One thing that became very clear during the SB 1062 saga is that religious freedom cannot be taken for granted. The veto of this important bill is a wake up call not just to Arizonans but to all Americans who believe the government should not be able to force you to violate your sincerely held religious beliefs.
Last week, Governor Mike Huckabee flew CAP President Cathi Herrod out to New York to be a guest on his Fox News Channel show Huckabee to discuss the growing hostility towards people of faith, and share the truth about SB 1062, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and what CAP is doing and has done to protect religious liberty. Watch the clip:
As CAP President Cathi Herrod said:
The attacks on SB 1062 show politics at its absolute worse. They represent precisely why so many people are sick of the modern political debate. Instead of having an honest discussion about the true meaning of religious liberty, opponents of the bill have hijacked this discussion through lies, personal attacks, and irresponsible reporting.
The truth about SB 1062 is much more simple. Please take a moment to read this letter sent to Governor Brewer from University of Virginia School of Law Professor Douglas Laycock and 10 other law professors, imploring the Governor to “make [her] decision on the basis of accurate information” and not on egregious misrepresentations made by critics.
The letter says:
“Some of us are Republicans; some of us are Democrats. Some of us are religious; some of us are not. Some of us oppose same-sex marriage; some of us support it. Nine of the eleven signers of this letter believe that you should sign the bill; two are unsure. But all of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.”
Parents always have the right to protect their children from exposure to sexual materials in school. It’s important for families to be vigilant, especially when their school district is choosing curriculum.
On January 7, a Planned Parenthood representative presented three different sexual education curricula to the Tempe School Board.
Thankfully, families across the East Valley heard about this presentation and turned out to make their voices heard in this discussion, causing the Tempe School Board to wait before deciding which curriculum to choose.
While this was a victory for the day, the fight is far from over, as the school board will be having another meeting to hear two more curriculum options on Tuesday, February 4 at 4:30 p.m. at Desert Vista High School’s Media Center.
It is critical that as many people turn out as possible to ensure Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion agenda isn’t allowed to influence the school board’s decision. For more information on how you can get involved, contact Peggy McClain.
Read more about this issue on The Policy Pages.
CAP President Cathi Herrod put it best this week when she went on NBC 12 with Mark Curtis to debate the new abortion clinic regulations that DHS released this week:
“This is not a pro-life or pro-choice issue. These are common sense regulations.”
The purpose of these provisions, which were a part of the 2012 Mother’s Health and Safety Act, sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Yee is simple: they are a step toward protecting women’s health and safety in Arizona. Regardless of where you stand on abortion, why would you oppose only dispensing the dangerous and deadly abortion pill in line with FDA protocol? Or why shouldn’t doctors who perform surgical abortions – which come with countless risks – have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals?
Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), some, including Arizona Senator John McCain, have pointed to the adoption of the amendment put forward by Senator Rob Portman as evidence that the religious exemption in the bill was “beefed up” or amended to more fully protect religious freedom under the bill. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Portman Amendment, available here (subsection (b) on pages 10-11), does nothing to expand the religious exemption under ENDA, and it merely says that those originally exempt under the bill (basically only churches) cannot be penalized by the government. The amendment does nothing to protect business owners and employers with sincerely held religious beliefs, and it is likely this amendment was a way for some senators to gain “cover” for voting yes for ENDA. As a sign that the Portman Amendment was meaningless, it was reported that LGBT advocates from the Human Rights Campaign as well as the ACLU quickly stated they did not oppose the amendment, saying that it was an unnecessary provision.
In contrast to the Portman Amendment, Senator Pat Toomey offered a much more meaningful amendment to expand the protections in the religious exemption, see Senator Toomey’s amendment here. Although Senators McCain and Flake both voted for the Toomey Amendment, after the amendment failed to be adopted, both Arizona Senators voted for the final passage of ENDA nonetheless.
One other important point: some have said that ENDA’s religious exemption can be strengthened in the House of Representatives, yet this seems highly unlikely. In fact, as an example of the growing disdain by some and lack of respect for religious liberty, backers of ENDA would prefer to completely eliminate the religious exemption, as this New York Times editorial says.
ENDA is bad public policy and threatens the religious freedom rights of every American.