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Missouri Family E-News May 10, 2010
Chaplains Oppose Repeal of Military Policy on Homosexuality
A group of veteran military chaplains has announced their opposition to plans by the Obama Administration to repeal the policy banning declared homosexuals from serving in the military. More than 40 retired chaplains who served in the U.S. Armed Forces have sent a letter to President Obama expressing concern about efforts to embrace open homosexuality in the military. They say such a policy will compromise the religious liberty of active duty chaplains. "If the government normalizes homosexual behavior in the armed forces, many chaplains will confront a difficult moral choice: whether they are to obey God or to obey men," the signers said. "By raising homosexual behavior to the same protected class as innate characteristics like race and gender, the armed forces will cast the sincerely held religious beliefs of many chaplains and service members as rank bigotry comparable to racism." Daniel Blomberg of the Alliance Defense Fund says that the endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle in the military would create a crisis of conscience for chaplains. "If a pastor provides teaching and counsel based on what the Scripture says about this kind of conduct, they may end up facing a discrimination complaint, and end up getting kicked out of the military. We may see the censorship of chaplains in trying to preach God's Word." Retired Chaplain Col. Rich Young, one of the letter signers, says that chaplains will be "muzzled" if the new policy is adopted. Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, agrees. "This is a grave threat to the First Amendment rights of chaplains because it could force them to deny the teaching of their faith in order to serve." Signatories to the letter included 2 brigadier generals and 35 colonels or lieutenant colonels. There are concerns that efforts to repeal the ban on homosexual service in the military could be added to a Defense Department authorization bill in the coming months.
Forced Participation in Abortion.
 
Nurse Files Lawsuit Over A nurse is taking a New York hospital to court after hospital administrators compelled her to participate in an abortion procedure despite her objections. The Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit in federal and state courts on behalf of Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, arguing that her rights of conscience were violated. In May of last year, DeCarlo was summoned at the last-minute to participate in a late-term abortion at Mt. Sinai Hospital. DeCarlo's supervisors insisted that the procedure was an "emergency" even though the patient was not in medical danger. They told DeCarlo that she would be subject to disciplinary measures if she did not cooperate. The hospital already knew of her religious objections to abortion. "It is illegal, unethical, and a violation of Cathy's rights of conscience as a devout Catholic to require her to participate in terminating the life of a 22-week preborn child, "says Matt Bowman, legal counsel for ADF. DeCarlo was forced to stand by as the doctor dismembered the child with forceps and pulled the body pieces from the mother's body. She was then required to collect the body parts and place them in a specimen container, and take them to the specimen area of the hospital. "The whole thing was like a horror film," she said. Cathy spent sleepless nights following the surgery confirming online what she suspected: that preborn children can feel pain by 22 weeks. Cathy continues to experience intense agony over the episode. "I was a part of hurting that child," she says. "You can tell me that I was forced into doing this, but it doesn't remove the pain." The ADF suit claims the hospital violated federal medical provider conscience protection laws. The Bush Administration implemented regulations ensuring that health care providers are not required to participate in medical procedures that violate their religious conscience. The Obama administration is working to revoke those conscience protections. The suit also alleges religious employment discrimination. There is a longstanding federal law that states that recipients of federal health care funds (such as hospitals) cannot discriminate against health care personnel because of religious objections to abortion.
Showdown in Missouri House Over Bill to Regulate Sex Industry

As the Missouri Legislature enters its final week, a key priority of the pro-family movement remains in limbo in the Missouri House of Representatives. Much-needed legislation to regulate sexually-oriented businesses is under siege from the purveyors of pornography and their lobbyists crawling the halls of the Capitol. The Missouri House is debating a Senate bill sponsored by Senators Matt Bartle and Jack Goodman which would place restrictions on the operations of strip clubs and so-called adult video stores. The Senate passed the bill early in the session by a vote of 29-2, but the bill has received significant resistance in the Missouri House. Legislation dealing with the sex industry has for a number of years been derailed in the Missouri House. This is despite the fact that it is controlled by a Republican majority that claims to be conservative and concerned about traditional family values. It has become clear over time that the pornography industry has undue influence in the deliberations of the General Assembly. Missouri state statutes governing the sex industry remain some of the weakest in the country. The bill before the Missouri House would establish commonsense requirements governing sexually oriented businesses. Such establishments could not be located within 1000 feet of any school, church, day care facility, library, park, personal residence, or another sexually oriented business. Individuals with criminal records could not have any influential interest in such businesses. The sale of alcohol and the presence of minors would be prohibited, and such businesses would have to close by midnight each day. The bill would ban entertainers from performing in a state of total nudity, prohibit contact between dancers and patrons, and establish physical requirements that would discourage sexual encounters in "adult video arcades." The key to passage of this bill is of Majority Leader Steve Tilley of Perryville. Representative Tilley controls what issues are debated on the floor of the Missouri House, and he determines when and for how long such issues will be discussed. Representative Tilley has kept his promise to give the issue precious floor time in the final days of the session. He has publicly stated that he is in support of the bill, yet he has so far voted for amendments advanced by the pornography industry designed to weaken the bill. This legislation will not pass unless Representative Tilley moves at some point in the process to shut down debate and bring the bill to a vote. The Missouri House does this regularly on issues that the majority party is determined to pass. Should the House fail to move "the previous question" on this issue and thus close out interminable debate on the bill, it will be obvious that House leadership is not serious about protecting Missouri families and communities from the ravages of the pornography industry. The Republican ranks in the Missouri Legislature include a number of individuals with libertarian political philosophies. They believe in limited government that does not interfere in the private lives of individuals. Unfortunately, their definition of freedom extends to most any and all choices people make, even if they may prove detrimental and destructive to other individuals and to communities at large. The U.S. Supreme Court has defined the First Amendment in such an unbridled fashion that it is virtually impossible to prohibit the sale of sexually explicit materials or ban sexually oriented performances. But that is not what this bill is about. Federal courts have uniformly agreed that state and local governments can establish time, place, and manner regulations governing sexually oriented businesses to minimize their negative secondary effects on communities. Anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention to the news knows that these enterprises are a breeding ground for criminal activity. Strip clubs and sex shops are quite often the venue for violent crimes, sexual assaults, prostitution, drug trafficking, and property crimes. They contribute to urban blight and the deterioration of property values. They are the willing sponsors of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases through random and sometimes anonymous sexual encounters. We encourage you to contact Representative Tilley immediately and urge him to bring Senate Bills 586 and 617 to a vote. We also ask you to pray for him and all the members of the Missouri House that they will demonstrate the courage to take this critical stand on behalf of Missouri families, Missouri children, and Missouri communities. Please also be praying for Representative Ed Emery of Lamar who is leading the effort to win passage of this bill in the House. You can call Representative Tilley at (573) 751-1488. You can e-mail him at steven.tilley@house.mo.gov.
The Legislature adjourns at 6 PM this. Time is running out for final action on this essential pro-family proposal.
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