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Tag Archives: children
Bob Woollard: “The dilution of marriage has de-motivated many loyal Tories.”
David Cameron’s “bizarre drive” to legalise gay marriage has made it “virtually impossible” for the Conservatives to win the next general election, his party activists have warned.
Bob Woollard, chairman of the Conservative Grassroots umbrella group of local associations, led a group of 30 local party chairmen to Downing Street on Saturday 18 May to convey their views to the prime minister.
They handed him a letter on behalf of the organisation warning that his backing for gay marriage was driving traditional Tory voters to switch to Ukip.
MPs will debate the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for two days from Monday, with many Tory MPs expected to oppose the legislation.
The letter said: “The marriage-based family is at the heart of Conservatism. This dilution and unravelling of marriage has de-motivated many ordinary, loyal Conservative Party members and has undermined their years of hard work for something they believed in.
“It makes winning the next election virtually impossible. For the sake of our children they [the government] should also strengthen conventional marriage.”
The letter took Cameron to task for his “refusal to listen to reason and grassroots opinion”, saying his proposals were driving previously loyal Conservatives to leave the party.
It presented the prime minister with a new ultimatum, warning voters who had abandoned the Conservatives would not return unless the bill was abandoned – “or the leadership changed”.
Woollard said the policy had “upset countless people and caused many, many people – hundreds, maybe thousands – to leave the party over this issue”.
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Tory activists have attacked David Cameron’s support for gay marriage, claiming it has made it impossible for the party to win the next general election.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, more than 30 present and former local party chairmen warned that Mr Cameron’s backing for a change in the law had led to voters switching their support to Ukip.
They wrote that many of the lost supporters would not contemplate returning to the Conservative fold unless legislation for gay marriages was abandoned “or the party leadership changed”.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill returns to the Commons tomorrow for two days of debate, with many Tory MPs expected to oppose it on a free vote.
The letter to Mr Cameron was organised by the Grassroots Conservative group, whose chairman Bob Woollard said: “The Prime Minister’s bizarre drive to ram this legislation through Parliament, without any democratic mandate and without the support of party members has been a disaster and has driven thousands of voters to Ukip.
“The marriage-based family is at the heart of Conservatism. This dilution and unraveling of marriage has demotivated many ordinary loyal Conservative Party members and has undermined their years of hard work for something they believed in. It makes winning the next election virtually impossible.
“It is vital that the PM and those around him concentrate on the issues that matter to voters – cleaning up the economic mess left by the previous government, tackling immigration and sorting out the Europe question. For the sake of our children they should also strengthen conventional marriage.”
The letter says Mr Cameron’s “refusal to listen to reason and grassroots opinion is causing many previously loyal Conservatives to leave the party; some are lost forever and many will not contemplate re-joining unless the Bill is abandoned or the party leadership changed”.
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Gay Marriage is Wrong and Confusing – Let the Children Tell You
Excellent PSA warning of the confusion that gay marriage would cause. Do not let America's educators attempts to propagandize our children go unchecked. ====…
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West Bank mayhem: Authorities identify Terrytown murder victim, investigate several overnight shootings
The Jefferson Parish coroner’s office has identified theman shot and killed at a Terrytown apartment Sunday night as Aaron Roby, 26. Roby’s murder is one of several shootings that occurred on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish during the past 24 hours.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies found Roby lying behind building No. 10 at 250 Holmes Blvd., Terrytown, just before 10 p.m., after responding to reports of gunfire, according to authorities. He was dead at the scene with several gunshot wounds, authorities said.
Investigators learned that Roby was talking with an unnamed man in the courtyard just before the gunshots rang out. No one has been arrested in the case.
Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested four suspects in a quintuple shooting that occurred Monday morning at an apartment in the 2300 block of Lapalco Boulevard in Harvey. Gunmen opened fire into an apartment door, wounding two women and three children younger than 3, according to Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies took the four suspects into custody after a chase across the Crescent City Connection and into New Orleans. Investigators also recovered three weapons.
The victims were taken to LSU Interim Public Hospital in New Orleans where Fortunato said they were treated for non life-threatening injuries. However, one of the children was in critical but stable condition, he said.
A 19-year-old is also hospitalized at LSU Interim Public Hospital after a shooting that occurred Sunday about 8 p.m. in Marrero. The man told deputies he was playing basketball in front of a home in the 500 block of Robinson Avenue when he noticed a gray, 2005 Chevrolet Impala driving down the street toward the West Bank Expressway.
The man said he saw three men in the vehicle, two in the front seat and a third in the back seat, Fortunato said. The boy told deputies he heard gunshots and turned to see the man in the back seat firing a gun. The 19-year-old was hit while trying to run away.
The teen was in critical but stable condition Monday morning, Fortunato said. No arrests have been made.
Anyone with information about the Robinson Avenue Marrero, the quintuple shooting on Lapalco Boulevard in Harvey or the murder of Aaron Roby in Terrytown is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office investigations bureau at 504.364.5300.
