Connecticut In the Crosshairs


[by Peter Wolfgang]

"Wait Training" is a company presenting "dynamic training workshops that will equip and empower you to mobilize your community and teach your teens the skills to avoid drugs, alcohol, early sexual debut and other high risk behaviors." The workshops will be held Friday, May 5 and Saturday May 6 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at Gengras Auditorium, St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Those who sign up now will pay a reduced fee of $99. To register call 720-488-8888 or click here. For more information click on the web site linked to in the previous sentence or contact local abstinence activist Lori Blackburn at

Posted at 1:20 PM
April 21

[by Brian Brown]

FIC is proud to partner with the New Canaan Society, the New Canaan Women's Fellowship and other area churches and Christian organizations in sponsoring the most important marriage event to come to Fairfield County. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of the award-winning book Love and Respect, and his wife Sarah will be giving their two-day seminar on marriage, relationships and male/female communication (this is not just for married couples and it definitely is not just for marriages in crisis). The Eggerichs's highly entertaining presentation and unique message is being praised by men and women across the country and regularly draws audiences of 2,000-3,000 people.

Click here for more information and to register for the Love and Respect Conference at the Westin Hotel in Stamford, May 12-13. As a Conference Partner, FIC's members are entitled to a significantly reduced conference price of $50.00 per person/$100 per couple. Use the Conference Partner Code NCSFIC when registering. FIC also will be providing a limited number of free tickets to the event for pastors and church leaders to build marriage programs throughout the state.  Please contact us at if you are a pastor or church leader at if you are interested.

Posted at 11:16 AM
April 20

[by Peter Wolfgang]

A rally celebrating the Founders' true understanding of church/state relations--and decrying secularist distortions of that understanding--went off without a hitch Tuesday:

[John] Gedney [of Christian Motorcycles Association] was one of more than 100 people who attended a rally Tuesday organized by Minutemen United, an Ohio-based Christian group that promotes religious liberties and believes that the nation's founding fathers intended to keep religious principles in government.

Most of the people who attended stayed for the duration of the two-hour event, sitting on the grass and blocking their eyes from the springtime evening sun. They also munched on hot dogs and chips that were for sale by a local vendor.

Minutemen United brought preachers, teachers and historians from across the country to tell people why the wall that separates church and state must come down.

Best-selling author Bill Federer of Amerisearch said the only religion that receives tolerance is secularism. Greg Thompson of the America Asleep Know More group said the public school system is filled with moral decay. And the Rev. Bob Schenck of the National Clergy Council said Christians need to be more aggressive to get public policy changed.

The rally was nearly derailed last week by a liberal opponent posing as a neo-Nazi supporter. Hat City Blog, a liberal Danbury blogger who opposes the rally's support for religion in the public square, nonetheless raises some important questions about the News-Times' role in the hoax. FIC members may also wish to click on the News-Times article in order to post their own comments in the online conversation over the issues raised by the rally.

Posted at 3:30 PM
April 19

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The ethics office has said that those responsible for disbursing 100 million taxpayer dollars to clone-and-kill human embryos should not have a conflict of interest:

Connecticut stem cell scientists eager to apply for $20 million in state funding will have to wait - at least until the state legislature addresses ethical concerns about the makeup of the committee that will award the money.
The state Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee authorized to dole out the funds has postponed its meetings until concerns raised by the Office of State Ethics about the makeup of the committee are addressed, a spokesman for the state public health department said Tuesday.

A majority of the committee's members have either direct or indirect affiliations with the University of Connecticut or Yale University. Researchers from those schools are expected to get the lion's share of the $100 million in funds that the state legislature approved last year for stem cell research over the next 10 years...

The delay worried scientists who were poised to start stem cell research projects - including human embryonic stem cell research ineligible for federal funding.

Disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk has demonstrated the level of fraud that can occur in the name of embryonic stem cell research. The ethics office is right to prevent incentives for similar scandals to occur here. Now we just need it to dawn on our legislators that the act of cloning and killing human embryos is itself unethical!

