Faith and Family UPDATE: Louisiana Legislature moves forward with certain issues
As the state missionary assigned to The Louisiana Baptist Moral and Social Concerns Committee, I’ve been monitoring several issues in the state Legislature. The week of April 25-29 was mixed. Continue to pray. The only way for the darkness to be permeated is with the truth.
This week I had the great opportunity to spend some face time with some of our Senators who belong to LBC churches. We are blessed with some very convictional people who represent our biblical worldview. Pray for their families.
The primary sanctity of life issue identified by the MSCC is SB 528 “Ultrasound Before Abortion Act” by Sen. Sharon Broome. The bill passed out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee but not before Sen. Joe McPherson of Alexandria attached some weakening amendments. He also gained the commitment of Sen. Broom to not change the committee modifications on the Senate floor. In essence he held Sen. Broome hostage to the committee actions. Those amendments give the abortionist more opportunity to deceive the woman about the humanity of her unborn child. The bill is now headed to the Senate Floor. Sen. Sharon Broome demonstrated tremendous grace during the very difficult hearing in Senate Judiciary A. She deserves a word of compliment from everyone who cherishes life from the womb to the tomb.
HB 1370: By Rep. Fred Mills. Allows the Department of Health to shut down “out-of-compliance” abortion facilities. Passed out of committee and heads to House Floor. Could be scheduled for floor debate in the next week or two.
HB 94 by Rep. Kirk Talbot and SB 26 Sen. A.G. Crowe are bills that establish a constitutional amendment that prohibits the federal government from forcing Louisianans to participate in the federal healthcare reform system. This bill provides for the freedom of all residents of the state to provide for their own health care. The bill passed out of committee this week and is headed to the Senate Floor.
SB 129 by Sen. J. P. Morrell and SB 442 by Sen. Ed Murray would have allowed heterosexual and homosexual unmarried couples to jointly adopt children. The Louisiana Constitution does not recognize homosexual marriages. These bills were strongly defeated after several hours of grueling testimony on the benefits of homosexual parenting. LBC director of communications John Yeats testified about the potential tragedy of these kinds of adoptions. Several pastors spoke on the immorality of homosexuality and the insanity of trying to grant state sanctioned parenting of children by homosexual couples (or unmarried heterosexual couples). The bills were defeated in the Senate Judiciary A committee hearing.
SB 521 by Sen. Shaw clarifies that Louisiana will not issue a birth certificate for a Louisiana child adopted in another state listing the names of two unmarried adults as parents. This would violate Louisiana public policy. Unfortunately, the Senate Judiciary A committee raised multiple questions about the bill and Senator Shaw recognized the political ploy at work that would defeat the bill. He wisely pulled the bill from consideration at this time. Unless the bill is combined with a germane bill, this leaves the courts to manipulate state statutes to validate homosexual parenting.
SB 53 by Sen. Nick Gautreaux “Johnny’s Milk Money,” requires casinos to withhold delinquent child support from the winnings of gamblers. This bill passed the Senate by a vote of 38-0. The bill is now in the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.
SB 192 by Sen. Mount restores a religious exemption from extensive daycare regulations for church run Mother’s Day Out Programs. This bill passed the Senate by a vote of 36-0.
HB 1370: By Rep. Fred Mills. Allows DHH to shut down “out-of-compliance” abortion facilities. Passed out of committee and heads to House Floor.
SCR 38, a resolution by Sen. Gerald Long, calls for a Parental Rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The only way to fully protect God-given parental rights from either a runaway judiciary or a ratified foreign treaty is to spell out their designation as “fundamental” in the Constitution. The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 34-0.
The HB 686 by Richmond remains scheduled for the House Commerce Committee on Monday, May 3. Indications are he doesn’t have the votes to move it forward. This bill establishes a licensing procedure for professional chaplains. This bill is a radical, unconstitutional violation of free exercise of religion. Louisiana Baptists have over 270 chaplains registered with our Missions and Ministry Team. This bill would be highly detrimental to their work.
On Tuesday, May 4, SB 606 Preservation of Religious Liberty Act by Sen. Martiny needs the support of Louisiana Baptists. If you cannot be there send an email or call the members of the Senate Judiciary A Committee and request their support. If you can be present, drop a card of support.
When the Moral and Social Concerns Committee met, they were briefed on these major issues and several others. Share with your state legislator your support or opposition to issues by calling: Senate (225.342.2040) or House (225.342.6945). You may also secure a copy of a particular bill and its current status by going to www.legis.state.la.us.
One of the best ways to stay up to date on the state legislative issues is to make certain you are receiving the LBC e-newsletter. If you are currently not receiving the e-newsletter, contact Erich.Greer@LBC.org.