Thaddeus Baklinski

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New York, Minnesota politicians, Sarah Palin chime in on Chick-fil-A marriage controversy

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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July 30, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - More and more politicians are showing their colors in statements supporting or condemning Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s statement regarding his company’s support for traditional family values.

A New York City Councilor, Christine Quinn, issued a letter on Saturday demanding that the only Chick-fil-A restaurant in the city, located at New York University, be shut down.

“I urge you to sever your relationship with the Chick‐fil‐A establishment that exists on your campus,” she wrote in a letter to John Sexton, the president of NYU. “This establishment should be replaced with an establishment where the ownership does not denigrate a portion of our population.”

Quinn’s letter is in contradiction to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s statement during his Friday, July 27th morning radio show where he defended the right of Chick‐fil‐A to open and operate restaurants where they pleased.

“It’s inappropriate for a city government, or a state government, or the federal government to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city,” Bloomberg said.

“You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job,” the mayor said.

In reference to negative comments about Chick‐fil‐A by the mayors of Boston and Chicago, Bloomberg said, “I disagree with them really strongly on this one.”

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Boston mayor, Thomas Menino, has since recanted his statement that Chick-fil-A was not welcome in his town.

Menino told the Boston Herald that although he still personally disagrees with Dan Cathy’s support for traditional family values, he wouldn’t stop Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in Boston because “that would be interference to his rights to go there.”

Mayor Bloomberg’s statement aligns him with many Chick‐fil‐A supporters who have stepped forward over the past number of days, such as Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, Rev. Billy Graham, International Christian Concern, the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, and many others.

Now two more public figures have added their voices in support of Chick-fil-A.

Former Minnesota Governor and possible vice-presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty stated that he found the derisive opinions of government officials against Chick-fil-A “chilling.”

“Now you have the police power of government intimidating and threatening people, being used to intimidate and threaten people, based on their free speech rights and their religious views,” Pawlenty said Saturday at a call-in discussion in Cary, North Carolina.

“I mean it’s chilling. I mean it’s stunning, it is jaw-dropping. And so I think strong people who see this need to stand up and say no we don’t do that in the United States,” Pawlenty said.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin added her approval of Chick-fil-A on Friday when she posted a picture on Twitter of herself and husband Todd standing at the counter of a Chick-fil-A restaurant flashing huge smiles and a thumbs-up, with the caption, “Stopped by Chick-fil-A in The Woodlands to support a great business.”

Palin was attending a rally for Republican Senate primary challenger Ted Cruz near Houston, Texas, where, according to a Politico report, she urged Cruz’s supporters to visit Chick-fil-A and publicly advised an aide that they would be stopping by the fast-food eatery on the way to the airport.

“Jason, you’re going to have to take me on our way back to the airport later,” she said, referring to the aide. “We drive by a Chick Fil-A. We don’t have that in Alaska. Love me some Chick Fil-A. So we’ll go there, Jason, on the way, OK?”

A “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Daywas launched on Facebook by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, asking supporters to “simply show up and eat at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.”

“I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld,” wrote Mr. Huckabee.

“We’re simply asking people to eat chicken and not to be one when it’s time to take a stand-our appreciation is not only for the views of Dan Cathy, but for his right to have them and express them freely.”

At last count, nearly half a million people said they would “Eat mor chikin” at Chick-fil-A on August 1 to show support for the restaurant.

In a sad turn of events, Chick-fil-A announced on Friday that at the same time the company was hit by the media firestorm, its Vice President of Public Relations, Don Perry, died suddenly of a heart attack.

“We are saddened to report the news to you that our dear friend Don Perry, vice president of public relations, passed away suddenly this morning,” a statement from the company said.

“Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 29 years. For many of you in the media, he was the spokesperson for Chick-fil-A. He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Information on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” is available here. (https://www.facebook.com/events/266281243473841/)

Contact information:

New York City Councillor Christine Quinn
District Office Address
224 West 30th St (Suite 1206)
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 564-7757
Fax: (212) 564-7347
Email: via website contact page (http://council.nyc.gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml)

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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