Posted at 2:14 PM
April 17

[by Peter Wolfgang]

It was nice of the Courant to run a few positive items about faith on Easter Sunday. But it would have had more meaning if the paper had not editorialized in favor of the destruction of religious freedom in Connecticut the next day.

On Feb. 23, the Courant's editors had this to say about legislative efforts to force Catholic hospitals to provide chemical abortions:

It is neither necessary nor fair to force these church-based institutions to go against their fundamental beliefs. In 80 percent of Connecticut hospitals, a woman will be offered emergency contraception, according to rape crisis experts. The Catholic hospitals say it is their policy to inform rape victims where they can receive emergency contraception.

But here is what they say today:

We had hoped Roman Catholic hospitals would find a way to provide emergency contraception known as Plan B to rape victims without being forced to do so by the legislature.

Really? Since when? What happened to "it is neither necessary nor fair" to force Catholic hospitals "to go against their fundamental beliefs"?

Now, all of the sudden, the Courant is saying that because Catholic hospitals get public funds they must provide rape victims the full "emergency care." But on Feb. 23 the Courant thought the Catholic hospitals were doing that by informing the victims where among those 80 percent of other Connecticut hospitals they can go to get "emergency contraception." Why is a policy that was good enough for the Courant's editors on Feb. 23 suddenly not good enough for them on April 17?

The Courant is now claiming that the "Plan B" issue "was provoked by the church itself" for updating its policy to require a determination that the woman is not ovulating before being given the potentially abortifacient drug. The Church "provoked" the issue by requiring fidelity to its teachings? What happened to the Courant's Feb. 23 concern that the Church not be coerced into violating its "fundamental beliefs"? Do the Courant editors think that giving an abortifacient to a pregnant woman violates the Church's "fundamental beliefs" but providing it where there is only the chance of a fertilized human egg being destroyed somehow does not? When did the paper get into the business of distinguishing Catholicism's fundamental beliefs from its non-fundamental beliefs?

The last paragraph in the editorial notes "horror stories from...rape victims" and says "medical treatment should be the decision of a woman and her doctor." But the pro-abortion activists pushing this issue never produced a single victim who said she had been denied the drug at a Catholic hospital. As late as last week, at a meeting of the Victim Advocate's advisory council, they said they were still collecting data regarding the hospitals. Even legislators in favor of the original bill were pushing the activists to produce data they apparently never had. As James Papillo noted in his testimony, this was a solution in search of a problem, an exploitation of rape victims for the purpose of attacking religious freedom.

And why did the Courant go from saying on Feb. 23 that "[i]t is neither necessary nor fair to force these church-based institutions to go against their fundamental beliefs" to simply asserting on Apr. 17 that "medical treatment should be the decision of a woman and her doctor"? Why did the editors think that religious freedom deserved some respect within the woman/doctor relationship on Feb. 23 but not on Apr. 17?

On Feb. 23 in this space I blogged:

Whatever our other differences with the Courant's editors, the paper has consistently opposed efforts to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

That is apparently no longer the case, making Apr. 17 yet another dark day for religious freedom in Connecticut.

Posted at 3:13 PM

[by Brian Brown]

A group of faithful Christians organizing a rally for religious freedom in Danbury were the victims of a vicious hoax last week perpetrated by a liberal secularist who was opposed to the rally. The event, which was nearly derailed by one man's lies, is back on for tomorrow, April 18. We invite every pro-family citizen in Connecticut to support religious freedom--and even our right to speak in support of religious freedom--by attending tomorrow's rally.

In Connecticut and elsewhere, the religious freedom and free speech rights of people of traditional faith have lately come under increasing attack by the self-professed proponents of "tolerance." Tomorrow's rally provides an excellent opportunity to respond.

