Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Barronelle Stutzman turns down deal from Washington attorney general

The attorney general offered her a lighter punishment in exchange for denying her Christian faith… and she surprised him by saying no.

Here is her full response:

Dear Mr. Ferguson,

Thank you for reaching out and making an offer to settle your case against me.

As you may imagine, it has been mentally and emotionally exhausting to be at the center of this controversy for nearly two years. I never imagined that using my God-given talents and abilities, and doing what I love to do for over three decades, would become illegal. Our state would be a better place if we respected each other’s differences, and our leaders protected the freedom to have those differences. Since 2012, same-sex couples all over the state have been free to act on their beliefs about marriage, but because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.

Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” I cannot sell that precious freedom. You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.

I pray that you reconsider your position. I kindly served Rob for nearly a decade and would gladly continue to do so. I truly want the best for my friend. I’ve also employed and served many members of the LGBT community, and I will continue to do so regardless of what happens with this case. You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home. If you are serious about clarifying the law, then I urge you to drop your claims against my home, business, and other assets and pursue the legal claims through the appeal process. Thanks again for writing and I hope you will consider my offer.

Sincerely,

Barronelle Stutzman

The attorney general is a Democrat, of course, and Washington is a very blue state. The whole case is troubling, but it’s really troubling that Stutzman is paying Ferguson’s salary through her taxes. She is paying him to do this to her. It’s always a scary thing to me when Christians have to have their consciences trampled at the hands of a government that they pay taxes to employ. I am sorry for Barronelle. I don’t think that she should have to celebrate something she disagrees with.

If there is one thing that troubles me about her statement, it’s that she cashes out her opposition to gay marriage in purely religious terms, and I think that’s not he right approach. The right approach is to talk about how children suffer when they are denied their mother or their father or both, how same-sex marriage undermines marital norms of exclusivity and permanence, how same-sex marriage undermines religious liberty, etc. But still, it’s important that she fight this and that everyone understands how same-sex marriage changes society.

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Florist may lose her business, home and savings for refusing to service gay wedding

I remember reading a blog post by very well known atheist from Washington just after his state legalized same-sex marriage. He said he was very proud of his state. Now we get to find out what he was so proud of.

The story is reported by Alliance Defending Freedom.

They write:

A state judge has determined that the government can force a floral designer to do custom design work and provide wedding support services even if she has a religious conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman. Barronelle Stutzman was found guilty for referring her friend and long-time customer to another florist because the customer wanted her to design floral arrangements and provide services for a  same-sex wedding. Barronelle’s referral ensured the customer received the services he wanted, but has been labeled “discrimination” under Washington law.

The court also ruled that both the state and the couple may collect damages and attorneys’ fees not only from the floral shop, but also from Stutzman personally.

The court said:

“On the evening of November 5, 2012, there was no conflict … The following evening, after the … enactment of same-sex marriage, there would eventually be a direct and insoluble conflict between Stutzman’s religiously motivated conduct and the laws of the State of Washington. Stutzman cannot comply with both the law and her faith if she continues to provide flowers for weddings as part of her duly-licensed business, Arlene’s Flowers.

For simply abiding by her faith and a view of marriage held sacred for centuries, the 70-year-old grandmother not only may lose her business, but also her home and savings. Contrast this reality to the same-sex couple, who not only obtained exactly what they needed for their ceremony, but were offered free flowers and wedding services by a multitude of florists. Yet the state attorney general sued her and then the couple, represented by the ACLU, filed a second lawsuit.

Barronelle’s referral showed kindness and tolerance to her customer, doing as much as she could without violating her conscience.  But apparently there is no tolerance for her religious beliefs about marriage.

“America would be a better place if citizens respected each others’ differences and the government still protected the freedom to have those differences,” said Barronelle. “Instead, the government is coming after me and everything I have just because my beliefs are different from the government’s. I just want the freedom to live and work faithfully and to believe what God says about marriage without fear of punishment, just as others have the freedom to believe and say what they want to about marriage.”

“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: there is no tolerance for those who disagree with the state’s view of marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the court in December. “The couple had no problem getting the flowers they needed. In fact, they received several offers for free flowers. So, where’s the tolerance for Barronelle Stutzman? It’s hard to believe that Barronelle should prepare to have everything she has earned and built seized by the state just because of her beliefs about marriage.”

If you don’t celebrate same-sex marriage, then the courts will come after you and take everything you have to make you celebrate same-sex marriage. This is called tolerance. And it is sold to the public with the well-known gay rights motto “Celebrate Diversity”.

