Green Bay Alert: Alderman wants city to revisit domestic partnership benefits

ImageEarlier this month, Green Bay alderman Amy Kocha asked the city to reconsider providing domestic partnership benefits to homosexual couples.  In 2011, the Green Bay Common Council voted down this very same provision.

>>>>>read more here

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling addresses this issue, “The Green Bay City Council would be well-advised to table this idea.  The registry they are trying to use is being challenged in the State Supreme Court and taxpayers shouldn’t have to absorb more costs. Essentially nothing’s changed since the last time the council considered this ill-advised idea.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

If you live in the City of Green Bay, call your alderman and mayor.  Tell them you do not agree with the provision of domestic partnership benefits and that you do not want the City Council to vote on this issue again.

Green Bay Common Council Members: Contact information HERE.

Green Bay Mayor James J. Schmitt: Contact information HERE.

Creature v Creator; Facebook Joins Gender Identity “Bandwagon”

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:

Image“Male and female created He them.” That’s what God’s Holy and definitive Word says about gender in the book of beginnings, Genesis.

It’s pretty clear that God created and intended for there to be only two sexes. He didn’t allow for more, make exceptions for more, discuss more, create more or anything of that nature.  God’s divine standard for gender is two—male and female—each distinctly different from the other.  God is not, I repeat, He is not confused about gender.

However, God’s clarity on the issue and His equally clear written revelation on this issue don’t stop mere mortals from thinking they know more than God.

Recognizing, protecting and promoting so-called “genders” other than male and female has become very popular in the United States.  It’s part of the fallout from not believing God’s Word, not having any intention of obeying it, and even mocking it as myth.  Once we depart from the Truth of God’s Word, we eventually end up hopeless confused, terribly wrong, and headed for serious trouble. 

But that doesn’t stop modern society from raising their proverbial angry fists at God and insisting on going their own deluded,dangerous way.

With the push to normalize homosexuality comes a host of other issues, gender identity among them, as people attempt to excuse or justify their quirks and lust.  Admittedly, because young people are today are early-on exposed to these very wrong ideas and lifestyles, some are genuinely confused—not because they inherently are gender-confused, but because they have been convinced by people they trust that gender is complex, confusing, and much more multi-faceted than male and female. 

In Wisconsin we’ve had some attempts in the last year to add “gender identity” to nondiscrimination laws in local communities.  Fond du Lac considered such a proposal late this last year.  The public became involved and eventually the City Council voted it down. But the openly homosexual City Council member who originally introduced the proposal says he will bring it back again because it’s only fair that people who don’t identify with their biological gender should have special protections.

ImageLast week Facebook joined the gender identity bandwagon.  On Facebook’s Diversity Page, the following statement was posted by Facebook personnel:

When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just “male” or female.” So today, we’re proud to offer a new custom gender option to help you better express your own identity on Facebook. 

We collaborated with our Network of Support, a group of leading LGBT advocacy organizations, to offer an extensive list of gender identities that many people use to describe themselves….

The new custom gender option is available to everyone who uses Facebook in U.S. English.

And then people are referred to another site for more information.  I followed the instructions given and it’s true.  There are now over 50 different gender identities someone can choose from to define their sex.  This is beyond extraordinary.  It’s wrong. It leads to further confusion for teens. It creates potential legal issues that we shouldn’t even have to think about and who knows what else. 

If Facebook is pushing this gender-identity issue, you can be sure other social media are as well, along with schools.  It’s imperative that parents talk to their children from the time they are little about being distinctly boys or distinctly girls—the gender that God made them as reflected in their physiology and biology.  We need to build into them a respect for their own sex and that of the opposite sex, recognizing, respecting and appreciating the differences. 

Gender should not be confusing for children—or for anyone else for that matter. If we teach children to know and love God’s Word and to believe Him and trust Him, then they will immediately distinguish truth from falsehood. They’ll know that male and female is two genders, not over 50

After God created male and female, He pronounced His plan “good.” The created being is beyond foolish to think that he with his finitemind can improve on what the Creator has done.

