Legislation

Knight: Gay Staffers Control Congress And Washington DC

At the Freedom Federation’s The Awakening 2011, right-wing activists unleashed their venom at the gay community and supporters of gay rights at the “Religious Liberty and the LGBT Agenda” panel. Robert Knight, a columnist for the Washington Times who is the executive director of the far-right American Civil Rights Union, maintained that gay congressional staffers represent one of the most difficult hurdles for opponents of LGBT equality. According to Knight, who has also worked for a wide range of conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Media Research Center, and Coral Ridge Ministries, gay staffers have “veto power” over legislation because they “work all hours and, I think, tend not to have family lives.” He went on to say that the “gay subculture” in D.C. “intimidates the overriding Washington culture” and that opponents of gay rights are “undermined from within”:

Mosque Opponents Introduce The "Anti-Sharia Oath"

After campaigning to make construction workers take a pledge that they would refuse to work on the planned Park 51 Islamic community center, Andy Sullivan is now leading the charge to make people commit to stop the “creeping of Shariah into our American way of life.” Sullivan, the leader of the “9/11 Hard Hat Pledge,” is one of the most vocal opponents of Park 51 and even launched a boycott of musician Justin Bieber after reading a satirical article which made-up a quote of Bieber criticizing mosque opponents.

Now, Sullivan wants people to take an oath against Sharia: “It’s going to be an oath, and it’s going to say, ‘You will fight against any element of sharia being put into any kind of policy or legislation in this nation.’ If you sign that oath, and you live by that, then I will give you all the support that I can muster. So all of the sudden, the Anti-Sharia Oath was born.”

“Dark forces are using our own laws and freedoms against us,” according to the oath, “to promote Islamic doctrine and incorporate it into our finances, places of work, culture, courts, schools and most disturbingly our Legislative offices.”

The oath reads:

I the undersigned, will actively protest and vote against the implementation of Shariah or Islamic Law in all Judicial and Legislative matters. The War on Terror is not just being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan it is being waged in every aspect of our American life. Dark forces are using our own laws and freedoms against us to promote Islamic doctrine and incorporate it into our finances, places of work, culture, courts, schools and most disturbingly our Legislative offices. The Muslim Brotherhood have [sic] long declared that this war against the West will be won without spilling one drop of blood. They are counting on the Media, leftist groups and Politicians who stand for nothing more than another term of office, to achieve their goals. I stand with the 100,000 signers of The 911 Hard Hat Pledge who have sworn not to participate in the building of the Ground Zero Mosque as I take the Anti-Shariah Oath. I believe in the United States Constitution and the American way of life and will protect both.

Unruh Unleashes Variety of Falsehoods In Attempt to Defend South Dakota's Anti-Choice Law

Last week, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed legislation forcing any woman seeking an abortion to wait three days and undergo counseling at an anti-choice "crisis pregnancy center."

South Dakota activists Allen Unruh and his wife Leslee have long been involved in seeking out outlaw abortion and Alan Colmes recently brought Allen Unruh onto his radio program to explain the need for this law.

It did not go well

Unruh kept insisting that 60% of all women who get an abortion are "coerced" into doing so and whenever Colmes pointed out that that was a false statistic, Unruh was reduced to citing a woman who was reportedly forced at gunpoint to get an abortion.  Colmes kept trying to point out that coercing women to do anything at gunpoint was already illegal, so a mandatory three-day waiting period and counseling was just an attempt to further restrict a woman's right to choose. 

Eventually, Unruh started claiming that Planned Parenthood routinely "coerced" woman into getting abortions, that their facilities had no trained medical personnel on staff, and did not conduct any sort of exam of patients seeking abortions  ... but then a registered nurse who worked at Planned Parenthood called in and told Unruh that he had no idea what he was talking about:

Alabama Weighs Extreme "Personhood" Laws

As neighboring Mississippi is set to vote on a “personhood” amendment in November, Alabama may have its own personhood debate as a “personhood” amendment and statute have been introduced in the state legislature. Republican legislators in the Alabama legislature have introduced “personhood” laws as both statutes and amendments to the state constitution. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans, and the Senate statutory bill already has the support of a majority of state senators.

