Legal

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Michigan AFA Calls Anti-Bullying Laws the "Trojan Horse" of "Homosexual Activists"

As Religious Right groups accelerate their campaign against anti-bullying policies in schools, Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan wants to use his experience fighting anti-bullying policies as a model for anti-gay groups in other states. From California to Minnesota, organizations like Focus on the Family have ramped up their efforts to stop schools from implementing anti-bullying policies that protect LGBT students, who studies show face widespread harassment in schools.

Glenn joined Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality to brag about his role in successfully opposing the introduction of anti-bullying programs that protect LGBT students in Michigan schools.

On the bullying issue, the Republicans were floundering in the Michigan legislature as to how to stop this, we just simply framed it a different way.

The homosexual activists are using the bullying issue, as you indicated, as a Trojan Horse. Their real objective is to establish in Michigan state law and in other states sexual orientation — i.e. homosexual behavior — and gender identity — i.e. cross-dressing — as the legal basis of rights and protections. So all we said was why do you insist on segregating students into these special protected class categories like sexual orientation and gender identity and then dole out protection against bullying expressly on the basis on a student’s membership in one of these protected classes, in other words, a segregation strategy.

Glenn’s claim that “homosexual activists” are using anti-bullying laws as “a Trojan Horse” is commonplace in the Religious Right, whose leaders consistently condemn the “homosexual propaganda” and “homosexual message” that is purportedly found in anti-bullying programs.

Last time Glenn appeared on LaBarbera’s program, Glenn suggested that Martin Luther King Jr. would’ve been on the side of anti-gay activists today and LaBarbera said that Oprah Winfrey “will have to answer to her Creator” for “promoting” homosexuality.

Michigan AFA Calls Anti-Bullying Laws the "Trojan Horse" of "Homosexual Activists"

As Religious Right groups accelerate their campaign against anti-bullying policies in schools, Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan wants to use his experience fighting anti-bullying policies as a model for anti-gay groups in other states. From California to Minnesota, organizations like Focus on the Family have ramped up their efforts to stop schools from implementing anti-bullying policies that protect LGBT students, who studies show face widespread harassment in schools.

Glenn joined Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality to brag about his role in successfully opposing the introduction of anti-bullying programs that protect LGBT students in Michigan schools.

On the bullying issue, the Republicans were floundering in the Michigan legislature as to how to stop this, we just simply framed it a different way.

The homosexual activists are using the bullying issue, as you indicated, as a Trojan Horse. Their real objective is to establish in Michigan state law and in other states sexual orientation — i.e. homosexual behavior — and gender identity — i.e. cross-dressing — as the legal basis of rights and protections. So all we said was why do you insist on segregating students into these special protected class categories like sexual orientation and gender identity and then dole out protection against bullying expressly on the basis on a student’s membership in one of these protected classes, in other words, a segregation strategy.

Glenn’s claim that “homosexual activists” are using anti-bullying laws as “a Trojan Horse” is commonplace in the Religious Right, whose leaders consistently condemn the “homosexual propaganda” and “homosexual message” that is purportedly found in anti-bullying programs.

Last time Glenn appeared on LaBarbera’s program, Glenn suggested that Martin Luther King Jr. would’ve been on the side of anti-gay activists today and LaBarbera said that Oprah Winfrey “will have to answer to her Creator” for “promoting” homosexuality.

CPAC Anti-Choice Panel Pledges to "Drive" GOP's Agenda

CPAC’s anti-abortion rights panel “The Pro-Life Movement: Plans and Goals” was galvanized over the election of a Republican-led House, believing that the GOP leadership was committed to passing anti-choice legislation.

Hosted by Tim Goeglein, the head of Focus on the Family’s policy arm CitizenLink and a former Bush Administration staffer, the panel focused on attacking the health care reform law, Planned Parenthood, and Republicans who aren’t categorically anti-choice.

According to Goeglein, “the pro-life movement is becoming younger,” and the panel featured young leaders like Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, and activist Erin DeLullo.

Goeglein tried to balance his belief that the anti-choice movement was gaining support and energy with his fear that social conservatives may devolve into political obscurity and lose their place in the broader right-wing coalition. He said that smear-artist Lila Rose represents a “new generation” of the movement, but also anxiously insisted that the “pro-life and pro-traditional marriage” positions must “remain central to the conservative movement.”

