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Missouri Family E-News

July 2, 2013

             
Nixon Signs Pharmacy Conscience Rights Bill     

 

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation 

which protects the conscience rights of pharmaceutical businesses and pharmacy owners.

 

The bill was sponsored by Senator David Sater of Cassville, who is himself a pharmacist.  The proposal was endorsed by the Missouri Senate by a vote of 24-9.

 

The legislation was shepherded through the Missouri House by another pharmacist, Representative Lynn Morris of Ozark.  The House approved the measure by a vote of 115-39.

 

The legislation provides that no pharmacy licensed in the State of Missouri "shall be required to carry or maintain in inventory any specific prescription or non-prescription drug or device."

 

The need for conscience protection legislation was illustrated by the autocratic behavior of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  In 2005 Blagojevich issued an unlawful "emergency rule" requiring that all pharmacies in Illinois stock and dispense the abortifacient drug Plan  B.

 

After years of legal battles, an Illinois state appeals court ruled last September that the "emergency rule" violated the First Amendment's freedom of religion provisions, as well as Illinois laws protecting health care provider conscience rights.

 

A similar showdown occurred in the State of Washington, where the state's board of pharmacy issued a Plan B edict under pressure from the Governor.  A federal district court judge nullified that regulation as well, ruling that it violated the free exercise rights of pharmacy owners.

 

While Senator Sater's bill was strongly pushed by the pro-life community, it also won support from professional interests like the Missouri Pharmaceutical Association.  Many viewed the bill as protecting the right of retail business owners to determine their own business inventory.  

 

This is the first time Governor Nixon has signed a substantive pro-life bill into law.  You can thank him for doing so by using this link:

Governor Nixon 

 


Feds Demand Removal of "God" From Youth Oath   


Federal officials have informed a local sheriff in Louisiana that he must remove the word "God" from the oath of a local Young Marines chapter, or forfeit federal funding.

Julian Whittington, the Sheriff of Bossier Parish (County), Lousiana, says he received notice from the U.S. Department of Justice that he must eliminate any and all religious elements from his department's Young Marines chapter.

An attorney for the Justice Department's Office of Civil Rights told Whittington that he must prohibit the Young Marines from participating in voluntary prayer and must excise the word "God" from the oath taken by the members.

The Young Marines' oath reads as follows:  "I sincerely promise I will set an example for all other youth to follow and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon God, my Country and its flag, my parents, myself, or the Young Marines."

Whittington says that because he refused to submit to the religious cleansing of his Young Marines chapter, the Department of Justice has defunded a $30,000 grant supporting the youth diversion program.

"I flat said, 'It's not going to happen,"  Whittington said.  "Enough is enough.  This is the United States of America.  The idea that the mere mention of God is prohibited is ridiculous."

Louisiana Congressman John Fleming condemned the Department of Justice action.  "There is a very wide effort coming out of this Administration that seeks to stamp out religious freedom of expression--particularly freedom of Christian expression."

"They are willing to throw the youth overboard and remove the funding just in the name of making this an atheist, agnostic, secular organization,"  Fleming continued.   "It's inconsistent with the framers of the Constitution."
    
  

State Marriage Laws Remain in Force
After SCOTUS Ruling   

 

 

Marriage in the state of Missouri will continue to be the union of a man and a woman in the immediate years to come, as the result of last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling.  The High Court chose not to invalidate state laws and constitutional amendments which establish the historic definition of marriage.

 

That means Missouri's marriage amendment, adopted by Missouri voters in August of 2004, remains the supreme law on marriage in our state.  That amendment states "that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall only exist between a man and a woman."  Missouri voters approved that proposition by a decisive margin of 71 to 29 percent.

 

The Supreme Court decision on the Proposition 8 case was a major setback for celebrity attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson.  Boies and Olson had pressed the Supreme Court to use the Prop 8 case as the occasion to strike down all traditional marriage laws in the country.