Personhood laws grant constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses, and ban abortion without exception, certain forms of birth control, in vitro fertilization, and the treatment of pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. The radical anti-choice group Personhood USA along with the Foundation for Moral Law, led by former Alabama state Supreme Court justice and likely presidential candidate Roy Moore, are the main forces behind the state’s personhood legislation. Ben DuPré, the point person for the state’s personhood campaign, is a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University and Regent University School of Law and a former clerk for Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice and Moore, and is now an attorney for the Foundation for Moral Law and the head of Personhood Alabama. DuPré likened legal abortion to the dehumanization of black people in America:

The Foundation for Moral Law and Personhood Alabama have announced personhood bills and amendments in the House and the Senate, backed by a large number of supporters.

SB301 is a clear recognition of the personhood rights of all human beings, regardless of their age, size, or location. SB 301 states “The term ‘persons’ as used in the Code of Alabama 1975, shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization or the functional equivalent thereof.”

SB 301 is a statutory change to the Alabama Code, and is sponsored by a staggering 19 of 35 Alabama Senators.



Yesterday HB 405 and HB 409 were filed in the House by Representative John Merrill,a Personhood Statute and Personhood Amendment, respectively. The Personhood Statute and Amendment were backed by 31 co-sponsors.

“It is my belief that this bill will clearly affirm that, under law, an individual becomes a person upon fertilization,” stated Representative Merrill.



DuPré added, “America used to define the meaning of ‘person’ along racial lines; now we draw the line at the womb. Personhood legislation finally gives equal protection of the laws to the unborn as well as the born, and from the first moment of human life.”

Wilson: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal An "Insult" To Democracy

As part of the House GOP’s efforts to thwart the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) of the House Arms Services personnel subcommittee is holding a hearing this morning on the implementation of the repeal policy. Wilson wants to see Don’t Ask Don’t Tell reinstated and at least twenty-five House Republicans have signed on to legislation that would effectively block the repeal from going forward. Moreover, likely GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour have came out publically to support reinstatement.

Large majorities of Americans favored the discriminatory policy’s repeal, and a Gallup poll conducted just before Congress voted to repeal found that 67% of Americans believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military. But according to Wilson, since the repeal bill was passed during the “lame duck session,” the vote was “undemocratic” and an “insult.” Wilson, who shouted “you lie” during President Obama’s address to Congress, said in a statement:

“Today the Subcommittee has an opportunity to influence the future course of the implementation of a change in the law regarding the service of openly gay and lesbian service members.

“I was troubled by the process employed to repeal the law known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this past Fall. I feel the repeal was rushed through the Congress without adequate review and consideration of the full extent of the implications of repeal. I believe the lame duck session was undemocratic in that dozens of defeated Congressmembers adopted a law with significant consequence but it failed to even pass a budget. It was an insult to the principles of representative democracy. Elected officials should be reflective of the views of their constituents; the Congressmembers voting had been rejected for not reflecting views of constituents.



“We must ensure that we do not make a mistake by allowing the repeal to move ahead when there is any possibility that it will put the combat readiness of our force at risk at a time our nation is in three wars with worldwide instability.”

Religious Right Favorite Trent Franks Poised To Run For Senate

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks is preparing a campaign for US Senate following the retirement of Jon Kyl. According to Politico, Franks intends to “campaign to the right” of already-announced Republican Congressman Jeff Flake in the primary. Running to the right of Flake or almost any other Republican shouldn’t be difficult for Franks, who was tied for first as the most conservative member of the House.

Franks is a frequent critic of President Obama, even going so far as to call him an “enemy of humanity” at a right-wing conference, and later claimed unconvincingly that he simply meant he was an “enemy of unborn humanity.” He even wanted to impeach Obama over his decision not to defend unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and warned that Obama has an “ideological commitment” to “weaken America.” Most recently, Franks joined Rick Santorum to claim that Obama and his allies were deliberately trying to destroy America. Such rancid statements shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Franks has floated Birther conspiracy theories and said Obama consistently “acts un-American.”

