What’s the harm?; Confusing children about the truth of marriage

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:

Several years ago I received a call from a distraught mother with a horrific story. This woman’s son, we’ll call him Davey, attended a public elementary school in Madison. He was in first grade. One day he came home from school and told his mother that his class had had a couple of visitors that day. He said two ladies had come in and talked with them.

marriage defendingThis young boy proceeded to tell his mother that the one lady had told his class about some students who had two mommies or two daddies and that, in fact, she had married her best friend—and that the other lady with her was her best friend and who she had married. This confused six-year-old looking at his mom with genuine concern said, “Mommy, Mikey is my best friend. Does that mean I have to marry him?” Making the situation worse was that the visit and the talk took place with no parental notification let alone advance parental permission.

Now, maybe in some warped universe or in some person’s twisted thinking, this type of situation is just fine. But I believe most people would consider this to be a violation of this child’s innocence. They would believe that first graders being directly confronted with homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong and is harmful to the children. At a minimum it causes confusion in these young ones about marriage, gender, and even friendship. This early confusion can result in serious problems down the road.

When this student’s mom and dad brought the situation to the school officials, basically what they were told was this is school policy; and they just had to deal with it. Short of filing a lawsuit, which they did not want to do, their hands were tied. Few would deny the utter trampling of parental rights in this mess.

Some will dismiss this story because it happened in Madison. And there is some validity to that. Madison School District had just a year or so before this incident hired the one woman, paying her over $60,000 a year and likely over $70,000 by now, to advocate on behalf of students and staff who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. She also obviously had permission to go to the classrooms to do her so-called advocating.  Not every Wisconsin school district had or has this position on its staff.

Last Tuesday, I sat in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, listening to two hours of oral argument regarding Wisconsin’s marriage amendment and Indiana’s marriage statute. In that courtroom I was keenly reminded that if marriage is redefined in Wisconsin, what happened to this little first-grade boy will not be restricted to Madison. It stands to be repeated in every school district in this state. Once marriage is legally redefined to include people of the same sex, there will be no legal grounds to prevent the promotion and normalization of aberrant relationships to students regardless of their age.

It was more than a little dismaying to hear the Assistant Attorneys General from  Wisconsin and Indiana both flail under tough questioning from the 7th Circuit judges, especially when they asked what harm legalizing same-sex marriage would do and to whom. Tragically, neither could or would respond with any kind of definitive answer.

confusionMaybe they weren’t aware of stories like Davey’s. Maybe they didn’t know that after marriage was redefined in Massachusetts that the father of a first-grader in public school was arrested because he refused to leave school property until he got an assurance that he would be notified if books promoting homosexuality or same-sex marriage were going to be read to his son. The school’s position was that since same-sex marriage was legal in the state, homosexual marriage was to be treated just like heterosexual marriage.  Just as they would not give advance warning to parents if a book was going to be read about a heterosexual married couple, they now will not give advance warning to parents if a book is going to be read about a homosexual married couple.

This is just one specific example of two very real harms that will happen, sooner rather than later, if marriage is redefined in our state. There are others, to be sure. Attorneys arguing in defense of our marriage protection amendment should certainly be able to articulate clearly these harms that are sure to or likely to happen should marriage be redefined.

But it’s not just attorneys who must be prepared to answer this question. Anyone who understands the foundational role one-man/one-woman marriage plays in our society or any society must also be able to relate the harms that will happen—whether to innocent first-grade boys and girls or to the entire culture—if marriage is redefined. We must all become knowledgeable, winsome, articulate defenders of marriage if we are serious about safeguarding children and the institution of marriage as the foundation of society.

WISCONSIN: Marriage goes back to court – TOMORROW

On Tuesday, August 26, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will hear oral arguments on Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment that prohibits homosexual marriage.

In June of this year, liberal U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that Wisconsin’s 2006 Marriage Protection Amendment, voted on and approved by nearly 60% of those voting in Wi, was unconstitutional.  Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appealed Crabb’s decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Wisconsin case is joined by a similar case from Indiana. Wisconsin Family Action has already issued an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in the Indiana case; that brief will suffice for both cases as they are now being considered together.

It is unclear when the Federal Court will issue a final decision.

“Wisconsin Unites for Marriage,” a pro-homosexual group based in Wisconsin, formed by the ACLU, Fair Wisconsin and Freedom to Marry is planning a “marriage bus tour” to Chicago that day and a rally after the hearing.

WFA president Julaine Appling, will attend the hearing  on behalf of WFA and the others represented in the friend-of-the-court brief and shares, “There’s something more critical Christians can do than showing up there—and that is pray.  We covet your prayers for this hearing. We also urge Christians to visit wifamilycouncil.org and sign our Marriage Declaration.  That too is very important. We can do way better than 3000.

