One of the realities of working with public policies issues is that significant things happen quickly and there great danger with the seeming obscure.
On Monday, May 23rd
The House Civil Law Committee held public testimony for HB 288. The purpose of this bill was to allow two people who are not married to each other adopt a child jointly. On the surface it sounds rather innocuous. However, the primary proponent for this bill is the homosexual community.
The emotional testimony in committee centered around homosexual partners where one partner is the legal parent of a child and wants to add the other partner as a “second parent” on the child’s birth certificate. Oh my, how sin can complicate things.
For example, one testimony said that she and her partner were together for 19 years and then after 10 years decided to have children via sperm donation. Following the birth of these two children (the birth mom would be the legal parent), the two women separated. There was physical violence involved and the birth mom was jailed. The witness was devastated because she did not have a legal right to custody of the children. The witness wept through her very emotional testimony and her pain was clearly evident.
Let us be clear and loving here, scenarios such as this clearly illustrate that children suffer due to the choices made by adults, in this case, the birth mother who chose to conceive children via sperm donation, purposefully denying the children their birth father. My own written testimony stated that adoption laws are for the purpose of protecting children and must not be used for social engineering experiments.
How many times do we have to hear that the definition of the family is changing and it serves the children to adapt to the new and evolving parenting models? God’s design for the family and for child rearing is the union of one man and woman. Anything else falls short of God’s standard. We know that in our fallen world, marriages fail and people fall short. We live in a broken world with far too many victims. But in the case of unmarried persons adopting jointly, the state has no business in “normalizing” those who are attempting to humanistically re-write the definition of family. In 2004, 78% of Louisiana voters agreed with a constitutional amendment. The committee killed the bill by not allowing it to go any further.
Also, HCR54 by Rep. Hoffmann memorializes Congress to defund Planned Parenthood passed the House 72-20. Voting against the resolution: Anders, Badon, A., , Bishop, Brossett, Burrell, Dixon, Franklin, Gallot, Hardy, Honore, Jackson, G., Jackson, M., Jones, R., LaFonta, Leger, Moreno, Norton, Smith, P., Stiaes, Thierry
On Tuesday, May 24th
The House Health and Welfare Committee heard the substitute bill for HB 587 by Rep. John LaBruzzo which would directly challenge Roe vs Wade by prohibiting all abortions in Louisiana. This is the aim of prolifers. We’d love to be the first abortion free state.
The strategy of LaBruzzo’s bill is that this act would invite a lawsuit which could go all the way up to the Supreme Court, forcing them to revisit some of the arguments about when life begins and the 10th amendment right of states to prohibit abortion. The room was packed, mostly with supporters of the bill, but also with Planned Parenthood people in pink shirts. Sitting with Rep. Labruzzo to present the bill was Rebecca Kiessling, an attorney from Michigan and herself a survivor of abortion after her mother was the victim of rape.
Proponents of the bill argued passionately for the civil rights of unborn children. There was plenty of great testimony on the humanity and personhood of the baby. Planned Parenthood repeated the same old worn out excuses about why killing yet-to-be-born should be legal.
There are problems that must be resolved with this bill. There are some serious questions about the strategy of challenging Roe vs Wade at this time, given the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court. While the bill moved out of committee, it has some very troubled waters ahead because the strategy is questioned by honest prolife advocates. Using LaBruzzo’s analogy, is this the time to take the gamble and throw the long ball to the endzone? My heart says, “Yes.” My brain and experience says, “Not yet.”
The House and Government Committee heard HB 277 by Rep. Patrick Williams that places a privately funded monument of the Ten Commandments on capitol grounds along with other historical icons. This bill has part of its origin with pastor Mike Holloway of Cook Baptist Church, Ruston. Mike believes that since the Supreme Court ruled the Texas monument constitutional, then Louisiana should have the foundation of our law, the Ten Commandments represented too. There was some discussion about why other contributing foundation icons were not included but Rep. Williams superbly maintained the focus of the bill and it passed out of committee.