Expect the Religious Right to rally behind Franks against the more libertarian Flake. Franks is a noted proponent of the charge that abortion providers are leading a genocide against African Americans, and said that African Americans were better off under slavery than in America with reproductive freedom. He even introduced legislation barring “race-based” abortion along with leading anti-choice figures, believing his bill will “blow a fatal hole in Roe v. Wade,” and also screened the discredited documentary Maafa 21, which argues that Planned Parenthood wants to exterminate African Americans, in Congress. Moreover, Franks participated in Lou Engle’s militantly anti-choice and anti-gay The Call rallies, and worked with Dominionist groups.

The possibility of a Franks candidacy has already forced Flake to abandon his previously pro-reform position on immigration to compete with Franks, who is an anti-immigrant hardliner. Politico reports that Franks is poised to announce following a fundraiser with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Michele Bachmann:

Currently in his fifth term, Franks has solidified himself as the most conservative member of Arizona's delegation and indicated in early March he felt like he had a "responsibility to give the people a chance to choose between my perspective and Mr. Flake's."

Franks' Senate announcement will come after a $250 morning fundraiser hosted by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arizona insiders warn that Flake's flip on immigration gives Franks's candidacy immediate room to grow in a state still consumed by border violence and crime by undocumented workers. The key question is whether Flake will be able to replicate Sen. John McCain's conversion on the white hot issue.

"If it's a two-person fight, I believe Trent wins. Flake's flip on immigration kills him. He cannot effectively do a McCain and rebrand himself. McCain spent millions against a weaker opponent to rebrand himself. Flake will not have that luxury," according to one GOP operative currently unaffiliated with either campaign.

Focus On The Family Warns Of Gay “Indoctrination” In Schools And The Military

Yesterday, RWW reported on the Religious Right’s virulent opposition to a California bill that would make sure lesbian and gay historical figures are represented in the curriculum. Now, Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink is linking the curriculum bill to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in its post “Indoctrination 101: From the Battlefield to the Ball Field.” Focus on the Family has consistently railed againsthomosexual indoctrinationin schools and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, demanding its reinstatement. CitizenLink looks to traditionally anti-gay groups such as the Center for Military Readiness and the Pacific Justice Institute, along with its affiliated California Family Council, to blast the purported “indoctrination”:

The California Senate Education Committee passed legislation Wednesday that would mandate public schools teach U.S. history, California history and social science with a deliberate emphasis on the roles and contributions of gay- and lesbian-identified individuals, as well as those of transsexuals and bisexuals.

“It seems a bit like a quota system,” said Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council. “It’s based less on the level of contribution and more on one’s sexual orientation.”

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said: “Our Legislature just doesn’t get it — with thousands of teachers getting pink slips, this is not the time to place more expensive, politically correct mandates on our schools. This bill also undermines parental rights and is insensitive to those whose cultures and belief systems are at odds with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) agenda.”



Meanwhile, the military has been ordered to “re-educate” its members on similar issues. The U.S. House Armed Services Committee soon will hold hearings on the repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which prevented open homosexuality in the military.

In 1993, the House and Senate conducted 12 hearings and field trips before passing the policy. Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the committee needs to hold a similar number before any repeal is made permanent.

“Imposition of LGBT law and policies on our military would be enormously complicated and anything but simple,” she said. “Members of Congress must ask questions and insist on honest answers.”

Among the issues Donnelly wants addressed: sexual privacy violations; “zero tolerance” of dissent; impact of sexual misconduct on unit cohesion and trust in leadership; infringements on religious liberty for chaplains and people of faith; plans to accommodate same-sex couples in military family housing; LGBT “sensitivity” training in all Defense Department training programs, academies and schools; and personal dress and behavior.

Land: America Didn't Realize How Good We Had It Under George W. Bush

The Florida Baptist Witness reports that Richard Land spoke at the Jacksonville Baptist Association’s Leadership Institute last week and said that America was on the verge of revival that would reverse all of the horrors that President Obama has inflicted upon this nation ... provided that none of the conservatives on the Supreme Court die before Obama can be voted out of office. 

