On Wednesday, August 4th, a federal judge in California struck down Proposition 8, a voter-approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions in the state. The Alliance Defense Fund will appeal the decision:
Attorneys representing ProtectMarriage.com will appeal a federal judge’s decision Wednesday that declared California’s voter-approved constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys are litigating the lawsuit, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, together with lead counsel Charles J. Cooper and ADF-allied attorney Andrew Pugno, who represent the official proponents and campaign committee of California’s Proposition 8.
“In America, we should respect and uphold the right of a free people to make policy choices through the democratic process–especially ones that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the foundation of the country and beyond,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum.
“We will certainly appeal this disappointing decision. Its impact could be devastating to marriage and the democratic process,” Raum said. “It’s not radical for more than 7 million Californians to protect marriage as they’ve always known it. What would be radical would be to allow a handful of activists to gut the core of the American democratic system and, in addition, force the entire country to accept a system that intentionally denies children the mom and the dad they deserve.”
Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, a twenty-something married couple, live in New Mexico and run a small photography business called ‘Elaine.’ So why is it that two young Christian photographers have been compared to people refusing services to African-Americans in the 1950s?
The trouble began when Elaine, rather cordially, refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. Shortly after, she received an e-mail from the New Mexico Human Rights commission telling her to find an attorney. One of the women involved in the civil ceremony, Vanessa Willock, had lodged a complaint against the young couple claiming they were discriminating against same-sex couples.
The Huguenins contacted the Alliance Defense Fund, an organisation set up to “to aggressively defend religious liberty by empowering [their] allies, recognizing that together, we can accomplish far more than we can alone.” ADF argue that it is a violation of the First Amendment to force Elaine to use her creative ability for something that goes against her conscience and told the Huguenins it would be bad stewardship of their company to back down or settle.
“If I’m being asked to tell the story of something that goes against my belief system,” explains Elaine, “there’s no way I can do that in good conscience.”
In a further twist, the Human Rights commission of New Mexico unanimously ruled against Elaine and her husband and requested they pay all of Willock’s legal costs and submit to requests by same-sex couples in the future. This created a media storm. The judgement is being appealed against and the jury is still out.
The question is raised, “What is freedom?”
Contact Alliance Defense Fund by calling (800) TELL-ADF (835-5233), faxing (480) 444-0025, writing 15100 N. 90th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85260, or logging on to www.alliancedefensefund.org
ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND NEWS RELEASE
April 3, 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT ADF MEDIA RELATIONS: (480) 444-0020 or www.telladf.org/pressroom
E. Mich. Univ. ousts student for not affirming homosexual behavior
ADF attorneys file suit on behalf of student expelled from graduate counseling program
DETROIT — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University Thursday after school officials dismissed a student from the school’s counseling program for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable. The school dismissed Julea Ward from the program because she would not agree prior to a counseling session to affirm a client’s homosexual behavior and would not retract her stance in subsequent disciplinary proceedings.
“Christian students shouldn’t be penalized for holding to their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “When a public university has a prerequisite of affirming homosexual behavior as morally good in order to obtain a degree, the school is stepping over the legal line. Julea did the responsible thing and followed her supervising professor’s advice to have the client referred to a counselor who did not have a conscience issue with the very matter to be discussed in counseling. She would have gladly counseled the client if the subject had been nearly any other matter.”
EMU requires students in its program to affirm or validate homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship and prohibits students from advising clients that they can change their homosexual behavior. Ward has never addressed homosexual behavior in any form during counseling sessions with clients.
EMU initiated its disciplinary process against Ward and informed her that the only way she could stay in the graduate school counseling program would be if she agreed to undergo a “remediation” program. Its purpose would be to help Ward “see the error of her ways” and change her “belief system” as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships, conforming her beliefs to be consistent with the university’s views. When Ward did not agree with the conditions, she was given the options of either voluntarily leaving the program or asking for a formal review hearing.
Ward chose the hearing, during which EMU faculty denigrated her Christian views and asked several inappropriate and intrusive questions about her religious beliefs. The hearing committee dismissed her from the counseling program on March 12. Ward appealed the decision to the dean of the College of Education, who upheld the dismissal on March 26.