DeLullo made the case that the anti-choice community needs to quickly mobilize against Republicans like Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels who proposed a “truce” on social issues. She maintained that the Club for Growth, a pro-corporate group best known for funding primary opponents against more moderate Republican incumbents, should serve as a model for a “permanent political organization” that is “dedicated fulltime to make sure the ‘anti-life’ vote is as suicidal as a vote to raise taxes.” “The right to life cannot be put on the backburner,” DeLullo said, arguing that the group must act now to stop “‘trucers’ like Mitch Daniels.” Of course, there are already a plethora of social conservative political action committees, but maybe DeLullo was making a plug for her own firm.

AUL’s Franzonello claimed that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” and discussed her vehement opposition to emergency contraception and legal exceptions for cases of rape and incest. She also floated the “death panel” conspiracy theory about health care reform, saying that the law jeopardizes the lives of “elderly and disabled persons,” along with pushing the debunked claim that it promotes taxpayer-subsidized abortions.

Later, Hawkins of Students for Life, a self-declared “abortion abolitionist,” discussed ways anti-choice groups can drive the conservative movement. She noted that while young voters tend to generally hold liberal and Democratic-leaning views, they tend to be more opposed to reproductive rights than prior generations. The abortion issue, Hawkins argued, gives right-wing organizations an opening among young voters. Hawkins said that young voters are increasingly opposed to legal abortion because “Planned Parenthood nearly snuffed us out of existence,” and then allegedly tried to coerce young women on college campuses to have abortions.

Hawkins lavished praise on “prayer warriors” and Lila Rose, calling her “a modern day muckraker” who will “go down in history” for her role smearing Planned Parenthood. She said that young anti-choice activists should embrace Rose’s tactics in order to get the attention of Republican politicians and Fox News, saying, “We can drive their agenda.”

CPAC Anti-Choice Panel Pledges to "Drive" GOP's Agenda

CPAC’s anti-abortion rights panel “The Pro-Life Movement: Plans and Goals” was galvanized over the election of a Republican-led House, believing that the GOP leadership was committed to passing anti-choice legislation.

Hosted by Tim Goeglein, the head of Focus on the Family’s policy arm CitizenLink and a former Bush Administration staffer, the panel focused on attacking the health care reform law, Planned Parenthood, and Republicans who aren’t categorically anti-choice.

According to Goeglein, “the pro-life movement is becoming younger,” and the panel featured young leaders like Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, and activist Erin DeLullo.

Goeglein tried to balance his belief that the anti-choice movement was gaining support and energy with his fear that social conservatives may devolve into political obscurity and lose their place in the broader right-wing coalition. He said that smear-artist Lila Rose represents a “new generation” of the movement, but also anxiously insisted that the “pro-life and pro-traditional marriage” positions must “remain central to the conservative movement.”

DeLullo made the case that the anti-choice community needs to quickly mobilize against Republicans like Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels who proposed a “truce” on social issues. She maintained that the Club for Growth, a pro-corporate group best known for funding primary opponents against more moderate Republican incumbents, should serve as a model for a “permanent political organization” that is “dedicated fulltime to make sure the ‘anti-life’ vote is as suicidal as a vote to raise taxes.” “The right to life cannot be put on the backburner,” DeLullo said, arguing that the group must act now to stop “‘trucers’ like Mitch Daniels.” Of course, there are already a plethora of social conservative political action committees, but maybe DeLullo was making a plug for her own firm.

AUL’s Franzonello claimed that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” and discussed her vehement opposition to emergency contraception and legal exceptions for cases of rape and incest. She also floated the “death panel” conspiracy theory about health care reform, saying that the law jeopardizes the lives of “elderly and disabled persons,” along with pushing the debunked claim that it promotes taxpayer-subsidized abortions.

Later, Hawkins of Students for Life, a self-declared “abortion abolitionist,” discussed ways anti-choice groups can drive the conservative movement. She noted that while young voters tend to generally hold liberal and Democratic-leaning views, they tend to be more opposed to reproductive rights than prior generations. The abortion issue, Hawkins argued, gives right-wing organizations an opening among young voters. Hawkins said that young voters are increasingly opposed to legal abortion because “Planned Parenthood nearly snuffed us out of existence,” and then allegedly tried to coerce young women on college campuses to have abortions.

