Monday, 31 December 2012

UNC drops term ‘freshman’ in favor of ‘gender inclusive language’

By Oliver Darcy, on Oct 23, 2012

The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has removed the word “freshman” from official university documents, citing as their reason an attempt to adopt more “gender inclusive language.”

We are “committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community,” reads a statement administrators sent to Campus Reform on Monday.

The University of North Carolina (pictured above) dropped the term “freshman” in an effort to adopt more “gender neutral language.”
“Consistent with that commitment, gender inclusive terms (chair; first year student; upper-level student, etc.) should be used on University Documents, websites and policies,” it continues.

A spokesperson for UNC declined to further elaborate on the university’s reasoning for implementing the language change.

Some students, however, expressed discontent over the change in policy.

Brandon Hartness, Executive Vice Chair for the school’s college Republicans chapter, told Campus Reform he feels the university is allowing political correctness to drive their decisions.

“I feel like they are making a big deal out of nothing,” said Hartness. “Girls are not going to deem the word [freshman] as sexist.”

“I feel like most people don’t even think about it,” he added.

Karen Moon, Director of UNC News Services, did note that the policy change occurred in 2009. It has recently garnered attention after the libertarian news personality, John Stossel, highlighted it in his show earlier this month.
Follow the author of this article on twitter: @oliverdarcy
Student speaks out over Harvard University’s annual ‘Incest-Fest’ party

By Oliver Darcy, on Oct 10, 2012


At least one student at Harvard University is expressing outrage over the name of “Incest-Fest,” a hook-up dance to be held at the university’s famous Kirkland House dormitory this winter.
The event, described in the Kirkland House Wikipedia entry, is an annual  “debaucherous dance open only to [male and female] members of the house.”
Harvard’s official student newspaper,The Crimson, also mentions the event in it campus life guide.
“You’ll spend all of Secret Santa week watching underclad men gyrating in the dining hall and figuring out who you’ll hook up with at Incest Fest,” it reads. “[H]ouse life is incredibly close-knit, bordering on downright incestuous.Harvard’s official student newspaper,The Crimson, also mentions the event in it campus life guide.
“But there’s more to Kirkland than raunchy dining hall skits and regrettable hook-ups,” the paper continues.
Junior Samantha Berstler, who is a resident in the Kirkland House however, argued in an op-ed in the The Crimson,that the party’s name is “offensive and insensitive”  because incest is no joking matter.
“The name ‘Incest-Fest’ is not sexy or cute or clever,” wrote Berstle.
Other students commenting responded to Bestle’s criticism, however, suggesting she should lighten up.
“Don’t go and let other people have a sick time getting laid,” wrote an apparent student, Marcus Bunny.
A spokesperson for Harvard University did not provide comment to Campus Reform, despite multiple inquiries via phone and e-mail.
Famous former residents of the Kirkland dorm include Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Follow the author of this article: @oliverdarcy

Friday, 21 December 2012

'Gender Neutral' Toys: A Poor Economic Decision

BY R.J. MOELLER
December 21, 2012, (Acton Institute)—Writing over at The Atlantic, American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers shares the unsettling story of what a growing number of Swedish activist groups and political factions are attempting to do to “traditional” gender roles.
Is it discriminatory and degrading for toy catalogs to show girls playing with tea sets and boys with Nerf guns? A Swedish regulatory group says yes. The Reklamombudsmannen (RO) has reprimanded Top-Toy, a licensee of Toys”R”Us and one of the largest toy companies in Northern Europe, for its “outdated” advertisements and has pressured it to mend its “narrow-minded” ways. After receiving “training and guidance” from RO equity experts, Top-Toy introduced gender neutrality in its 2012 Christmas catalogue. The catalog shows little boys playing with a Barbie Dream House and girls with guns and gory action figures. As its marketing director explains, “For several years, we have found that the gender debate has grown so strong in the Swedish market that we have had to adjust.”