There is nothing in the atheistic worldview that has a problem when Christians have their consciences violated by government coercion. This is the atheist thing – using power to force others to tell them that their man-made hedonistic moralities are actually valid and true. They are really comfortable with government forcing religious individuals to violate their consciences. And forcing them to do a lot more, too. This is just the beginning. When you believe that morality is make-believe that varies by time or place, instead of something objective built into the universe by its Creator and Designer, then anything is possible. Anything is possible. Far from being an unexpected diversion from atheism, this is atheism put into practice. Might makes right. Survival of the fittest. There is no place for a “human right” to free speech in an accidental, materialistic universe.

To end this post on a happy note, I’m going to post a picture of Kristen Waggoner, and her bio, just to remind us who the hero of the story was.

Here she is:

Kristen Waggoner, Alliance Defending Freedom

Kristen Waggoner, Alliance Defending Freedom

Her bio:

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of legal services with Alliance Defending Freedom, leading the organization’s legal advocacy efforts. She is a Martindale-Hubbell AV peer-review rated attorney who clerked for Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington Supreme Court after law school and served in private practice in Seattle for nearly 20 years. Waggoner is admitted to the state bars in Washington, Florida, and Oregon. She is also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st and 9th Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington.

It takes a lot to make one Kristen Waggoner – her parents must be proud of her. She tried her best, and it was good for us that she tried. There’s always the appeal. But even if we win that, the point was made – if you’re a Christian, then you’d better act like an atheist in public. Or else. You have to have their “morality” such as it is forced on you. Or else. We have been intimidated. To think that this happened in a country that was founded by theists, many of them Christians. It makes me sad.

There was a good episode of the Alliance Defending Freedom podcast on this story, which you can download the MP3 file here.

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New study: children of same-sex parents have twice as many emotional problems

Here’s a report from MercatorNet on a new peer-reviewed study published in the British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science.

Mercator writes:

Fresh research has just tossed a grenade into the incendiary issue of same-sex parenting. Writing in the British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, a peer-reviewed journal, American sociologist Paul Sullins concludes that children’s “Emotional problems [are] over twice as prevalent for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents”.

He says confidently: “it is no longer accurate to claim that no study has found children in same-sex families to be disadvantaged relative to those in opposite-sex families.”

This defiant rebuttal of the “no difference” hypothesis is sure to stir up a hornet’s next as the Supreme Court prepares to trawl through arguments for and against same-sex marriage. It will be impossible for critics to ignore it, as it is based on more data than any previous study — 512 children with same-sex parents drawn from the US National Health Interview Survey. The emotional problems included misbehaviour, worrying, depression, poor relationships with peers and inability to concentrate.

After crunching the numbers, Sullins found opposite-sex parents provided a better environment. “Biological parentage uniquely and powerfully distinguishes child outcomes between children with opposite-sex parents and those with same-sex parents,” he writes.

But is it caused by lack of acceptance and homophobia?

The most widely-accepted explanation of poor emotional and behavioural results amongst children in same-sex households is homophobia. Supporters of same-sex parenting attribute poor emotional well-being to stigmatization. These kids are damaged, it is said, because they have been singled out, teased and bullied. If their peers were less homophobic, things would be different.

But Sullins dismisses this. “Contrary to the assumption underlying this hypothesis, children with opposite-sex parents are picked on and bullied more than those with same-sex parents.”

This sounds surprising, but in another paper, published last year in the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research and based on the same data, Sullins found that children of same-sex parents are more at risk of ADHD. And if they had ADHD, they were over seven times more likely to suffer stigmatization because of their impaired interpersonal coping skills. In other words, if kids from homes with same-sex parents are bullied more, it’s because they lack interpersonal skills, not because their parents are gay or lesbian.

Bullying is toxic, but it’s important to find out whether kids are being bullied because they’re different or because their parents are different.

That’s it for that study.

Let’s go back and look at the previous one, from Canada.

The Public Discourse reports on a recent study out of Canada.

Excerpt:

A new academic study based on the Canadian census suggests that a married mom and dad matter for children. Children of same-sex coupled households do not fare as well.

There is a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s flourishing. A study published last week in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates.

Unlike US-based studies, this one evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.

[…]Three key findings stood out to Allen:

children of married opposite-sex families have a high graduation rate compared to the others; children of lesbian families have a very low graduation rate compared to the others; and the other four types [common law, gay, single mother, single father] are similar to each other and lie in between the married/lesbian extremes.

Employing regression models and series of control variables, Allen concludes that the substandard performance cannot be attributed to lower school attendance or the more modest education of gay or lesbian parents. Indeed, same-sex parents were characterized by higher levels of education, and their children were more likely to be enrolled in school than even those of married, opposite-sex couples. And yet their children are notably more likely to lag in finishing their own schooling.