Hawkins lavished praise on “prayer warriors” and Lila Rose, calling her “a modern day muckraker” who will “go down in history” for her role smearing Planned Parenthood. She said that young anti-choice activists should embrace Rose’s tactics in order to get the attention of Republican politicians and Fox News, saying, “We can drive their agenda.”

CPAC: Merit Selection for Judges is an Evil Leftist Plot

A group of right-wing legal advocates warned CPAC participants – or more accurately, a tiny subset of CPAC participants – about “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary.”

Panelists discussed the meaning of “judicial activism” and why the kind of right-wing judicial activism we’ve seen from the Supreme Court doesn’t qualify. (Overturning health care reform? Also not judicial activism.) But the main thrust of the panel was the supposedly dire threat posed by efforts at the state level to replace judicial elections with a merit selection process. 
 
The increasing tendency of judicial elections to become big-money affairs funded by individuals and groups who regularly appear before judges has increasingly raised concerns about judgeships – including state supreme court justices – being for sale to the highest bidder, such as corporate interests looking for courts that won’t hold corporations accountable for misconduct.
 
But today’s panelists – Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackleford, American Justice Partnership’s Dan Pero, the Center for Individual Freedom’s Timothy Lee, and the American Civil Rights Union’s Ken Klukowski, warned against merit selection, a nonpartisan alternative that is employed in a number of states and under consideration in others. Pero called merit selection “a power grab by the liberal left,” citing People For the American Way, among others he said were liberals trying to use the courts to impose their vision on America.
 
Timothy Lee, perhaps mindful of the small crowd drawn to the panel, urged participants to explain to others why the courts were important, no matter what other issue they cared about. For example, he said, the Citizens United decision overturning Supreme Court precedent and substantially crippling the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law rested on the fact the Samuel Alito had replaced Sandra Day O’Connor on the high court.
 
Klukowski echoed Lee’s call, saying that the fight for “constitutional conservatism” can’t succeed without the right judges in place: “The U.S. Constitution is only as good as the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that interpret it.” He complained about the Supreme Court’s rulings that Guantanamo detainees have habeas corpus rights and about other federal courts recognizing marriage equality and ruling against the ban on gay servicemembers.
 
And while panel members celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, Klukowski said it’s not clear that there’s a majority in the Court for overturning other gun restrictions. He specifically complained that it is a felony for someone who went through a “messy divorce” and was under a restraining order to have a gun.
 
Klukowski said that he and Ken Blackwell have written a book called Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservativism can Save America and made an appeal for all stripes of conservatives – social, economic, and national security – to stop fighting each other and work together.

CPAC: Merit Selection for Judges is an Evil Leftist Plot

A group of right-wing legal advocates warned CPAC participants – or more accurately, a tiny subset of CPAC participants – about “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary.”

Panelists discussed the meaning of “judicial activism” and why the kind of right-wing judicial activism we’ve seen from the Supreme Court doesn’t qualify. (Overturning health care reform? Also not judicial activism.) But the main thrust of the panel was the supposedly dire threat posed by efforts at the state level to replace judicial elections with a merit selection process. 
 
The increasing tendency of judicial elections to become big-money affairs funded by individuals and groups who regularly appear before judges has increasingly raised concerns about judgeships – including state supreme court justices – being for sale to the highest bidder, such as corporate interests looking for courts that won’t hold corporations accountable for misconduct.
 
But today’s panelists – Liberty Institute’s Kelly Shackleford, American Justice Partnership’s Dan Pero, the Center for Individual Freedom’s Timothy Lee, and the American Civil Rights Union’s Ken Klukowski, warned against merit selection, a nonpartisan alternative that is employed in a number of states and under consideration in others. Pero called merit selection “a power grab by the liberal left,” citing People For the American Way, among others he said were liberals trying to use the courts to impose their vision on America.
 
Timothy Lee, perhaps mindful of the small crowd drawn to the panel, urged participants to explain to others why the courts were important, no matter what other issue they cared about. For example, he said, the Citizens United decision overturning Supreme Court precedent and substantially crippling the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law rested on the fact the Samuel Alito had replaced Sandra Day O’Connor on the high court.
 
Klukowski echoed Lee’s call, saying that the fight for “constitutional conservatism” can’t succeed without the right judges in place: “The U.S. Constitution is only as good as the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that interpret it.” He complained about the Supreme Court’s rulings that Guantanamo detainees have habeas corpus rights and about other federal courts recognizing marriage equality and ruling against the ban on gay servicemembers.
 
