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Missouri Family E-News

March 19, 2013

     
Health Care Conscience Bill Wins
Nod from State House 


 

The Missouri House of Representatives has spoken out forcefully in favor of religious freedom by approving legislation to protect the conscience rights of individuals in the medical community.

 

House members gave final approval last week to House Bill 457, sponsored by House Speaker Tim Jones of Eureka, by a very decisive vote of 116-41.

 

The bill would provide employment protection to doctors, nurses, and other licensed health care professionals who object to participating in medical procedures and research that violate their moral, religious, or ethical principles.

 

Medical professionals could not be discriminated against for declining to participate in abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, assisted reproduction, nontherapeutic fetal experimentation, or  sterilizations which are not medically necessary.

 

Medical researchers could not be subject to discrimination for failing to participate in fetal tissue research, human embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, or somatic cell nuclear transfer.

 

Forms of discrimination which would be prohibited under the bill include termination, suspension, demotion, refusal of staff privileges, or refusal of training opportunities.

 

The legislation would also shield religious health care institutions from civil liability for declining to engage in procedures that violate their religious tenets.  Faith-based health care institutions could not be compelled by government entities to engage in such practices as as a condition for funding or licensure.

 

Senate Bill 84, a companion bill sponsored by Senator Scott Rupp of Wentzville, has also received an initial boost in the Missouri Senate.  The Senate Judiciary Committee acted last week to recommend passage of the measure by a vote of 5-2.

 

The health care conscience measure was developed by the Missouri Family Policy Council in collaboration with the Missouri Catholic Conference.  A similar measure was approved by the House last year, but was never taken up by the Senate.

 

It is expected that House Bill 457 will be taken up for consideration by the full Senate by the end of the session.  We encourage you to contact your state senator to vote for the health care conscience measure by using this link:

Missouri Senate

 

Here is how House members voted on House Committee Substitute for House Bill 457:

 

Representatives voting yes:  

 

Allen, Anders, Anderson, Austin, Bahr, Barnes, Bernskoetter, Berry, Black, Brattin, Brown, Burlison, Cierpiot, Conway (Pat), Conway (Kathie), Cookson, Cornejo, Cox, Crawford, Cross, Curtman, Davis, Diehl, Dohrman, Dugger, Elmer, Engler, English, Entlicher, Fitzpatrick, Fitzwater, Flanigan, Fowler, Fraker, Franklin, Frederick, Funderburk, Gannon, Gatschenberger, Gosen, Guernsey, Haahr, Haefner, Hampton, Hansen, Harris, Hicks, Higdon, Hinson, Hodges, Hoskins, Hough, Houghton, Hurst, Johnson, Jones (Caleb), Jones (Tim), Justus, Keeney, Kelley (Mike), Koenig, Kolkmeyer, Korman, Kratky, Lair, Lant, Lauer, Leara, Lichtenegger, Love, Lynch, Marshall, Mayfield, McCaherty, McGaugh, McKenna, Messenger, Miller, Morris, Muntzel, Neely, Neth, Parkinson, Pfautsch, Phillips, Pike, Pogue, Redmon, Rehder, Reiboldt, Remole, Rhoads, Richardson, Riddle, Roorda, Ross, Rowden, Rowland, Scharnhorst, Schatz, Schieber, Schieffer, Shull, Shumake, Solon, Sommer, Spencer, Stream, Swan, Thomson, Torpey, Walker, White, Wieland, Wilson, and Zerr     

 

Representatives voting no:  

 

Burns, Butler, Carpenter, Colona, Curtis, Dunn, Ellinger, Ellington, Englund, Frame, Gardner, Hubbard, Hummel, Kelly (Chris), Kirkton, LaFaver, May, McCann Beatty, McDonald, McManus, McNeil, Meredith, Mims, Mitten, Molendorp, Montecillo, Morgan, Nichols, Norr, Otto, Pace, Pierson, Rizzo, Runions, Schupp, Smith (Clem), Swearingen, Walton Gray, Webb, Webber, and Wright

 

Representatives absent with leave:

 

Grisamore, Newman, Smith (Jason), Wood 

   

 

KTLLC Communications
National Rally Staged
to Defend Marriage
in Nation's Capital
 

 

 

Christian and pro-family leaders are organizing a rally in our nation's Capital next Tuesday to show support for the institution of marriage.  The March for Marriage is being held to send a message to the Supreme Court that the American people support the preservation of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

 

The rally is being sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage in conjunction with  CitizenLink, Concerned Women for America, the Cardinal Newman Society, and the Coalition of African-American Pastors.  The March will begin at the National Mall and move up Capitol Hill to the steps of the Supreme Court.  It will then return to the National Mall, where religious and pro-family speakers will address marriage supporters from all across the nation. 

 

"We're organizing the March to show the positive face of the pro-marriage movement, as well as demonstrating our commitment to promoting a stronger marriage culture in our society," says Thomas Peters of the National Organization of Marriage.   