Just in the last few months in Connecticut we have seen such attacks on religious freedom as a complaint of bias filed against a Christian hospital for refusing to accept same-sex unions, a legislative attempt to force Christian hospitals to provide chemical abortions and Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan's call for the resignation of state Victim Advocate James Papillo, an ordained clergyman, for committing the thought crimes of being a faithful Christian who opposes abortion and same-sex "marriage."

We know how the self-professed champions of "tolerance" react when pro-family citizens speak out against these injustices: they attack our right to speak. Since 2004, a significant number of pro-family churches around the state have been vandalized because they displayed FIC's "Defend Marriage Now!" banners. In 2005, a pro same-sex "marriage" activist was arrested for making a death threat against Connecticut Catholic lobbyist Marie Hilliard.

Last week, a man called the Danbury News-Times claiming to be a neo-Nazi and said that he was bringing three busloads of white supremacists to the April 18 religious freedom rally. The paper ran a "Nazis coming to Danbury" headline above a picture of the Christian organizers and the city responded by pulling the rally's permit to meet on public property. But it was a lie, a hoax perpetrated by a secularist who opposed the rally's support for religion in the public square:

DANBURY - There are no Grey Wolves. The man who claimed to be the Wolves' spokesman is, by his own admission, "an idiot."

"I'm a fool," the man said Friday. "I apologize to the people of Danbury."...

The man described himself as "a liberal, a Democrat and a Christian."...

After reading about the rally, he said, he became incensed.

"I'm sick of people mixing politics with Christianity and Christianity with politics," he said. "I have very strong convictions about the separation of church and state. These people want to create a theocracy."

With this man's lies exposed, the city's permit has been restored, the News-Times has admitted its error and the rally is back on. This is a victory for free speech and religious freedom in Connecticut. But that these things occurred at all is further evidence of how much our rights are under attack.

The time to stand up to these attacks and defend our freedom is now! We encourage every pro-family citizen in Connecticut to stand up for religious freedom by attending tomorrow's rally! Here is the schedule:


12:00 Noon - 2 pm - Ministry Leader/Pastor Luncheon - Stony Hill Inn, Rte 6, Bethel, CT. (off Exit 8, Rte 84). Please reserve luncheon seats by calling (203) 778-2672.

2:30 pm - Solemn Ceremony and Prayer Vigil - Site of the Foundation of the Old Baptist Church. Due to limited space and access, please call (203)778-2672 to reserve a place.

4 pm - 5 pm - Pre-Rally Speakers and Music.  City Center Green in Downtown Danbury.

5 pm - 7 pm - Celebration of Freedom Rally, City Center Green in Downtown Danbury. (Follow the signs for the Downtown Dining District off Exit 5 of I-84).

Food will be available. Parking will be available at the Patriot Garage next to the Green.  ALL EVENTS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

You can learn more about tomorrow's events by clicking here. For more information, contact Richard Kendall, Media and Publicity Coordinator for Minutemen United's New England Division, at 203-521-3456.

Posted at 1:28 PM
April 14

[by Peter Wolfgang]

A story in yesterday's News-Times claiming that three busloads of neo-Nazis were planning to crash a religious rally in Danbury provoked the usual anti-Christian smears from liberals. But there was one problem: it was a liberal hoax.

The paper ran the headline "Neo-Nazis say they're coming to Danbury" right above a picture of our friend Rich Kendall and other organizers of a rally protesting secularist distortions of the First Amendment's establishment clause:

A rally calling for an end to the separation of church and state is expected to draw hundreds to downtown Danbury on Tuesday, including members of a neo-Nazi group who plan to wear swastikas on their black jackets...

The Grey Wolves, a Northeast-based white supremacist group loosely affiliated with the Christian Identity Movement, will bring three busloads of people to the rally, Rick Renage, Grey Wolves spokesman, said Wednesday.

Renage read about the rally at, The News-Times' Web site, which posted information Wednesday afternoon about the event.

"We just want to show our solidarity with the churches who are sponsoring this activity," Renage said...