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Rehabilitating Andera Ghandi kindergarten in the Gaza strip – Save the Children
By: SavetheChildren Humanitarian
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RAMALLAH In spite of more than 10 years of harassment and suffering, Hani Amer and his family are still sticking to their house and land in the outskirts of an Israeli settlement which was built on his land in the northern West Bank city of Salfit.
Amer, better known as Abu Nidal, in his mid 50s, said “I mark this special day with more determination to stay in my house and on my land, despite the lesion caused by the Israeli soldiers and the Jewish settlers.”
His house and land looked like an island surrounded by the Israeli settlement on one side and by the separation wall that Israel builds in the West Bank on the other. Abu Nidal’s house and land are three acres (1.2 hectares) only, where it used to be 23 acres (9.3 hectares) and most of it was confiscated to expand the adjacent settlement.
After a long-term legal battle with the support of Israeli and Palestinian right groups, Abu Nidal managed to grab his right of getting into his house and land. “I received many attractive Israeli offers to leave my house and land, and I always refuse,” he said.
In June 2002, Israel started to build a separation wall on the Palestinian lands adjacent to the borders between Israel and the West Bank under a claim that building the wall aimed at preventing Palestinian militants from infiltrating into Israel for carrying out attacks.
The Palestinians, including Abu Nidal, said that the Israeli claim was just an excuse to keep confiscating more and more Palestinian lands and expand the settlements. “The settlements had turned our lives into nightmares,” Abu Nidal said, adding that ” the wall and settlements are restricting our free movement.”
According to Palestinian statistic centers, the length of the wall that Israel is still building on the West Bank lands reached 780 km, adding that 61 percent of it had been already finalized. The wall had isolated 12 percent of the Palestinians living in their villages and restricted their free movement.
Abu Nidal and his family, including the children, spoke about their day-by-day suffering. They said “the Israeli soldiers tried to prevent us from leaving our house or getting back to it if we leave, but we didn’t mind and kept living in our house.”
“After the International Committee of the Red Cross intervened, the UN and the Palestinian Authority interfered; we managed to live a sort of a normal life and we were able to freely go out and come back to our house at any time by getting a key for the Israeli metal gate,” said Abu Nidal.
He noted that after their success in getting a key for the metal gate of the area, “the settlers are trying by all means to kick us out from our house. Their assaults had recently increased. They throw stones at our house, sometimes they fire into the air and sometimes we fight by hands.”
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It has to do with the introduction of birth control pills
How will the Supreme Court rule in this week’s gay marriage cases? I have no idea. What I do know is that the outcome almost doesn’t matter. One way or another, gay marriage will be legal throughout the country before long.
That’s not the riskiest prediction. Plenty of pundits have said the same thing based on the stunningly rapid shift of public opinion on the issue. But public opinion can be fickle. How do we know that current trends will continue and that a backlash against gay marriage isn’t right around the corner? Because even the best arguments employed by its smartest opponents are utterly unconvincing.
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To be clear, I’m not talking about the explicitly religious case against gay marriage. Arguments based on orthodox Catholic, evangelical Protestant, Orthodox Jewish, or Mormon premises premises grounded in the revelations, scriptures, and traditions of particular faith communities are often perfectly valid. It’s just that our constitutional order doesn’t rest on those premises, and members of those communities lack the numbers to impose their views on the country as a whole through majority vote.
What I mean are the arguments advanced by those opponents of gay marriage who claim to have reason on their side who wish to persuade citizens of goodwill regardless of their religious commitments (or lack of commitments). Foremost among these opponents is Robert P. George of Princeton University, lead author of an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court. No critic of gay marriage has gone further in claiming that reason alone can tell us to reject gay marriage and no critic has done more to demonstrate (inadvertently) how deeply confused the case against gay marriage really is.
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George and his co-authors Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson make the following argument: “Our civilization” has univocally defined marriage as a “conjugal union” between one man and one woman that is, a union between two people that is oriented to the goal of producing children. Whether or not a particular male-female couple can produce a child is irrelevant. In cases of infertility due to medical defect or advanced age on the part of one or both members of the marriage, the union falls short of reaching its goal but remains oriented to that goal nonetheless. (The union would produce a child if the bodies of both members were functioning as they should.)
Advocates of gay marriage, by contrast, seek to promulgate an alternative a “revisionist” definition of marriage, one based not on producing children but on “emotional fulfillment, without any inherent connections to bodily union or procreation and family life.” (“Inherent” does a lot of work in that sentence, since gay couples can and do adopt children and devote themselves to family life. But because such couples can’t produce the children themselves, their union remains, by George’s definition, a non-procreative partnership.) This revisionist, non-procreative form of marriage would detach the institution from ideals of “permanence and exclusivity” that flow from child-rearing. That is, once couples cease viewing their union as oriented to the goal of producing children, divorce and infidelity will become commonplace. And since society has a stake in encouraging stable families, advocates of gay marriage must not be allowed to prevail.