Oh yeah, and Americans will also come to realize just how good they had it under George W. Bush:

Addressing abortion, Land said the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which effectively legalized abortion on demand, likely will be overturned during his lifetime. One pro-choice justice being replaced by a pro-life justice would result in a majority willing to overturn Roe, he said.

“We just need one more vote,” Land said, “which means that we need to pray that none of the justices that are conservatives die until after we get a conservative president. And then one of the liberals has to change.”

Since abortion was legalized in 1973, more Americans have been aborted each year than have died cumulatively in all the wars the nation has fought, according to Land. Yet abortion is not merely a moral issue, but also an economic one, he said.

“How many people that are not working would be working if we hadn’t killed those babies?” he asked. Unemployed Americans could be “making goods and services for those people, building homes for those people, building schools for those people, teaching in the schools for those people.”

Recent healthcare legislation also threatens the sanctity of human life, Land said. If so- called “Obamacare” is not repealed, elderly Americans will be denied life-saving medical procedures because of the cost involved, he said.

“I personally think that the greatest threat to the sanctity of human life right now is Obamacare,” he said, adding, “I have no compunction about telling you that everybody in this room will live a shorter life, and it will be more filled with pain and suffering—if Obamacare is not rescinded—than you would otherwise. They are going to ration care.”

...

Land predicted that President George W. Bush will experience a similar fate as Harry Truman, who left office with a low approval rating but was appreciated decades later as one of the greatest presidents in American history.

Evangelicals likely will not see a president in the near future who identifies with them as much as Bush, he said, calling Bush’s two inaugural addresses “extraordinary” and “insightful.”

“I suspect too many Americans didn’t realize what they had when they had George W. Bush,” Land said.

Pro-Voucher Group Working Against Recall of Union-Busting Wisconsin Republicans

An organization that backs private school vouchers is campaigning against the recall of the eight Republican Wisconsin senators who backed Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union legislation. The so-called American Federation for Children (AFC) is an ardent supporter of the voucher scheme in Milwaukee, the unsuccessful voucher program which Walker and his GOP allies want to export to other parts of the state as part of bolstering the Republicans’ attacks on public schools and teachers.

Listen to their robocall defending GOP Senator Sheila Harsdorf:

At the same time that Walker and the Republicans proposed a massive $834 million cut to public schools, endangering the state’s esteemed public education system, they seek to spend more taxpayer money on a wasteful voucher program that has been unable to improve the education of Milwaukee students. A comprehensive study in 2009 found “no overall statistically significant difference between [voucher school] and [public school] student achievement growth in either math or reading one year after they were carefully matched to each other,” and that fourth graders in the voucher program were actually performing worse than comparable public school students.

While the private school voucher scheme did nothing to improve education, it did funnel taxpayer dollars to religious schools: of the 120 schools receiving vouchers examined in the study, 95 were religious and 7 operate within a religious tradition.

Renowned education scholar Diane Ravitch, once a proponent of the so-called “school choice” movement, told OnMilwaukee.com that the voucher program “has not worked”:

Milwaukee is indeed the nation's laboratory for assessing the value of school choice. The advocates of school choice predicted that academic performance in choice schools would not only soar, but that the competitive pressure would cause achievement in the regular district schools to improve. None of this has happened. The latest studies show that students in voucher schools and in charter schools do not perform any differently from those in the regular public schools.



"Reformers" in Milwaukee have been pursuing strategies that we now know are ineffective. The more time and resources devoted to ineffective strategies, the less attention there is to finding useful improvements. Choice got the support of foundations and business leaders, but it has not worked.

Even the state schools superintendent Tom Evers agreed that “choice schools have proven to be no more effective and in some cases less effective than Milwaukee Public Schools.”

But organizations like the AFC ignore and dismiss the clear findings that the Milwaukee voucher program is a wrongheaded and ill-designed effort to improve education, and instead want to expand the program to more school districts and tear down the public education system. Now, they want to make sure that Republican legislators keep their jobs and continue to support vouchers and bust unions representing public school teachers.