Wisconsin Governor Issues Marriage Proclamation; Binds Men and Women Together

ImageWHEREAS, marriage creates new families, binds men and women together in a network of affection, mutual aid and mutual obligation, commits fathers and mothers to their children and connects children to a wider network of relatives…”   ~Governor Scott Walker, Marriage Proclamation 2014

Wisconsin Family Council/Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling responds, “We are pleased Governor Walker has once again issued this proclamation stating clearly that marriage is good for Wisconsin.  Marriage is the one institution that consistently provides men, women and children with a better life.  It builds strong communities and churches, and it is at the core of our basic economic unit—the family.”

This is the fourth year the Governor has issued the proclamation at the request of Wisconsin Family Council.  National Marriage Week is recognized and celebrated each year February 7-14.

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Restoring the “Gold Standard” for the Traditional Family in America

Restoring the “Gold Standard” for the Traditional Family in America

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:

Earlier this month, my pastor, Dr. Bob Loggans at Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown, preached a great message entitled simply, “Family Life.”  As a part of the introduction he mentioned a book published in 1947 by Carle Zimmerman that included a list of traits that happened to nations and cultures shortly before their demise.  Virtually all of the traits or “forms of behavior” deal with God’s plan for the family.

ImageI tracked the book down and bought it because the list was staggering and I wanted to see it for myself.  Carle Zimmerman was, in his day, a renowned professor of sociology at Harvard University.  He wrote a number of books in addition to Family and Civilization which is the one my pastor cited.

So, here’s Carle Zimmerman’s list of behaviors that precede the fall of such empires as Greece and Rome, written in 1947.

1) Increased and rapid easy “causeless” divorce. (Guilty and innocent party theory became a pure fiction.)
2) Decreased number of children, population decay and increased public disrespect for parents and parenthood.
3) Elimination of the real meaning of the marriage ceremony.
4) Popularity of pessimistic doctrines about the early heroes.
5) Rise of theories that companionate marriage or a permissible looser family form would solve the problem.
6) The refusal of many other people married under the older family form to maintain their traditions while other people escape these obligations.  Zimmerman notes the Greek and Roman mothers refused to stay home and bear children.
7) The spread of the anti-nuclear-family mentality of the urbane and pseudointellectual classes to the very outer limits of the civilization.
8) Breaking down of most inhibitions against adultery.
9) Revolts of youth against parents so that parenthood became more and more difficult for those who did try to raise children.
10) Rapid rise and spread of juvenile delinquency. And, last but certainly not least,
11) Common acceptance of all forms of sex perversions.

I doubt I have to connect many dots for you on this.  I am sure your mind is reeling with the reality of how many of those eleven traits describe modern America.

Professor Zimmerman wasn’t a fatalist. He didn’t believe America is doomed to repeat the same mistakes and suffer the same tragedy as other once-great, now gone nations and cultures.  But, he was warning us.  Throughout the book, he makes the case for cultural and government changes to restore at the most basic level in our society a standard for family—with that standard being what we call at Wisconsin Family Council, the Gold Standard—or better said, God’s Standard.  That very clear standard that has never changed and never will change is a man and a woman married to one another in a lifelong, monogamous relationship, typically with children—either biological or adopted.

Nations that are vibrant, strong, and that last are built on a strong foundation.  If that foundation changes or begins to be destroyed, the nation begins to slowly, but eventually perceptibly, decay.  America is no different from those nations that have preceded us.  We are much the same as countless others who have come before. Like them we refuse to learn from history.  We believe we can erode the foundation of traditional, nuclear, domestic families and survive.  We can’t, we won’t, we aren’t.

So what do you do in the midst of this? How can you help buck the trend, change the course?  Strengthen your family unit—intentionally, purposefully.  Pray together, worship together, play together.  Talk, teach by example and word, take time, invest in your family.  Make them a priority, not an afterthought.  Make sure your children know marriage between a man and a woman is beautiful and biblical and that children are a gift from God—not a nuisance.

ImageYou can also counter the lies that are so prevalent in our culture. Stand up for God’s plan for family. Don’t just silently disagree when others make it seem that all forms of family are equal.  They aren’t and you know that.  Politely, lovingly, respectfully challenge their thinking.  Demand that elected officials respect the traditional, nuclear married mom and dad family in their policies.