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Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy (R) and Stephen Breyer on Capitol Hill on March 14, 2013. (Win McNamee/Getty
Few things were certain after the Supreme Court’s first foray into the issue of gay marriage earlier this weekexcept that conservative-leaning swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy will control the outcome.
The four liberal and the four conservative justices appeared to split right down the middle on how (and whether) to decide the constitutionality of both Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Kennedywho in the past authored the court’s two most important opinions affirming gay rightsseemed to be on the fence in both cases.
The most likely scenario: Kennedy will form a coalition with the liberals to strike down Proposition 8 and DOMA without substantially addressing the plaintiffs’ claims that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry and have those marriages treated equally to opposite-sex marriages by the law.
The hope for a “nationwide ruling on same-sex marriage was clearly dashed on Tuesday,” said Doug NeJaime, a professor at Loyola Law School.
Gay rights advocates had pinned their hopes on the 76-year-old Sacramento native and Ronald Reagan appointee, based on his striking down of state anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas (2003) and a Colorado statute that prohibited local governments from passing anti-discrimination laws protecting gay people in Romer v. Evans (1996).
But in both cases, Kennedy appeared unsympathetic to the argument that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marriage. He repeatedly noted that same-sex unions are historically new and that there’s not much “sociological” evidence about them and their offspring. He did, however, express sympathy for the children of same-sex couples, saying he believed their voices were “important” and that they were harmed because their parents were not allowed to wed.
Kennedy did seem far more open to striking down both anti-gay marriage laws on procedural grounds. While this would have a much more limited effect than a broader decision, it would still be a victory for the gay rights movement.
In the Proposition 8 case about California’s 2008 voter-approved gay marriage ban, Kennedy dropped a bombshell early into oral arguments when he wondered aloud whether the Supreme Court should have ever agreed to hear the case in the first place. (At least four justices must vote to take on a case, which happens privately in the judges’ chambers.)
“I just wonder ifif the case was properly granted,” Kennedy said to attorney Ted Olson, who was arguing for the ban to be struck down. Kennedy later asked attorney Charles Cooper, who was arguing on behalf of Proposition 8, why the Supreme Court should hear the case at all.
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Live from the Arab Spring
March 27, 2013
by Diana Atallah, The Media Line
Listening to Hebrew songs is officially frowned upon by many West Bank residents, but interest in learning the language of the other society that is very close but still far away is clearly picking up among Palestinians wishing to understand Israelis. One example is the Mohammed bin Rashid Bin Al-Maktoum School in Al-Bireh, a town adjacent to Ramallah, where many students in grades 7 through 10 are opting to study the Hebrew language.
A somewhat strategic explanation for this little-known fact was offered by Samer Nimer, a director of the private school, who told The Media Line that, We want to know what is going on in Israel first hand, not what others are saying about Israel. Perhaps even more surprising is Nimers revelation that we use the curriculum issued by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
Interaction between Palestinians and Israelis is often limited to conflict-related situations, such as Palestinians passing through Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank; or Palestinian laborers who are permitted to work inside of Israel finding themselves in need of a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew.
For these reasons, the administration of the 600-pupil school, considered to be conservative with boys and girls separated, made the decision to offer Hebrew as the third language, after Arabic and English. We found support from the parents who thanked us, Nimer explained. Some parents said they preferred their children to learn French, but we think the use of French is limited here, he said.
According to Nimer, there are presently around 120 Hebrew students in the school, including eighth-grader Lana [her name is changed for her safety], who is in her second year of study. Her mother told The Media Line that, This is the language of the enemy, and its important for us to learn it. Nevertheless, Lana herself offers a more optimistic outcome from her Hebrew study. She said, I visit Israeli websites and try to read. Also, on school trips, we try to speak with Israelis in Hebrew.
Although Hebrew is mostly viewed as a practical language, many Palestinians apparently agree with Lanas mother, and are interested in following Israeli affairs in order to gain an insight of what is going on in Israel.
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Demonstrators stand outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, where the court will hear arguments on California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Washington The legal battle over gay marriage isnt just fought in the chambers of the Supreme Court or the dueling protests on the street outside, but in dozens of legal briefs filed by politicians, academics and activists.
A handful of these “friend-of-the-court briefs” have deep Utah ties, some arguing to uphold Californias gay-marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) the two laws the Supreme Court is hearing challenges to this week and some calling on the court to reject them.
Heres a summary starting with those who want to keep marriage laws as is, a group that includes the states traditional power brokers:
The State of Utah The attorneys general of 17 states, including Utah, say current marriage laws may impact gay Americans, but they were not drafted to target them, and therefore, the court should not consider them a protected class.
“The traditional definition of marriage has always been about the need to encourage potentially procreative couples to stay together for the sake of the children their sexual unions may produce, not about animus towards homosexuals,” they argued.
The AGs also argue that finding gay-marriage bans unconstitutional would “cause irredeemable harm to the nation as a deliberate, democratic society,” on par with the political tumult surrounding abortion rights.
Republican senators Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, led the Judiciary Committee in 1996 when Congress overwhelmingly passed DOMA and he continues to support it today.
story continues below
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