Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
“Family Court Judge William Cohen awarded custody of the 7-year-old to Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven on Friday after finding the biological mother, Lisa Miller, in contempt of court this year for denying Jenkins access to the girl.”
Welcome to America 2009: Vermont judge threatens parent’s custody if visitation isn’t afforded to former lesbian partner
Boston Globe (AP): “The former stepfather of a slain 12-year-old Vermont girl was sentenced Friday to nearly 17 years in prison on child pornography charges that surfaced while authorities investigated her disappearance last summer.”
WPTZ: “former South Burlington high school student accused in a highly publicized teen ‘sexting’ case was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation in Chittenden County District Court Thursday.”
Boston Herald: “Ben & Jerry’s is temporarily renaming popular ‘Chubby Hubby’ ice cream ‘Hubby Hubby’ beginning today to celebrate the start of legalized gay marriage in its home state of Vermont.”
WCAX.com: “Vermont’s gay marriage law is set to go into effect on Tuesday, September 1st. Supporters of same-sex marriage already are gearing up for what promises to be an emotional week.”
Boston Globe (AP): “A transgendered South Burlington High School senior is asking the Vermont Human Rights Commission to back an effort to require the state’s middle and high schools to offer genderless bathrooms.”
Liberty Counsel: “Earlier today, Liberty Counsel appeared in court to defend Lisa Miller from a complaint filed by the ACLU of Virginia on behalf of Janet Jenkins. The ACLU asked the judge to order Lisa to jail for not delivering her own daughter, Isabella, to Vermont for unsupervised visitation with Janet. The ACLU also requested Lisa to pay attorneys fees and costs. No jail time was ordered and the court rejected the ACLU’s request for money.”
Vermont Right to Life has filed suit to strike down three Vermont campaign finance laws which violate the First Amendment by regulating VRLC as a political committee, requiring identification on electioneering communications, and requiring reporting of mass-media activities.
Boston Globe (AP): “Vermont woman whose 6-month-old twin fetuses died after a car crashed into the family van wants them to be legally recognized as children, which is not the case under current state law.”
Religion Clause Blog: “Yesterday’s Rutland (VT) Herald reported that the new policy would have banned religious celebrations in the schools, but would have permitted curriculum-related discussions of religion and the use of religious images in activities such as student art projects.”
The Hill: “A bipartisan pair of governors is opposing a new Defense Department proposal to handle natural and terrorism-related disasters, contending that a murky chain of command could lead to more problems than solutions.”
Leonard Link: “A New York Supreme Court Justice has ruled that the Supreme Court’s general equity powers can be used to dissolve a Vermont civil union. While dismissing the divorce petition filed in B.S. v. F.B., 2009 Westlaw 2195786 (N.Y. Supreme Ct., Westchester County, July 15, 2009), Justice Sam D. Walker stated that the dismissal was without prejudice to the plaintiff’s right to file a new complaint seeking a dissolution of the civil union.”
The Vermont Times-Argus reports: “In April, staff of the Forest, Parks and Recreation Department talked about ways to boost use of state parks, including how to increase reservations for gay marriages and accommodate couples who might now want to change plans as a result of the new law that goes into effect in September.”
Citizen Link: “This year, Vermont became the first state to legalize homosexual ‘marriage’ through the Legislature, which makes it easier for this kind of promotion of homosexuality and ‘transgenderism’ in public schools.”
The Volokh Conspiracy: “Do we want courts deciding when a person’s religious beliefs have been ‘violated’ rather than been made less comfortable? But while these are good questions, for the most part they do not seem particular to this proposal. They’re endemic in religious liberty law and protection.”
Sacramento Bee: “Marc Solomon, marriage director for Equality California, said his group is hopeful that the Iowa decision will have an impact on public opinion in California, where the state’s highest court must issue its second ruling on gay marriage rights by early June.”
Boston Globe (AP): “Members of the Judiciary Committee in the Vermont House say they want education to be part of the effort to crack down on the sending of sexually explicit cell phone messages between teenagers.”
Bill O’Reilly writes at Townhall: “Supporters of the sexting law say it’s necessary so that teenagers will not be prosecuted as sexual offenders and have their lives ruined. There is some validity to that as dopey kids do dopey things. However, the sane solution would be to categorize sexting as a misdemeanor breach of the peace, thus sending a message that it is unacceptable for kids to send other kids sexual images.”
Christian Century: In a similar vein, attorney Austin R. Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund, which opposed the same-sex marriage measure in Vermont, told Baptist Press that the legislature “made a profound social policy statement that mothers and fathers are not necessary for the family, and that the sex of a parent doesn’t matter.”
Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas says he doesn’t want to change Vermont’s laws to lessen the potential penalties for teenagers who use their cell phones to send sexually explicit pictures and messages. The House is considering a Senate-passed bill . . . ”
Patrick A. Trueman: OneNewsNow has posted this report quoting me on the problem of “sexting.” The latest on the issue is that the Vermont legislature is considering legalizing sexting for under-18 kids. Think about it: they want to legalize the production of child pornography by children!
HSLDA: “Vermont’s home study law is unique because it requires parents who wish to homeschool their children to prove that each child doesn’t have any disabilities. A disability can range from being deaf, to having a disease or having ADHD, like Zackery. Regardless, the parents must submit written adaptations and services, and if the Department of Education doesn’t agree with them a hearing is called. Vermont is the only state that requires parents to submit this form of paperwork.”
OneNewsNow: Vermont Senate Bill 125 will make “sexting” legal for teens ages 13 to 18 . . . “This is an outrage,” says Trueman bluntly. “It’s the only state in the union ever to consider legalizing the production of child pornography.”
Burlington Free Press: “Vermont’s Legislature is considering a bill that, if approved, would make the state one of the first in the nation to grant legal protections to teenagers who send sexually explicit photos and videos to one another with their cell phones.”
The Vermont Legislature, Inventor of the “Civil Union,” Grants Full Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples: Why It Decided Civil Unions Were Not Sufficient to Ensure Equality
Joanna Grossman writes at Findlaw: “In this column, I’ll trace the history of marriage rights for same-sex couples in Vermont and elsewhere, focusing as well on the likely motivation for the Vermont legislature’s decision to move beyond civil unions.”
World Magazine: “. . . Alliance Defense Fund attorney Jim Campbell. “The California decision really involves the right of the people to enact constitutional amendments in their state,” Campbell said. “While it involves the definition of marriage, the legal issue is very distinct from what we saw in Iowa, Vermont and D.C.”
“If you don’t remember anything . . . remember 0% of states that have legalized same-sex ‘marriage’ have done so by the vote of the people . . . 100% of the states (30 states total) that have asked their voters . . . have defined marriage as between only one man and one woman . . . ”
NY Times: “New York and New Jersey are both closer to legalizing same-sex marriage than they were a year ago, but it still could be some time before either state acts. In New York the issue will likely turn on a handful of Republican votes in the Senate. (The Assembly has already passed a gay marriage bill by a comfortable margin.)”
Capital News 9: “But according to a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday, only 41 percent of New York voters support legalizing gay marriage. Civil unions get 33 percent support while 19 percent want no legal recognition . . .” The report further quotes a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith ‘. . . at the present time he does not believe there are sufficient votes in the Senate to pass the marriage equality bill.’”
Tips-Q.com: “. . . But apparently the Right’s standard talking points about ‘activists judges’ and ‘the will of the people’ aren’t going to work this this time, now that the Vermont has enacted marriage equality through the legislative process and so it seems as if they are struggling on how to respond.
FACTS: ADF covered the news immediately as it broke in the ADF Alliance Alert and issued a press release in short order. In addition, ADF attorneys appeared in numerous media outlets throughout the day.
Townhall: “With its enactment, the Vermont legislature made a profound social policy statement that mothers and fathers are not necessary for the family, and that the sex of a parent doesn’t matter” Austin R. Nimocks, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund told Baptist Press.”
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund say that the legislation is a textbook rebuttal of the argument that “civil unions” are a satisfactory compromise to protect marriage.
WCAX.com: “Vt. House and Senate have voted to override the governor’s veto of the same-sex marriage bill– legalizing gay marriage in Vermont.”
The Vt. Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of the same-sex marriage bill. This morning, the Senate voted 23 to 5 to override that veto . . .
Fox News: “Gov. Jim Douglas on Monday issued his promised veto of a gay marriage bill, setting up what’s bound to be a close vote in the House on Tuesday as supporters try to muster the two-thirds majority needed for an override. ”
Baptist Press: “Politicians should never impose a system that knowingly deprives a child of a mom and a dad,” Nimocks said in a statement. “All non-partisan research and plain common sense tells us that children need a mom and dad, so the issue is bigger than a ‘personal relationship.’
ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “All non-partisan research and plain common sense tells us that children need a mom and dad, so the issue is bigger than a ‘personal relationship.’ In the end, the question is this: Which parent doesn’t matter: a mom or a dad?”
Baptist Press: “Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean Saturday publicly backed a Vermont bill that would legalize ‘gay marriage’ and urged fellow Democrats in the state to support it.”
Boston Globe: “In a special session, the Vermont Senate yesterday voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Later this week, a similar bill is scheduled for a vote in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Next month a legislative panel in Maine will hold a hearing on a bill to allow gay couples to marry, just as lawmakers did last month in Rhode Island.”
“The bill, which passed the 30-member chamber by a 26-4 margin, moves to the Vermont House, where it is also expected to be approved. Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, however, has said he doesn’t support the bill . . .”
WPTZ reports: Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas says he’s against gay marriage. Douglas says Vermont’s civil unions law is good the way it is, and he says the state doesn’t need a “divisive” debate on the topic. Vermont was the first …
Over the past ten years, at least nine other state and federal courts (excluding cases still pending on appeal) have ruled that marriage laws are not discriminatory, but have a rational basis in “responsible procreation.”
Burlington Free Press: Same-sex marriage rights received the endorsement Monday of four Vermont professional organizations that cited research findings that “children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish.” . . . Their …
AP: Legislative leaders in Vermont pledged Thursday to push for passage of a gay marriage bill before the session ends in May, saying allowing civil unions was a good start but it’s now time to end the “inequality” of existing …
Liberty Counsel: Today Liberty Counsel filed its brief before the Virginia Court of Appeals on behalf of Lisa Miller and her six-year-old daughter, Isabella, arguing that Virginia law prohibits the enforcement of a child custody order arising out of a …
. . . New Hampshire’s state motto is ‘Live Free or Die.’ But is New Hampshire the most free place to live in the United States? Apparently it is, according to a new study, Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom . . .
Baptist Press: “Pennsylvania is the most pro-life state in the country, while California is the least, according to the 2009 rankings by Americans United for Life (AUL). . . . ” AUL press release: Pennsylvania Most Pro-Life State in America, …
Religion Clause Blog: “Vermont’s ACLU announced yesterday that it has filed suit against seventh-grade teacher Wally Rogers, the Irasburg (VT) School District, and Irasburg Village School principal Paul Simmons. The complaint (full text) filed in Vermont federal district court alleges …
WCAX.com: “Representatives Mark Larson and David Zuckerman will introduce legislation to move Vermont from civil unions to full marriage for same-sex couples. About 200 advocates are expected to be at the Statehouse today . . . “
LifeSiteNews: “The University of Vermont has cancelled a speaking engagement by Ben Stein, the writer and actor whose film ‘Expelled’ has enraged the secularist academic community with his critical views on their strident devotion to the secularist Darwinian theory . …
Apparently the choice of media personality Ben Stein to be the commencement speaker at the University of Vermont generated such a brouhaha that Ben Stein bowed out. ON Monday, the UVM President Dan Fogel announced that Stein, whom Fogel had initially invited to come, would not be the speaker after all. Fogel said that Stein’s selection had generated an intense protest, that he had received hundreds of angry emails over the weekend and that after he had shared those “profound concerns” with Stein, Stein “immediately and graciously declined our commencement invitation.”
365Gay.com reports on the ongoing custody battle involving Lisa Miller and her former lesbian partner Janet Jenkins. Miller has been fighting court ordered visitation with Jenkins: . . . And Cohen warned Miller, the 6- year-old child’s birth mother, that …
Court rules Christian mom’s child must visit lesbian: State threatens to take daughter by force, if necessary
WorldNetDaily reports: A Christian mother has been told by a Virginia court that her 6-year-old daughter must now visit the mother’s former lesbian partner in Vermont, and if she refuses, the law will remove the girl by force, if necessary. …
AP: “Vermont’s state auditor is hoping that downhill skiers might turn into high rollers. Auditor Thomas Salmon said the state should consider putting a casino at Killington – or other resort area – to raise money to repair the state’s …
OneNewsNow.com reports: New England activist groups are developing a strategy to claim their region for homosexual “marriage” in the next three years. Peter Sprigg of Family Research Council notes Connecticut and Massachusetts have already legalized same-sex marriage, leaving four states for …
State Sen. Dennis Damon is introducing a bill to end the prohibition on gay marriage in Maine. House Republican Josh Tardy, meanwhile, is proposing to bolster the state law restricting marriage to one man and one woman by making it a constitutional amendment . . .
WCAX.com reports: “Now Vermont could be on the cusp of becoming the next state to grant same-sex couples the right to marry. Senator John Campbell, D-Quechee, has introduced a bill that would do just that. It also grants religious institutions …
The Washington Times reports: Two New England states have already legalized same-sex marriage, and a Boston-based advocacy group wants to see the other four join them. Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, known as GLAD, has launched a first-of-its-kind regional …
EdNews reports: “Two weeks ago this space summarized a Maine program permitting many publicly funded students to attend a school of their choice from a variety of sources, both public and private. A similar tuitioning program in Vermont involves fewer …
The Rutland Herald reports: In a potentially bankrupting slam to the state’s largest religious denomination, a jury ruled Wednesday that Vermont’s Catholic Church should pay nearly $3.6 million for negligence in hiring and supervising a pedophile priest . . . …
ADF attorney Dave Cortman is scheduled to appear live on Fox News Channel’s “America’s News Headquarters” sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 PM AZT today. He will be talking about the Vermont John 3:16 license plate case that was recently argued …
NPR has posted this text and audio report discussing a cased filed by ADF which challenges Vermont’s denial of a vanity license plate – JN36TN. It carries this quote: “It’s straight-up religious speech,” says Jeremy Tedesco, a lawyer with the …