And while panel members celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, Klukowski said it’s not clear that there’s a majority in the Court for overturning other gun restrictions. He specifically complained that it is a felony for someone who went through a “messy divorce” and was under a restraining order to have a gun.
 
Klukowski said that he and Ken Blackwell have written a book called Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservativism can Save America and made an appeal for all stripes of conservatives – social, economic, and national security – to stop fighting each other and work together.

Republican Congressmen Embrace Lila Rose and Live Action’s Hoax Videos

Live Action’s ongoing smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, where actors playing a pimp and a prostitute used hidden cameras to try to dupe clinic staffers into a sex trafficking ring, has ran into numerous hurdles. The radical group’s videos have found to be heavily doctored and actually show clinic workers acting properly and lawfully. In fact, before Live Action even released the edited tapes, Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about visitors who sought advice for “underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.” Live Action is led by anti-choice radical Lila Rose, who previously collaborated with notorious trickster James O’Keefe and likes to compare herself to Martin Luther King Jr. Rose also has a long history of deceptively editing videos.

But the Religious Right and leading Republicans have increasingly embraced Rose and her hoax videos, and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is using the discredited videos to promote his bill that would end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, imperiling women’s health services.

Tomorrow, leading GOP congressmen plan to join Rose and Pence to demand Congress strip Planned Parenthood of its funding. Congressmen Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) , Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) , Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), and Andy Harris (R-MD) will speak with Rose and Pence, along with Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

All of the Congressmen mentioned have a long history with extreme anti-choice activism:

Schmidt railed against reproductive rights in a speech to 1st graders in an elementary school; Buerkle served as the spokesperson for the extreme group Operation Rescue; Hartzler backed bills that would compel women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms and even supported legislation that would force the state to file murder charges against women and their doctors if they performed a late-term abortion; Foxx wants to ban emergency contraception like RU-486 and Ella; Harris wanted to allow pharmacists to refuse contraception to customers and challenged a moderate pro-choice Republican incumbent in 2008, and Ellmers is an avowed opponent of legal abortion who recently justified receiving taxpayer-subsidized health care by claiming that Washington DC is too expensive to live in with a $174,000 per year salary, while pushing to defund health services for low-income women.

But having such an extreme group of anti-choice congressmen standing with Rose is no surprise, as Rose herself has called for abortions to “be done in the public square.”

Republican Congressmen Embrace Lila Rose and Live Action’s Hoax Videos

Live Action’s ongoing smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, where actors playing a pimp and a prostitute used hidden cameras to try to dupe clinic staffers into a sex trafficking ring, has ran into numerous hurdles. The radical group’s videos have found to be heavily doctored and actually show clinic workers acting properly and lawfully. In fact, before Live Action even released the edited tapes, Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about visitors who sought advice for “underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.” Live Action is led by anti-choice radical Lila Rose, who previously collaborated with notorious trickster James O’Keefe and likes to compare herself to Martin Luther King Jr. Rose also has a long history of deceptively editing videos.

But the Religious Right and leading Republicans have increasingly embraced Rose and her hoax videos, and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is using the discredited videos to promote his bill that would end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, imperiling women’s health services.

Tomorrow, leading GOP congressmen plan to join Rose and Pence to demand Congress strip Planned Parenthood of its funding. Congressmen Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) , Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) , Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), and Andy Harris (R-MD) will speak with Rose and Pence, along with Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

All of the Congressmen mentioned have a long history with extreme anti-choice activism:

Schmidt railed against reproductive rights in a speech to 1st graders in an elementary school; Buerkle served as the spokesperson for the extreme group Operation Rescue; Hartzler backed bills that would compel women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms and even supported legislation that would force the state to file murder charges against women and their doctors if they performed a late-term abortion; Foxx wants to ban emergency contraception like RU-486 and Ella; Harris wanted to allow pharmacists to refuse contraception to customers and challenged a moderate pro-choice Republican incumbent in 2008, and Ellmers is an avowed opponent of legal abortion who recently justified receiving taxpayer-subsidized health care by claiming that Washington DC is too expensive to live in with a $174,000 per year salary, while pushing to defund health services for low-income women.

But having such an extreme group of anti-choice congressmen standing with Rose is no surprise, as Rose herself has called for abortions to “be done in the public square.”