 

"The purpose of the March is to show that the American people are strongly supportive of the only institution that commits mothers and fathers to the best interests of their children," Peters adds.   "This is also an opportunity to demand that the courts respect the rights of millions of Americans who have voted to protect marriage in their state constitutions."  

 

The timing of the rally coincides with a hearing before the Supreme Court on a landmark case that will decide the future of the institution of marriage in the United States.  The High Court will be hearing oral arguments on a challenge to Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that preserved traditional marriage in that state.

 

California voters approved Proposition 8 after the California Supreme Court mandated so-called same-sex "marriage" on the state.  U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker then struck down Proposition 8 in a lawless decision that read like a gay rights manifesto.  The Ninth U.S Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Walker's decision, and now the case has arrived at the nation's highest court.

 

The case, known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, has the grave potential to be the Roe v. Wade of the marriage issue.  Just as the Supreme Court mandated legalized abortion on the entire country through the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, so could the High Court require all states to recognize homosexual unions as "marriages" through the case pending before them.

 

The following day, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on another homosexual rights case, Windsor v. USA,  challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  "Gay rights" attorneys are seeking to invalidate a provision of DOMA that restricts federal benefits to the spouses of government employees.  Homosexual rights advocates want to extend family benefits to the "partners" of homosexual employees. 

 

The significance of the Perry case is illustrated by the number of "friend-of-the-court" briefs filed by interested parties.  A total of 58 amicus briefs have been filed in support of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.  In the Roe v. Wade case, only 26 amicus briefs were filed in total.  The average Supreme Court case draws about 10 friend-of-the-court briefs.

 

"The wisest course is for the Supreme Court to resist demands to prematurely end the national debate over the future of marriage," says Austin Nimocks, who filed one of the pro-Proposition 8 briefs on behalf of the Alliance Defending Freedom.  "Californians voted for marriage, and the court should respect their freedom to affirm the fundamental building block of our society."

 

"Marriage between a man and a woman is a bedrock social institution that diverse cultures and faiths have honored throughout the history of Western Civilization," Nimocks continues.  "The freedom of the people to uphold this vital institution should not be taken away."

 

President Obama has continued his militant campaign to redefine marriage by filing a Justice Department brief urging the Supreme Court to rule Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  The Administration argues that legal preservation of traditional marriage is not based on an interest in promoting procreation and child-rearing, but rather on prejudice against homosexuals, "a minority group with limited power."   

 

A decision by the nation's highest court to require every state to discard the historical definition of marriage would have massive social, legal, and cultural implications.  Not only would government officials be compelled to formalize relationships that God calls an abomination, but the central societal understanding of marriage would be forever altered in hostile contradiction to the Word of God.

 

Thirty-one states have provisions in their state constitutions that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Another ten states have state statutes that do the same.  Six states have redefined marriage to include homosexual unions through actions of their Legislatures or through statewide referendums.  In three states, judges on the state supreme courts have ordered so-called same-sex "marriage."

 

All eyes are on Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is expected to be the deciding vote in both cases.  Justice Kennedy has been the chief author of two previous decisions by the High Court supporting homosexual rights.  One was the Romer v. Evans case in 1996, which invalidated a voter-approved Colorado law which prohibited local ordinances creating special rights for homosexuals.   The other was the Lawrence v. Texas case in 2003, which struck down state sodomy laws.

 

However, Justice Kennedy sided with the majority in 2000 in upholding the right of the Boy Scouts to maintain membership qualifications that exclude individuals with homosexual conduct and affections.

 

Justice Kennedy recently offered some unsolicited remarks that give hope to defenders of marriage.  Speaking in Sacramento, California, Justice Kennedy said:  "A democracy should not be dependent for its major decisions on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say.  It's of tremendous importance for our political system to show the rest of the world and ourselves that democracy works because we can reach agreement on a principle basis."

 

Speakers at the March for Marriage will include Cathy Ruse, senior fellow at the Family Research Council; Jennifer Roback Morse, President of the Ruth Institute; Gary Bauer, President of American Values; Penny Nance, President of Concerned Women for America; Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. of the High Impact Leadership Coalition; Reverend Bill Owens, Sr. of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, and Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage.

 

You can learn more about the March for Marriage by clicking either of the following links:

National Organization for Marriage 

Family Research Council 

 

Facebook users can check out the Facebook page for the March at this link:

Facebook 

 

The Family Research Council has produced an excellent bulletin insert about the marriage issue which we strongly encourage you to use in your local church to promote awareness and prayer for this event.  It can be downloaded by using the following link.  You will find it as the first item listed under "Resources" on the web page:

Stand for Marriage Bulletin Insert

 

Please spend time in committed prayer in the coming weeks for all the Supreme Court Justices that they will recognize the importance of the family to the continuing social welfare and spiritual stability of the United States of America. 

 

Joe's Signature