Joe Ortwerth's
 Jeff City Update
Missouri Family E-News September 8, 2009
Supports Repeal of DOMA
The United States Department of Justice has filed a legal brief supporting the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  The Justice Department filed the brief in a case in federal district court in California in which a homosexual "couple" has argued that DOMA is unconstitutional. 
The brief states that the Obama administration "does not support DOMA as a matter of policy, and believes that it is discriminatory."  DOMA protects states who define marriage as between a man and a woman from recognizing so-called same-sex "marriages" from other states.  The brief further states, "The government does not contend that there are legitimate governmental interests in creating a legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both of their biological parents." 
Brian Raum of the Alliance Defense Fund said, "It is very disappointing that the [Obama administration] has rejected the idea that kids do best in a home with a married mother and father."  He reiterated a previous court ruling that said "intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her very eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like."  The California case challenging DOMA has been dismissed on a technicality, but is expected to be refilled.
Luetkemeyer Opposes Abortion in Health Care Plan
Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer has declared his opposition to the inclusion of abortion benefits in any federal heath plan.  Luetkemeyer says he is concerned that the current health care reform proposals could result in taxpayers having to fund abortion services unless specific language is included that prohibits the use of tax dollars for such funding.  Currently, legislation being debated in both the U.S. House and Senate contain provisions which would include coverage of abortions.  Luetkemeyer says abortion should not be part of the health care debate at all.  "All life, including the unborn, must be treated with dignity and respect...I will not support any health care reform plan that could use taxaxpayer dollars to end a life."  The Ninth District Congressman adds that he will oppose any plan that allows for "rationing of care or leaves health care decisions up to bureaucrats."  Luetkemeyer says that he believes in "the absolute right of patients to make medical decisions with their doctors" without government interference. 
Registration Opens for TeenPact
Leadership School
Registration is open for the annual TeenPact Youth Leadership School which will be held at the State Capitol in Jefferson City March 1-5 next year.  The mission of the program is to "train up the next generation of Godly men and women, and inspire youth to pursue truth and righteousness."  Laurel Morton, Missouri State Coordinator for TeenPact, says the program is designed to "inspire young people with a passion for citizenship and justice," and to build a "Godly generation of Biblical leaders."  Morton says students have a variety of hands-on experiences from debating bills to interviewing lobbyists to taking prayer walks in the halls of the Capitol.  For more information, you can visit the TeenPact website by clicking this link:
Or you can call Laurel Morton at (816) 510-2628.
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Judge Orders Homeschool Student to Attend Local Public School
A New Hampshire judge has ordered a student has who has been home educated by her mother to attend public school.  10 year-old Amanda Kurowski has been required to enroll in public school as a result of a parenting dispute between her divorced parents.
Amanda's parents, Martin Kurowski and Brenda Voydatch, divorced in 1999.  While Amanda's mother was awarded primary custody of Amanda, the divorce settlement called for both parents to share educational decision-making responsibility.  Amanda' mother has homeschooled her daughter since first grade, but her father wants her to attend public school.
Judge Lucinda Sadler adopted the recommendations of Amanda's guardian ad litem, an attorney appointed by the court to supposedly represent Amanda's interests.  The attorney concluded that Amanda's "interests, and particularly her intellectual and emotional development, would be best served by exposure to a public school setting...Amanda would be best served by exposure to different points of view at at time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior."
The guardian ad litem further stated that Amanda lacked "youthful characteristics," and that she appeared to "reflect her mother's rigidity on questions of faith."
The court order further stated that "a child requires academic, social, cultural, and physical interaction with a variety of experiences, people, concepts, and surroundings in order to grow to an adult who can make intelligent decisions about how to achieve a productive and satisfying life."
The family court judge also questioned whether Amanda's religious beliefs were really her own.  She said, "It would be remarkable if a ten-year-old child who spends her school time with her mother and the vast majority of all her other time with her mother would seriously consider adopting any other religious point of view."
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Christian legal defense organization, has asked the judge to reconsider her decision.
John Anthony Simmons, an attorney for ADF, said that "parents have the fundamental right to raise their children according to the dictates of their conscience."
"It is not the proper role of the court to insist that Amanda be exposed to 'different points of view' if the primary residential parent has determined that it is in Amanda's best interest not to be exposed to secular influences that would undermine her faith, schooling, and social development."
During the court proceedings, it was determined that Amanda was excelling in her schooling, and that she was using a curriculum approved by the school  district.  Amanda routinely took standardized tests, and attended her local public school for art, Spanish, and physical education classes.
Mike Donnelly, an attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Association, called the ruling "inappropriate and unreasonable."  He said the judge's decision appeared to be "hostility against home schooling or religion--or both."
While there have been a few other cases where homeschool students have been ordered into public schools in disputes between divorced parents, this is the first instance in which a court has flatly declared that a student's faith is a detriment to their proper growth and development.
Please be praying for Amanda and all children in Christian families, that the government will not deny them a Christ-centered education that teaches them God's way to "achieve a productive and satisfying life."
© 2009 A KTLLC Communications Solution