“Julea has a constitutional right not to be compelled to speak a message she disagrees with. She acted as a professional counselor should–with great concern both for her beliefs and the client,” ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco explained. “The two are not incompatible, but EMU’s policies are incompatible with the Constitution.”
ADF-allied attorney Steven Jentzen of Ypsilanti is serving as local counsel in the case.
• Complaint in Ward v. Eastern Michigan University filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
The ADF Center for Academic Freedom defends religious freedom at America’s public universities. ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
Editor’s Note: The text below is slightly altered in wording and punctuation from the originally published version. Unless otherwise stated, we make no endorsements of the links, media, organizations, or people we report on.
In the ongoing cultural debate over gay marriage, those that oppose it will at times attempt to show that the arguments used in favor of same-sex marriage can just as easily be applied to polygamy, thus opening the door for its legalization if gay marriage is legalized. In response, the pro-gay-marriage crowd usually responds mockingly, with phrases like “we graduated from the second grade,” or “this is a straw man you’ve set up, polygamy has nothing to do with gay marriage.”
What happens, however, when a pro-gay writer on the biggest liberal blog on the net argues the same point as those opposed to gay marriage? On January 6th, Lee Stranahan published an article on The Huffington Post called Why Are Gay Marriage Advocates Not Defending Polyamory? He ends his article with the following:
But what’s a poly person to do if they want to enter into a committed relationship with the people they love? Polygamy – marriage to more than one person – is no more an option for conseting [sic] adults in the United States than gay marriage is in all states expect Massachusetts and Connecticut. If the rights of gay people are being trampled on, then it’s two states worse for poly people.
If you follow the same argument template as many gay marriage advocates, anyone who opposes polygamy is a bigot and a hater. Rick Warren has made it clear that he opposes poly relationship, too. And even comparing consensual poly relationship to Jeffs is equating polyamorists with PEDOPHILES!
If Melissa Etheridge has the right to marry Tammy Lynn Michaels – and I think she does – then [sic] Melissa and Tammy also have the same right to make it official with David Crosby, it they choose to do so. In fact, if they wanted to marry Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Linsday Lohan, Samantha Ronson, Mark Ronson AND Ani Difranco…it’s their choice and their right and it’d make quite a tour, too.
There’s no argument you can make against a poly marriage that wouldn’t work just as well as an argument against gay marriage.
Aside from reasons of consistency, advocates of gay marriage should also be vocally in favor of polygamy since it allows bisexuals to be actively practicing married bisexuals. Bisexuals are the B in GLBT but they really get short shrift in the marriage discussion.
I’m in favor of real marriage equality. Love the one you’re with. Love the two or more you’re with, if you can work that out. Marry them if you’re into that kind of thing. But until the gay marriage movement embraces polygamy…well, they are just acting like bigots and haters, aren’t they?
“There is no argument you can make against poly marriage that wouldn’t work just as well as an argument against gay marriage.” Exactly! And on the flip side, there is no argument you can make for gay marriage that wouldn’t work just as well as an argument for polygamy. Lee Stranahan sees this, perhaps others in his camp will soon see this as well.
The reaction from the gay community has been shock and confusion. Jeremy Hooper from Good As Youwrites: “We’ve seen many anti-gays make the ‘gay marriage = polygamous marriage’ argument. But when it comes from a professed supporter of same-sex marriage equality, it’s a little harder to swallow.” He then responds to Mr. Stranahan’s article with the arguments that “Bisexuals are not innately polyamorous. We thought this went without saying, but apparently not. Bisexuality just means an attraction to both genders, not a CONCURRENT RELATIONSHIP with both sexes!” and (before changing it) “the fact is that marriage has always been considered a commitment between two people.”