Swedes can be remarkably thorough in their pursuit of gender parity. A few years ago, a feminist political party proposed a law requiring men to sit while urinating—less messy and more equal. In 2004, the leader of the Sweden’s Left Party Feminist Council, Gudrun Schyman, proposed a “man tax”—a special tariff to be levied on men to pay for all the violence and mayhem wrought by their sex. In April 2012, following the celebration of International Women’s Day, the Swedes formally introducedthe genderless pronoun “hen” to be used in place of he and she (han and hon).
It’s easy to laugh off such seemingly ludicrous things as this, but we’re talking real indoctrination of precious and impressionable “hearts and minds” here. And the Swedish government is directly involved.
Egalia, a new state-sponsored pre-school in Stockholm, is dedicated to the total obliteration of the male and female distinction. There are no boys and girls at Egalia—just “friends” and “buddies.” Classic fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White have been replaced by tales of two male giraffes who parent abandoned crocodile eggs. The Swedish Green Party would like Egalia to be the norm: It has suggested placing gender watchdogs in all of the nation’s preschools. “Egalia gives [children] a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be,” says one excited teacher. (It is probably necessary to add that this is not an Orwellian satire or a right-wing fantasy: This school actually exists.)
Did you catch the “gender watchdogs” bit in there? Don’t see anything draconian about that!
The culture implications of such “progressive” measures are innumerable and deserve further discussion elsewhere, but I wanted to highlight this story today on the Power Blog because of an important economic lesson that also emerges from it.

Twenty years ago, Hasbro, a major American toy manufacturing company, tested a playhouse it hoped to market to both boys and girls. It soon emerged that girls and boys did not interact with the structure in the same way. The girls dressed the dolls, kissed them, and played house. The boys catapulted the toy baby carriage from the roof. A Hasbro manager came up with a novel explanation: “Boys and girls are different.”

Read More at Life Site News.

Pope Denounces 'fallacy' in Gender Theories that Alter the Family Unit

2012-12-21 17:51:34  Printable version Printable version
YoutubeDecember 21, 2012. (Romereports.com) Benedict XVI delivered his Christmas greeting to his closest collaborators at the Vatican, and named the three biggest challenges the Church faces today: the defense of the family, inter-religiousdialogue, and the New Evangelization.

The Pope rebuked gender theories by citing French Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, and said that such theories destroy the family unit and hurt a person's dignity. 


BENEDICT XVI
“The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being.They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”
According to Benedict XVI, the denial of a person's sexual nature end up destroying the cohesion of the family as a unit, specifically the roles of the father, mother and their offspring.

The Pope also highlighted the importance of dialogue between the Church and other countries, as well as a truthful dialogue with other religions.

BENEDICT XVI"For the Church in our day I see three principal areas of dialogue, in which she must be present in the struggle for man and his humanity: dialogue with states, dialogue with society – which includes dialogue with cultures and with science – and finally dialogue with religions." 

After his speech, the Pope personally greeted the cardinals and the high-ranking members of the Roman Curia, to personall wish them a Merry Christmas.


RCG/RCarr CTV VM -BN

Thursday, 20 December 2012

'Gay marriage' a Marxist utopian dream divorced from reality: Vatican newspaper

ROME, December 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The current push in liberal Western democracies for “gay marriage” under the guise of “equality” is just the latest incarnation of Marxist/socialist ideologies, “which have already brought so much damage in the twentieth century,” according to an editorial in the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano this week.

“To say that marriage between a man and a woman is the same as between two homosexuals is, in fact, a denial of truth that undermines one of the basic structures of human society, the family,” wrote Lucetta Scaraffia, December 17.

Scaraffia warned that we will “pay a high price” for the attempt to found a society on these premises, “as has already happened in the past when we have tried to achieve a complete economic and social equality.”

The editorial was prompted by the position taken by the French Catholic newspaper Témoignage Chrétien in support of the French government’s proposal to create “gay marriage.” The magazine said that failure to support the move is to “add to the discrimination of those who already have been discriminated against.” The bill, they said, will be a “step forward in the recognition of equality for homosexuals.”