[…]The truly unique aspect of Allen’s study, however, may be its ability to distinguish gender-specific effects of same-sex households on children. He writes:

the particular gender mix of a same-sex household has a dramatic difference in the association with child graduation. Consider the case of girls. . . . Regardless of the controls and whether or not girls are currently living in a gay or lesbian household, the odds of graduating from high school are considerably lower than any other household type. Indeed, girls living in gay households are only 15 percent as likely to graduate compared to girls from opposite sex married homes.

Thus although the children of same-sex couples fare worse overall, the disparity is unequally shared, but is instead based on the combination of the gender of child and gender of parents. Boys fare better—that is, they’re more likely to have finished high school—in gay households than in lesbian households. For girls, the opposite is true. Thus the study undermines not only claims about “no differences” but also assertions that moms and dads are interchangeable. They’re not.

Here’s the study.

The author of the study is a professor of economics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. His PhD in economics is from the University of Washington. A previous study had shown that gay relationships typically have far more instability (they last for more shorter times). That’s not good for children either. Another study featured in the Atlantic talked about how gay relationships have much higher rates of domestic violence. That’s not good for children either. So we have three reasons to think that normalizing gay relationships as “marriage” would not be good for children.

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FDA now allowing gay men to donate blood

This is from the Weekly Standard.

Excerpt:

The FDA will seek to change the ban on gay men’s blood, so long as the donor hasn’t had sexual contact in the last year.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is a science-based regulatory agency that works to protect and promote the public health. In this role, it is our responsibility to regulate the blood supply and to help ensure its continued safety for the patients who receive these life-saving products,” announces FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg.

Over the past several years, in collaboration with other government agencies, the FDA has carefully examined and considered the available scientific evidence relevant to its blood donor deferral policy for men who have sex with men, including the results of several recently completed scientific studies and recent epidemiologic data. Following this review, and taking into account the recommendations of advisory committees to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the FDA, the agency will take the necessary steps to recommend a change to the blood donor deferral period for men who have sex with men from indefinite deferral to one year since the last sexual contact.

This recommended change is consistent with the recommendation of an independent expert advisory panel the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, and will better align the deferral period with that of other men and women at increased risk for HIV infection. Additionally, in collaboration with the NIH’s National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the FDA has already taken steps to implement a national blood surveillance system that will help the agency monitor the effect of a policy change and further help to ensure the continued safety of the blood supply.

Here’s a story from the CBC about how the blood supply became tainted in Canada. (H/T Patriactionary)

Why is this a problem? Well, gay men are at a much higher risk for HIV, and other sexually-transmitted infections. The CDC released this report about the elevated risks posed by this lifestyle.

The write:

Sixty-two percent of American men who know they are HIV positive continue to have unprotected anal sex, according to data released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

This data, which was published Friday, came from the federal government’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System.

The percentage of self-aware HIV-positive men who engage in unprotected anal sex has been increasing, according to the CDC. In 2005, 55 percent did so. In 2008, 57 percent did so. And, in 2011, 62 percent did so.

“Unprotected anal sex is a high-risk practice for HIV infection, with receptive anal sex having the highest risk,” said the CDC report. “Unprotected anal sex also places MSM at risk for other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Although condoms can reduce the risk for HIV transmission, they do not eliminate risk and often are not used consistently. Some MSM attempt to decrease their HIV risk by engaging in unprotected sex only with partners perceived to have the same HIV status as their own. However, this practice is risky, especially for HIV-negative MSM, because MSM with HIV might not know or disclose that they are infected and men’s assumptions about the HIV status of their partners can be wrong.”

And in another report:

Teens and young adults now account for more than a quarter of the new cases of HIV identified in the United States annually, and a clear majority of those cases involve young gay or bisexual men, the federal government said in a major new survey Tuesday.

Of the nearly 48,000 new HIV cases identified in the United States in 2010, the latest year for which complete data are available, more than 12,000 involved teens and young adults, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found in its latest report.

About 72 percent of these new HIV cases in younger adults occurred in young men who are gay or bisexual, according to the CDC report.

[…]According to the CDC figures, black youths accounted for the largest share of new HIV cases, with Hispanic youths and white youths accounting for about 20 percent each.

About 1.1 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in the United States. Some 47,129 new HIV cases were identified in 2010.

The CDC’s new report, “Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, Risk Behaviors Among Youths, United States,” estimated that youths aged 13 to 24 accounted for 12,200, or 26 percent, of new HIV infections in 2010.

But, this is what we get when we elect a government that is more in service to ideas of “equality”, “diversity” and “non-discrimination” than common sense. It would be nice to think that the only people who will suffer from this decision are Democrats, but that’s not the way it works.Everyone suffers when we elect people who are led by emotional ideology (the vision of the anointed, as Thomas Sowell calls it) instead of reason and evidence. We get to be the test subjects of their little experiments.

