500,000+ signatures opposing gay ‘marriage’ presented to UK prime minister, Home Office
Co-authored with John Jalsevac
LONDON, June 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A petition by the UK’s Coalition for Marriage opposing the government’s proposal to re-write the definition of marriage, which has been signed by well over half-a-million petitioners, was delivered in a gift-wrapped box to the Home Office and to Downing Street this week.
The petition, one of the largest in the history of Parliament, was presented by recently married couple Rhys and Esther Curnow, both 23. The couple were joined by Conservative Party MPs Fiona Bruce and David Burrowes, Labour MP Jim Dobbin, and campaigners from the Coalition for Marriage, Colin Hart and Dr. Sharon James.
Dr Sharon James, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for Marriage, said: “We’ve got over half a million people who are saying they believe in marriage, and this isn’t just religious people but people of no faith, gay people and straight people.
“We believe passionately in marriage. It’s much bigger than the church and the state and it goes back to the beginning of human history.”
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The debate about the Conservative government’s proposal remains fierce. On Wednesday, a Conservative Party cabinet minister delighted homosexualist campaigners when he said that excluding religious organizations from performing the “marriages” may be “problematic” should a law be brought forward.
“It may be that proscribing all religious organizations who have a licence to carry out marriage from carrying out same sex marriages – that may be rather more problematic legally than trying to give a protection for those religious organisations that do not wish to do so and making sure that they do not have to do so,” said prisons minister Crispin Blunt.
The comments were welcomed by the ultra-liberal Unitarian church, which has long been at the forefront of the religious representation of the homosexualist movement’s political agenda. Derek McAuley, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches said, “We do not believe any religious group should be forced to undertake same sex marriage, however, we would claim the right to do so in line with our own deeply held convictions about the inherent worth of all individuals and for public recognition of relationships.”
Minister Blunt has described the current law as one of the “remaining examples of inequality that everyone now accepts are unacceptable.” He is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group and in August 2010 left his marriage of 20 years to Victoria Jenkins in order, he said, to “come to terms with my homosexuality.”
Since the local elections in May that were disastrous for the Conservatives, the government has indicated it may be trying to back quietly away from its insistence on introducing “gay marriage,” an unpopular proposal with an already angry electorate. The party has already announced that MPs, including cabinet ministers, will be allowed a free vote on the subject, with Prime Minister David Cameron widely expected to agree soon to drop the unpopular push from the party’s official business and to campaign for it separately.
MPs remain divided on the issue, with a poll published by the left-leaning Independent newspaper showing that 63 Tory MPs would vote for gay marriage and 44 against, with the House of Commons overall being in favor by four to one.
Many opponents have objected that the government has specifically refused to hear arguments against changing the definition, restricting the formal public inquiry only to how the change could be made.
“The most outrageous thing today is that Mr Cameron said they are a Government who are going to prevail and they are going to introduce same-sex marriage. The consultation hasn’t even closed yet,” said Dr. James.
“It’s undemocratic and I think people up and down the country are saying ‘what an arrogant Government’.”
Paul Goodman, the executive editor of the influential Conservative Home website and a former Conservative MP, wrote that the Tory party has got itself into a “mess” with its push for “gay marriage”.
“From the viewpoint of practical politics, rather than conviction one way or the other,” Goodman wrote, “it is usually bad politics to seek to force through change which a majority or plurality of voters favour tepidly but a significant minority oppose passionately.”
The issue is uniquely set to divide the party, at a time when unity is essential for a strong showing in the upcoming election cycle.
Calling the move “a gambit straight out of the Blair textbook” Goodman said, “The only strategic reason for seeking to introduce gay marriage, therefore, is to seek to win younger, and doubtless new and urban-based voters at the expense of older and more rural-dwelling ones who tend to vote Tory.”
“The crux of the matter for many is whether the churches or other faith communities could be forced to conduct gay marriages against their will. I am not convinced this would be the case but the Church of England thinks otherwise,” Goodman added.
He pointed out that the proposal never appeared in any Conservative, or even Liberal Democrat election material or manifestoes, and that following the institution of civil partnerships, even the homosexualist lobby was not interested in pursuing a change to the definition of marriage.
With one day left in the consultation, the party’s leading policy analysts remain puzzled why Cameron has led them to the current pass.
“Regardless of one’s views on the matter it looks as though the Tory end of the Government has rushed into this one without thinking it through,” Goodman wrote.
Concerned UK residents still have a chance to sign before the close of the government’s “Equal Marriage” consultation closes at midnight on Thursday, June 14. In addition, short messages from citizens explaining their support for the traditional meaning of marriage may be submitted to the Home Office via their website, using their online form, until Thursday’s deadline.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.