Success! Defenders Holding the Line against Same-Sex “Marriage”—Activists Discouraged By Week’s Events

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News from the Trenches Good as Citizens Rally Against Nationwide Assault on Marriage:

The gay activists’ stated “6 by 12″ strategy has hit major roadblocks this week as citizens rallied nationwide to protect marriage.  In state after state, efforts to marginalize marriage lost steam and in some states, the issue seems to have reached critical mass.  Thank you to the People!

Vermont: Same-sex “Marriage” Legislation (S.115) faces Veto:

Governor Jim Douglas (R) has said he would veto any ssm bills that come to his desk.  Opposition to the anti-marriage legislation has been stiff and proponents are no longer sure they have the votes to override the promised veto.  Thank You Jim!

New Hampshire: Same-sex “Marriage” Legislation (HB 436) faces Veto:

In New Hampshire, Democrat leaders were shocked by the degree and intensity of public outcry.  Their slam dunk has turned into a hard-fought battle such that the Democratic governor of the state, John Lynch, has promised to veto the bill, and along with Vermont’s governor is urging legislators to get back to the people’s business.

Maine: Same-sex “Marriage” Legislation Coming Up:

In Maine, a bill to legalize gay marriage has nearly 60 co-sponsors in the Legislature. Gov. John Baldacci, who opposes gay marriage, says he hasn’t taken a position on the measure.

Hawaii: Civil Union Law (HB 444) Stalled Indefinitely:

The bill that threatened to legalize civil unions in Hawaii is stuck in the Senate Committee and appears to be dead after committee members voted this week against sending it to the Senate floor for a vote.  After weeks of protests and outcry from the citizens of Hawaii in support of traditional marriage, the votes in the legislature dwindled and supporters of the bill say there is not enough momentum for it to pass. Read the story here.

Iowa: Waiting for the State Supreme Court:

Iowans are anxiously awaiting the decision of their State Supreme Court on the marriage issue.  Stay tuned on this one.  The decision could come any day.

California: Opposition Taking Aim at Prop 8:

As Californians wait for the official decision of the State Supreme Court on the constitutionality of proposition 8,  two proposed amendments have been filed to try to overturn Prop 8.  One proposes to actually abolish marriage itself. Meanwhile TWO California polls show increasing support for proposition 8 and traditional marriage.  Gay activists have vilified, persecuted, and threatened marriage supporters, and the newest polls are reflecting the public’s response:

Pestered Prop 8 Donors File Suit
Washington Times
March 23, 2009

“Anybody who’s in California knows that it’s very widespread,” said Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the biggest contributors to Proposition 8 and a joint plaintiff in the lawsuit. “Every donor has a story. I talked to a $100 donor the other day who had a note in his mailbox that said, ‘I know where you live and you’re going to pay.’

“These are just hardworking people who believe marriage is a union of a man and a woman and who never expected to be threatened in their homes,” Mr. Brown said. Read More >>

Marriage is a unique bond between a husband and wife. No politician or judge should try to interfere in that union, and no intimidation tactics will sway us.  Our children, grandchildren and families depend on the stability of Marriage.  This is the fight of our generation.

The outlook is looking up this week thanks to the voices of thousands who called their reps, phoned, blogged, wrote letters and rallied in their states!  Thank you all!  The outpouring has been tremendous.  There are still many battles coming up, including the fight to protect the DOMA, a national law supporting families that Obama has said he will try to repeal.

I read recently on a popular opposition blog that they just can’t understand where we got all the support so quickly……

Where Did Everybody Go?
Pam’s House Blend
March 21, 2009

We’re holding our third Action Fair tomorrow, the first in Central Jersey. The turnout for the first two was respectable. Having at least 50 participants at the second gathering, this early in the game, I considered a “success”. Yet after receiving updates on Maggie Gallagher’s efforts from the National Organization for Marriage headquartered in Princeton, it appears that the opposition, once again, is more organized and has recently motivated their supporters to call their legislators every day.
Read More >>

We’re out there and we’re making a difference!  Keep up the good fight! Don’t forget to support the groups who are out there fighting the good fight in the states under siege.  Pro-Family groups will be running ads in the hardest hit states this next week to support marriage and continue the momentum.  Every little bit helps! They can’t do it without us!