Wyoming State Rep’s Desire to Invoke His “Christian Faith” in Government Motivated Sharia-Law Ban

Proposing a law to ban the use of Sharia law in courts, Wyoming State Rep. Gerald Gay said he was mounting a “pre-emptive strike” on judges from employing Islamic legal code in their decisions. Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches reports that while campaigning, Gay made videos shooting balls representing “socialism” and “big government.”

Gay wants to replicate an Oklahoma law that was recently found to be unconstitutional, fearing that Wyoming’s judiciary may become an outpost of Islamic law. Gay says he makes “governmental decisions based on certain tenants [sic] of the Christian faith,” and his desire to maintain his Christian-outlook towards governing “motivated his proposal” to ban Sharia:

"I have quite a bit of extensive personal exposure to sharia, so it's not like I'm dealing with something that's unfamiliar or like somebody else came up with the idea and just came to me and asked for sponsorship," the Wyoming Republican explains. "I'm bringing my own basket of goods to the deal."

While Gay admits his Christian convictions have motivated his proposal, he points out that the spread of radical Islam could bring sharia law to Wyoming courts in cases involving arranged marriages or so-called "honor killings."

"Wyoming's Constitution has Article VII, Aection 22, which says, 'The duty of the legislature is to promote such laws that protect the morality, health and general welfare of the citizens of the state,'" the legislator notes. "By invoking that, I feel very comfortable in making my governmental decisions based on certain tenants of the Christian faith."

Wyoming State Rep’s Desire to Invoke His “Christian Faith” in Government Motivated Sharia-Law Ban

Proposing a law to ban the use of Sharia law in courts, Wyoming State Rep. Gerald Gay said he was mounting a “pre-emptive strike” on judges from employing Islamic legal code in their decisions. Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches reports that while campaigning, Gay made videos shooting balls representing “socialism” and “big government.”

Gay wants to replicate an Oklahoma law that was recently found to be unconstitutional, fearing that Wyoming’s judiciary may become an outpost of Islamic law. Gay says he makes “governmental decisions based on certain tenants [sic] of the Christian faith,” and his desire to maintain his Christian-outlook towards governing “motivated his proposal” to ban Sharia:

"I have quite a bit of extensive personal exposure to sharia, so it's not like I'm dealing with something that's unfamiliar or like somebody else came up with the idea and just came to me and asked for sponsorship," the Wyoming Republican explains. "I'm bringing my own basket of goods to the deal."

While Gay admits his Christian convictions have motivated his proposal, he points out that the spread of radical Islam could bring sharia law to Wyoming courts in cases involving arranged marriages or so-called "honor killings."

"Wyoming's Constitution has Article VII, Aection 22, which says, 'The duty of the legislature is to promote such laws that protect the morality, health and general welfare of the citizens of the state,'" the legislator notes. "By invoking that, I feel very comfortable in making my governmental decisions based on certain tenants of the Christian faith."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Mike Pence will not run for President, disappointing literally dozens of voters.
  • Sharron Angle, on the other hand, just might make a run.
  • Nobody cares, but apparently Mark Salter is the "anonymous" author of the novel "O."
  • John Stemberger's legal defense fund was set up by Citizens for Community Values.
  • You know what stopped the flooding in Australia?  Prayer.
  • Bryan Fischer says Newt Gingrich is "too green" to be the GOP nominee - and he doesn't mean inexperienced.
  • Finally, Al Mohler says the theory of evolution is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reason the universe appears to be billions of years old is "because it bears testimony to the effects of sin."

Flashback: Lila Rose Wants To See Abortions Carried Out In The Public Square

Talking Points Memo reports that the FBI is investigating a series of incidents at Planned Parenthood offices around the county where a man claimed to be running a sex-trafficking ring involving minors which Planned Parenthood believes was part of a hoax carried out by guerilla anti-choice activist Lila Rose:

The FBI has begun investigating a series of incidents in which a man told Planned Parenthood clinics around the country that he was running an underage sex trafficking ring, according to a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood.

...

Planned Parenthood requested an investigation earlier this month after the clinics reported getting nearly the same visit: A young man would come in, claim he needed treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, and then reveal to a staff member that he was operating an interstate sex trafficking ring that exploits minors and illegal immigrants.

The visits all happened within a span of five days. Planned Parenthood, which is a frequent target of anti-abortion groups, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to investigate the potential sex trafficking operation, but acknowledged that it might be a "hoax."

