Thursday, February 23, 2006

South Dakota Legislature Bans Abortion

Yesterday the South Dakota Senate voted to ban most abortions. HB 1215 passed the Senate by a vote of 23-12. A similar bill passed the House by a vote of 47-22. The bill will now go back to the House to approve a few changes made by the Senate, and from there the bill will go to Governor Mike Rounds for signature. The bill presents a direct attack against Roe v. Wade

Section 1 of the bill states that "life begins at the time of conception, a conclusion confirmed by scientific advances since the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, including the fact that each human being is totally unique immediately at fertilization." The bill goes on to say that "to fully protect the rights, interests, and health of the pregnant mother, the rights, interest, and life of her unborn child, and the mother's fundamental natural intrinsic right to a relationship with her child, abortions in South Dakota should be prohibited." The bill also says that the "guarantee of due process of law under the Constitution of South Dakota applies equally to born and unborn human beings, and that under the Constitution of South Dakota, a pregnant mother and her unborn child, each possess a natural and inalienable right to life."

HB 1215 bans abortions except in cases where it is necessary to save the mother's life. The bill makes no exception for health, rape or incest. The bill prohibits both chemical and surgical abortions but does not apply to contraceptive measures or to unintentional death to the unborn
child.

Abortion is the low point in the history of America. A nation that prides itself on liberty has neglected to extend the most basic liberty to the most innocent and defenseless among us. The right to life is the right of all rights. Without the right to life, there is no liberty. In the not too distant future, I believe that the Supreme Court will rectify the worst decision it ever made. The life span of Roe v. Wade and its progeny is waning. One day we will look back on this time of history since 1973 with shame and sorrow.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel will be a guest on the Abrams Report on MSNBC today to talk about the South Dakota abortion ban. The opposing viewpoint will be presented by Brigette Amiri, a staff attorney for the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project. The show is scheduled to air at 4:00 p.m. today and will re-air at 6 p.m. Transcripts will be available on the MSNBC web site within 24 hours.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Paintings Return to City Hall - Victory Celebrations Announced

The paintings by artist Lloyd Marcus that had been censored by the City of Deltona, Florida, were returned to City Hall this morning and will remain there for the remainder of the Black History Month display. Directions to the exhibit are on our web site with photographs of the paintings. As a result of this artist's brave stand and our lawsuit against Deltona, millions have learned that religious images need not be hidden from public view. Officials from other cities are expressing interest in displaying the paintings, which are part of a 12-piece series. You can thank Mr. Marcus for taking a courageous stand for religious liberty by contacting him via his web site, www.lloydmarcus.net.

On Saturday, February 25, Liberty Counsel's President and General Counsel, Mat Staver will speak at a "Stand Up For America Victory Rally" at the Deland Airport in Volusia County, Florida. Lloyd Marcus will emcee this event, and will sing some patriotic songs. Other guest speakers will include his father, Dr. Lloyd Marcus, Sr. from the Baltimore area, and talk radio hosts Andrea Shea King and Mark Vance. Radio personality Bud Hedinger has also been invited make an appearance. The rally will begin at 1:00 p.m. Organizers suggest that everyone who attends bring American flags and lawn chairs.

On Monday evening, February 27, at 7:00 p.m., Mat Staver will address a meeting of GoVolusia.org, the grassroots organization which mobilized many residents of Deltona to support returning the banned paintings to Deltona City Hall. This victory celebration is open to the public and will be held at the Deltona Arts and Historical Center.

It is encouraging to meet people who are willing to stand up for family, faith and freedom.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Deltona Artist Not Accepting Religious Discrimination Quietly

The Deltona Florida artist, Lloyd Marcus, whose paintings celebrating Black History Month were censored by the City of Deltona, has retained Liberty Counsel to represent him. Yesterday Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to Mayor Dennis Mulder and acting City Manager/City Attorney, L. Roland Blossom, demanding that the paintings be displayed. The letter gives the city until noon today to reverse its decision or face a federal lawsuit. To celebrate Black History Month, the City of Deltona allowed City employees and local citizens to display artwork depicting black history. Marcus is a well-known artist, entertainer and composer residing in Deltona. He has emceed city events and volunteers as President of the Deltona Arts and Historical Center. A City employee requested that Marcus display some of his artwork along with other paintings from the community. One picture displays a partially covered Bible and church sign. Another picture depicts a festive New Orleans funeral, and a third shows a Christmas basket. The paintings are a published series based on scenes from Marcus’s childhood in his father’s Baltimore church. After they were displayed, Marcus received a call stating that Mr. Blossom demanded the paintings be removed due to their religious content. Marcus is a well-respected member of the community and a long-time supporter of the city. He is an accomplished singer, entertainer, songwriter and artist who raised funds for Hurricane Katrina victims with his song “America Cries for You.” He wrote a song honoring the city, called “Deltona.” This remarkable patriot served in the army, sang in a Green Beret choir, performed for President Bush, and sang a solo at an inaugural ball for President Reagan. Photographs of his paintings are online at www.LC.org.

While trying to avoid complaints from a hypothetical heckler, the City officials’ act of censorship managed to offend a majority of Americans, and most particularly the Constitution. The First Amendment does not require cleansing religion from black history. Under the City’s distorted understanding of church and state, Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address on the subject of slavery, where he referenced God and repeatedly quoted the Scriptures, would be considered unconstitutional. Black history cannot be separated from its religious history.



Lloyd Marcus' web site

Deltona's web site


City's press release for Black History Month

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Florida Marriage Amendment Sets Sights for 2008 Ballot

Florida4Marriage.org stated that it will move forward to place the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment ("Marriage Amendment") on the ballot in November 2008. As of February 1, the Florida Department of Elections reported that it has 456,363 certified signatures. A new law in Florida now requires (1) 611,009 signatures for citizen initiatives, and (2) these signatures must be submitted and verified by February 1 of the year in which the proposal is placed on the ballot. Prior to this year, signatures could be gathered almost up to the time of the election. Also, prior amendments required only 488,722 signatures.

Comparing the results of the Marriage Amendment with three other initiatives, two which obtained enough signatures and one which did not, revealthe broad grassroots support for the proposal. An amendment to Apportion Districts spent $2,732,081.26 to obtain 653,425 signatures; a Redistricting Amendment spent the same amount but fell short with only 406,844 signatures; and a Tobacco Education Amendment spent $2,017,724.10 to obtain 645,620 signatures. By contrast, the Marriage Amendment spent only $189,432.77 to obtain 456,363 signatures. Most of these signatures came within the past 8 weeks.

While the broad-based coalition supporting the Marriage Amendment sought to place the initiative on the 2006 ballot, the leaders of the organizations are encouraged by the enormous momentum that built in just 8 weeks. In the 10 days prior to the deadline, the Department of Elections updated its website to reflect over 200,000 additional signatures. At this rate, the Marriage Amendment will soon be certified for the ballot in 2008.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, will present oral argument before the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday, February 8 at 9:50 a.m. ET to address the "single subject" requirement of the Marriage Amendment. Every voter initiative must address a single subject and must be reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court before it appears on the ballot. The Marriage Amendment addresses the single subject of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

This event moves us one step closer in placing the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot. Let the people decide this most important matter of marriage.