New Wisconsin Coalition Pushing Acceptance of Same-Sex “Marriage”

Homosexual activists have begun a push in The Badger State to “educate” citizens on why same-sex “marriage” would be good for the state.  The ACLU, Fair Wisconsin, and Freedom to Marry have formed a coalition to hold events across the state to try to gain support for their position.  This in spite of the fact that in a 2006 vote, nearly 60% of Wisconsin voters voted to keep marriage in our state between one man and one woman.  This past June, a lone federal judged ruled that state constitutional amendment violates the US constitution.  That decision is being appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals with oral arguments scheduled for August 26 in Chicago.

WFA president Julaine Appling notes, “People have a right to form coalitions, spend money and get their message out, even those wanting to redefine, and thereby deconstruct our state’s most important institution.  The question is, do those of us who know the truth about why marriage between one man and one woman is a public good care as much about getting our message out as do those who oppose God’s plan We, too, must put our time and our money into making sure people know the truth.”

>>>>>read more about this coalition HERE

What you can do:

  • Talk with others about marriage, the importance of traditional marriage, and God’s plan for this sacred institution.
  • Hold a Bible study, or encourage others to gather for a study, to learn more about marriage God’s way.
  • Pray for those who are seeking to tear apart marriage as between one man and one woman.
  • Download, read, and share our newest publication, Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, to learn more about the benefits of marriage in our state and the harmful effects of marriage breakdown in our society, and across the nation.

VOTE TODAY in WI Primary Election – Voter Guide HERE!

Be sure to vote today in Wisconsin’s Fall Primary Election!
  • Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. statewide.
  • Click HERE to see a sample ballot.  (On the home page, most people will click on “Regular Voter.”  From there, follow the online instructions.  When you are on your “My Voter Profile” page, look at the left sidebar.  The second item is “What’s On My Ballot.”  Click on that for your personalized sample ballot.)
  • Click HERE to see Wisconsin Family Action’s endorsements.
  • Click HERE to go to Wisconsin Family Action’s voter guide, personalized for you.
  • If you are not registered to vote, you can do that today at the polls.  You must provide proof of residence.  Click HERE to see what qualifies as “proof of residence.”
  • Call a few friends and family members and remind them to vote. Offer to take them to the polls.

Exercise your Christian civic responsibility and opportunity by voting today for candidates who best share your Christian values.

Primary Election Day: What Wisconsinites Need to Know

Wisconsin’s Primary Election
Tuesday, August 12
YOUR customized voter guide is NOW AVAILABLE – CLICK HERE!  
View WFA Endorsed Candidates HERE!

>>>>>Click HERE for general voter information and to see if you have a primary on your ballot.
>>>>>Click HERE to watch a video that explains how YOU can affect change in Wisconsin, and in Washington, with your VOTE.
>>>>>Click HERE 
to listen to a podcast of WFA president Julaine Appling on radio show Christian Economic Perspective discussing recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions and Wisconsin’s Primary Elections.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Access the Voter Guide TODAY.  Take a close look.  If you want, print off your local races and be prepared for Election Day on TUESDAY, August 12!
  • SHARE this Voter Guide with everyone you know who is eligible to vote in Wisconsin!  Print off extra copies of the Voter Guide candidate results for your local race and distribute them to neighbors and others in your voting district.  Share in an email, or on your Facebook, and let others know about this valuable voting tool!  
  • VOTE ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 12!  Don’t just do your part in casting a ballot — invite friends!  Fill your car, make it an event!  (Sounds like celebratory ice cream may be in order!)

Excitement and Good Cheer! Christians Getting Involved in Government

From the desk of WFA president Julaine Appling:

I got my first civics lesson pretty early in life. My mom believed people needed to be involved in elections.  So it was natural for her to want me to learn what this politics thing was all about.  Early on she took me with her to put up yard signs and to hand out literature during campaigns.  That was ok, but what really got my attention was when she took me to the polls.

vote-your-values (1)That was back in the day with the big voting machines with the half curtain and all the levers you had to pull for each of the candidates you wanted to vote for.  Holding my hand, Mom would go to the machine, pull the big lever to close the curtain, and then begin pulling the little levers, explaining to me what she was doing and who we were voting for and why.  Then, when she was done, she’d pull the big lever again and I would hear the click click click as all the votes Mom had cast were registered and the curtain would open.  I was hooked—for life.  Voting was a big deal in our family—always.  Both of my parents took it seriously and taught me to as well.  But more than that, I caught the excitement of voting from my mom especially.