"I, personally, am not looking for any confrontations, but if we are provoked, we will react very strongly," he said in an e-mail to The News-Times.

The city responded by denying a permit for the rally to meet on public property. And at least three local left-wing blogs went bonkers, smearing conservative Christians with the same brush as Nazis and highlighting alleged connections between Catholics and--of all things!--the Ku Klux Klan.

But the whole thing was a hoax whose apparent motivation was opposition to the rally's viewpoint that the Constitution acknowledges a more vigorous public role for religion than "wall of separation" absolutists will allow:

Danbury police said Friday that the man who claimed to be a member of the Grey Wolves neo-Nazi group made up the entire story. Police said there is no such group as the Grey Wolves, and the man apologized for his behavior...

"I apologize to the city of Danbury, said the man, who refused to give his name to the News-Times. "I'm a fool. I'm an idiot."

The man, who said he lived in Fairfield County, said he made up the name Grey Wolves because of his indignation over the rally.

"I'm a strong supporter of church and state," he said.

But what he thought was a prank soon proved to be disruptive.

"I'm trying to reach the ministers and apologize to them too," the man said.

So--like the vandalism of FIC banners hanging on pro-family churches and the death threat against local Catholic lobbyist Marie Hilliard--another liberal attempt to suppress the free speech of those with whom liberals disagree has failed. How the Left can still claim to be the champions of tolerance, diversity and freedom of expression, only God knows.

Posted at 7:40 PM
April 13

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Every Christmas the secularists tell us not to mention "Christmas" in public and every Easter they tell us our beliefs are lies. Lent, 2006 has been no different. This year's attack began a few weeks ago with the climatologist who claimed that Jesus did not walk on water but on a block of ice. Then the Courant ran that silly front page story on the supposed significance of a text of the Gospel of Judas, a Gnostic work rejected by the Church in the second century. And, of course, there was the Courant editorial lecturing Christian critics of "The DaVinci Code" to get over it. In fact, Christian reaction to the book has been rather mild when compared with the anti-Christian hysteria over Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," but I don't recall any similar Courant editorial advising anti-Passion secularists to calm down.

Why do the media do this every Easter? Columnist Cal Thomas' observations in his Apr. 11 piece offers a partial answer:

What is responsible for this flood of skepticism, heresy and outright denial of the biblical record? Why is there not a similar cultural onslaught against other faiths? Only the suicidal would treat Islam in this way. The skeptics sound like those disclaimers for certain drugs sold on TV: Side effects may include vomiting, hair loss, bleeding, dizziness and disorientation. The side effects of believing in Jesus may include loss of friends, disrespect by the academic and journalistic communities and damage to one's career, not to mention a complete change in the life to which one has become comfortably accustomed.

Posted at 4:25 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

My pro-family quote in an Apr. 1 Courant story provoked a letter-to-the-editor today by someone claiming the U.S. Constitution requires same-sex "marriage." Justice Scalia dismissed such nonsense in his UConn Law appearance yesterday:

Touching on some of the most recent controversial Supreme Court cases, the 70-year-old jurist expanded on his view that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted only by what the nation's forefathers wrote in the document, rather than seeing the Constitution through the evolving standards of time.

Brian and I attended Justice Scalia's address to the Federalist Society on Tuesday. The man was every bit as brilliant, witty and approachable as this week's media stories are reporting.

Most of his Tuesday speech was similar to the UConn lecture described in the New Haven Register:

The early-20th century was a period in which the public looked to political appointees as "experts" on a range of topics, Scalia told audience members. Now the public looks to judges for wisdom on whether abortion, execution and other practices should be allowed, he said.
"I am questioning the propriety, indeed the sanity, of having a value-laden decision made for the entire society by unelected judges," he said. "There are no scientifically demonstrable right answers to these questions, as opposed to answers that a particular society favors."
Even if there were right answers, Scalia said, a lawyer or judge is no better equipped to answer them than a medical doctor, engineer, ethicist "or even the famed Joe Six-Pack."  