Scaraffia blasted the paper, saying that the implication to be taken away from this is that those who oppose the legislation are also opposed to the “equality of gays, and so are ‘homophobic.’”

“As if it is not possible to defend the rights of gay people not to be subjected to any discrimination and, at the same time be opposed to granting them marriage. As if the equality of all citizens should be ratified by the cancellation of any difference, in this case denying the sexual difference,” Scaraffia wrote.

“History and law teach that the equality of all citizens should always be commensurate with the reality of the differences established between them,” the editorial added. “The rights of children are not those of the elderly; the rights of women are different in some respects from those of men. That does not mean they do not enjoy an equality before the law: equality that takes into account the different possibilities, but no less valuable and positive.”

She also warned that children’s rights to belong to a natural family are being forgotten in the mania over “equality.”
Apart from the question of children being removed from the shelter of their biological parents, the question of “gay marriage” also raises the specter of other types of exploitation, such as the buying and selling of human gametes and embryos.

Marriage is not merely a legal contract, Scaraffia said, between two adults, as Témoignage Chrétienimplied. Instead it is “the institutional link” at the foundation of the family, which itself is the institution “created to protect and ensure” the social structures that grow from it.

“Since a homosexual couple does not provide this affiliation, it is a different reality,” she said.

Read More at Life Site news.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Can the President Have a Marriage Agenda Without Talking About What Marriage Is?


by  Ryan T. Anderson

 
 
How successful can a “new conversation on marriage” be when its leaders can’t even say what marriage is?
The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent,” despite the impression its title might give, was released Sunday not by the Obama administration but by the Institute for American Values and the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. It is a timely, compelling, and important report, but it falls short in a basic way: it never once even attempts to say what marriage is. But you cannot advance a marriage agenda without knowing what marriage is and why it matters for public policy, as my co-authors and I argue in our new book, What Is Marriage?
The leadership of the Institute for American Values, after embracing the redefinition of marriage in a high-profile change of heart earlier this year, hopes this report launches “a new conversation on marriage.” The authors urge political leaders to encourage “community-based and focused public service announcements that convey the truth about marriage, stability and child wellbeing to the next generation of parents.”
Well, what is the truth about marriage?
The report rightly notes that “marriage is not merely a private arrangement; it is also a complex social institution.” But the report never says what this complex institution is, or why it ought to be governed by the standard marital norms of monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and a pledge of permanence—norms that many leading defenders of redefining marriage explicitly reject. Yet without these norms—and the intelligible basis that grounds them—marriage can’t do the work that the authors want it to do.
That is important work indeed, as the report explains. It helpfully documents the retreat from marriage afflicting today’s middle class and how fixing this “isthe social challenge for our times.” While in the 1980s “only 13 percent of the children of moderately educated mothers were born outside of marriage,” today that figure has “risen to a whopping 44 percent.” Indeed, the majority of births to women under thirty “now occur outside of marriage.”
Although some have tried to characterize the disappearance of marriage as a problem facing only lower-class America or the black community, the report notes that “family instability can now be found in Middle America almost as frequently as it is among the least educated sector of the population.” And the disappearance of marriage has social costs, especially increased poverty and decreased social mobility, as “researchers are now finding that the disappearance of marriage in Middle America is tracking with the disappearance of the middle class in the same communities. . . . This decline of marriage in Middle America imperils the middle class and fosters a society of winners and losers.”
As a result, more children grow up without the care and support of their mother and father—and it’s costing everyone: “The loss of social opportunity for these children and their families, and the national cost to taxpayers when stable families fail to form—about $112 billion annually, or more than $1 trillion per decade, by one cautious estimate—are significant.” As the report notes, economist Ben Scafidi and his team of researchers found that “if family fragmentation were reduced by just 1 percent, U.S. taxpayers would save an estimated $1.1 billion annually.”
The authors of the report don’t suggest giving up on policy, writing that “it is only with respect to marriage formation that the policy world seems to have decided that very little or nothing can be done.” This isn’t true, as my colleagues at the Heritage Foundation and others have promoted policies to strengthen marriage for quite some time, most recently Robert Rector’s special report, “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty.”
Copyright 2012 the Witherspoon Institute. All rights reserved.
Read More at Public Discourse.

