote in favor of the law. Bloomberg and powerful homosexual activist Tim Gill threw a $1.2 million fundraiser for the four in October. They also donated a hefty sum to the Republican Senate campaign committee for agreeing to hold the vote.

But while the four Republicans have Bloomberg’s support, they have also made some determined enemies with their votes. Shaun Marie, executive director of the Conservative Party of New York State, told LifeSiteNews.com the state party “will not endorse anybody” that voted for the bill and that the party is “actively recruiting” candidates to run against the wayward Republicans in 2012.

Any effort to overturn the law can’t come too soon for Christians in the state concerned that their religious liberty is already being encroached upon since the bill passed. At least four New York clerks have either resigned rather than sign marriage licenses for homosexual couples, or are fighting heavy pressure to sign the licenses against their consciences.

McGuire fears churches may soon come under fire for abiding by their traditional stance on moral and ethical issues. He said the law’s “religious liberty” clause is “extremely weak.”

McGuire plans to present his case in state court in 2012. Whatever the decision, he anticipates a long legal battle.


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

Steve Weatherbe
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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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