—Beetle Blogger

Unions Whipping Hysteria, Promoting Longevity over Quality

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Why should teachers be a protected class?

Their unions are whipping up hysteria about possible layoffs, but they don’t seem to care about getting rid of bad educators.

By Larry Sand
March 26, 2009

Earlier this month, United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy purposely disrupted a school board meeting to dramatize his plea to save teachers’ jobs. Only a few days later, teachers, parents and students participated in more than 100 events across the state aimed at protesting teacher layoffs. Now it’s time to step back from all this hysteria over possible layoffs and take a realistic look at where things stand.

First, a little background: By March 15, school districts in California were required to send out reduction-in-force notices (RIFs) to any employee whose job might be in jeopardy come fall. The unions are referring to these notices as “pink slips.” Now, everyone knows that a pink slip means “You’re fired.” But it is very clear that these RIFs are nothing more than an alert to a possible layoff — sort of the difference between a bullet to the head and a warning shot. Still, the California Teachers Assn. went so far as to have a day dedicated to alerting the general populace about the RIFs, calling Friday, March 13 “Pink Slip Friday” — once again leading all concerned to believe that all teachers receiving RIFs would be shown the door.

The simple truth is that no one knows what will happen because there are just too many wild cards in the deck. As Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines pointed out in an e-mail sent to all teachers, the ultimate fate of the state budget will not be known until budget initiatives are voted on during the May 19 election. Also, there is still no hard information on when federal stimulus money will rain down on L.A. Then there is an early-retirement incentive package that could induce many highly paid veteran teachers to retire, thus allowing newer, lower-paid teachers to keep their jobs.

In all honesty, it is certainly possible that some teachers will have to be let go. Although no one would diminish the seriousness of a job loss, we must be realistic. Our state is in dire financial straits — why should teachers be a protected class? This is especially true in light of the following inconvenient fact: In 2003-04, the LAUSD had 747,009 students in its system, and those students were taught by 36,180 teachers. By 2007-08, the student population had shrunk 7%, to 693,680, but the teaching force had decreased only about 1%, to 35,785. In 2003-04, the student/teacher ratio was 20.64 students per teacher. In 2007-08, it was 19.38 students per teacher. If we went back to the 20.64 ratio of 2003-04, we would need only 33,597 teachers — 2,000 fewer teachers than we have now. (Unions hate the thought of fewer teachers — it means less money in the form of dues for them).

A very troubling aspect of the layoff scenario is that if teachers are let go, it will be done by seniority. This means that an ineffective teacher on the job for three years gets to keep his or her job over a wonderful teacher who has been on the job for two years. This would be damaging to kids and devastating to the laid-off teachers, many of whom would seek out new professions. But the unions don’t seem to care about teacher quality as much as longevity.

This archaic system is exacerbated by the tenure or “permanence” scheme insisted on by the unions. Under this set-up, once a teacher has been in a school for two years, he is essentially given a job for life. Getting rid of bad teachers is almost impossible. If we could dismiss poor teachers instead of being forced to keep them, the system would improve greatly. The next time a union official starts talking about “the children,” please ask why the union insists on this system, which clearly does not benefit children.

In Los Angeles, we have some of the highest-paid teachers in the U.S. — most of whom have a world-class health plan in a state whose economy is falling apart, where the unemployment rate tops 10% and whose citizens are already among the most taxed in the country — whining about the possibility that a few jobs may be lost.

It is unfair to paint all teachers with the union brush. But it would behoove those who dissent from the UTLA and CTA party line to let their union know how they feel, and perhaps seek alternatives.

Larry Sand, a Los Angeles teacher for more than 27 years, is the president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network.

Reprinted with Permission from the Author

This is marriage

marriage 9

“Marriage isn’t a word—it’s a sentence”

Caption from King Vidor’s silent film. The Crowd (1926)

 

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photo by allie pasquier

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