2012: THE PRESIDENT’S MARRIAGE AGENDA FOR THE FORGOTTEN SIXTY PERCENT

The State of Our Unions monitors the current health of marriage and family life in America. Produced annually, it is a joint publication of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.

2012 VERSION OF UNIONS PDF IN ITS ENTIRETYPDF of entire 2012 Unions

PRESS RELEASE

divider
Family Scholars Propose National Agenda to Reverse Decline of Marriage in Middle America
Contact: Matt Kaal, Institute for American Values
mkaal@americanvalues.org; 212-246-3942
EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. DECEMBER 16, 2012
NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2012 — A team of family scholars today released “The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent” to tackle the striking yet little-discussed decline in marriage among “Middle America” – the nearly 60 percent of Americans who have completed high school, but do not have a four-year college degree.
Among that group, 44 percent of children are now born outside of marriage, up sharply from 13 percent in the 1980s.
The agenda is the centerpiece of the latest State of Our Unions report, an annual, joint publication of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Institute for American Values in New York City.
According to numerous studies, children born or raised outside of marriage are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems – including drug use, depression, attempted suicide and dropping out of high school – compared to children in intact, married families, as summarized in past reports such as “Why Marriage Matters” from the same team.
While debates over same-sex marriage have filled the headlines, the rapid hollowing out of marriage in Middle America – more than half of births among women under 30 now occur outside of marriage – has received scant attention from national leaders, the report notes.
“Marriage in Middle America is at a tipping point, with unwed childbearing threatening to become a new norm,” said report co-author W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at U.Va.
“The children of Middle America, already vulnerable to economic challenges in their communities, are exposed to even greater risks when their parents are unable to form and sustain a healthy marriage,” said report lead author Elizabeth Marquardt, director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.
To reverse that prospect, the report’s recommendations include:
  • Eliminate marriage penalties and disincentives for the poor, for unwed mothers, and for older Americans, including lesser-known disincentives present in current Medicaid and Social Security policies.
  • Triple the child tax credit to shore up the economic foundations of family life in Middle America.
  • Help young men to become more marriageable and better husbands and fathers with job apprenticeship programs championed by report co-author Robert I. Lerman of the Urban Institute, military programs like the Strong Bonds Program, and prison programs like Within My Reach.
  • Enact the Second Chances Act to prevent unnecessary divorce.
  • Provide marriage education for newly forming stepfamilies.
  • Invest in and evaluate marriage and relationship education programs, especially those that target at-risk individuals and couples, such as Virginia’s Strengthening Families Initiative, the Family Expectations program in Oklahoma City, and First Things First in Chattanooga, Tenn. Fund such programs by devoting 1 percent to 2 percent of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grants.
  • Engage Hollywood, much as the anti-smoking movement did, to help shape positive American attitudes toward marriage and parenting.
  • Launch social media campaigns about the facts and fun of marriage, perhaps led by the U.S. Surgeon General.
  • Model how to talk about shared marriage values from a variety of perspectives.
“These recommendations would do a lot to signal that we value families,” said report co-author Linda Malone-Colón, founder of the National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting.
Even modest improvements in the health of marriage in America will reduce suffering and yield savings for taxpayers, the report argues. One study calculated that reducing family fragmentation by just 1 percent would save $1.1 billion annually as fewer children repeat grades, are suspended from school, require counseling or attempt suicide.
Noting that the disappearance of marriage in Middle America is tracking with the disappearance of the middle class in the same communities, the authors argue that strengthening marriage is a vital pathway to opening social opportunity and reducing inequality.
“The retreat from marriage is both a cause and a consequence of increasing inequality in America,” said report co-author David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values.
Marquardt closes: “The president and all our nation’s leaders must confront the marriage challenge in Middle America with the urgency and compassion it deserves.”
For information about this report, or to schedule an interview with the authors, contact Matt Kaal at the Institute for American Values at 212-246-3942 or emailmkaal@americanvalues.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
The authors of “The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent” are Elizabeth Marquardt, director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values; David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values; Robert I. Lerman, fellow in labor and social policy at the Urban Institute; Linda Malone-Colón, founder of the National Center for African American Marriages and Parenting based at Hampton University; and W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia.
Also appearing in the latest issue of State of Our Unions is a new evaluation of publicly funded marriage initiatives, “Marriage and Relationship Education: A Promising Strategy for Strengthening Low-income, Vulnerable Families,” written by Theodora Ooms, senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, and Alan Hawkins, director of the Center for Studies of the Family at Brigham Young University.
The National Marriage Project, founded in 1997 at Rutgers University, is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian and interdisciplinary initiative now located at the University of Virginia. The project’s mission is to provide research and analysis on the health of marriage in America, to analyze the social and cultural forces shaping contemporary marriage, and to identify strategies to increase marital quality and stability.
The Center For Marriage And Families is located at the Institute for American Values, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to strengthening families and civil society in the U.S. and the world. Directed by Elizabeth Marquardt, the center’s mission is to increase the proportion of U.S. children growing up with their two married parents. At the center’s website, FamilyScholars.org, bloggers include emerging voices and senior scholars with distinctive expertise and points of view tackling today’s key debates on the family.