Election Day wasn’t just another day in our house; it was an exciting day.  We’d get up early, go to the polls, make some calls and check to see that all of our friends remembered it was Election Day. Then, after the polls closed, we’d gather to watch the returns come in to see if our candidates had won.  It was a fun day, but it was also about responsibility, duty and opportunity for us.  And it remains that for me today.

Frankly, I think all American Christians should find Election Day exciting.  The opportunity to vote shouldn’t be met with “oh no, it’s voting time again. I have to hear and watch all those stupid ads, have who knows how many phone calls and get all that mail.  I just wish it would go away.”  That’s the wrong view!

Some Christians need a change in view and attitude on this issue.  This is a time when we as believers get to directly influence our God-given government, which in itself is a blessing.  Having a Republican form of government rather than a democracy or a dictatorship or really any other kind of government is an incredible blessing, one that we should be grateful for. But this distinctive form of government requires knowledgeable citizen participation to work right.

“We the people” is not just a nice saying; it’s a statement of responsibility.  We as citizens have the duty, the obligation, the honor of participating actively in our government.  As Christians, I believe we have a stewardship responsibility in this area.  Taking a pass, sitting it out is not the answer.  It’s not the right decision. Frankly, it’s that approach that has helped to put us where we are right now in this state and country.  Christians not exercising their civic stewardship.  We should be involved, and we should be involved far more cheerfully and with more excitement than we often are.

WI Voter Guide NOW Available

Go to ivoterguide.com for YOUR WI Voter Guide!

And now you get to practice being involved in your government with some excitement and good cheer by getting ready to vote in the Fall Partisan Primary Election next Tuesday, August 12.   Here are some easy steps to do that. First, visit myvote.wi.gov to find out what races will be on your ballot. Just click on Regular Voter on that home page and then follow the directions. When you get to your voting record, you’ll see “What’s on my ballot” on the left sidebar. Click on that and you’ll see your sample ballot.

Once you know the races, spend some time checking on the candidates and where they stand on the issues important to you.  Visit their web sites, call their campaigns, talk to people who you trust. See if there are voter guides online. I know there are.  If you don’t have access to the internet, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.  Call 888-378-7395; that’s 888-378-7395.

If you can’t make the polls on Tuesday, August 12, you can vote early at your clerk’s office through the close of business this Friday, August 8.  Or you can get an absentee ballot and send it in by mail, but it must reach the clerk no later than Election Day.

And finally, maybe you can be instrumental in lighting a fire on this important issue in the life of a young person, just like my mom did for me.  Think about who you can take with you to the polls and how you will share the excitement you have regarding the blessing of living in America where “we the people” is more than just words on a document.  I’ll see you at the polls!

WFA Responds: WI Supreme Court Recognizes Uniqueness of Marriage

State High Court Says Same-Sex Domestic Partnerships Not Like Marriage

Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the Badger State’s domestic partnership registry as “constitutional” in a landmark decision that defied the will of Wisconsin’s voters.

Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling, is not discouraged, though, as the ruling defined what we already know to be true – marriage is a unique institution and remains so in the state of Wisconsin.

Read the full press release from WFA below:

MADISON— Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the same-sex-only, statewide domestic partnership enacted by Governor Doyle through the state budget in 2009, does not violate the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by the voters in 2006. This is in spite of the fact that the Amendment prohibits any “legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.”

“While we are disappointed that the Wisconsin Supreme Court did not agree with us, what’s important is that marriage remains between one man and one woman in Wisconsin and that even in this ruling, the court recognized that marriage is unique and nothing like relationships formed by same-sex couples,” said Julaine Appling, one of the plaintiffs in the case and president of Wisconsin Family Action.

Many years ago (1959) the legislature wrote the following statement into Wisconsin law. Marriage is the institution that is the foundation of the family and of society. Its stability is basic to morality and civilization, and of vital interest to society and the state. . . . . Under the laws of this state, marriage is a legal relationship between 2 equal persons, a husband and wife, who owe to each other mutual responsibility and support. (Wis Stats 765.001(2))

Plaintiffs led the effort to ratify and defend Wisconsin’s Marriage Amendment to protect that institution. Our concern was that Ch. 770 creates a relationship that is substantially like marriage and dilutes its public meaning and significance.

Appling noted, “Although the court today ruled against us, it also recognized that the Marriage Amendment affirms what the legislature recognized long ago. Marriage is a unique relationship between one man and one woman, and it is the only relationship so indispensable to children and society that when husband and wife agree to marry, they may not unilaterally end that relationship. The state itself will step in and enforce duties of mutual obligation and support.”

Wisconsin Family Action will continue defending Wisconsin law and the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman.