Friday, February 27, 2009

Is the Adulterers' Rights Act of 2009 dead?

House Bill 28, which would overturn the Rhoades v. Ricketts decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court appears to be stalled.

The bill died for lack of a majority in the House Judiciary Committee before one of the committee members changed his vote later in the meeting and voted for it, although he said he would vote against it on the House Floor, but the bill has now stalled in the Rules Committee. Why?

Here's my take: When House leadership saw that this bill didn't have 9 real supporting votes in Judiciary, and it was made clear to them that there was serious opposition on the floor--possibly enough to send the bill down in flames--they decided to hold it back. Then Joe Fischer filed two amendments which would restore the original language to the law, effectively neutering the bill--more evidence that HB 28 was in trouble.

This House leadership team prides itself on a clean well run chamber. After last year's messy debacle with Jody Richards at the helm, this leadership team promised a more efficient House, and they have largely delivered. A competent leadership team does not let bills go for a vote that are not assured of passage: it makes them look like they're not in control.

I'm betting they saw the ugly debate coming and that they're now thinking of sending it to A&R or some other legislative graveyard.

Friday, February 20, 2009

State family group expresses surprise at lawmaker’s public declaration to kill pro-life bill

For Immediate Release
February 20, 2009
Contact: Martin Cothran
Phone: (859) 329-1919

LEXINGTON, KY—A state family advocacy group says the fate of an important pro-life bill is now in the hands of House leadership. “This will be the first major indication of how this new House leadership team will treat family legislation,” said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with The Family Foundation.

The legislation, Senate Bill 79, was approved by a Senate committee and is headed to the House, where the five-man legislative team will decide what committee to put in – a decision which could determine the fate of the bill.

SB 79 would ensure that a young woman considering abortion would receive full ultrasound information about her unborn child. But in an unusual move for a committee chairman, Tom Burch, the chairman of the House Health & Welfare Committee has gone public in saying that he will kill the bill, telling one reporter, "I'll have a hearing on it April 15. That's a month after the session ends."

Cothran wondered if Burch was becoming a loose cannon in the House. “This puts House leadership in a difficult position,” said Cothran. “If they put it in this committee, it will look like they intend to kill the bill, and we think there are people on the new leadership team that may not want that. We’re surprised that a committee chairman would put leadership in this position.”


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Adulterers' Rights Act approved by legislative committee

For Immediate Release
February 18, 2009
Contact: Martin Cothran
Phone: 859-329-1919

LEXINGTON, KY—A bill that some are calling the "Adulterers' Rights Act" was approved by a State House committee yesterday after being rejected by the same committee earlier in the day. "There was obviously some kind of political pressure applied to legislators to pass a bill with which most of them were clearly uncomfortable," said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation. The bill, House Bill 28, could be voted on by the full House as early as next Wednesday.

The bill would overturn a Kentucky Supreme Court case that involved a man who had an affair with a married woman who remained in a viable marriage. The court found that the biological father, which it termed "an interloper," had no right to further disrupt the marriage with a paternity claim, since the law deems the child to be the child of the marriage, and the husband had agreed to raise the child as his own.

"If we're going to give parental rights to someone solely on the basis that they're biologically related (and interrupt a marriage in the process), then what prevents a rapist from asserting parental rights?" asked Cothran.

Cothran also questioned how legislators could vote in good conscience to overturn a court decision which most of them clearly hadn't read. "If you're going to vote to overturn important court cases, you should at least have read them," Cothran said. "The only legislator on the committee who seems to be familiar with the actual case was Brent Yonts, and he's planning on voting against it on the floor."

"HB 28 seeks to give credence to a biological father's claim of paternity by allowing him to further disrupt a marriage he has already threatened by his previous irresponsible act. The Kentucky High Court ruled correctly in protecting the husband, the wife, and the child—and the legal status of marriage in general."