Let us first consider his statement concerning bisexuality and polyamorous behavior. This was Mr. Hooper’s response to ADF’s Glen Lavy asserting that bisexuality and polygamy are related:
No Glen? You really don’t see any difference between a bisexual who wants two partners and a same-sex couple who wants one? Oh, well here, we graduated from the second grade — let us help you:
BISEXUALITY, LIKE HOMOSEXUALITY OR HETEROSEXUALITY, IS AN ORIENTATION, NOT A CHOSEN PATTERN OF COMMITMENT!!! Just like a man who is attracted to two different women must pledge a legal commitment to only the ONE of them who he intends to marry, a bisexual person must also enter into a union with only ONE PERSON! Bisexuality doesn’t mean a person is attracted to multiple partners — it just means that their capacity for finding their true love is not limited to only one specific gender!!!! It’s BIsexuality, not SIMULTANEOU-sexuality!! Stop pretending like you do not know this!!!!!
Alrighty, we feel better now. But you know what would REALLY ****(sexual reference edited out by VOR’s editor)***? If these self-professed good Christians would stop lying through their ever-loving teeth!
Glen Lavy and Lee Stranahan asserted the same belief, and yet Good As You treated Mr. Lavy with ridicule and contempt, accusing him of knowingly lying, while giving Mr. Stranahan nothing more than a humble correction. Without addressing the accuracy of their specific statements, what possible reason could there be for treating them so differently other than anti-Christian bigotry? Good As Youdeclares that they “strive to provide a safe, progressive, and positive forum in which we work to eliminate discrimination and intolerance.” I ask Mr. Hooper to publically apologize for the glaring discrimination and intolerance shown by him towards Mr. Lavy and the Alliance Defense Fund.
Finally, let us look at his statement on historical marriage. Thankfully, Mr. Hooper eventually changed his laughably inaccurate statement “the fact is that marriage has always been considered a commitment between two people” to the toned down and slightly less absurd “marriage has largely been considered a commitment between two people.” However, one has to wonder how such a statement could ever have been published in the first place. The reason is that many in the LGBT community really believe it to be true. How? Could it be that many Americans have had their understanding of what marriage is supposed to look like shaped more by Hollywood than historical fact? To many, marriage is exclusively a matter of falling in love, thus they have neither considered the historical foundations of marriage, nor the long-range impact gay marriage will have on society. The historical facts about marriage in reality (as opposed to made up ones) are as follows:
The majority of cultures throughout history have defined marriage as the formal union of one man and one woman.
A minority of cultures throughout history have defined marriage as the formal union of a man and one or more women.
An infinitesimally small number of cultures throughout history have given some kind of recognition to same-sex unions, but even then, these relationships were primarily pederastic relationships, and even in those cases, these relationships were often abandoned when the older party involved got married to a person of the opposite sex. So, even in these rare instances of recognized or formalized same-sex unions, the union of two people of the same sex was not considered to be on an equal plane to marriage.
The truth is plain, I pray that those at Good As You, and gay activists everywhere, are willing to see it.
Editor’s Note: Unless otherwise stated, we make no endorsements of the links, media, organizations, or people we report on.
The Alliance Defense Fund just released a video detailing some of what has happened in the last year with regard to marriage and religious freedom. They also call for people to donate to their cause. The video is below [Link to Video]:
Pro-Gay blogs such as Good as You, a GLBT activist site, are chiming in:
But you know what we find funny about the video? That the foremost “victory” they tout is in the arena of marriage, especially in California, when if there is any group that actually LOST in terms of marriage equality in ’08, it was the Alliance Defense Fund. In California, the ADF’s Glen Lavy was in the Supreme Court making his case for keeping gays barred. The Supreme Court, however, rejected his side’s arguments. Also, among other marriage cases: The legal beagles also tried, unsuccessfully, to stop New York state from recognizing out-of-state unions. In fact, as far as their gay nup-barring court activities are concerned, it seems to have been a pretty crummy year for this “pro-marriage” outfit. It would seem to us that the anti-gay movement succeeded DESPITE the ADF’s inability to effectively win in court, not because of it.
Don’t believe the spin. While the ADF may not win every battle they take on, they are doing much good both in the courts of law and public opinion. For a list of important cases the ADF has taken on and won this year, click here.