Tag Archives: Virginia Family Foundation

This week in anti-gay temper tantrums

We-dont-discriminate-stickerFirst up: Oral arguments in Bostic v. Schaefer before the Fourth District Court of Appeals are scheduled for May 13. The court will be hearing the appeal of Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s ruling that struck down Virginia’s anti-marriage Marshall-Newman amendment.

The Virginia “Family” (not yours) Foundation, in anticipation, is holding a 40 day “fast.” Don’t be alarmed, though. They won’t starve, or even lose any weight. The word “fast,” according to the clarification that appears on their website, and contrary to its common meaning, “does not translate” to “hunger strike.” It only means temporarily giving up something you kind of enjoy, like Diet Coke. Yes, Diet Coke is actually the example they cite. This word salad, apparently intended to explain the aforementioned desperate action, also appears:

Our state and nation are mired in a morass of confusion and post-modern thinking that does not believe in absolutes nor that any truth can even be known..

Huh? A bizarre statement, until you realize that it perfectly describes their own post-modern thinking. Martyrdom is just not what it used to be.

Next, from the Magnolia State: As you might imagine, Mississippi, like Virginia, has no civil rights provisions protecting LGBTI people from discrimination. Unlike, for example, in New Mexico, it is perfectly legal for the proprietor of a Mississippi business or public accommodation to refuse service to someone on the basis of their actual or perceived gender presentation or sexual orientation. It’s also perfectly legal to fire someone, deny them housing, deny them a bank loan, or any other form of discrimination that would be prohibited if it were on the basis of race, nationality, or religion.

That wasn’t enough for those in the state who see imaginary violations of their constitutionally protected religious freedom in every shadow, however. Earlier this month, the state legislature passed a bill, similar to the one famously vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, that reiterates the “right” to discriminate that anti-gay bigots in Mississippi already enjoy, and effectively expands their “right” to discriminate against anyone else they dislike as long as they claim the discrimination is motivated by a “sincerely held religious belief.”

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The story behind “children do best with a mom and a dad”

bostic-raineyThose wailing over one of the consequences of the recent election, the change in Virginia’s position on the Marshall-Newman amendment, would have us believe that there would be no one else defending it in court. But of course that wasn’t true. District court Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s order for the oral arguments in Bostic v. Rainey that took place Tuesday shows that the time allotted to defenders of the amendment was double the time allotted to the plaintiffs seeking to overturn it. In addition, attorneys for proponents of the amendment were provided by the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund), a well-funded legal “ministry” that claims to win nearly 80% of its court cases. The problem faced by amendment proponents was not a lack of competent legal counsel. The problem was the lack of a constitutionally permissible justification for walling off a class of people from the fundamental right of marriage, based only on their orientation.

An argument from religion, or tradition, or one based on moral disapproval of gay people, or a wish to discourage gay people from existing, simply won’t survive scrutiny; those days are over. What the proponents of such bans have to show is that there is an important state interest that justifies treating people who want to marry a partner of the same sex differently from people who want to marry a partner of a different sex. And the argument they’ve settled on is the idea that “children do better with a mom and a dad.” You can see the talking point prominently displayed on the signs of protesters outside the courthouse; it was also expected to do the heavy lifting inside. As VFF’s Victoria Cobb put it, the proponent’s attorneys argued that “the government’s interest in marriage is in the upbringing of children by a mother and a father.”

The obvious problem with this argument is that the social science research and the professional medical and child welfare associations say that it’s not true: Children raised by two parents of the same sex actually do as well, or better in some cases, than children raised by two opposite sex parents.

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Here Come the Social Issues

Question: Does Victoria Cobb have dementia, or does she just believe that other Virginians do?

In an email she sent us this week, with the actual subject line “Here Come the Social Issues,” the Virginia Family (not yours) Foundation president tells us that, because there is now a Democratic majority* in the state senate, “Senator Democrats [sic] will elevate their abortion and sex agenda** to their top priority,” and “there is little doubt that ‘social issues’ will dominate their agenda in the coming days.”

I will pause here so that anyone who has been living in Virginia for the last decade or two can finish laughing.

There certainly has been quite a bit of forgetfulness lately on the part of individuals who have made an “abortion and sex agenda” their top priority, hasn’t there? And Victoria’s forgetfulness about her own organization’s mission has just shot to the top of the hit parade, as further down in the very same email she mentions the 2011 TRAP*** law that she and her allies in the General Assembly engineered by adding anti-abortion provisions to an unrelated law. And you might think that Victoria would want to present the means by which this law was passed as a legitimate process driven by evidence and debate. You would be wrong.

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Tag Greason: Palling around with liars

Tag Greason and other legislators with anti-gay liar Bishop E.W. Jackson

Tag Greason assured me that he wasn’t anti-gay when I first met him at school board candidate debate in 2007. But political pressures are what they are, and now he’s palling around with certified anti-gay liar Bishop E.W. Jackson. Here’s a photo op with Greason and Jackson at a Virginia Family Foundation event in Richmond. The original photo can be found here. The comment on the flickr photo steam says:

Great photo of Bishop EW Jackson, Delegates Massie and Robinson, and Sen Obenshain! Delegate Greason usually has a perpetual smile as his colleague to his right so elegantly displays :)

Maybe Jackson can provide his friends with instruction on how to deal with inconvenient facts, such as Greason’s vote in favor of mandatory vaginal ultrasound probes: Just lie and hope that no one checks. Here he is lying to the public via WUSA’s Derek McGinty:

McGinty: Did you say that gay people live a sick lifestyle, they’re sick people?

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disembodied fetus

[promoted by Liz]

In “Single-Issue Voter”, Roberto Rivera describes growing up in a Democratic Catholic blue-collar household.  He’s progressive on all the issues but, he’s “strongly pro-life” and finds himself politically aligned with people who “if, by some (please God!) miracle, abortion disappeared tomorrow, many of them would probably vote in much the same way they do now”.

Rivera wouldn’t.  He’d return to being a progressive, if “abortion disappeared”.

Roberto doesn’t know how abortion disappears.  Remarkably, his article makes no mention of “woman” or “pregnancy”. Abortion is something that “happens” to a disembodied fetus.

Disembodied 12-week fetus - National Library of Medicine

The illustration was produced with your tax dollars.  Isn’t he cute?  His name is Adam.  God created Adam from dust without the help of a woman.  The Adam above looks like he’s going to wake up and practice Mozart piano sonatas before he goes back to being a fetus.

That’s the image that Rivera wants you to maintain as he alludes to – if not women – to original sin.

A society that enshrines (the word fits particularly well in this context) the right to use private lethal violence against its weakest and most vulnerable members isn’t only unjust in this regard, it’s likely to be unjust pretty much across the board. The right to an abortion is based on a jurisprudence and an underlying worldview that denies the existence of a common good and holds personal autonomy and self-fulfillment as the highest goods.

Mark Earley wrote a similar piece, “No Life, No Justice” for Prison Fellowship Ministries that referenced Rivera’s article.  Earley does mention women, and Planned Parenthood, of course.

Since the passage of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, more than 48 million unborn children have perished—and only 7 percent of the women who had those abortions cited medical concerns, rape, or incest as their reasons. And those who promote abortions—they are flexing their muscle as never before. In Fiscal Year 2006-2007, Planned Parenthood…

According to Earley and Rivera, 93% of the time, women are choosing “personal autonomy and self-fulfillment” over their duty to dear Adam.

The fetus is fertile ground for conspiracy.  Rand Paul ratchet’s up the rhetoric in a very Delgaudioesque fundraising letter (emphasis mine).

 

Dear Concerned American,

It’s a horrifying modern day genocide happening in our own backyards.

Last year alone, Planned Parenthood was responsible for ending the lives of over 320,000 innocent babies….

I believe there is something deeply wrong with an organization that kills babies, and even more so when they are funded through the taxpayer dollars….

Planned Parenthood’s progaganda calls the pro-life movement a war on women.

And believe me, they have their supporters riled up like never before.

Daily emails from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Emily’s List are being sent smearing pro-life Americans like you and me as villains.

Maybe the fetus should should be sitting on a slippery slope.  Too bad there is no slope.  Roberto is no liberal.  If he was operating in the reality-based world he’d put down his moral smugness and ask, “what’s the root cause of abortion, unwanted pregnancy, maybe”?  Wouldn’t Rivera sound more rational if he said “if, by some (please God!) miracle, unwanted pregnancy disappeared tomorrow“?  But then he wouldn’t have a straw enemy.  He wouldn’t be able to blame women for using “private violence“.  He would have to take responsibility as a man.  He’d be forced to ask if that 7% (3.5 million) pregnancies terminated for reasons of medical concern, rape or incest “disappeared”, if that would require some degree of violence against societies weak and vulnerable.  He’d have to acknowledge that women actually embody those fetuses and that he’s advocating a Handmaid’s Tale world.

Suzanne Moore wrote personal piece in the Guardian, “It’s the same old game.  Get your rosaries off my ovaries, as we used to say“.  When she was 11, Moore and her mum were booted from a tupperware party.  When talk turned to ‘getting “rid” of things’, Moore’s mum blurted

Christ, you really don’t know what you are talking about. If it wasn’t for abortion I’d have a football team by now.”

Moore’s was writing about British “independent counseling” legislation.  It failed.  The British controversy is like the new clinic rules that are pushing Virginia to the forefront of the abortion debate reported in the Loudoun Times Mirror.  Both regulations intend to make it harder to obtain abortion services.  Moore’s analysis is relevant to Virginia.

We are repeatedly told this is an “emotive” issue. The new vocabulary of the anti-abortion lobby is full of vaguely feminist platitudes – not feminist enough to counsel the men who walk away from pregnancies but still. Underneath, we are fallen women, damaged goods and so terribly stupid that we can be persuaded to have a quick abortion by wicked charities. When we could be what? Wombs to provide babies for “proper couples” or go it alone as the root of all evil: single mothers?

This is nauseating. A vote of conscience? If MPs had one they would say it is not the business of the legislature to control women’s reproduction. They would stop telling us what is “emotive” and ask what actually is. I didn’t want counselling in order to have an abortion. I certainly did after a miscarriage – again an awfully common experience – but none was offered. No, instead let’s bring on an army of “independent” zealots who can tell us that abortion leads to cancer, mental health issues and infertility, and sod the evidence that having a baby is more risky than having an abortion. Anyone who talks about how easy it is and how the reality is glossed over is ignorant. You have a scan. You know and see what you are doing. It’s not a walk in the park but it is a huge relief. The emotive part is the enforced waiting.

Now the tactics are to further that wait. This is nothing short of cruelty dressed up in the language of concern.

Chris Freund of the Virginia Family Foundation explains the rationale for the regulations. “The threat that a health department inspector could visit the clinics at any time also will ensure that clinics operate safely”. When discussing medical procedures, it’s no longer polite to refer to “private lethal violence”.  ”Safety” is a much better talking point.

Moore knows where Freund is coming from.

All fundamentalisms seek to control female sexuality. It’s the same old game. Get your rosaries off my ovaries, as we used to say. You trust me with a child but not with a choice? If MPs want to help women then they can make access to abortion and contraception more efficient. Who has the authority over my body – some geezer in the House of Commons? Or me and my doctor? Like my mother, I feel no shame and I refute this language of “care”. You want a definition of a nanny state? How about one that thinks it’s OK to poke around in your uterus?