Missouri Family E-News

February 21, 2017

                         
Christian
Florist
Slapped by
State Court 

The Supreme Court in the State of Washington has decided that a Christian florist violated the law by refusing to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex union ceremony.

The Washington High Court ruled that 72-year-old Baronnelle Stutzman was guilty of discrimination based on "sexual orientation," which constituted an "independent social evil."

Stutzman is the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington.  Stutzman was sued by long-time customer Rob Ingersoll and his "partner," with the help of the ACLU, for declining to create floral decorations for their "gay marriage" celebration.

Stutzman had served Ingersoll for ten years knowing that he was a homosexual.  But when he asked her to furnish flowers for his same-sex union ceremony, she advised him she could not do so because of her Christian convictions about Biblical marriage.

Radical Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson also intervened in the matter, filing a rare private lawsuit against Stutzman for publicity purposes.

The Supreme Court concluded that Stutzman was not the victim of compelled speech in violation of her First Amendment free speech rights because her floral work was not an "inherently expressive act."

Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), says the case was all about "crushing dissent."  The State Supreme Court said that Stutzman could be held personally liable in the case.

"Our nation has a long history of protecting the right to dissent, but simply because Baronelle disagrees with the state about marriage, the government and the ACLU have put at risk everything she owns."

"This includes not only her business, but also her family's savings, retirement funds, and home.  It's wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will."

Waggoner says that ADF "will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case and reverse this grave injustice."  ADF will also be appealing the action of a lower court which was upheld by the Washington Supreme Court  requiring Stutzman to pay a cash penalty and attorneys' fees in the case.

"Rob Ingersoll and I have been friends since he first walked into my shop many years ago," Stutzman says.  "There was never an issue with his being gay...and I loved creating floral arrangements for him."

"But now the state is trying to force me to create artistic expression that violates my deepest beliefs and may take away my life's work and savings, which will also harm those I employ," Stutzman added.

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, says that the decision tramples on the nation's "long held traditions of religious freedom."

"Americans were told repeatedly that redefining marriage would have little impact on their lives.  Yet now courts are seeking to drive families from their businesses--and now today even their homes, through crippling fines forcing them to deny their faith."

"Cultural elites may succeed in convincing judges to strip away the livelihoods of people, but the elites continue to face a losing battle at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion.  The U.S. Supreme Court must correct this gross injustice," Perkins added.

You can contribute to a legal defense fund for Baronelle Stutzman by using this link:
ADF Legal

You can send a message of support to Baronelle by clicking this link:
Arlene's Flowers   
  

Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Jeff City Update online at 
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U.S. House Moves to
Shut Off Federal
Funding of Abortion

The United States House of Representatives has acted quickly during this new year's legislative session to cut off the spigot of federal and state taxpayer dollars flowing to the nation's abortion industry.

Last week the House passed a bill overturning one of President Obama's last unlawful executive orders.  In the final month of the Obama Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a sudden "rule" prohibiting states from banning Planned Parenthood as a recipient of Title X funding.

Under the Title X program, the federal government disburses grants to the states for "family planning" services.  Many states have taken action to block those funds from going to the abortion giant.  The "rule" issued by HHS was a last-minute attempt by President Obama to protect federal subsidies to his allies in the abortion industry.

The U.S. House approved the bill by a vote of 230-188.  Missouri Congressmen Sam Graves, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, and Jason Smith, and Congresswomen Vicky Hartzler and Ann Wagner voted to permit states to eliminate Title X funding to Planned Parenthood.  Congressmen Emmanuel Cleaver and William "Lacy" Clay voted to require states to include Planned Parenthood as a Title X participant.  The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for its concurrence.

The sponsor of the bill, Congresswoman Diane Black of Tennessee, says that states could provide more effective services by distributing the funds to county health departments and community health centers, which have more locations more accessible to the public. 

"State legislatures around the country have spoken out about their preference for prioritizing primary and preventative care providers for the receipt of Title X funding," Congresswoman Black said.  "Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for an organization like Planned Parenthood that has displayed such blatant disregard for human life."  Planned Parenthood affiliates perform more than 300,000 abortions each year.

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, applauded the House for acting promptly to defuse President Obama's parting gift to the abortion cartel.  "Taxpayers can finally begin the process of derailing the gravy train carrying hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood and their allies.  As a nation, we are without excuse in subsidizing Planned Parenthood's gruesome trafficking of baby body parts and their inhumane treatment of mothers and their unborn children."

Should the Senate adopt the measure and President Trump sign it into law, it may have limited immediate impact in Missouri.  At the present time, federal Title X funds earmarked for Missouri are allocated to the Missouri Family Health Council, a private organization which has had a history of close ties to abortion providers.     
Last month the U.S. House also took decisive action to prohibit the use of any federal funds for the performance of abortions.  The House adopted the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act by a vote of 238-183.  The bill would codify into federal law on a permanent basis the provisions of the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal Medicaid dollars for elective abortions.  The legislation would also prohibit abortion subsidies in any other federal government program.

The proposal also included a provision known as the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.  That section would require that Obamacare health insurance policies provide complete disclosure as to whether they include coverage for abortions.  Many health insurance consumers in many states have been left in the dark as to whether premiums they are paying are underwriting the killing of unborn children.

Longtime pro-life Congressman Chris Smith stated that the Hyde Amendment has been a huge lifesaver.  "Two million people who would have been aborted instead survived because public funds were unavailable to effectuate their violent demise, while their mothers benefited from prenatal health care and support."

Congressman Smith pointed out that more than 60% of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.  "Growing numbers of Americans are shocked to learn that methods of abortion include dismemberment of a child's fragile body, including decapitation and the severing of arms and legs, or the use of drugs that starve the child to death before forcibly expelling him or her from the safety of the womb."

Once again, Missouri Congressmen Sam Graves, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, and Jason Smith, and Congresswomen Ann Wagner and Vicky Hartzler voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  Congressmen Emmanuel Cleaver and William "Lacy" Clay voted in support of federal funding for the destruction of preborn children.  This bill also moves to the U.S. Senate for final passage.

In other encouraging news from our nation's capital, the new Trump Administration acted immediately to ban the use of federal funds in support of abortion in foreign countries.  On his first day in office, President Trump issued an executive order restoring the so-called Mexico City Policy initiated by President Ronald Reagan.  That policy prohibits the disbursement of federal foreign aid funding to any organization that performs or promotes abortion, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

We encourage you to contact your U.S. Senators from Missouri to urge them to vote for House Joint Resolution 43, the bill permitting states to defund Planned Parenthood, and House Resolution 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

You can contact Senator Claire McCaskill by using this link:
You can contact Senator Roy Blunt by clicking this link:

Joe's Signature

 

Missouri Family Policy Council, 1430 Triad Center Dr., Ste. B, St. Peters, MO 63376
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