The organization says they believe they've identified the man who made the visits and, they say, believe he's connected to Live Action -- a group that uses James O'Keefe-esque hidden camera "stings" in an attempt to dismantle Planned Parenthood.

The group is led by Lila Rose, an associate of O'Keefe's, and has been targeting Planned Parenthood with hidden camera operations since 2006.

So this seems like a good time to repost this video of Rose speaking at the 2009 Values Voter Summit and declaring that as long as abortion remains legal in this country, women should be forced to have their abortions carried out in the public square:

Flashback: Lila Rose Wants To See Abortions Carried Out In The Public Square

Talking Points Memo reports that the FBI is investigating a series of incidents at Planned Parenthood offices around the county where a man claimed to be running a sex-trafficking ring involving minors which Planned Parenthood believes was part of a hoax carried out by guerilla anti-choice activist Lila Rose:

The FBI has begun investigating a series of incidents in which a man told Planned Parenthood clinics around the country that he was running an underage sex trafficking ring, according to a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood.

...

Planned Parenthood requested an investigation earlier this month after the clinics reported getting nearly the same visit: A young man would come in, claim he needed treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, and then reveal to a staff member that he was operating an interstate sex trafficking ring that exploits minors and illegal immigrants.

The visits all happened within a span of five days. Planned Parenthood, which is a frequent target of anti-abortion groups, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to investigate the potential sex trafficking operation, but acknowledged that it might be a "hoax."

The organization says they believe they've identified the man who made the visits and, they say, believe he's connected to Live Action -- a group that uses James O'Keefe-esque hidden camera "stings" in an attempt to dismantle Planned Parenthood.

The group is led by Lila Rose, an associate of O'Keefe's, and has been targeting Planned Parenthood with hidden camera operations since 2006.

So this seems like a good time to repost this video of Rose speaking at the 2009 Values Voter Summit and declaring that as long as abortion remains legal in this country, women should be forced to have their abortions carried out in the public square:

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) Proposes Legislation “Identical” to Radical “Personhood” Amendment

Right Wing Watch has been covering the extreme “personhood” movement, which after being overwhelmingly rejected by voters in Colorado, has emerged as a powerful force in Mississippi, where the amendment will be on the 2011 ballot. Now, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is taking the “personhood” fight to the national level by introducing legislation in the Senate mirroring Mississippi’s personhood initiative.

The “personhood” movement seeks to give legal rights to zygotes and would effectively criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and even in vitro fertilization. The once-fringe “personhood” activists were initially renounced by Religious Right organizations as unrealistic and unhelpful to the anti-choice cause, but now groups like the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel along with leading Republican politicians have embraced the Mississippi Personhood campaign led by Les Riley, a radical activist who supports the separatist “Christian Exodus” movement.

Senator Wicker spoke to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis and resident bigot Bryan Fischer on Focal Point and pledged to introduce the “Life at Conception Act.” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) plans to introduce a companion bill in the House.

About two minutes in to the interview, Wicker tells Fischer that “a personhood amendment to the state constitution [will be] voted on very soon in my state, and I’m not the only one who’s seized on to this idea and of course it will be introduced in the House of Representatives also.”

Fischer replies, “In fact we have talked on this program frequently about the personhood amendment, and in fact I believe if I’m not mistaken Senator Wicker, the language in Mississippi’s personhood amendment and in your ‘Life at Conception Act’ are virtually identical in the key paragraphs.” Wicker backs up Fischer’s claim, saying, “That is certainly my understanding, yes sir.”

Watch:

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) Proposes Legislation “Identical” to Radical “Personhood” Amendment

Right Wing Watch has been covering the extreme “personhood” movement, which after being overwhelmingly rejected by voters in Colorado, has emerged as a powerful force in Mississippi, where the amendment will be on the 2011 ballot. Now, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is taking the “personhood” fight to the national level by introducing legislation in the Senate mirroring Mississippi’s personhood initiative.

The “personhood” movement seeks to give legal rights to zygotes and would effectively criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and even in vitro fertilization. The once-fringe “personhood” activists were initially renounced by Religious Right organizations as unrealistic and unhelpful to the anti-choice cause, but now groups like the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel along with leading Republican politicians have embraced the Mississippi Personhood campaign led by Les Riley, a radical activist who supports the separatist “Christian Exodus” movement.