Huckabee Would Reinstate DADT: "That's Really What The Military Wants"

Mike Huckabee tells the AFA's OneNewsNow that he supports reinstating Don't Ask, Don't Tell: 

Mike Huckabee says he would support legislation aimed at reinstating the 1993 law that prohibits homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

In January former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said if he were to become president in two years, he would work to reinstate the prohibition of open homosexual service. Now former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, another potential GOP presidential hopeful, tells OneNewsNow that he, too, would support re-imposing the ban.

"I would -- because that's really what the military wants," says Huckabee. "There's been some talk that the military is fine with having same-sex orientation people. But if you really surveyed the combat troops, that is not at all the case."

According to Huckabee, currently a political analyst for Fox News, politicians should back out of the picture. "...I don't think that these are decisions that politicians should make. These are decisions that soldiers should make," he says emphatically. "And when the soldiers in the foxholes make the decisions, they choose something different -- and we should listen to them."

CWA: Gay “Bullies” Too Powerful In Government

Only in the worldview of the Religious Right do marginalized Americans like gays and lesbians have excessive clout in government while conservatives have little to none. Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America, one of the most influential right-wing lobbyist organizations, describes LGBT-rights organizations as “bullies” whose crime is raising too much money. She told the American Family Association’s news service OneNewsNow that opponents of the Defense of Marriage Act are “claiming rights that don’t exist” and are trying to “intimidate” public officials. In addition, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel ranted against the “radical leftists” allied with “extremist, homosexual pressure groups.” Wright and Barber were responding to legislation, the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by Rep. Jerrod Nadler (D-NY) that would repeal the dubiously-constitutional DOMA:

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America tells OneNewsNow: "The congressmen who introduced this bill are claiming rights that don't exist. There is no right to same-sex 'marriage,' and they seek to confuse people by using language like that. Every time that marriage has come up for a vote in a state, that state has protected marriages between one man and one woman."

Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, refers to the bill as the "Disrespecting Marriage Act." He says the good news is that it is really an exercise in futility -- and he believes Democrats know that.

"We have a faction of radical leftists in the House and in the Senate who are willing to side and align themselves with extremist, homosexual pressure groups in order to try to take a sledgehammer to the institution of marriage, which is fundamental to any healthy society," says Barber.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the move by Democrats, calling it "landmark legislation." Wright says homosexual lobbying groups often act like victims, but it is quite the contrary.

"So when you look at how they operate, they are in fact the bullies," says the CWA spokeswoman. "They're the ones who have massive amounts of money. When you look at the budgets of these groups, it's rather shocking the multimillions of dollars they have -- they bring in every year -- and with that, they're able to hire full-time lobbyists who then intimidate not only politicians but corporations."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Zaid Jilani @ Think Progress: GA GOP Rep. Bobby Franklin Says America Is Like Qadaffi Because Abortion Is Legal.
  • Alan Colmes: Franklin Graham: Japan Disaster Could Mean Second Coming.
  • Alvin McEwen: Religious right leader Bryan Fischer: Obama is a boy president.
  • Truth Wins Out: Scientist Calls On Apple to Remove ‘Ex-Gay’ app That Distorts His Research.
  • Benjy Sarlin @ TPM: Herman Cain to Muslims: Stop Trying to Convert Us to Islam.
  • County Fair: Washington Times' Knight Uses Anti-Bullying Legislation To Attack Muslims, Gays.
  • Joe.My.God: JMG Wins 2011 GLAAD Media Award!

Glenn Beck: Religious Right Friend or Foe?

Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has traditionally dedicated most of his energies toward attacking the standard Religious Right tagets: gays, hate crimes legislation, society, and President Obama.

But now Cass has taken up a new issue: Glenn Beck and his Mormon faith.

As we noted last week, there are some Religious Right activists who are growing alarmed that Beck seems to be passing himself off as a Christian in an effort to promote distinctly Mormon doctrines ... and now Cass has joined in with them, releasing a video claiming Beck's work is a "theological train wreck" and an accompanying report accusing him of peddling "heresies and errors":

Mormons, and especially their missionaries, intentionally prey on ill-informed people by falsely identifying themselves as Christians, even though honest Mormons know they reject the essential doctrines of Christianity.

Mormons redefine Christian terms and use them in deceptive ways so that, if you weren’t very well informed, you wouldn’t know they were doing it. They even have a name for the practice; “Lying for the Lord.”