Federal Appeals Court Hands Victory to Religious Colleges, Commands HHS to Act Quickly to Fix Mandate


Image: Federal Appeals Court Hands Victory to Religious Colleges, Commands HHS to Act Quickly to Fix MandateFor Immediate Release: December 18, 2012

Washington, D.C. — Today, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. handed Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College a major victory in their challenges to the HHS mandate.  Last summer, two lower courts had dismissed the Colleges’ cases as premature.

Today, the appellate court reinstated those cases, and ordered the Obama Administration to report back every 60 days—starting in mid-February—until the Administration makes good on its promise to issue a new rule that protects the Colleges’ religious freedom.  The new rule must be issued by March 31, 2013.

“The D.C. Circuit has now made it clear that government promises and press conferences are not enough to protect religious freedom,” said Kyle Duncan, General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who argued the case.  “The court is not going to let the government slide by on non-binding promises to fix the problem down the road.”

The court based its decision on two concessions that government lawyers made in open court. First, the government promised “it would never enforce [the mandate] in its current form” against Wheaton, Belmont Abbey or other similarly situated religious groups.  Second, the government promised it would publish a proposed new rule “in the first quarter of 2013” and would finalize it by next August. The administration made both concessions under intense questioning by the appellate judges.  The court deemed the concessions a “binding commitment” and has retained jurisdiction over the case to ensure the government follows through.

“This is a win not just for Belmont Abbey and Wheaton, but for all religious non-profits challenging the mandate,” said Duncan. “The government has now been forced to promise that it will never enforce the current mandate against religious employers like Wheaton and Belmont Abbey and a federal appellate court will hold the government to its word.”

While the government had previously announced plans to create a new rule, it has not yet taken the steps necessary to make that promise legally binding. Lower courts dismissed the colleges’ cases while the government contemplated a new rule, but the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided the cases should stay alive while it scrutinizes whether the government will meet its promised deadlines. The court acted quickly, issuing Tuesday’s order just days after hearing lengthy arguments.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty  is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions—from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. For 18 years its attorneys have been recognized as experts in the field of church-state law. The Becket Fund recently won a 9-0 victory in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”
###

Additional Information
Becket Fund’s Appeal Brief (October 5, 2012)
Wheaton College Case Page (Legal Documents, Images, Resources, FAQ’s)
Belmont Abbey College Case Page (Legal Documents, Images, Resources, FAQ’s)
HHS Information Central (all 42 HHS cases, interactive map, resources, legal documents, FAQ’s, and more)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Germany to Ban Sex with Animals


Pigs
Zoophiles are threatening action against the government if it proceeds with a bestiality ban. Photo: Heath Missen
Germany plans to ban the practice of people having sex with animals, sparking a threat of legal action from a group of "zoophiles," a newspaper reported on Monday.
The government plans to toughen animal protection laws - which currently only prohibit the practice if the animal is injured - with fines of 25,000 euros ($A31,250), reported the daily Taz.
The Bundestag's agriculture committee will discuss the amendment on Wednesday. It plans to send the measure to parliament by mid-December, said the report, citing committee chairman Hans-Michael Goldmann.
The group Veterinarians against Zoophilia says thousands of Germans exchange information online about sex with animals and that some farms rent out animals for sexual exploitation.
The new law would also ban such animal brothels and the training of animals for sex with humans.
The group Zoophiles for Ethical Treatment of Animals plans to take legal action against the amendment, its chairman, Michael Kiok, was quoted as telling the newspaper.
"Perceptions of morality have no place in law, especially if they are so hypocritical," said Kiok, who told the paper he lives with Cessie, an eight-year-old female dog.
Read More at SMH.com.au

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Case for Man/Woman Marriage


Brian Brown talks DOMA, Prop 8 & Gay Marriage on the Mike Huckabee Show


The myth of Inevitability

Public opinion, the methods and messaging of LGBT activists, and social reality all converge on a simple fact: marriage is worth fighting for and we can win.

Election Day was a drubbing for marriage in the United States. The ballot initiatives to protect marriage lost by over 4% in Maine, Minnesota, Washington State, and Maryland. Those who support same-sex “marriage” reportedly spent over $33 million, while those who defend marriage spent just over $10 million.

Many friends have said that same-sex marriage is inevitable. It is not. I have confidence that fence-sitters will enter the fray in support of traditional marriage. As we continue to debate this issue, three important forces can shift the outcome in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Consider first, public opinion; second, the methods and the message of LGBT activists; and third, reality.

Public Opinion Gives Marriage a Fighting Chance

The American public offers differing levels of assent to same-sex marriage, depending on how the survey questions are worded. Psychologically, it matters how questions are asked. Consider these facts:

1. Data from the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) shows 24% of the young-adult population on the fence, saying they’re “not sure” when asked whether “it should be legal for gays and lesbians to marry in America.” There’s more support than antagonism, but not a majority on either side, given the nearly one-quarter who remain on the sidelines.

2. A national post-election survey conducted on Election Day by The Polling Company, Inc., showed that 60% of American voters agree that “marriage is between one man and one woman,” while only 34% disagree. Another poll two months earlier showed that 57% were in agreement.

3. After their Election Day victories, same-sex marriage advocates stated that they will continue to prioritize expanding the legal recognition of same-sex relationships as marriages through legislatures and the courts, not through public vote. This is a continuation of their past policy that avoided putting the issue up for a direct citizen vote (the ballot initiatives in Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota were initiated by supporters of traditional marriage; only Maine was their choice to repeal our side’s ballot measure of 2009). This indicates their lack of confidence in their ability to get enough votes.

4. Six New York state senators were ousted from office after they abandoned their constituents to vote in favor of same-sex marriage. Five of those senators lost their re-election bids this year, in large part due to their change of position on marriage; the sixth retired rather than face re-election.

5. “Third Day,” a Democratic organization’s own survey revealed that on a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 being the most in favor, 26% labeled themselves 9 – 10 in favor of same-sex marriage, compared to 30% who said they were 0 -1; 44% were somewhere in the middle. Only 32% said they would be glad if same-sex couples could marry; 37% said that would not be acceptable.
Despite large sums spent—as happened this November when gay activists spent a whopping $33 million—the notion that marriage is between a man and a woman continues to hold sway; and, no matter how hard activists try, it seems impossible to strip it away from the human heart of a very substantial portion of people. It is the reality of common sense deeply embedded in the human heart. 

Methods and Message

Efforts by the LGBT movement to make school curricula more sympathetic to the gay agenda continue to raise concerns among parents. So much so that leaders of the LGBT movement have had to adjust. In the November 7 article in Slate, titled “How Marriage Finally Won at the Polls,” Nathaniel Frank explains how the coalition of LGBT activists working to pass gay marriage in Maine and Maryland revised their message strategy to counter the “Princess” ad prepared by Frank Schubert. Here is what Nathaniel Frank writes:

'Thalia Zepatos of Freedom To Marry, who oversees the coalition’s messaging research, describes another revelation from the data. Schubert’s misleading “princess” ads implied that schools could usurp the role of parents in teaching pro-gay values, but that was wrong. As Zepatos and her team pored over the research, they watched conversations in which voters spoke among themselves and kept circling back to the same insight: Parents are the parents, and they teach their kids values at home. The challenge, Zepatos and her colleagues determined, was to reassure voters about this conclusion. Parents knew they had the control, but the Schubert ads—which in the past have killed a pro-gay lead in the polls at the last minute—made them anxious about losing it.'

LGBT activists have had to go out of their way to reassure parents they are in charge of teaching values to their children, given the powerful evidence provided by Schubert, and experienced by many parents.

A 2011 Research Report issued by the Democratic think tank Third Way, and used to develop the 2012 campaign to win the state ballot initiatives, stated among its six key findings that: “It is crucial to include reaffirmation of religious liberty protections as a significant part of supporters’ message framework.” And as the public is aware, it is increasingly being proclaimed by politicians working to pass gay marriage that religious liberty protections are being provided.

But this is misleading. As Jane Robbins and Emmett McGroarty show in their Public Discourse article “Mandating Our Religious Freedom,” the current Progressive movement, of which LGBT activists are a core constituency, is clearly moving in the opposite direction. And in a more recent Public Discoursearticle “A War on Religion?” Bruce Hausknecht provides examples contrary to the message LGBT leaders are now using to win.

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Absurdity of Institutionally-Supported Campus Conversation on Sex has Just Reached a New Level

Last week, Harvard University recognized a new student BDSM (short for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism) club.  

The Harvard College Anscombe Society and the Love and Fidelity Network have responded to this damaging move by Harvard administrators and invite you to join us.  Read below to learn how you can express your concern over a BDSM group at Harvard, and to follow the news and LFN press release surrounding this event.
Stand with us!

Show your support for a campus culture that respects the dignity of human sexuality and reasoned debate by writing a letter to the Harvard University administrationopposing the recognition of a BDSM club on campus. Letters can be emailed to Anscombe Society President Luciana Milano at lucianaemilano@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for your unwavering support! 
News Coverage
Harvard's decision has been widely covered in the media, some of which we have included below. Due to the explicit nature of the subject, reader discretion is advised.  
 
Huffington Post 
The decision by Harvard's Committee on Student Life gets a shout out 

Harvard Crimson
The student newspaper profiles the Harvard BDSM community and the recent decision to recognize the group "Harvard College Munch" 

The O'Reilly Factor
Anscombe Society President Luciana Milano and Crimson Editor Ben Samuels discuss Harvard College Munch with Bill O'Reilly

First Thoughts
The Love and Fidelity Network's response is highlighted on the First Things blog
  
The Daily Beast 
Reporter Lizzie Crocker provides context surrounding college BDSM clubs 
The Love and Fidelity Network Opposes Recognition of Student BDSM Sex Club

PRINCETON, NJ - Harvard University's formal recognition of the "Harvard College Munch" last week comes as bad news for students seeking a healthy sexual culture and reasoned debated about human sexuality. Munch is a BDSM (short for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism) club for college students.