Senator Wicker spoke to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis and resident bigot Bryan Fischer on Focal Point and pledged to introduce the “Life at Conception Act.” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) plans to introduce a companion bill in the House.

About two minutes in to the interview, Wicker tells Fischer that “a personhood amendment to the state constitution [will be] voted on very soon in my state, and I’m not the only one who’s seized on to this idea and of course it will be introduced in the House of Representatives also.”

Fischer replies, “In fact we have talked on this program frequently about the personhood amendment, and in fact I believe if I’m not mistaken Senator Wicker, the language in Mississippi’s personhood amendment and in your ‘Life at Conception Act’ are virtually identical in the key paragraphs.” Wicker backs up Fischer’s claim, saying, “That is certainly my understanding, yes sir.”

Watch:

Stemberger Sets Up Legal Defense Fund Backed By Religious Right, Anti-Muslims Activists

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, is facing the possibility of being disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court for misconduct during the Rifqa Bary saga as well as a $10 million lawsuit from the lawyer who represented Bary's Muslim parents.

Stemberger insists that the wild allegations he threw around when he was representing Bary in Florida are protected by the First Amendment and that the lawsuit and misconduct complaint are merely an "attempt to squelch any criticism, legitimate or not, of Islam and its tenets" and so he has now set up a legal defense fund with the support not only of Bary, but of several Religious Right leaders:

"Would you please help my friend and lawyer John Stemberger? He defended me at no cost and helped me gain my freedom and is now being attacked by the Muslim lawyer who opposed me in court. Thank you for supporting me.  Will you now also help and support John?" - Rifqa Bary

“America needs warriors who will stand on principle and fight for truth. John Stemberger is a true warrior who has defended American principles through his bold defense of Rifqa Bary. Now the Islamic elements in America want to destroy him. Keep fighting, John.” -General William G. Boykin (retired), United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

“John Stemberger was and is a true patriot for defending Rifqa Bary in court and so we should now all consider helping him defend against these attacks by the same lawyer who fought against Rifqa getting her freedom. The Founding Fathers created the First Amendment to protect exactly the type of political and religious speech involved in this case.”- Historian David Barton, Wallbuilders

“John Stemberger is a man of courage and principle. We need to stand by him now. I support John and would ask you to consider doing the same.” – Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich

“In today’s politically correct culture few people are willing to stand up to the threats against our faith, our families and our freedoms. That is why I am grateful for John Stemberger who has stood up for those who are vulnerable and defenseless, including Rifqa Bary. Now join me in standing with John.” - Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington, D.C.

“I was thrilled to see John Stemberger’s courageous defense of Rifqa Bary, our precious sister. He took a courageous stand and is paying the price because of it. We need people like this who are willing to lay their lives down for the cause of truth and justice on behalf of those who have no strength. Let’s stand with our brother.” - Lou Engle, Founder, TheCall Inc.

Stemberger Sets Up Legal Defense Fund Backed By Religious Right, Anti-Muslims Activists

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, is facing the possibility of being disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court for misconduct during the Rifqa Bary saga as well as a $10 million lawsuit from the lawyer who represented Bary's Muslim parents.

Stemberger insists that the wild allegations he threw around when he was representing Bary in Florida are protected by the First Amendment and that the lawsuit and misconduct complaint are merely an "attempt to squelch any criticism, legitimate or not, of Islam and its tenets" and so he has now set up a legal defense fund with the support not only of Bary, but of several Religious Right leaders:

"Would you please help my friend and lawyer John Stemberger? He defended me at no cost and helped me gain my freedom and is now being attacked by the Muslim lawyer who opposed me in court. Thank you for supporting me.  Will you now also help and support John?" - Rifqa Bary

“America needs warriors who will stand on principle and fight for truth. John Stemberger is a true warrior who has defended American principles through his bold defense of Rifqa Bary. Now the Islamic elements in America want to destroy him. Keep fighting, John.” -General William G. Boykin (retired), United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

“John Stemberger was and is a true patriot for defending Rifqa Bary in court and so we should now all consider helping him defend against these attacks by the same lawyer who fought against Rifqa getting her freedom. The Founding Fathers created the First Amendment to protect exactly the type of political and religious speech involved in this case.”- Historian David Barton, Wallbuilders

“John Stemberger is a man of courage and principle. We need to stand by him now. I support John and would ask you to consider doing the same.” – Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich

“In today’s politically correct culture few people are willing to stand up to the threats against our faith, our families and our freedoms. That is why I am grateful for John Stemberger who has stood up for those who are vulnerable and defenseless, including Rifqa Bary. Now join me in standing with John.” - Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington, D.C.