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Human Rights Campaign co-founder Terry Bean arrested for sex crime with 15-year-old

Gay activist Terry Bean and Barack Obama

Gay activist Terry Bean and Barack Obama

Here is his biography from his web site:

Terry Bean is a native Oregonian, successful real estate developer, and President and CEO of Bean Investment Real Estate, a private company that trades and invests in commercial real estate as well as large residential complexes.  Along with these badges of honor, Terry Bean is often first recognized as a pioneer in the national civil rights movement, promoting full equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer/questioning communities. (GLBTQ)

Terry Bean is so well regarded as an activist that Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski declared August 23, 2008, to be “Terry Bean Equality Day” in recognition for the work he has done on LGBT rights causes since the 1970’s.

A pioneer in the movement, Terry Bean, started advocating politically for gay rights in the early 1970′s in Eugene, Oregon. Early successes resulted in the passing of a city gay rights ordinance, which, while was later overturned by voters, set the framework for grassroot organizations and strategies which quickly followed—establishing a pattern of victories which have continued well into the new millennium.

In 1979, Bean helped to organize the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the first such highly visible effort to empower a minority while educating a majority.

After the march on Washington, Terry Bean turned his focus to the national level co-founding the Gay Rights National Lobby and the Human Rights Campaign Fund. These groups merged to become today’s Human Rights Campaign – HRC.

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation’s largest gay rights organization.

Here is the first story from KOIN 6 News:

A founder of the country’s leading gay rights organization was arrested Wednesday on charges related to an incident with a 15-year-old boy last year.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit took Terrence Bean into custody at his home in Southwest Portland following a Lane County Grand Jury indictment.

Bean, 66, was on the ground floor of the Human Rights Campaign, according to terrybeanpolitics.com, and is listed as an HRC board member and Portland’s sole representation in the group’s leadership on hrc.org.

And the follow-up story from Oregon Live:

The former boyfriend of Terrence P. Bean was arrested early Thursday on sex abuse charges stemming from the same alleged 2013 encounter with a 15-year-old boy at a hotel in Eugene.

Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, was arrested at 1:15 a.m. at the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center shortly after 2 a.m.

He’s accused of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse.

Lawson is expected to be transferred later Thursday to Lane County, where he was indicted, according to jail officials. His bail was set at $50,000.

Detective Jeff Myers from the Portland’s Sex Crimes Unit made the arrest, hours after police took Lawson’s ex-boyfriend, Portland developer Terrence Patrick Bean, into custody Wednesday morning.

Bean, 66, a prominent gay rights activist and major Democratic Party fundraiser, was arrested at his home in Southwest Portland and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 10:12 a.m. Wednesday.

The indictment charges Bean with two counts of third-degree sodomy, a felony, and one count of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor, police said.

[…]Both Bean and Lawson are accused of having a sexual encounter with the same 15-year-old boy in a hotel in Eugene last year. They had arranged the encounter with the teen after meeting him via a website, investigators allege.

“The investigation began in Portland, but the criminal episode occurred in Lane County,” said police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Bean has been one of the state’s biggest Democratic donors and an influential figure in gay rights circles in the state. He helped found two major national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama. He’s also a close friend of former Gov. Barbara Roberts.

The Human Rights Campaign promotes the idea that gay marriage is “equal” to heterosexual marriage. And a lot of big companies are very friendly with the Human Rights Campaign.

Companies that support the Human Rights Campaign

I found a list of companies on the Human Rights Campaign web site that are also strongly oppose traditional marriage.

Platinum Partners:

  • American Airlines
  • Citi
  • Microsoft
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • VPI Pet Insurance

Gold Partners:

  • Bank of America
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Lexus
  • Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
  • Prudential

Silver Partners:

  • Beaulieu Vineyard
  • BP
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Chevron
  • Google
  • MGM Mirage
  • Nike

Bronze Partners:

  • Chase
  • Cox Enterprises
  • Cunard
  • Dell
  • Goldman Sachs
  • IBM
  • Macy’s Inc.
  • MetLife
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Orbitz
  • Paul Hastings
  • PwC
  • Replacements, Ltd.
  • Shell
  • Starbucks
  • Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank
  • Tylenol PM

And of course prominent Democrats support them too – like Barack Obama:

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

And Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

UPDATE: Life News says he is also pro-abortion:

A nationally-known pro-abortion activist has been arrested on charges of raping a 15-year-old boy. Terrance Patrick Bean is the founder of Human Rights Campaign, a group that pushes other political issues but also takes a steadfastly pro-abortion position.

Human Rights Campaign, in addition to advancing abortion, has also lobbied Congress to end all federal funding for abstinence education, and hailed one piece of legislation that cut off fundingbecause it “would end abstinence-only-until-marriage programs once and for all.” Bean is also a prominent supporter of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Please see the related links below for more related stories.

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