Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

EU family roundup: Criticize homosexuality in Sweden and go to jail?: No problem for European court

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

Criticize homosexuality in Sweden and go to jail: No problem for European rights court

Anyone challenging the homosexualist agenda in public in Sweden can be sent to prison, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that this does not constitute any violation of rights. In 2004, the Swedish government charged a group of pamphleteers with “agitation against a national or ethnic group,” a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

The four men were convicted in 2006 by the District Court, which ruling was overturned on appeal but later upheld by the Supreme Court in a narrow 5-3 decision.

The four appealed to the ECHR, which ruled on February 9th that their application was “manifestly ill-founded”. The court said that the conviction constituted no violation of Article 10 (Freedom of Expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. It was a “legitimate and proportional interference” with the applicants’ rights of freedom of expression and was necessary for the protection of the “reputation and rights of others”.

The case started in 2004 when the four activists distributed about 100 pamphlets at a secondary school expressing objections to the widespread acceptance of homosexual activity.

The pamphlets read: “Homosexual Propaganda. In the course of a few decades society has swung from rejection of homosexuality and other sexual deviances to embracing this deviant sexual proclivity. Your anti-Swedish teachers know very well that homosexuality has a morally destructive effect on the substance of society and will willingly try to put it forward as something normal and good.”

The pamphlets encouraged readers to respond to homosexualist propaganda by pointing out the connection between the spread of HIV/AIDS and increasing homosexual activity by infected persons, and that homosexualist lobby groups are attempting to “play down” their support of pedophilia.

The four activists, Tor Fredrik Vejdeland, Mattias Harlin, Björn Täng and Niklas Lundström, denied in court that they had intended to express contempt for homosexuals, instead saying that their purpose was to “start a debate about the lack of objectivity in the education in Swedish schools.”

The Swedish Supreme Court acknowledged the applicants’ right to express their ideas, but found the statements had been “unnecessarily offensive.” The majority ruling particularly noted that the pupils at the school had not had the possibility to refuse the leaflets, which had been left in lockers.

The judges said that the purpose of supplying the pupils with arguments for a debate “could have been achieved without offensive statements to homosexuals as a group.”

Ultimately, the first three applicants were given suspended sentences combined with fines ranging from approximately 200 to 2,000 Euros and the fourth applicant was sentenced to probation.

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Leading European homosexualist “NGO” directly funded by the EU/Dutch govt’ and George Soros

This week, a British MEP, Godfrey Bloom, a member of the euro-skeptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), has demanded to know why an ostensibly independent NGO, the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA-Europe), receives as much as 2/3 of its operating budget directly from the European Commission. Bloom said that the group receives a total of 70 per cent of its funding from taxpayer sources - either from the EU or from the Dutch government.

Bloom pointed to IGLA’s published figures for 2011 that said 67.7 per cent of its €1,824,000 budget, (€1,252,600) came from grants from the European Commission. Another €50,000 was granted by the Dutch Government. Of the remaining €521,400 of its budget the group received a total of €402,400 from three individuals: George Soros, Sigrid Rausing and an anonymous donor.

The group issued a statement on their blog saying, “ILGA-Europe’s member organisations pay their membership to ILGA (World) directly.” Individual membership fees, the group said, “are used by the world association to support LGBTI organisations in other regions of the world.” European human rights lawyer J.C. von Krempach, writing on the ‘blog Turtle Bay and Beyond, pointed out that this means the group is, essentially, a government organization being funded by the European Commission to lobby for changes to the European Commission.

For some years, the group was denied NGO status at the UN because of their connection to groups that promote pedophilia but this was eventually overruled by the combined lobbying of some European countries. In addition, the UN rules say that an NGO, a “non-governmental organisation,” must by definition not be funded by governments.

Austin Ruse, of the Catholic Family and Human Right Institute, wrote that there is a great deal of “bad blood” at the UN over European countries pushing the homosexualist agenda. “European nations are forcing extremist homosexual groups upon the UN NGO Committee,” Ruse said.

“Other governments,” including the US and the UK, “have taken up the cause of making homosexual activity a human right enforced by international law.”