"The Love and Fidelity Network opposes Harvard University's formal recognition and funding of a group that seeks to associate human sexuality with violence, oppression, and humiliation," Director of Programs Caitlin Seery said. "Universities should foster an environment where the dignity and beauty of sexuality is honored and affirmed - and where reasoned debate is welcomed among those of goodwill who disagree over what constitutes the true dignity and beauty of human sexuality.  Groups like Munch, however, do not seek to participate in that important debate.  Rather, BDSM groups dishonor and degrade human sexuality precisely by associating it with violence and humiliation."

"Our opposition isn't about banning groups with whom we disagree or censoring private behavior. We support the recognition of many groups with whom we disagree
precisely because we think an honest debate about how best to honor the dignity and beauty of sexuality is needed. It is about whether Harvard University should subsidize the promotion of violent and abusive behavior, which endangers all students, particularly women, both psychologically and physically. Consent does not make a violent, abusive, or humiliating act suddenly non-violent, non-abusive, or non-humiliating," Seery explained. "The bottom line is this:  If you think there isn't enough violence, abuse, and humiliation in the world, then you should support the recognition and funding of groups dedicated to associating sexuality with these social evils. If you think that there is already too much violence, abuse, and humiliation in the world, then you should join us in asking Harvard to reconsider its support for this group."

University of Saskatchewan issues campus safety alert over ‘truth about homosexuality’ pamphlets

  • Mon Dec 10, 2012 16:18 EST
SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, December 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The administration of the University of Saskatchewan issued a campus-wide safety advisory last week in reaction to a pro-life activist distributing pamphlets exposing the harms of homosexuality to students and staff.

U of S officials sent out the advisory on Thursday morning, according to a local newspaper report, after pro-life and anti-homosexuality activist Bill Whatcott spent Wednesday, December 5, at the school handing out flyers titled “Say No to the Homosexual Agenda!”

Bill Whatcott
The flyer lists some of the health consequences related to sodomy and defends the Christian perspective of sex and marriage.

This flyer, along with another titled “Say No to Abortion!” are part of Whatcott’s “Operation Education on Abortion and Sodomy” campaign.
“I became aware of the University of Saskatchewan’s decision to issue a campus wide safety alert over my flyers after I received a call from the CBC,” Whatcott told LifeSiteNews.

“My understanding of campus safety alerts, is they are usually for serious issues such as potential sexual predators or school shooters, not someone handing out flyers.”

U of S associate vice-president of student affairs David Hannah told the local paper that school officials were aware that Whatcott was within his rights of free speech to hand out the flyers, but were worried that some students or faculty might need counselling after reading Whatcott’s flyers.

“Based on our understanding of the law, this individual has the legal right to distribute his views and so we didn’t do anything to stop him,” Hannah said.

Earlier this year the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench upheld a lower court decision that acquitted Whatcott of trespassing charges for distributing “Truth about homosexuality” pamphlets at the University of Calgary in 2008.

In 2010 Whatcott won an appeal in Saskatchewan when Justice Darla Hunter of Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal overturned a 2006 Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal ruling that found him guilty of violating the province’s human rights code by publicly criticizing homosexuality through a series of flyers he distributed in Saskatoon and Regina in 2001 and 2002.

“The precedents set in Alberta and Saskatchewan will make it almost impossible for any university in Canada to secure a conviction against a pro-lifer who speaks up on campus,” said Whatcott.

Whatcott said that the University of Saskatchewan “hasn’t changed its desire to censor free speech on pro-life issues,” but pointed out that as a result of the court decisions, “They know that if they arrest me, they’ll be on the receiving end of a lawsuit. That is why they did nothing to stop the distribution of the flyers but instead put out a campus safety alert.”

Repeated requests to David Hannah for comment on what safety concerns Whatcott’s flyers presented were not returned by press time.

Contact information:
University of Saskatchewan
David Hannah, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs
Phone: 306-966-8710
Email: sesd-avp@usask.ca

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/university-of-saskatchewan-issues-campus-safety-alert-over-truth-about-homo