 

The two attorneys argued that the Supreme Court should declare that homosexuals have a civil right to "marry" each other under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.  Despite an extended and orchestrated legal, social, and media campaign on behalf of so-called same-sex "marriage," the Supreme Court declined to invent a constitutional right to "gay marriage."

 

It seems clear that there are not five votes of justices on the Supreme Court at the present time who are willing to force a redefinition of marriage on the entire country.  In fact, there may not be five votes to do so without a change in the composition of the Supreme Court.  Some legal observers speculate that even liberal justices of the Court were not eager to engineer a constitutional right to "same-sex marriage" at this time,  believing that a "premature" decision would provoke the same kind of  cultural civil war which followed the Roe v. Wade abortion decision.

 

The net legal result of the Supreme Court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry (the Prop 8 case) is that 30 states still have constitutional amendments preserving the traditional definition of marriage. 7 states have laws that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.  Three states (Maryland, Maine, and Washington) have redefined marriage through public referendums.    Six states (New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota) have established same-sex "marriage" through laws adopted by their State Legislature. Three states (Massachusetts, Iowa, and Rhode Island) have mandated homosexual "marriage" through decrees issued by their state supreme courts.

 

One state (California) now has redefined marriage through the dereliction of duty of its elected officials.  The Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, refused to defend the Proposition 8 constitutional amendment approved by California voters in November 2008.  Voters adopted that amendment after the California Supreme Court had created a state constitutional right to same-sex "marriage."

 

Vaughn Walker, a homosexual U.S District Judge in San Francisco struck down Proposition 8 in 2010, a decision which was upheld by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  Proponents of Proposition 8 were permitted to appeal those decisions in the absence of state officials willing to fulfill their constitutional duty to defend the voter's wishes.    

 

In last week's decision, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Proposition 8 proponents did not have legal standing to challenge the U.S. District Judge's ruling in federal court.  Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, stated that the organizers of the Proposition 8 petition drive were "plainly not agents of the state," and that they did not suffer any "personal, particularized injury."

 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the dissenting justices, said this kind of definition of standing would frustrate and undermine the democratic process of government in the states.  Kennedy said that governors and attorney generals would be empowered with de facto vetoes over laws and initiatives adopted by the people or the Legislature simply by failing to show up in court.

 

The final result of this complex legal morass is that a single homosexual judge has negated the will of California voters on the status of the institution of marriage in their state.  Marriage has now been perverted in the Golden State due to the malfeasance of its leading elected officials.

 

In yet another example of the growing lawlessness in our nation, same-sex marriages are now being legally recognized in that state.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way on Friday by lifting its stay of the District Court ruling.  This is happening despite the fact that the Supreme Court decision is not final.  Petitioners still have the right to seek a rehearing of the decision.  Justice Anthony Kennedy refused a request to block the Ninth Circuit action, despite the fact that it violates the Supreme Court's own rules.

 

In response to the latest legal wrangling over marriage, Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler has joined with Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp to reintroduce the federal Marriage Protection Amendment.  The proposed constitutional amendment would restore a national definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Hartzler was a leading spokesperson for Missouri's constitutional amendment on marriage when it was passed in 2004.

 

Prospects for the success of a federal Marriage Protection Amendment are exceedingly poor.  Such an amendment would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress, and ratification by three-fourths of the states.  The political reality is that neither of those things will happen without a wholesale change in the membership of Congress, and a massive change in cultural concern about this issue.

 

On the other hand, there is little to no likelihood that the Missouri General  Assembly will move to redefine marriage in Missouri any time in the foreseeable future.  Nor would a petition drive to amend Missouri's Constitution be likely to result in a different outcome than the 2004 vote. 

 

We will report in next week's Jeff City Update on the Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which has been widely misreported in both the secular and religious media.  In the meantime, pray that our lawmakers and judicial officers will comprehend the enduring reality that God will not be mocked. 

 

Joe's Signature