Godfrey Bloom asked the European Commissioners, “Given the proportion of its own contribution to financing ILGA-Europe, does the Commission believe that ILGA-Europe can be described as a ‘non-governmental organization’ or as part of ‘civil society’?”

Bloom continued, “How does the Commission view the influence that wealthy individuals may exert over the NGOs they are subsidising? Is there a risk that persons such as George Soros could ‘buy’ themselves one or more NGOs that are economically dependent on their donations? How does the Commission view the impact of this particular type of ‘philanthropy’ on democracy?”

He pointed to the request by ILGA for an additional 1 million Euros spread over three years from the EU-funded EuropeAid, and asked how the Commission intends to reply to the request.

Bloom pointed out that among the requirements for NGOs that seek accreditation to obtain consultative status at the UN is that “the major portion of the organisation’s funds should be derived from contributions from national affiliates, individual members, or other non-governmental components.”

He asked if the European Commission had similar rules and if so, whether they believed ILGA had met the requirements. Ruse said that the revelations will likely prompt a re-evaluation of the group’s NGO status at the UN.

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English Catholic bishop urges MPs to resist Tory “gay marriage” proposals

The Catholic bishop of Shrewsbury in northwestern England has urged MPs to resist the efforts of the coalition government and Prime Minister David Cameron to impose “gay marriage.” Bishop Mark Davies said “politicians of Christian conscience” must protect the “God-given meaning of marriage for the sake of all generations to come.”

Bishop Davies delivered the comments in a homily during the diocese’s annual celebration of marriage, at St Wilfrid’s Church in Northwich, Cheshire, on Saturday, the Daily Telegraph reports. He criticized the idea that “progress” always means a “continuous shifting” away from society’s Christian foundations. He called the proposal to allow homosexual partnerings to be called marriage a “seismic shift in the foundations of our society.”

The comments follow the news that more than 100 Conservative MPs could vote against the proposal that will overturn the legal definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. The government announced it would be opening a “public consultation” in March, not on whether there was acceptance of the idea, but only on the legal mechanisms for it to be implemented.

Bishop Davies said, “We face a mindset which sees progress only as a continuous shifting of our society further and further from its foundations until we have nothing left for family and society to be founded upon than changing, political fashions of thought.

“By attempting to redefine marriage for society, politicians will find they have not only undermined the institution of marriage but obscured its identity for generations to come.

“For politicians of Christian conscience this will be a moment to resist the leadership of their own political parties together with every parliamentarian who recognises the Judeo-Christian foundations on which our society rests.

“Our voices must now be raised as clearly as they can be, in order to proclaim the God-given meaning of marriage not only for the sake of this generation, but for the sake of all generations to come.”

 

Red alert! Last call.

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Opposing gay ‘marriage’ may demand civil disobedience: Louisiana bishop

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By Lisa Bourne

LAFAYETTE, LA, June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The bishop of the Catholic diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, is one of the nation’s Church leaders to come out strongly against the Supreme Court decision forcing all 50 states to recognize homosexual “marriage”.

Bishop Michael Jarrell reminded Catholics in a statement that the judiciary does not have the power to redefine marriage, and he opened the door to civil disobedience as a possible response to the June 26 Supreme Court ruling.

“Let me state very plainly that no human court has the authority to change what God has written into the law of creation,” Bishop Jarrell wrote in his statement. “This ruling is irreconcilable with the nature and definition of marriage as established by Divine Law.”

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“The marital covenant was established by God with its own proper nature and laws,” he continued.

Recognizing the tide of religious persecution across the country against those who hold the Biblical view of marriage, Bishop Jarrell addressed the issue of living one’s Catholic faith in light of the Supreme Court decision, and gave the green light to refuse to comply, even if it means breaking the law.

“I realize that this ruling will create conscience problems for many Catholics, especially those in public office,” Bishop Jarrell said. “In some cases civil disobedience may be a proper response.”

In an exercise of episcopal authority, the Lafayette prelate also issued a mandate that no representative of the diocese would enable homosexual “marriage” in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

“No priest or deacon of this Diocese may participate in the civil solemnization or celebration of same-sex marriage,” he declared. “No Catholic facility or property, including but not limited to parishes, missions, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or facilities belonging to benevolent orders may be used for the solemnization of same-sex marriage.”