“I was thrilled to see John Stemberger’s courageous defense of Rifqa Bary, our precious sister. He took a courageous stand and is paying the price because of it. We need people like this who are willing to lay their lives down for the cause of truth and justice on behalf of those who have no strength. Let’s stand with our brother.” - Lou Engle, Founder, TheCall Inc.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mat Staver says Americans United is "out to literally destroy America."
  • Rudy Giuliani is "absolutely" thinking about running again in 2012.
  • Mike Huckabee will wait until at least the summer before making a decision about running in 2012.
  • The Thomas More Law Center has a rather unique reason for suing over the government bailout of AIG.
  • Finally, Sen. Jim DeMint joins the Religious Right's boycott of CPAC.
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Legal Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/04/2011, 10:06am
Listen to this clip from the AFA radio program "Today's Issues" the other day in which Tony Perkins and Ken Blackwell, both of the Family Research Council, complain that people are calling the Tea Party activists "terrorists": Perkins: You have the comments being made by the Vice President of the United States ... and he's equating conservative members of Congress who are identified with the Tea Party as being terrorists and holding the nation hostage. Blackwell: Well, that is just consistent with the strategy of define and destroy that the Left, headed up by the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/01/2011, 9:36am
Last month, J. Paul Oetken won Senate confirmation by a vote of 80-13, making him the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge. Peter LaBarbera has long demanded a sexual orientation test for judges, asserting that all nominees must declare if they have a history of "practicing immoral homosexual behavior" or "consider yourself homosexual." So needless to say, the milestone of Oetken's confirmation is not sitting well with him: "Homosexual activists are quite clear that their so-called 'rights' trump our religious liberty, our freedom to act on our... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 07/29/2011, 10:50am
Selective reading of material to support presupposed right-wing views is David Barton’s forte, so it comes as no surprise that the pseudo-historian is using a shoddy poll on same-sex marriage by an ultraconservative organization to claim that very few Americans support marriage equality. On WallBuilders Live yesterday, Barton and co-host Rick Green hosted Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund to discuss their opposition to equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. Barton and Green ended the interview by discussing the ADF poll which claimed that 62% of Americans were against... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/27/2011, 2:10pm
Jeffrey Kuhner of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Revival and the Washington Times joined Janet Mefferd yesterday to “analyze” what he called the progressive movement’s plot to “smash the family” and completely destroy society. How? Through legal abortion, birth control, daycare, public schools, and equal rights for gays and lesbians, of course: Kuhner: Whoever controls the family controls society. This is why the Left has wanted to smash the family, take children out of the home, have them in daycare, have them go to the state especially public-run... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/26/2011, 9:10am
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) told the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today that the public is behind the GOP’s effort to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because “85 percent of Americans” oppose marriage equality. Discussing a Senate bill that would repeal DOMA, Huelskamp said: “Eight-five [sic] percent of Americans say, ‘We support traditional marriage,’ and the Senate does the opposite.” Polls show that the majority of Americans support equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians and believe that DOMA should be repealed.... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/25/2011, 11:46am
Rep. Peter King (R-NY recently announced the third in his series of hearings on the “radicalization of the Muslim-American community”—the GOP’s premier venue for demonstrating the kinds of attacks highlighted in PFAW’s latest Right Wing Watch: In Focus report “The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.” As part of his hearings, King plans to call Thomas Joscelyn of the staunchly neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies as a witness. Joscelyn, from his platform as a writer for the neoconservative Weekly Standard, has questioned the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 07/25/2011, 11:30am
After defending kidnapper Lisa Miller, Liberty Counsel is set to take on its next big case against gay rights: stopping marriage equality in New York. Liberty Counsel, which has emerged as one of the Religious Right’s most vocally and virulently anti-gay organizations, is representing the social conservative group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom in the lawsuit: In response to the flagrant violations of the New York state constitutional and legal procedures, Liberty Counsel has filed a law suit in the New York Supreme Court for declaratory and injunctive relief against the same-... MORE