Peter Baklinski

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Judge: Parents have no right to know what homosexual activist taught their children in school

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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HAMILTON, Ontario, November 9, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Parents and ratepayers in a Hamilton area school board will never know exactly what a homosexual activist told their children during a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) assembly a year ago.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario upheld last week the decision of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) to “deny access to the record” of the speech.

Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholics told LifeSiteNews.com that parents of school children should be “outraged that they have been denied the right to know what is being taught to their children.”

Last November, a certified teacher named Laura Wolfson was invited as a guest speaker at a school-wide GSA held at Parkside High School in Dundas. Wolfson reportedly identified herself to the 400 students as a lesbian “youth worship leader” from a synagogue and held herself out to be an authority on Old Testament Scripture.

Wolfson allegedly sought to discredit Catholic teaching on homosexuality by suggesting that since the eating of fish on Fridays was no longer adhered to, neither should biblical teachings on homosexuality.

She allegedly began her treatment of Scripture by providing a definition of the word “abomination,” after which she pointed out that two offenses other than homosexuality were labeled “abominations” in the Bible. They were “not keeping the Sabbath holy” and “getting drunk”. Wolfson suggested that since no one would condemn these two acts as “abominations” today, then it made no sense to condemn homosexual acts either.

Parents, ratepayers, and pro-family groups were outraged that school officials invited a speaker who publicly discredited Judeo-Christian beliefs. Many saw this as a foretaste of what Premier Dalton McGuinty’s newly proposed anti-bullying legislation, Bill 13, would bring into the schools. Critics warned that McGuinty’s bill concealed a radical agenda that would trample religious freedom and parental rights.

Parents, ratepayers, and pro-family groups demanded to know what exactly these children had heard.

Last March, LifeSiteNews.com filed a request to the HWDSB asking for a copy of Wolfson’s speech, which the HWDSB admitted to having.

HWDSB denied the request in May, saying that releasing the speech would constitute an “unjustifiable invasion of personal privacy”.

LifeSiteNews appealed that decision, filing a Freedom of Information request with the IPC on behalf of parents, ratepayers, and pro-family groups, again asking for Wolfson’s speaking notes to be released.

In the appeal, LifeSiteNews argued that there was “no reason why the contents of the speech should be kept private” since it was “publicly delivered” in front of students and staff at a public high school funded by tax dollars.

“It defies reason that what has been presented to school children and staff at a publicly funded school during a school wide assembly should be kept hidden from parents of school children and ratepayers in the HWDSB district,” wrote LifeSiteNews in a submission.

But IPC adjudicator Stella Ball sided with the HWDSB, preventing the release of Wolfson’s speech.

Ball, in her decision dated October 31, wrote that she was “not convinced” that “compelling public interest in disclosure arises out a need to know what publicly funded school boards are teaching students.”

Ball also stated that since the speech mentions “the affected party’s sexual orientation and religious beliefs and associations” its release would “constitute an unjustified invasion of the affect party’s personal privacy [according to section 14 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act].”

Steve Jalsevac, managing director of LifeSiteNews, said he was “not impressed by the heavy freedom of information red tape that seems intended to discourage citizens and media from obtaining information they have a right to.”

“After repeated efforts, using every possible channel to get the information we sought and following all the proper procedures, we have been denied, denied, denied,” he said.

Jalsevac pointed out the system appears to allow “manipulative persons” who might be operating within the context of a “homosexual ideology” to “withhold information they have no right to withhold.”

Geoff Cauchi, legal council for LifeSiteNews, told LifeSiteNews that the IPC commissioner may have “committed an obvious ‘error of law’ in its finding that there is no ‘compelling public interest in disclosure’ in this case.”

“It seems to be that there is an obvious public interest in disclosure where there are serious allegations that a public high school, by sponsoring the speech of the speaker, has committed a breach of the Education Act, and/or infringed upon the Charter right to freedom of religion of the students and their parents,” he said.

Cauchi said that the budget for a “judicial review” that would challenged IPC’s decision would be in the neighborhood of $15,000. The cost prohibits LifeSiteNews.com from pursuing the matter further.

Suresh Dominic called IPC’s siding with the HWDSB “proof that a shroud of secrecy and deceit is being thrown over what appears to be a blatant homosexual agenda for school children.”

Dominic pointed out that “these violations will continue to happen in our schools unless parents band together and demand transparency and accountability.”

“Parents must not be hoodwinked by the radical sexual agenda that homosexual activists have in store for their children. Parents and other tax payers must take back the schools for their kids,” he said.

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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry

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Pope Francis eases forgiveness of abortion for Jubilee Year of Mercy

John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

ROME, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- In an announcement today, Pope Francis said that he is enacting an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 through November 2016. As part of the Jubilee, the pope has allowed priests to forgive the sin of abortion, which St. John Paul II taught in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 58) is “murder.”

The statement marks the most extensive remarks on abortion that Pope Francis has made during his pontificate. Rather than downplaying the seriousness of abortion, as some media contend, in the statement the pope encourages the millions of women who have aborted their children to go to confession and seek God’s forgiveness.

In the Catechism, the Church calls abortion a “criminal” practice, and imposes the penalty of excommunication on those who do it -- essentially, removing those who commit abortions from the Church. In the past, typically re-entry into the Church for those who have separated themselves from it by excommunication can only be undertaken by a bishop. However in much of North America priests have already been given standing permission by their bishops to forgive abortion.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput explained in an email sent to LifeSiteNews today, “For many years now, parish priests have been given permission to absolve the sin of abortion here in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.” The Philadelphia archbishop, who will play host to Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit later this month added, “But the practice has not been common in various other regions of the world.”

“This action in no way diminishes the moral gravity of abortion,” concluded Chaput. “What it does do is make access to sacramental forgiveness easier for anyone who seeks it with a truly penitent heart.”