Mormons know if they told people the truth of what they believe up front they would not be able to persuade them to become Mormons. So they present a warm fuzzy, family facade and withhold their strange doctrines, practices and secret rituals until after they have created trust and an emotional bond.

Beck even laments regularly on his TV show that people don’t believe he’s a Christian. Sorry Glenn, but you can’t have it both ways. It’s either Jesus Christ of the Bible or Joseph Smith and the doctrines of Mormonism. If Beck ever renounces his Mormonism, then I will believe he’s become a Christian, in the meantime he sounds just like the rest of the Mormons I’ve known all my life.

I pray God will grant Beck the grace to humble himself and beg God to have mercy on him through Jesus Christ for arrogantly presuming that he is on his way to godhood. This is the absolute height of arrogance and exactly the lie of Satan in the garden: “You shall be as gods!” Mormons accept the demonic doctrine and glory in it.

While I support Mormon’s freedom to believe what they want, they aren’t free from being criticized for their false doctrines and deceitful practices. Beck’s illicit use of the Bible to lend authority to his Christ-denying, man-exalting, graceless, self-help “gospel” is breathtaking. Unfortunately, using his quick wit and self-effacing humor to disarm and deceive will only bring Beck more eternal condemnation.

Our Country Deserves Better PAC Launches “The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama”

The right-wing California political action committee which runs the Tea Party Express and is closely tied to Move America Forward is launching yet another group: the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama. Both the Tea Party Express and Move America Forward are managed by Sal Russo of Our Country Deserves Better PAC, and the New York Times found that the majority of the Tea Party Express’s funds were “paid to Mr. Russo’s political consulting firm or to one controlled by his wife.”

Seeing that running a political front group is a profitable enterprise, Our Country Deserves Better PAC is kicking off The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama with the “Political Event of the Year,” a fundraiser featuring failed Alaska senate candidate Joe Miller, notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, and Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber. Another unsuccessful tea party senate candidate, Sharron Angle, who recently announced her campaign for an open House seat, is also scheduled to attend. Apparently, the fundraiser is celebrating two of 2010’s most radical candidates who went down to embarrassing defeats.

The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama is now on the air in Wisconsin with an ad bashing “union thugs” and “Obama’s union goons,” sending a “thank you” to Governor Scott Walker and Republican state legislators for passing union-busting legislation.

Personhood Law Would Ban Treatment of Life-Threatening Pregnancies

As personhood legislation sprouts up in states like Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Iowa, the radical anti-choice group Personhood USA also hopes to introduce their extreme (and unconstitutional) legislation in North Dakota. Personhood bills criminalize abortion and certain forms of birth control by granting legal rights to zygotes, declaring it a separate ‘person’ from the mother. Many doctors believe that such legislation would ban in vitro fertilization and prohibit doctors from giving medical assistance to women with serious pregnancy complications like ectopic pregnancies. The AP reports on North Dakota doctors speaking out against the radical legislation in their state:

Doctors told the North Dakota Senate's Judiciary Committee that it could affect couples using in vitro fertilization to try to have a baby as well as women who have complications in early pregnancy that will prevent an embryo from developing into a viable baby. Such complications include an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg begins growing outside the uterus. The doctors who testified said they did not perform abortions.



Although the measure exempts in vitro fertilization from criminal penalties, it includes language saying that "causing injury to a human being" is not justified.

Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a Fargo infertility specialist who works at North Dakota's only in vitro fertilization center, said the bill would make it illegal to do the procedure.

"The process of IVF may result in injury to an embryo," Dahl said. "It is unavoidable."

Dr. Shari Orser, a Bismarck obstetrician and gynecologist, told the committee that most eggs that are fertilized for in vitro fertilization never become viable embryos "and only a small percentage of embryos thought to be viable produce a child."

"To suggest that every embryo is a person is absurd," Orser said.

Orser said the law also would complicate the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Without treatment, a tubal pregnancy can result in serious internal bleeding and death, she said.

Other conditions can result in a fetus developing without kidneys, lungs or a brain, Orser said.