But he did stay long at his Tuesday appearance and took many questions from the audience. When asked about what the future holds for the originalist understanding of the Constitution he noted the addition of three strict constructionist thinkers to the faculty of Harvard Law School, something that would have been unheard of only a few years earlier.

"I used to feel like Frodo in the Lord of the Rings," he said. "We're doing the right thing, but we are doomed, doomed!" And now?

"I am cautiously optimistic."

Posted at 11:17 AM
April 12

[Peter Wolfgang]

Why do pro-abortion legislators keep trying to force Catholic hospitals to provide chemical abortions and what is truly at stake in this battle? The answer involves more than abortion and religious freedom, as Chris Powell notes in his April 8 JI column:

The big question is the degree of state control that should come with state licensing in all respects. That is, the big question here is the scope of government.
Since these days the government licenses nearly everything, advocates of the pill legislation are arguing for a much more pervasive government and thereby are yielding to the totalitarian impulse that the government should control everything not because of necessity but because of OPPORTUNITY, because government CAN control everything.
By contrast, while they may not recognize it, opponents of the pill legislation are defending not just religious freedom but the entire private sphere, the right of individuals and institutions to be different, diversity.

This is yet another instance where the loudest proponents of "tolerance" and "diversity" actually threaten the very things they claim to uphold.

Posted at 1:42 PM

[by Brian Brown]

Congratulations to the Latin Ministerial Alliance of Greater Hartford, which held its first gathering last weekend:

Seeking a higher profile and a greater public voice, more than 20 ministers representing the Hartford area's Hispanic churches have formed an alliance to work on educational and social issues that affect their parishioners.

A unity service Friday evening at House of Restoration Church drew several hundred people from the city and surrounding areas...

The alliance includes Pentecostal, Evangelical and Baptist churches.

The list of those joining the alliance--which reads like a "who's who" of prominent Hispanic ministers in the local area--include many pastors whom FIC has been privileged to work with over the years. And their commitment to the protection of marriage is as strong as ever:

The alliance will give Hispanic pastors a voice on social issues such as gay marriage, [Bishop Jeremiah] Torres added.
"It's our right to speak out on those kinds of issues, the moral issues affecting society," he said.

Posted at 9:58 AM
April 6

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Yesterday's eighth annual Catholic Concerns Day was perhaps the most highly-charged, confrontational one yet. But despite the presence of the Courant's religion reporter at the event, our local paper of record limited its coverage to one photo with a vague caption noting the Archbishop's concern about "ominous threats" to the Church "in the form of some proposed state legislation."

What occasioned the Archbishop's concern was the effort at extortion--the Archbishop's word--by anti-Catholic legislators who want to withhold millions of dollars of emergency energy funding from Catholic hospitals unless those hospitals provide chemical abortions. The Republican-American has the story that the Courant missed or chose not to print:

HARTFORD -- The state's Catholic bishops worry there is an anti-Catholic bias at work in the legislature, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of the Archdiocese of Hartford said Wednesday.

"You hear from increasing number of people, both Catholic and otherwise, that we have had enough Catholic bashing, and it seems to be on the increase," Mansell said.

The attempts to legislate that Catholic hospitals offer emergency contraceptives to rape victims against church tenets have inflamed Catholic suspicions of bias. No other issue has caused so much uproar this session...

There was also a sense among Catholics that the legislation on emergency contraception reflected hostility in the legislature toward the church.

The Associated Press also had good coverage:

Connecticut's three Roman Catholic bishops said Wednesday that they believe their church is under fire in the state legislature, where there have been efforts to require Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception for rape victims.

Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, speaking to more than 500 followers who attended Catholic Day at the Capitol, did not accuse specific legislators of being anti-Catholic. But the archbishop said he does believe "Catholic bashing" is on the increase and there is an abortion rights agenda behind the emergency contraception bill.