The pope declared that all priests may forgive the sin of abortion for “those who have procured it and who with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.'"

The pope says in his letter that abortion is a “tragedy” wherein “extreme harm” takes place, and calls it “profoundly unjust.”  He admits however, as does the pro-life movement, that it is an “agonizing and painful decision” and many women “believe that they have no other option.”

In order to be forgiven by God of such a serious offence, the pope says the one who has procured the abortion must be made aware of the “gravity of the sin committed” and be truly repentant. They must come, says Francis, with a “contrite heart, seek forgiveness for” the abortion and hoping for “reconciliation with the Father.”

The full statement from the Pope on the matter of abortion follows:

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured itand who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

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TLC stars Kody Brown and his four "wives"
Fr. Mark Hodges

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Surprise, surprise: New suit says gay ‘marriage’ ruling laid ground for legal polygamy

Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – When "The Pill" was made available to the public in 1964, Christians warned it could lead to promiscuity and disassociation of sex with marriage and children.  They were ridiculed as religious fanatics.

When abortion was made legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, Christians warned that it would not save women's lives, but would instead lead to devaluing all human life, especially children's lives. They were dismissed as moral-legislating hate-mongers.

When euthanasia was legalized in Oregon and other states, Christians warned that the non-terminally ill and eventually the mentally handicapped, or simply the unwanted, would be killed in the name of mercy. They were mocked as right-wing crazies.

When sodomy laws in Texas and elsewhere were stricken from the books in 2003, Christians warned that societal approval of that harmful practice would lead to an increase in disease and further perversion. They were ignored and vilified.

When DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) rules for the military were reversed, Christians warned that the epidemic of rapes in the armed services would increase, not decrease, and that combat readiness would continue to diminish. They were called bigots, their words "hate speech."

And so on. Recent history is rife with examples of conservatives warning against societal degradation being vilified as "slippery slope" straw man creators, who want only to legislate morality.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

That's how those who warned that the Supreme Court's same-sex "marriage" decision would lead to legalization of any and all kinds of "marriage," such as a man and several wives or vice versa.

And, as in every case cited above, what Christian conservatives warned is exactly what has now happened.

In a U.S. 10th Circuit court filing, reality TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives point to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on same-sex marriage to buttress their pro-polygamy case.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth, summarized to LifeSiteNews, "The left's chaotic cultural agenda knows no boundaries. Once 'marriage' could be redefined to accommodate sexual perversion, it would be impossible to stop other perversions from being recognized." 

The American Family Association's Ed Vitagliano told LifeSiteNews, "It has been clear for decades that sexual radicals in America have been targeting the God-ordained institution of marriage for destruction. Toss in a handful of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, beginning in 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), and ending with this summer's debacle (Obergefell v. Hodges), and we are on the verge of seeing the secularists succeed." 

The AFA executive vice president concluded to LifeSiteNews, "We have no doubt that the polygamists will be next to step into the federal courts."

Indeed. Brown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, have asked the court to uphold a judge's ruling striking down part of Utah's law against polygamy. To prove their case, they cite precedents involving same-sex marriage (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges), and a case that struck down a ban on sodomy (Lawrence v. Texas).

"From the rejection of morality legislation in Lawrence, to the expansion of the protections of liberty interests in Obergefell, it is clear that states can no longer use criminal codes to ... punish those who choose to live in consensual but unpopular unions," Brown's filing states. "This case is about the criminalization of consensual relations."

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that the move to legalize polygamy is no surprise. "Once the argument for homosexual so-called 'marriage' became 'Love Is Love,' it was only a matter of time before multiple-partner activists would start defending the 'right' to have THEIR [perversion of] 'love' legitimized by state-recognized 'marriage.'"

The Browns, who appear on the television show "Sister Wives," sued the state of Utah over its ban on polygamy, which Brown calls "plural relationships." They argue that the law violates their right to freely practice their religion and their right to equal protection under the law.

Specifically, Brown is challenging the state's assertion that polygamy is harmful to societies that condone it.

Brown argues that the state should not have "the right to impose criminal morality codes on citizens, compelling them to live their lives in accordance with the religious or social values of the majority of citizens."

LaBarbera concluded, "Social conservatives and Christians must work to overturn Obergefell, just like homosexual activists worked to overturn the Supreme Court's Bowers v. Hardwick decision in 1986 that allowed anti-sodomy laws. Otherwise, we are guaranteed to lose more and more freedoms as 'gay' power grows, using legalized 'marriage' as leverage."

Arguments in the Brown polygamy case could take place before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver before the end of the year.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD, on March 6, 2014. Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Sen. McConnell: GOP won’t push Obama on Planned Parenthood defunding

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Planned Parenthood won't lose its funding for at least 18 months, says America's top senator.

Speaking on WYMT TV, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, said, "The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood."

“We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like,” he said. “Again, the president has the pen to sign it. If he doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t happen. But, yeah, we voted on that already in the Senate, we’ll vote on it again, but I would remind all of your viewers the way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it.”

McConnell's comments came despite pressure from Senators and Representatives alike, as well as pro-life groups, who want Republicans to make defunding a priority.

"If the president of the United States and Harry Reid think it's more important that Planned Parenthood get your tax dollars than to pay our troops, then they are shutting down the government,” Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan, R-OH, told CNN last week.

Jordan and others have pushed GOP leaders to attach defunding efforts to must-pass pieces of legislation, such as a highway bill earlier this summer and the upcoming Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running. GOP leaders have generally opposed this strategy, which has created a schism within the party.

Conversely, Democrats have been largely united. Leaders and rank-and-file members in both parties have generally supported taxpayer funding of the abortion giant, despite the possibility of illegal abortions being done to illegally harvest fetal organs and other body parts.

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