"These diagnoses are often made in the first half of these pregnancies," Orser said. "Should a woman be forced to continue the pregnancy when she knows that her baby will die, or can she be spared the emotional distress and the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term?"

Rios: Progressives Acting Like Terrorists for Supporting Wisconsin Workers

Sandy Rios, the president of the Culture Campaign and a former head of Concerned Women for America, is repulsed that progressives are protesting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting legislation. Since the group Organizing for America, a Democratic National Committee division that is closely tied to Obama’s presidential campaign, supports the peaceful Wisconsin protest movement, Rios claims that it is responsible for death threats made against Walker and his Republican allies. She goes on to compare Obama and organized labor to Hamas and Hezbollah for opposing Walker’s bill that strips workers of their bargaining rights:

Hamas and Hezbollah are famous for gaining power through providing practical help and humanitarian aid to citizens who are later called upon to further their deeper, more dangerous agenda.

Teachers...laborers...and sympathetic farmers beware. Organizing for America, the SEIU, the NEA and many of America's labor unions have more on their mind than accomplishing your concerns...and more in common with the violence and intimidation of Hamas than with protecting "workers."

You will rue the day you fancied you were being mistreated by losing your ability to quibble over benefits. For we will all live in the midst of ruin if they prevail.

Barton and Forbes On The Imporance of Stopping "Parent 1" Before It Can Contaminate The Holy

Earlier this year, there was a short right-wing freak-out when the State Department announced that the spaces for "mother's name" and "father's name" on passport applications will be replaced with "parent one" and "parent two."

The State Department quickly backtracked but that wasn't good enough for Rep. Randy Forbes who quickly introduced legislation to require the use of "mother" and "father" on all federal forms.

Today, Forbes showed up on "Wallbuilders Live" with David Barton and Rick Green to discuss the importance of stopping these sorts of changes at the source while Barton warned that is was an example of the unholy contaminating the holy:

Barton: And it really is important. A little bitty deal like changing the mother and father designation on a passport, those are not small deals.

Green: Even though it sounds small, isn't it a fundamental change? It's really at the heart of this question of is the family going to continue to be the major nucleus of our culture and is there a definition of family and marriage that we're going to stick with or are we going to go to anything counts?

Barton: Well, it becomes death by a thousand paper cuts, is what it amounts to. Nothing really enough to cut to the bone, but you just bleed to death a drop at a time. And that's what this is because you say "man, we're so busy with the President trying to get DOMA defended, we don't have time to mess around with what they're writing on passports." Well, when it comes at you from a hundred directions, you may repel ninety-eight of the attacks, but if two of them get through, that's two more than you had when you started this thing. And those are attacks that you have to push back on every single one of these fronts one hundred percent of the time. You cannot give ground.

The minor prophets talked about the fact that if you take something holy and put just a drop of unholy in there, does the holy make the unholy become holy? Or does the unholy make the holy become unholy? And the answer is: the unholy contaminates the holy.

Forbes: The other big thing that we're worried about is, as you know, the slippage of these kinds of things and how they work their way in and then ripple throughout all of government. If we let this stand, the next thing we know is there's going to be another agency that does it and then another agency and then before you know it they're going to come back and say "we've done this with the State Department and we did it with such and such. We ought to make it in all federal documents everywhere." And that's the way these things happen unless you try to put them out at the source.

And the other thing, imagine with children. You know, for how long have we said "who's your mothers?" and "who's your father?" and now we're going to say "well, who's your parent one and who's your parent two?"And these are the kinds of things that have huge ripple effects through the federal government if gone unchecked.

Rod Parsley Channels Glenn Beck to Expose "Black Genocide"

It seems that Rod Parlsey has taken a page out of Glenn Beck's playbook, as last week he dedicated two of his programs to exposing the nefarious conspiracies behind both the health care reform legislation and the "genocide" being carried out against African Americans in the form of abortion, complete with chalkboards and props.

In the health care program, Parsley was joined by former Senator Mike DeWine as he exposed the conspiracy to funnel billions of dollars to Kathleen Sebelius so she could promote her pro-abortion agenda, which had the support of people like the late Dr. George Tiller.