We are not doomed.  But we must be educated and energized to make a difference lest one day America is included in such a book as an example of a once-great nation that fell because the family, the foundation of it all, disintegrated.

Marriage, the Voters and the Constitution Have Their Day in Wisconsin’s High Court

Wisconsin Supreme Court hears arguments in case challenging domestic partnership registry

MADISON, Wis. — Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that was originally known as Appling v. Doyle

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Julaine Appling outside the Wisconsin Supreme Court chambers following today’s hearing

“At issue before the court today was the full meaning of Wisconsin’s marriage amendment and whether it authorizes the creation of other marriage-like unions.  It clearly doesn’t. We’ve been four years getting to today, and I am extremely proud of and thankful for our legal team and their performance this afternoon” said Julaine Appling, one of the petitioners and president of Wisconsin Family Action. 

Austin Nimocks of Alliance Defending Freedom argued the case on behalf of Julaine Appling and four other individuals who are also members of Wisconsin Family Action’s Board of Directors:  Jo Egelhoff, Jerry Hiller, Dick Kessenich, and Lee Webster.  Nimocks was assisted today and throughout the litigation process by Wisconsin attorneys Michael D. Dean and Rick Esenberg.

Appling continued, “We repeatedly made the case this afternoon that the same-sex-only, statewide domestic partnership registry that Governor Doyle and his legislative cronies gave us as part of the 2009 budget mimics marriage, that it creates a new legal status known as ’domestic partner’ that  is at least ‘substantially similar’ to the legal status of marriage in this state.  Such a status violates Article XIII, Sec. 13 of our state constitution, which was added by nearly 60% of the voters in 2006.”

“Fundamentally, today was about defending the institution of marriage, the will of the voters, and the Wisconsin Constitution.  State officials cannot ignore a voter-approved law just because they don’t like it,” concluded Appling. 

The court will likely release its decision and written opinions sometime before June 30, 2014.

ALERT: Marriage heads to WI Supreme Court tomorrow

ImageAlliance Defending Freedom will be presenting oral arguments on behalf of WFA president Julaine Appling and 4 WFA board members in Appling v. Doyle before the Wisconsin Supreme Court tomorrow, Wed., October 23. This lawsuit asserts that the statewide, same-sex-only domestic partnership registry is unconstitutional because it creates a legal status that is at least “substantially similar” to the legal status of marriage, which Article XIII, Sec. 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution forbids. (This is the amendment passed by nearly 60% of the voters in 2006.

ImageThe WI Supreme Court Justices will hear the arguments  starting at 1:30 p.m.  Appling will need a 4-3 vote to uphold the institution of marriage, the will of the people, and the WI State Constitution.

Interestingly, the justices will vote on the case in the afternoon after they hear oral arguments.  Then, the majority and minority opinions will be assigned and drafted.  Sometime later, usually several months, we will learn of the court’s decision and have the opinions available.

WisconsinEye will broadcast this oral argument LIVE. wiseye.org - Charter 995 – TimeWarner 363

>>>>>Read more HERE

>>>>>Read brief history of the case HERE

Read Wisconsin Family Actions FAQ sheet for the Domestic Partner Registry Legal Challenge HERE.

Domestic Partnership Registry: Oral Arguments slated before WI Supreme Court 10/23

Image“This registry is designed to do one thing - mimic marriage. In so doing, it clearly violates Wisconsin’s Constitution, the will of the voters, and the institution of marriage.  We have tenaciously championed this position as defenders of marriage and will continue to do so with all of our resources.” –WFA president, Julaine Appling

In August, 2013, Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, and 4 other Wisconsin Family Action board members, through their Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, filed their initial brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a lawsuit (Appling v Doyle) defending Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment.  The brief clearly and strongly argues that the same-sex-only, statewide domestic partnership registry signed into law in 2009 by then-governor Jim Doyle, violates the marriage amendment by creating a legal status that is at least “substantially similar” to the legal status of marriage, a clear violation of the amendment that was passed by nearly 60% of the voters in 2006.

Oral arguments for Appling v Doyle before the Wisconsin Supreme Court will take place next week on Wednesday, October 23.

(For a brief history on the court case, click HERE.)