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The bishop also cautioned against Catholics showing support for homosexual “marriage” by their presence at same-sex “wedding”.

“All Catholics are urged not to attend same-sex ceremonies,” he said.

The bishop said he hoped this October’s Ordinary Synod on the Family at the Vatican would address issues brought about by “the alteration of the traditional law about marriage.”

Bishop Jarrell also expressed deep sadness at the Supreme Court ruling, and said while Catholics have great respect for everyone as children of God, the justices’ decision had no legal or moral foundation.

“As Catholics we have a profound respect for the dignity of all God’s children,” he stated. “Nevertheless there is no basis in law or in nature for altering the traditional definition of marriage, established by God from the beginning.”

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Catholic News Service gives platform to head of union that gave hundreds of millions to pro-abort politicians

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By Lisa Bourne

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The news service of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has published an article by the head of an organization that has given hundreds of millions of dollars to elect pro-abortion politicians.

Americans should listen to Pope Francis, at least when it comes to his message on poverty and economics, according to Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, an organization that has done arguably more to elect pro-abortion politicians than any other group in the last 50 years.

The union chief made his case in a June 22 guest column for Catholic News Service (CNS).

The AFL-CIO donated $200 million to Democratic politicians in 2008 alone.

LifeSiteNews contacted Catholic News Service about Trumka’s column in light of the AFL-CIO’s support for abortion, contraception, and homosexual “marriage," but CNS declined to comment.

On his way in the piece to pronouncing unity between the Church and big labor, Trumka touts Pope Francis’s recently reported high approval rating and the “newfound vigor” the Roman Catholic Church has added to its “traditional social doctrine” since his election.

“For much of the last century and more, the labor movement and the Catholic Church have stood together in solidarity for people who labor for a living,” he wrote in the CNS column. “Pope Francis lives and breathes this tradition.”

“Together, the Catholic Church and the labor movement stand for a new moral and political order,” he said.

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In his June 22 piece for Catholic News Service he wrote about helping to ease the pain and suffering for others as his reasons for praising Pope Francis.

“We believe in the duty to ease pain and to offer comfort to those who are suffering -- and not just with kind words, but with action,” Trumka opined. “That is why I am so heartened by our Holy Father Pope Francis.

Trumka, raised Catholic, writes his column for CNS with a Catholic voice, but the union he heads up supports contraception and homosexual “marriage”, along with abortion.

While the Church today holds The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers among its themes of Catholic Social Teaching, giving voice in the Bishops’ own news agency to the representative of an organization which has given hundreds of millions of dollars to pro-abortion politicians contradicts the USCCB’s very own document teaching on the need for Catholics to act in support of Catholic principles and policies in public life.

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles,” the USCCB’s Catholics in Political Life states. “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

The nation’s top union also supports the so-called “free” birth control imposed as part of the HHS mandate, something many groups – including the USCCB itself – resisted being forced to provide.

“Women have fought hard for the right to safe, legal reproductive health services and the freedom to exercise that right,” the AFL-CIO Statement on Women's Access to Quality and Affordable Reproductive Health Care says. “The Affordable Care Act provides that women will receive preventative health care benefits, including FDA-approved methods of birth control, without co-pays or deductibles.”

Many of those forms of “birth control” may act as abortifacients.

The AFL-CIO’s support for abortion and birth control isn’t where the union’s advocacy for anti-Catholic initiatives stops. It encompasses homosexual activism as well.

Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBT union members and their “allies,” that “organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community to further social and economic justice.”

Pride at Work is an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO

The deeds of the AFL-CIO as an organization are not the sole illustration of how Trumka’s CNS appearance sends a conflicting message with regard to Church principles, but also statements embracing and advocating principles in direct contrast to the faith by the man himself.

“Working people believe in equality and fairness and that’s why we are happy to stand with millions of Americans and with President Obama in supporting marriage equality,” Trumka said in a statement supporting homosexual “marriage”.

When the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 defending marriage were overturned, he said they never should have been adopted in the first place.