"We don't need to be overturning this important legal decision regarding the sovereignty of marriage," said Cothran. "We need to be applauding it."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

State family group says child safety, not politics, should be put first in adoption

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2009
Contact: David Edmunds
Phone: 502-457-5744

LEXINGTON, KY— A state family advocacy group has endorsed SB 68, which would prevent the state from placing children in foster or adoptive homes where there is an unmarried sexual partner staying in the home. “It is the sacred duty of the Commonwealth to find the best home possible for children in their care,” said David Edmunds, policy analyst for The Family Foundation.

“Decades of social science warn against the dangers of children born out of wedlock; why would Kentucky intentionally place children with couples that do not have a stable marriage as their foundation?” Edmunds also points out that cases of abuse are often at the hands of a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend.

Gay rights activists have cried foul because the bill would apply to unmarried, homosexual partners as well as unmarried, heterosexual partners. “This is about what’s in the best interest of children, not the political agenda of a special interest group,” said Edmunds.

Opponents also claim that the bill would reduce the number of available homes for child placement. Edmunds explains that the opposite is true. “Many adoption agencies in Kentucky are faith-based and already have policies that do not allow live-in sexual partners,” Edmunds said. “This bill will actually protect those agencies that are recruiting adoptive families from being shut down by state agencies.”

When a Kentucky agency denied gay partners last year from adopting a young boy, Rep. Tom Burch told The Courier-Journal that it was ‘bad policy’ and that the state should review the contracts of any agency with this policy. The Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to stop its 100-year history of recruiting adoptive couples in the state of Massachusetts because they refused to adopt to gay couples.

The Child Welfare Adoption Act, SB68, was filed by Sen. Gary Tapp (R-Shelbyville).

HPV vaccine mandate being pushed despite warnings

For the third year in a row, Kentucky State Rep. David Watkins (D-Owensboro) is pushing a bill that would force 9- to 11-year-old girls to receive the HPV vaccine in order to attend school. The general consensus of the medical community including the CDC, the American College of Pediatricians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians is to oppose a mandate, but apparently Rep. Watkins thinks he knows better.

Watch the video where David Edmunds testifies and Rep. Tom Burch (D-Louisville) can be seen suppressing the truth of the medical community with his committee shenanigans.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Biology does not trump marriage

For Immediate Release
February 11, 2009

Contact: Martin Cothran
Phone: 859-329-1919

LEXINGTON--A state family group is opposing a proposed state law that it says would weaken the legal status of marriage. The bill, House Bill 28, would allow the father of child born from an adulterous relationship with a married woman to claim parental rights to the child even after the woman had reconciled with her husband. The bill would effectively overturn the Rhoades v. Rickett's decision in which the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last year that the marriage prevailed over the biological father's claim.

"At a time when we need to be strengthening the legal status of marriage, this bill weakens it," said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst with The Family Foundation of Kentucky. "A marriage does not automatically end when one party to the marriage commits adultery, but that would be the legal effect of this bill."

Proponents of the bill argue that the mere fact that a man is the biological father of a child is sufficient to warrant parental rights, but Cothran argued that this has never been the case. "If you take this argument to its logical conclusion, then the biological father of a child born through in vitro fertilization to a mother married to another man could gain parental rights. In fact, if biology trumps everything else, what stops a rapist from claiming parental rights?"

One of the purposes of marriage law is to protect the members of the marriage and the children of that marriage, Cothran said. "HB 28 may benefit the biological father, but it would not benefit the married couple or the child involved."


Monday, February 2, 2009

NBC rejects pro-life Super Bowl Ad

NBC had to fill many of their ad spots on last night's Super Bowl with promotions for their own shows due to the economic downturn. The network rejected an ad from because of its pro-life nature. The network claimed that it would not run "advocacy" ads but were willing to run a PETA ad if that organization changed just a few of the sexually explicit images in the ad. Apparently NBC's airwaves are far from free--only selling the multi-million dollar ads to companies that they approve of and allowing Americans to see and hear messages that promote beer and sexually-suggestive websites.

Here is the ad that even the most hard-core pro-choicer would have a hard time opposing.