But that was nothing compared to the episode about the "Black Genocide," where Parsley pulled out Beck-inspired chalkboard to lay out the similarities between Planned Parenthood and the Nazi Holocaust while cradling a model of a fetus and screaming that he is "outraged that African Americans are being systematically targeted and deceived into aborting themselves into extinction":

Harry Jackson Credits The Black Church With Stopping Marriage Equlity In Maryland

Last week, an effort to pass marriage equality legislation in Maryland failed and Bishop Harry Jackson was invited on to CBN News to explain what happened, where he declared that the Black Church had risen up and warned African American legislators they had better not listen to Democratic Party leaders who see them "as lemmings who are willing to just march off to your death" because there would be a price to pay when they returned to their communities.  Jackson went on to warn that they would now set about trying to remove legislators who support marriage equality from office and "stop gay marriage in its tracks":

Bachmann Courts The Birther Vote

While Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann raised eyebrows after consistently and wrongly asserting that the Battles of Lexington and Concord occurred in New Hampshire, rather than Massachusetts (and later implying that Bay Staters were not proud of the American Revolution), the birther website WorldNetDaily was touting an interview between Bachmann and right-wing radio personality Jeff Katz.

“I am concerned about the future of this country; I am concerned about the existence of the country my dad handed down to me,” said Katz, “And just yesterday my boys brought home the signup sheets for little league and I’m looking through them and I realize I have to provide more documentation for them to go and play tee ball in little league than the president ever had to provide.”

Bachmann replied, “I’ll tell you one thing, if I was ever to run for president of the United States, I think the first thing I would do in the first debate is offer my birth certificate so we can get that off the table.”

Such statements may play well among Republican voters, over half of whom don’t believe Obama was born in the U.S.

Republican legislators in eleven states have introduced legislation based on the birther conspiracy theory, and Mike Huckabee has even raised doubts about Obama’s heritage. In Maine, the Tea Party candidate running against Olympia Snowe for Senate announced his campaign by flaunting his birth certificate at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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Legislation Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 08/22/2011, 12:38pm
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah contends that “the homosexual agenda and the Shariah agenda” are working together to endanger the future of America. Farah claims that both the LGBT community and Muslim-Americans want to alter the institution of marriage, use hate crimes laws to silence critics, and implement Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to weaken the U.S. military. According to Farah, only right-wing activists like him are standing up to the “Muslim Mafia and the Gay Mafia,” but even many leaders of the conservative movement are selling out for “Arab cash... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/15/2011, 3:30pm
When Rick Perry was organizing his massive public prayer rally, we put in a lot of work chronicling the radical views of the activists with whom Perry was partnering.  But there are others with ties to Perry who were not involved in this effort and therefore never made it on to our list ... people like Jerry Boykin who believes that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations worked to collapse the economy in order to help Barack Obama win the election and that passage of healthcare reform legislation is really just cover for Obama to establish a private Brownshirt army loyal only... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/04/2011, 10:33am
As we mentioned yesterday, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa. In kicking off the event, NOM has announced that Santorum, Bachmann, and Mitt Romney have all signed a five-point "Marriage Pledge" [PDF] that includes a promise to establish a "presidential commission" to "investigate harassment of traditional marriage supporters": One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining... MORE
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
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, Friday 07/22/2011, 5:06pm
PFAW: PFAW Celebrates Certification of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Excuses, Excuses: The Polite Regrets of Governors Bailing on Perry's Prayer Rally. Igor Volsky @ Think Progress: GOProud: Gays Need Guns, Not Hate Crimes Legislation. Alvin McEwen: Maggie Gallagher's Hypocritical Whine About Corruption Adam Serwer @ The American Prospect: Stop Using Moozlem Words! MORE
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 07/20/2011, 4:30pm
Cross-Posted on the People For blog Here at People For the American Way, we’ve spent the last several weeks marveling as Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans a blockbuster Christian prayer rally in Houston, gathering around him a remarkable collection of Religious Right extremists – from a pastor who claims that the Statue of Liberty is a “demonic idol” to a self-described “apostle” who blamed last year’s mysterious bird deaths in Arkansas on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Perry claims the event is apolitical, but it is conveniently... MORE