House Speaker James Amann (D-Milford), who is in a position to know, confirmed in the Rep-Am piece that some of his colleagues are motivated by anti-Catholicism:

While Mansell would not say so, Amann said there are House members who are anti-Catholic. He did not name any names.

"There are certain people in this chamber that have those feelings. There is no doubt about it. ... If anybody in this chamber who thinks there aren't people in this room that are anti-Catholic, that is not being honest," Amann said.

And there was this in the AP piece:

State Victim Advocate James Papillo, an ordained deacon who drew criticism for testifying against the legislation, said he is not surprised that advocates are still trying to find ways to get the bill passed this year.

"Some people are coming at it with a vengeance. They want to see the Catholic Church harmed in some way," he said.

The AP noted the Archbishop's "extortion" remark and the Connecticut Post captured aspects of the event that were not reported elsewhere, such as Bishop Lori's strong remarks and the cheering that the bishops' speeches received from the hundreds who had marched through a snowstorm to be there at the state capitol.

But I think you had to be there--and to have been at previous Catholic Concerns Days--to appreciate how unusual yesterday's event was. No report noted the anger in the Archbishop's eyes when discussing the "extortion" and how the $5 million at issue is "a fraction of a fraction" of the 100 million or so dollars that the Catholic hospitals save the state every year. The Archbishop noted that St. Mary's Hospital is the state's second largest recipient of patients with Medicaid--which only covers 65% of the costs--and that the Church covers the difference. He spoke about the low dropout rate among the nearly 40,000 Catholic school children in our state and drew attention to the cities and neighborhoods where the drop-out problem has contributed to societal ills. There was no mistaking his implication that the State gains far more from the Church than it gives back. And there was no mistaking the disappointment in Bishop Lori's voice--bordering on disgust--as he noted how a member of the Appropriations Committee filibustered an amendment to protect the religious freedom of Catholic hospitals by reading the story of the Good Samaritan and then claiming that, by refusing to provide chemical abortions, the Church is not being a Good Samaritan.

FIC has been proud to count Connecticut's Catholic Bishops among our strongest pro-family allies. And in all the years that we have been working with them and encountering them at public events, I have never seen them as angry as they were yesterday.

It was an anger mixed with hurt by bishops who could not understand why their Church was under constant attack by legislators of a State for whom that Church has performed so many good works.

The bishops have drawn a line in the sand in defense of religious liberty in Connecticut. It now falls to us, the faithful of many different denominations, to stand beside them.

Posted at 12:06 PM

April 5
[by Peter Wolfgang]

The attempt to withhold millions of dollars from Catholic hospitals for refusing to provide chemical abortions began with an underhanded maneuver:

[Rep. Denise] Merrill [D-Mansfield] confirmed Tuesday that she never told [House Speaker James] Amann in advance about her plans to resurrect the issue in Section 33 in the back of the budget. The issue was placed so deep that Republicans and insiders spent hours reading more than 250 pages of documents without noticing the one-sentence provision.

And it continued yesterday with a full-blown abuse of power:

HARTFORD -- Democrats filibustered on Tuesday to thwart a committee vote on the issue of emergency contraception for rape victims.

Democrats on the Appropriations Committee talked the clock out on a Republican amendment to remove a restriction that excludes hospitals that do not provide emergency contraception from a $5 million state aid program.

The committee's 5 p.m. bill deadline passed as Rep. Deborah Heinrich, D-Madison, a supporter of emergency contraception, was recounting the New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan. As a result, there was no vote on the Republican amendment.

Afterwards, Sen. Judith G. Freedman, R-Westport, accused majority Democrats of an abuse of power. She said they misinterpreted legislative rules to prevent committee votes on Republican amendments.

"Clearly voting our ideas down is not good enough," Freedman said.

We recommend reading the full Republican-American piece, which reveals how filibustering was just one of several parliamentary tricks employed by pro-abortion Democrats to keep the anti-Catholic provision in the budget.

