Ben Johnson

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Obama promotes homosexuals in military in State of the Union Address: steers clear of abortion

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 13, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Barack Obama did not clearly address the issue of abortion in last night's State of the Union Address, usually a time to unveil specific policy proposals before the nation. However, in an address that focused mostly on economics, he made several references to homosexuals, including those serving in the military.

In the most impassioned rhetoric of the night, he said, “What I've said matters little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource, our children.” His topic, however, was not about abortion but gun control, his proffered solution to mass shooting victims, whom he cited in rising cadences.

The president may have made an oblique reference to his commitment to expand contraceptive use and its abortion backup during his discussion of the Third World.

To promote “progress in the most impoverished parts of our world,” he promised, “the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women.”

The Obama administration's delegation at international events has held that “empowerment” means counting contraception and abortion as fundamental to “human development,” and perhaps an inalienable human right, a strategy that comports with the tactics of the United Nations and some global charities.

“It’s striking that the president did not mention the Life issue tonight, despite the long catalogue of other issues he did choose to address,” said Americans United for Life President Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “The president helped create a health care law that intertwines abortion and funding for life-ending drugs and devices throughout.”

“It is irresponsible of the president to insist that Americans pay for life-ending drugs and devices as well as for a medical procedure without also requiring a full reporting of the consequences of such a choice,” she added. Currently, all abortion reporting is voluntary, and some states such as California refuse to provide any statistics. The president's “nonchalance about deaths and complications from a procedure performed routinely on American women is unconscionable,Dr. Yoest said.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the president may have chosen to omit abortion from the State of the Union because he is out of the mainstream of American opinion on abortion. “Will President Obama side with the 87 percent of Americans who believe healthcare professionals should be protected from having to participate in procedures they find morally objectionable? Will he agree with the 72 percent of Americans who object to taxpayer funding of abortion? Can he find common ground with the 63 percent of Americans, including 70 percent of women, who support a ban on abortion past the point at which an unborn child can feel pain?” she asked.

Citing recent polls, she wrote, “Whether or not they identify themselves as ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice,’ Americans oppose more abortions than they support, whereas President Obama has yet to identify one instance where he would protect the life of the unborn child. Last year, he even refused to support a ban on sex-selective abortion – lethal sex-discrimination – even though such legislation is supported by 77 percent of Americans and a whopping 80 percent of women.”

At a chamber before all branches of the United States government – except Supreme Court justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito – President Obama instead focused on the more poll-friendly issue of homosexuality.

Early on he said it was his administration's “unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country,” including championing people regardless of “who you love.”

“We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight,” he said. The president dropped the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy instituted by President Bill Clinton and allowed homosexuals to serve openly in the military, something experts worry will harm group cohesion.

“We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat,” he added.

In a segment of his hour-long address that garnered largely positive reviews among social conservatives, President Obama promised to “strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood.

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He added, “What makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.” Many believe the president's often curt references to fatherlessness stem from his own upbringing, which he wrote in his autobiography was “shaped more by” his father's “absence than by his presence.”

Earlier in the day, the Family Research Council unveiled two new reports showing the importance of “family intactness” on social policies, such as child poverty, welfare dependence, educational attainment, and out-of-wedlock births.

Children born outside of marriage are nearly six times as likely to be poor than those born to married parents,” noted Rachel Sheffield of the Heritage Foundation.

Out-of-wedlock births, she wrote, are “creating a two-caste society with marriage and education as the divide. Lower-income Americans and, increasingly more so, those in “middle America” are having children outside of marriage, putting themselves and their children at risk for poverty.

President Obama did not specify how he intended to strengthen families.

Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox, an expert on the family at the University of Virginia, speculated he could determine which welfare programs make the poor less likely to get married, or simply issue “low-income couples a check equal to the penalty they incur from marrying.”

However, at least one leader at the Family Research Center saw the president's stance as irreconcilable.

“He calls for fatherhood as a moral imperative, but wants to redefine marriage,” said Rob Schwarzwalder, senior vice president of FRC.

The president may also be at odds with himself in his plan to expand preschool programs, such as Head Start, which take children out of the home and place them in the care of others.

Barack Obama pressed the issue of amnesty for illegal aliens, as well as alternative energy, and rebuilding infrastructure in the economic portion of his speech. 


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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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