“The Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 were radical and divisive laws that never should have been,” Trumka said. “Now, we can begin to fully clear the dark legal cloud that has hung over our nation.”

Trumka employs a childhood anecdote to frame his article complete with violence against his grandfather on the part of the profit-focused mining company that “owned everything,” in his Pennsylvania hometown.

“Pope Francis speaks for the church I grew up in when he calls for an organized moral response to the injustices of modern capitalism,” stated Trumka, whose salary level is around $300,000 per year according to unionfacts.com.

Trumka has been implicated in encouraging intimidation and deception to advance union goals, according to a report from the National Legal and Policy Center.

Trumka has also been accused of legitimizing violence. During a multi-state coal miners’ strike organized by the United Mine Workers in 1993, Trumka, as union president, ordered more than 17,000 miners to walk off the job, and explicitly told strikers to "kick the s--- out of" employees and mine operators defying union demands.

Homes were vandalized, shots were fired at a mine office, and power was cut to one mine, temporarily trapping 93 miners underground.

A non-union contractor, Eddie York, was murdered by a union member, shot in the back of the head as he drove past strikers at a West Virginia work site. Those trying to rescue the victim were attacked by a group of union members. The union member who shot the contractor went to jail, but no one else was disciplined for what took place.

Trumka told Virginian-Pilot in September 1993 regarding the incident, “I’m saying if you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you’re likely to get burned.”

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Supreme Court suspends Texas law that would have closed half of its abortion facilities

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By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – About half of the abortion facilities in Texas got a reprieve from the Supreme Court on its last day in session.

Justices ruled 5-4 that, right now, the state of Texas may not enforce health protection laws that would have put all but nine of the state's abortion offices out of business. The court's conservative bloc – Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito – objected, but Anthony Kennedy cast the decisive vote with the court's liberals.

At issue is whether the state may require abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and require abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety codes as other ambulatory surgical centers.

The temporary stay of Senate Bill 5 lasts until the justices decide whether they will hear an appeal from the abortion industry, which argues the law's provisions would unduly restrict a woman's access to abortion-on-demand.

“The U.S. Supreme Court was swayed, not for the first time in a week, by illogical arguments,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “By actively lobbying against common sense regulations that would make sure women have access to ‘safe, legal and rare’ abortions, Planned Parenthood and their allies are making a mockery of women’s health care.”

“The abortion industry cares only for their bottom line, and women and their prenatal children are merely dollar signs in their business cycle,” Hawkins said.

"Women and babies are being denied protections with the Supreme Court blocking pro-life legislation,” said Lila Rose of Live Action. “Contrary to what big abortion organizations would have us believe, the possible closure of abortion facilities is due to the refusal of these corporations to adhere to sensible and ordinary medical precautions. We look forward to the day that both the legislature and the Courts use their power to protect the most vulnerable among us."

State pro-life leaders regret the loopholes that they say put women's health at risk.

“Unfortunately, women who do not have abortions at any of the nine operating ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortions will continue to be subjected to substandard medical care,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

The ruling does not permanently enjoin the state. It does not even guarantee justices will hear the case.

Should they decline, the law will go into effect in its entirety.

Last October, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to implement these measures while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered its decision in a 6-3 verdict. However, it added that the state must allow abortion facilities in El Paso and McAllen to operate subpar operations, defying greater protections for women, because closing those facilities would require women to drive a great distance to the next nearest abortion facility.

Earlier this month, a three-panel judge of the appeals court, based in New Orleans, upheld the health regulations. All three judges had been appointed by President George W. Bush.

Had the full requirements gone into effect, half of all the remaining abortion facilities in Texas would have closed.

The left-wing website ThinkProgress worried, if the High Court upheld the decision, it would mean that “Roe v. Wade is almost entirely dead.”

Today, representatives of the abortion lobby felt relief. "Our Constitution rightly protects women from laws that would create barriers to safe and legal abortion care, but Texas politicians have tried to sneak around the Constitution with sham regulations designed to close clinics’ doors," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a pro-life Republican, vowed to “continue to fight for higher-quality health care standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn.”

“I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law,” he added.

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