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Missouri Family E-News December 6, 2010

Casino Gambling to Expand in Southeast Missouri

The plague of casino gambling is spreading to another Missouri community as a result of action by the Missouri Gaming Commission. The Commission has voted to grant the state's last casino gambling license to the Isle of Capri company to open a gambling casino in Cape Girardeau.

The action by the Commission follows the decision in November by voters in Cape Girardeau to endorse the $125 million project. City officials had urged passage of the referendum, which passed with 61% of the vote.

Voters were enticed by the usual claims that the casino would create new jobs and taxes. A study commissioned by the Gaming Commission claims that the casino will generate nearly $21 million in new taxes and over 700 jobs. These estimated amounts were greater than those forecast for competing casino applicants in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

The Cape Girardeau casino license is the 13th and "final" gambling license available in the state of Missouri. Missouri voters decided in 2008 to place a statewide cap on Missouri casinos at thirteen, at the same time they voted to repeal the gambling loss limits. The 13th license became available when the President Casino in St. Louis terminated its business operations.

A group of religious leaders from southeast Missouri who are members of the Missouri Clergy Against Gambling group had voiced opposition to the new casino. Dan Hite, a spokesman for the group, says those touting the benefits of the casino fail to take into consideration "the losses to other businesses, the drain of local money to out-of-state casino owners, the financial devastation which results from uncontrolled addictive gambling, and the thousands of youth being drawn into compulsive gambling habits."

Hite adds, "Compulsive gambling creates great stress and pain for individuals and families resulting in marital tension, career destruction, family bankruptcy, and all manner of personal tragedy. As religious leaders, we know these stories all too well."

Nearly 54 million admissions were recorded at Missouri casinos in the most recent fiscal year. Patrons of Missouri casinos gambled away a total of more than $1.7 billion of their personal income during that twelve-month period. The Isle of Capri venture will not be the only gambling enterprise in southeast Missouri. Yet another casino is located in the boot heel town of Caruthersville.

Columbia Abortion Clinic Resumes Bloody Business
Abortions have resumed in mid-Missouri at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia. Planned Parenthood had suspended abortion operations in mid-August, claiming "scheduling difficulties."

Pro-life leaders familiar with the activities of the clinic say that abortions are being done on one day every other week. Since the clinic opened its doors again, no surgical abortions have been performed. Instead, the clinic has been the site for the distribution of the RU-486 abortion pill, similar to the practice at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas City.

The recent shutdown of the clinic occurred as Missouri's new abortion law was about to go into effect. That law now requires that women considering abortion must meet with a "qualified professional" 24 hours before the abortion procedure. During that time, women must be provided with information concerning the humanity of the unborn child, the opportunity to see an ultrasound of that child, and information concerning alternatives to abortion.

Pro-life leader Kathy Forck, who spearheads sidewalk counseling efforts outside the Columbia clinic, believes that the new law will dissuade some women from returning for abortions. "When they're shown an ultrasound and can hear the baby's heartbeat and see that it's a unique, separate human being, that's got to weigh pretty heavily on your mind."

A total of 7,413 abortions were performed in Missouri during calendar year 2008, the most recent year on record. This reflects a substantial decline of 64% from the highest year on record, 1984, when 20,204 preborn children were killed in Missouri abortion clinics.

The abortion rate for Missouri women (the number of abortions per 1000 births) has also sharply declined from 279.6 in 1979 to an estimated 174.8 today. This seems to reflect the fact that the pro-life message and the prominence of ultrasound technology are having a major impact.

It is important to note than an estimated 6738 Missouri women obtained abortions out of state in 2008. This means that approximately 47% of Missouri women who had abortions left the state to secure one. This is likely due in part to Missouri's strong pro-life laws. But it is also attributable to the close proximity of abortion clinics in Kansas and Illinois to the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas, as well as the presence of other clinics in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Illinois General Assembly Gives Approval to Homosexual Unions

The Illinois General Assembly has closed the year with a cavalier attack on the traditional family by voting to establish "civil unions" for homosexual "partners." abortion The Legislature voted last week to enact the civil unions law during a lame-duck session which included lawmakers who were defeated in the recent election or who are retiring from public office. The Illinois House approved the bill by a vote of 61-52, and the Illinois Senate endorsed the measure by a vote of 32-24.