Read Wisconsin Family Actions FAQ sheet for the Domestic Partner Registry Legal Challenge HERE.

Price of Christian Citizenship: Compromise?

ImageFrom the desk of Wisconsin Family Action/Wisconsin Family Council president Julaine Appling:

Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in a case that I believe will have significant repercussions across the country.  Here’s the background.

A husband and wife, Jon and Elaine Huguenin, own a photography company, Elane Photography—a family business—in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Jon and Elaine are committed Christians, attempting to live their faith in real life. They provide private sittings, weddings and other photography services. One day in 2006 two women came into their studio and wanted to talk about hiring Elane Photgraphy to photograph a wedding.  When it came out that it was a same-sex ceremony, Elane Photgraphy declined to take the event.

Per the Hugueins’ testimony, Elane Photography will photograph individuals who might be homosexuals, but they will not photograph a ceremony that publicly stands for something they totally disagree with. From their perspective, doing so puts their stamp of approval on the redefinition of marriage.  As Christians they believe God’s plan for marriage is inviolate and that attempts to redefine it are wrong.

Sometime after this incident, one of the two women seeking their services filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission.  The complaint alleged that Elane Photography, and by extension its owners, the Huguenins, violated New Mexico’s human rights law because they denied service to the women based on their sexual orientation.

New Mexico’s human rights law prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and other protected classes in public accommodations. Public accommodations is defined as “any establishment that provides or offers its services…or goods to the public,”.

In 2008 the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled that Elane Photgraphy had violated the law by denying its publicly advertised services based on sexual orientation.  Eventually, the case made its way to the New Mexico Supreme Court. That court last week agreed with the Human Rights Commission and found the Huguenins guilty of breaking New Mexico’s human rights law.

In the crosshairs of this case is, of course, the Hugueins religious liberty. In this instance, their religious liberty was solidly trumped by New Mexico’s so-called human rights law.  The majority opinion in this case is sobering, but what was especially attention-getting is the concurring opinion written by Justice Richard C. Bosson.  Listen carefully to what this justice said: “…the Huguenins…now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.

“On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.

“In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship. I therefore concur.”

I hope you caught the essence here and I hope you are alarmed.  This justice who voted against the religious freedom of this company and its owners, said people of faith have to pay a price to be a citizen and that price is the compromise of one’s faith.  Further, this justice is clearly saying we can believe what we want as long as we keep it private but we don’t have the right to hold our beliefs in our businesses or maybe anywhere else in public. That may be freedom of worship, but that is not freedom of religion and that’s what the First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees us.

The drum beat against religious freedom has gotten louder and faster.  Silencing our beliefs is part of what must be done to advance the liberal agenda.  What’s your religious freedom worth to you?

Alliance Defending Freedom Exposes NM Judge’s Decision as “Feature of Dictatorship”

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ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM COMMENT
August 22, 2013 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS: (480) 444-0020 or www.adfmedia.org/home/contact

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Justice Richard C. Bosson

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence regarding the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision Thursday in Elane Photography v. Willock, a case involving a photographer who declined to use her artistic expression to visually portray the story of a same-sex ceremony between two women who later sued after finding another photographer:

“Government-coerced expression is a feature of dictatorships that has no place in a free country. This decision is a blow to our client and every American’s right to live free. Decisions like this undermine the constitutionally protected freedoms of expression and conscience that we have all taken for granted. America was founded on the fundamental freedom of every citizen to live and work according to their beliefs and not to be compelled by the government to express ideas and messages they decline to support. We are considering our next steps, including asking the U.S. Supreme Court to right this wrong.”

Select excerpts from Justice Richard C. Bosson’s concurrence accompanying the court’s decision (p. 30):

“…the Huguenins…now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives. Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.”

“On a larger scale, this case provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice. At its heart, this case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less. The Huguenins are free to think, to say, to believe, as they wish; they may pray to the God of their choice and follow those commandments in their personal lives wherever they lead. The Constitution protects the Huguenins in that respect and much more. But there is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life.”

“In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship. I therefore concur.”

  • Rasmussen poll: “85% Think Christian Photographer Has Right to Turn Down Same-Sex Wedding Job”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

 

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