Peter Baklinski

‘What the heck does homosexuality have to do with the pro-life movement?’

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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27 November, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – People often wonder why many people involved in the pro-life movement are also interested in homosexuality-related issues. They especially wonder if defending traditional marriage really has anything to do with being pro-life.

The answer to this is simple: Being pro-life is much more than saving babies. It’s also about fighting for the flourishing of the human person every step of the way, from conception, through birth, through childhood, through adulthood, till natural death. It’s about promoting a “Culture of Life.”

That’s why many pro-lifers aren’t just concerned about abortion: they also tackle euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality, and other life and family issues, which, after a second glance, are found to be all interconnected. If you’re a big-picture looker, it’s easy to see that these are the hot-button items on a massive international scale, leaving no nation or locality unaffected.

The reason why the pro-life movement puts so much time and energy into ending abortion in particular is because denying someone the “right to life” is the gravest injustice. The right to life is the basis for the enjoyment of all other rights. When this right is taken away from the most vulnerable among us, then no one’s rights are secure. There is no real justice, just the domination of the weaker by the stronger, the survival of the fittest. Abortion is really the deadliest kind of bullying.

At the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Mother Teresa called abortion the “greatest destroyer of peace today”. She said abortion was a “war against the child — a direct killing of the innocent child — murder by the mother herself.” She shrewdly pointed out that “if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

Yes, we pro-lifers must fight for unborn children and secure their right to life. But we must also fight for children to be born and raised in circumstances that will allow them to flourish as human persons.

The environment that is the most conducive to the flourishing of human persons — bar none — is the human family composed of one man united to one woman in a lifelong union called marriage. Study after study has shown this again and again.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

War on Marriage and the Family

But there is an unprecedented war on the family today that apparently wants to extinguish this most fundamental social unit. The war has been waged most intensely in the last 100 years or so.

The destroyers of the family began by splitting husbands apart from wives. They did this by introducing contraception into the sexual act under the guise of ‘sexual freedom’. With contraception, spouses took each other’s intimate treasure of fertility and sacrificed it on the altar of sexual freedom so as to increase their sexual availability with ‘no consequences.’

But in disregarding the ‘whole person’ by excluding fertility, contracepting husbands and wives began to relate to one another merely as stimulating occasions for orgasm. Their respect and love for one another suffered since nobody likes to be devalued and nobody likes to be used as a tool for someone else’s pleasure. The contraception movement started gaining traction in the early part of the 20th century and reached its heyday in the late 1960’s. Marriage was weakened and the destructive fallout of the contraceptive movement is ongoing to this day.

Widespread use of contraception led to the need for legalized abortion as a solution to failed contraception. Couples who had closed themselves to the gift of life demanded a quick and easy way out from ‘unwanted’ responsibilities. With children no longer being viewed as the crowning glory of marriage, marriage was weakened further.

Closely following the contraception movement came the no-fault divorce movement in the mid 1950’s. Contracepting couples who had tasted the bad fruit of using each other for selfish enjoyment needed a quick and easy way out from what was supposed to be a lifelong relationship but that had gone horribly wrong. With permanence taken out of marriage, marriage was weakened even further.

Broken, Crushed, and Hurting Children

The above-mentioned ‘social innovations’ have always resulted in the suffering of innocent children. Contraception hurts children in that it closes an adult’s heart and mind to the gift of new life. Abortion hurts children by killing them in the most brutal and horrific ways imaginable. And of course divorce wreaks total havoc on a child’s physical, psychological, and moral formation.

These social innovations bankrupted marriage, practically stripping it of its natural function of nurturing new human life.

Then came the most extreme social innovation. Marriage would now be stripped of its biological “male and female” quality. The logic leading to this push was unstoppable. Once marriage was no longer viewed as a union for the sake of creating and nurturing new human life, then there was no longer any reason to keep that union exclusively between a male and female. By now, the cultural framework of traditional marriage was so ravaged by contraception, divorce, and abortion that it was unable to withstand the carefully planned assault by homosexual activists.

The homosexual activists’ battle cry for “equality” has brought us where we are today, with Canada having changed the definition of marriage in 2005, and with many of the U.S. states having recently followed suit. And they where able to pull this off because of the weakened state of traditional marriage. Homosexual activists have successfully tricked the Western world into believing that their absolutely sterile homosexual activity is of equal merit to society as the fruitful act between a husband and wife that naturally produces children. With the social push to change the definition of marriage came a corresponding mindset that masculinity and femininity, fatherhood and motherhood, are completely irrelevant to a child’s formation.

Now with traditional marriage practically defined out of existence, children will suffer more than ever. They will suffer because the institution where they best thrive has become socially bankrupt. Men and women, abandoning marriage as a ‘meaningless social frill’, will still have children together, but not in the environment that best favors the flourishing of a new human being. Children will suffer further as gay and lesbian couples, walking proudly under the legal banner of newly redefined ‘marriage’, will attempt, and have done so already, to raise and form children.

Research released this year indicates however that the social experiment of homosexual ‘marriage’ will cause nothing but serious harm to children. Children raised by gay and lesbian parents have significantly more social and mental-health problems when compared to children from an intact biological family. The research not only showed that there was a major difference between the children from both groups, but it highlighted that family instability is a ‘characteristic mark’ of same-sex relationships.

The social mistakes we as a society have made, and are making right now, weigh heavily on the shoulders of children. They are the innocent victims of social experimentation who have become morally and even physically crushed and broken. They are the ones who have become pulverized in the name of so-called ‘freedom, equality, and progress’.

Being Pro-Life to the Core

These startling facts illuminate why so many pro-life activists are constantly highlighting research that supports traditional marriage. It’s why they take so seriously homosexual-related issues, calling attention to the rampant attacks made on traditional marriage.

Leaders in the culture war know that education on this issue is the necessary first step to building a massive campaign to protect children from being deliberately denied a mom and dad in a stable marriage. They know that the well-being of children depends on turning the cultural tide to favor true marriage. An unstable, morally disordered environment is no place to teach a child how to live, how to become all that he or she is meant to be, how to learn to be a free and responsible human being.

This is why pro-lifers must fight for traditional marriage, never compromising in the belief that marriage must be entered freely by one man and one woman, that spouses must give of themselves totally holding nothing back, that the relationship must be faithful until death, and that it must be fruitful in raising up new lives. This is simply the best situation for a child’s moral, physical, and mental flourishing.

To be pro-life is to be on guard against anything that threatens this most precious social institution necessary for human flourishing. In fighting for true marriage, we are fighting on behalf of children. We are fighting for them to have a life lived to the fullest. In our fight for them, we are securing the very future of humanity.

Defending authentic marriage has everything to do with being pro-life. It’s to be pro-life, right down to the core. So, let’s roll up the sleeves, get to work, and do what pro-lifers do best: fight on behalf of children.

Peter Baklinski has a Masters in Sacred Theology with a Specialization on Marriage and Family (STM). He is pursuing a PhD from the John Paul II Institute in Australia.

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Drew Belsky

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2016 candidates react to the Supreme Court’s marriage decision

Drew Belsky
By Drew Belsky

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Five days after the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision mandating the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples, most of the 2016 presidential candidates have made their opinions on the issue known.

While all of the Democrats currently in the race aggressively supported the ruling, the Republicans' reactions to the Supreme Court's marriage ruling have been more varied.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who is expected to announce his candidacy soon, criticized the Obergefell decision, calling it "a grave mistake." Walker suggested that "the only alternative" to Friday's decision is "to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage."

Texas senator Ted Cruz has doubled down on Walker's call for a constitutional amendment. Not only is Cruz seeking an amendment to protect states' right to define marriage, but he also hopes to amend the Constitution to demand "periodic judicial retention elections" for Supreme Court justices – namely, Cruz said, for those who "overstep their bounds [and] violate the Constitution."

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush shied away from a constitutional marriage amendment. "Guided by my faith," Bush said in a statement, "I believe in traditional marriage." However, "in a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate."

Florida senator Marco Rubio agreed with Bush, exhorting Republicans to "look ahead" and concentrate on the nomination process for new judges. Likewise with Ohio governor John Kasich, who said on Face the Nation that "it's time to move on" and "take a deep breath."

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

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina concurred. While "I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage," Fiorina said, "[m]oving forward...all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience."

South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham forthrightly condemned a constitutional marriage amendment as "a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail." Graham told NBC News, "I would not engage in the Constitutional amendment process as a party going into 2016. Accept the Court's ruling. Fight for the religious liberties of every American."

Libertarian-leaning Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wrote in Time Magazine that the federal government should remove itself completely from the marriage issue. "Our founding fathers went to the local courthouse to be married, not Washington, D.C.," Paul wrote.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal "strongly disagree[s]" with the Obergefell ruling, but he admitted on Sunday that his state would ultimately comply with the Supreme Court's decision. "We do not have a choice."

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went one step farther. While he "agree[s] with Chief Justice John Roberts" that "this is something that should be decided by the people, and not ... five lawyers," the governor admitted that "those five lawyers get to impose it under our system, and so our job is going to be to support the law of the land[.]"

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum foresees a widespread silencing of those who dissent from the Supreme Court's interpretation of marriage. "There's no slippery slope here," Santorum told the Family Research Council Friday; "religious liberty is under assault today – not going to be, it is – and it's going to be even more so ... with this decision."

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee expressed similar sentiments, excoriating the Supreme Court for flouting millions of Americans who voted to affirm "the laws of nature." Huckabee said on Friday, "I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat."

On the other end of the spectrum, former Democratic Maryland governor and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley contended that it is homosexuals, not religious objectors to the Obergefell decision, who need more protections from the state.

Calling the ruling a "major step forward," O'Malley proceeded to demand passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that criminalizes "discrimination" based on an "individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity." Opponents worry it would force religious employers to hire homosexuals and transgender people.

Passing ENDA, O'Malley said, would help "more fully realize the vision of an open, respectful, and inclusive nation that Friday's decision aspires us [sic] to be."

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Drew Belsky

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Obama Department of Justice to Virginia school: Let girl use boys’ bathrooms

Drew Belsky
By Drew Belsky

July 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - The Obama administration's Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a "statement of interest" Monday in support of a Virginia high school sophomore who is seeking to use bathrooms designated for members of the opposite sex.

In June 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit against the Gloucester County School Board on behalf of 15-year-old Gavin Grimm, who is biologically female but wants to use male bathrooms and locker rooms.

Grimm claimed that she had used such facilities without incident for seven weeks until December 2014, when the school board enacted a policy requiring "transgender" students to use private restrooms.

Grimm testified in early 2015 that "[n]ow that the board has passed this policy, school no longer feels as safe and welcoming as it did before[.] ... Being singled out is a glaring reminder of my differences and causes me significant discomfort every time I have to use the restroom."

The Obama administration declared in May 2014 that sex discrimination under Title IX applies to those who identify as "transgender."  The Department of Education followed up last December by ordering federally funded schools to classify students based on "gender identity" rather than biological sex.

Regardless, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco told LifeSiteNews in June of this year that Grimm's and the ACLU's discrimination claims would not hold water.  Citing a district court case in Pennsylvania, Tedesco noted (emphasis in original) that "[t]he Court ... highlighted that Title IX's implementing regulations state that schools do not violate Title IX when they 'provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex.'"

Title IX, part of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, is a statute that "prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity."

"Every court to consider this issue has held that single-sex restrooms and locker room facilities are permitted under Title IX," Tedesco concluded.

Now, according to the DoJ's "statement of interest" in support of Grimm, filed this week, "[t]he United States has a significant interest in ensuring that all students, including transgender students, have the opportunity to learn in an environment free of sex discrimination and that the proper legal standards are applied to claims under Title IX" (p. 2, all citations omitted).  Per the DoJ, Grimm "is likely to succeed on the merits" of her Title IX claim, and "it is in the public interest to allow [Grimm] ... to use the male restrooms at Gloucester High School."

Regarding the Pennsylvania case mentioned by Tedesco, the DoJ claims that "[t]he district court's reasoning in that case was faulty and should not be followed."

One Gloucester County School Board member who voted against the December bathroom policy fretted that "federal dollars are at stake." Her concern was well-founded: five months later, the Obama administration threatened to deny Virginia's Fairfax County School Board $42 million in federal funding if the board refused to change its own bathroom protocols.  The Fairfax board ruled in May – over the strenuous objections of parents in attendance – that "transgender" students could use facilities in accordance with their "gender identity."

"Although certain parents and community members may object to students sharing a common use restroom with transgender students," the DoJ declared in its brief for Grimm, "any recognition of this discomfort as a basis for discriminating would undermine the public interest."

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Lisa Bourne

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Girl Scouts returns $100,000 donation over transgender stipulation

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - An unusual request from a major donor to a regional branch of the U.S. Girl Scouts has drawn attention to the organization’s ongoing support for gender ideology and transgender issues. 

Girl Scouts of Western Washington CEO Megan Ferland revealed last week that the council had recently received a donation for $100,000. However, after the Girl Scouts’ practice of allowing boys who identify as girls to join the Scouts hit the news during the media’s coverage of the Bruce Jenner case, Ferland says she received a note from the donor putting a condition on the donation.

“Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls,” the donor reportedly asked. “If you can’t, please return the money.”

In the end, Ferland said she chose to give the $100,000 - what could have comprised nearly a fourth of the council’s annual fundraising goal - back to the donor.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl,” Ferland stated in a report from SeattleMet.com. “And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”

In the meantime, the council used the publicity over the refused donation to launch a social fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo, a social fundraising site. The #ForEVERYGirl has far exceeded its goal, raising over $300,000 for the group in just three days.

"Our vision at Girl Scouts of Western Washington is that EVERY girl in our region—regardless of her race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or geographic location—is empowered to unleash her potential, build her future and transform her world," states the campaign.

This is not the first time that Ferland has been involved in a controversy over the Scouts’ support for transgenderism.

When a boy self-identifying as a girl attempted to join a Colorado Girl Scout troop in 2011 and was initially refused by the leader because of his male gender, Ferland, then head of the Colorado council, issued a statement welcoming boys identifying as girls, and saying efforts were in progress to find the boy a troop. The council also renounced the troop leader’s actions in refusing the boy access.

“Every girl that is a Girl Scout is a Girl Scout because her parent or guardian brings her to us and says, ‘I want my child to participate,’” Ferland stated at the time. “And I don’t question whether or not they’re a girl.” 

Western Washington Girl Scouts current program brochures show that gender ideology is woven right into the council’s programming for girls, with promotion found right in the council’s workshops:

SafeZone for Girl Scouts Sat, May 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tacoma Learn how you can become an ally and advocate for your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) peers. Includes activities and discussion around: inclusive language, the process of coming out, the power of the straight ally, how to respond to homophobic/trans-phobic incidents, where to go for help and much more. Bring lunch.

Girl Scouts and radical feminism

For years, pro-family leaders have raised alarms about partnerships and programs that indicate that the Girl Scouts have moved toward embracing a radical feminist identity.

As far back as 2004 a U.S Catholic Bishop intervened when a Girl Scout-Planned Parenthood partnership threatened young girls. 

Then-Austin Bishop Gregory Aymond warned local Catholics not to sign their children up for Planned Parenthood’s “Nobody’s Fool,” a sex-ed campaign designed for pre-pubescent children which had been integrated into the local Girl Scouts.

A survey, also from 2004, found that many Girl Scouts councils were partnering with Planned Parenthoood in some fashion. 

In 2010 the Girl Scouts were found to be pushing a radical agenda on its young members with Planned Parenthood given access to distribute an explicit ‘sex guide’ at a closed-door, no-adults-welcome meeting at the UN sponsored by the Girl Scouts.

Lincoln, Nebrask Bishop James Conley warned in 2011 as auxiliary bishop of Denver that involvement in the Girl Scouts could serve to make girls more open to the pro-abortion agenda.

Roughly 90 Girl Scouts of Northern California members and their families marched in San Francisco’s 2013 Gay Pride Parade. 

"The San Francisco Girl Scouts participate in many parades that celebrate the diversity of San Francisco," Girl Scouts of Northern California Communications Manager Dana Allen told LifeSiteNews at the time. "Girl Scouts is inclusive and reflects the communities we serve."

A sexuality-based Girl Scout troop was started earlier this year in Utah aimed at gay and lesbian families and boys who consider themselves “transgender.” It meets at the Utah Pride Center.

"As long as a youth identifies as a girl or with girls, even if they are genderfluid on the day that they registered, then they can become a Girl Scout," Shari Solomon-Klebba, the Utah Girl Scout outreach coordinator, and an open lesbian who started the troop, told a local news station at the time.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urged caution last year in engaging with the Girl Scouts after conducting a two-year examination of the scouts. That study identified concerns about several Girl Scouts USA policies, affiliations and structural weaknesses.

Girl Scout alternatives

The representatives of two organizations for girls frequently considered a Christ-centered alternative to the Girls Scouts told LifeSiteNews this latest incident with the Western Washington Scouts underscores the need for other options for families and their children.

“There has been a huge cultural shift in redefining life-long truths that have many families carefully considering their youth program options. American Heritage Girls has often been regarded as a Christian-based alternative to the Girls Scouts,” American Heritage Girls National Communications Specialist Jennifer Troutman said.

American Heritage Girls marked its 20th anniversary this past week. There are more than 40,000 members within the organization.

“Now more than ever American Heritage Girls recognizes the importance of bringing Christ-centered, character development programming to girls across the nation.”  

The head of Little Flowers Girls’ Club concurred.

“I feel very blessed that we can offer an authentically Catholic alternative to Girl Scouts,” Joan Stromberg told LifeSiteNews.

Little Flowers started over 20 years ago, not as a reaction against what Girl Scouts were doing, or where they are now, Stromberg said, but as a way to help moms and girls bond together to learn about the world through a Catholic lens.

“It is sad that Girl Scouts policies and positions have put them in direct conflict with Church teachings,” Stromberg continued. “I am just pleased that girls and moms have alternative places like Little Flowers where they can go.”

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