The legislation, falsely described as the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, establishes a legal arrangement tantamount to marriage for homosexuals. abortion The bill states that parties to a civil union "shall be entitled to the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits afforded or recognized by the laws of Illinois" to married spouses. As such, civil unions are simply marriage by another name.

David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, deplored the actions of the Legislature. "Today is not merely a sad day; it's a tragic day for Illinois." Paul Caprio, director of Family Pac in Chicago, echoed the sentiments. "It's a dark day for Illinois families. The Legislature has put a knife into the institution of marriage."

Newly re-elected Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has promised to sign the "civil unions" bill in the New Year. The law will then take effect in June of 2011. Quinn, who is a Catholic, says he signed the bill because of his faith. abortion Yet Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield challenged Quinn's assertion. "[The Governor] did not say what religious faith that would be, but it is certainly not the Catholic faith," Paprocki said in a statement. "If he wishes to speak as a Catholic, then he is accountable to Catholic authority, and the Catholic Church does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural moral law." Quinn responded to Bishop Paprocki by saying he was following his conscience. "My conscience is not kicking me in the shins today," Quinn retorted.

The Illinois Catholic Conference rightly points out that the "religious freedom" title of the bill is fraudulent. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago issued a statement saying that "there is an inherent conflict between this legislation and religious liberty. Language in this bill offers little protection to religious institutions and individuals." abortion

The Catholic Conference contends that the new law will lead to faith-based agencies who provide foster care or adoption services being required to place adoptive or foster children with "couples" in same-sex "civil unions," as has happened in other states. The Conference also is concerned that Christian agencies operating religious retreats, religious camps, senior care centers, and other accommodations will be required to provide services to individuals in same-sex "unions." abortion
The Conference also points out the threat that Christian ministries will be required to provide family benefits to employees who have entered into a same-sex "civil union."

It is highly disturbing to see the state of Illinois grant legal recognition and public endorsement to these unhealthy, immoral, and anti-family relationships. Missouri is now bordered on the north and east by states that have implemented the worst of the homosexual agenda in acting to redefine or mimic the institution of marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court redefined marriage in that state last year to include individuals of the same gender.

Illinois joins New Jersey, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington in creating some form of "civil union" for homosexual "couples." Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Iowa are states where the courts or the Legislature have redefined marriage to include homosexual "partners." abortion The fact remains that in every state where the voters have had the say, traditional marriage has been preserved through constitutional amendments such as that in Missouri.

It has become clear over time that passage of "civil unions" legislation is merely an intermediate tactic of homosexual activists in their efforts to dismantle the institution of marriage. Once "civil unions" are legally ratified in a state, homosexual advocates argue that it amounts to a "separate but equal" form of discrimination, and that so-called full "marriage equality" must be granted.

The fate of traditional marriage throughout the United States of America may well be determined by a court case soon to unfold in federal court in California. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing an appeal of the decision by U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker to mandate so-called same-sex "marriage" in that state.
abortionWalker struck down a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California known as Proposition 8. His opinion, which bears no resemblance whatsoever to an analysis of the law, constitution, and legal precedent, has been strongly criticized as an egregious case of judicial activism. Walker ruled that the decision by California citizens to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman was motivated by religious bigotry, and that traditional marriage is an outdated institution. Shortly after his reckless ruling, Walker announced that he is retiring in February, and will join the faculty on the ultraliberal campus of the University of California at Berkeley.

We strongly urge you in the coming weeks to be praying for the three judges on the 9th Circuit Court who will be hearing this critical court case on the future of marriage. If Walkers' decision is upheld all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, it would likely lead to court-ordered homosexual "marriage" in every state of the nation, just as the Roe v. Wade abortion case led to legalized abortion in every state in America. abortion

 The three judges who will be deciding the fate of Proposition 8 are Stephen Reinhardt, appointed by President Carter; Michael Hawkins, appointed by President Clinton; and Norman Randy Smith, appointed by President George W. Bush. Please be praying that they will respect the will of California voters and honor the integrity of God's design for marriage and the family.
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