The Courant piece notes the displeasure of Speaker Amann--and even Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams (D-Brooklyn)--over the Appropriations Committee's inappropriate attempt to revive a controversial measure that had already died in another committee. But because of the abuse of power by Committee Democrats yesterday, we may not know if religious freedom in Connecticut will survive the year until the legislature's May 3 adjournment.

Posted at 9:19 AM
April 3

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The Courant quoted FIC three days in a row over the weekend. On Friday, it was on our response to the Massachusetts ruling:

In Connecticut, opponents of same-sex marriage applauded the ruling, which they viewed as a significant retreat from the court's earlier decision.

"It shows a chastened court," said Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut. The 2003 ruling "caused a reaction they never expected. Now they're stepping back and being a little more cautious."

On Saturday, it was the 6-month anniversary of the legalization of same-sex unions:

Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut said it was a pity to toss aside thousands of years of tradition for the benefit of a small group.

Civil unions "disrupt the common understanding of what marriage is," said Wolfgang, who views such unions as marriage in everything but name. "For such a small number you're going to completely change the definition of what marriage is for all of Connecticut?"

On Sunday, Courant columnist Susan Campbell quoted this blog:

...but then I wrote about the sin of gay-bashing, and ended up on a blog with the plea: "We should keep Susan Campbell in our prayers." I appreciate that. I promise to pray for all bloggers, as well.

Campbell would have her readers believe that we are praying for her because she opposes gay-bashing. In fact, what raised our concern was her false accusation that we support, or are responsible for, violence--a calumny she essentially repeats in yesterday's column. Here is the full context of the statement she quotes, from my Mar. 13 blog:

But because we dare to oppose the pro same-sex "marriage" agenda, Campbell says, any violence against homosexuals is still our fault. Ironically, the pro same-sex "marriage" activist Campbell quotes to support this fallacy once wrote on a website that acts of vandalism against pro-family churches were akin to "justice actions." And, of course, there is still no mention in the Courant of the man who was convicted of making a death threat against Connecticut Catholic lobbyist Marie Hilliard because of Marie's opposition to same-sex civil unions.

We should keep Susan Campbell in our prayers--not in the same spirit in which she says she prays for conservatives (see my Aug. 15 blog), but for real. Despite all her vitriol, Campbell comes across as--in Flannery O'Connor's wonderful phrase--"Christ haunted," and there is reason to hope that her theological journey will bring her to a destination that she did not expect.

Posted at 12:25 PM


[Peter Wolfgang]

Democrats in the General Assembly's Appropriations Committee last week launched a sneak attack on religious institutions by inserting a measure into the budget that would withhold millions of dollars from hospitals that refuse to provide chemical abortions. Reactions have rightly been fast and furious:

"This is war," declared the state Senate's top GOP leader, Sen. Louis C. DeLuca of Woodbury. "It's a shameless assault on Catholic hospitals and the Catholic religion."
Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell condemned the Democrats' attempt to use the budget to push through a controversial non-fiscal policy "a slap in the face to the process of the General Assembly."
"We've never done that before," insisted Rell.
State House Minority Leader Robert M. Ward, R-North Branford, labeled the Democratic maneuver "a total misuse of the legislative process."
"Frankly, I think it shows an anti-Catholic bias to do it in this way," said Ward...

"I was not pleased to see that resurrected," [Speaker of the House Rep. James] Amann said Friday. "It was never run by me ... It should not have happened."
Amann said he plans to talk with the House chair of the appropriations committee, state Rep. Denise Merrill, D-Mansfield, to ask, "How did this happen, why did this happen."
"This should have been a budget debate, not a debate about contraception ...not a debate about abortion issues," said Amann...

Ward said he's seen a "distinct move among a new group of (General Assembly) Democratic leaders... to follow the federal method of doing things in a sort of partisan and sneaky manner."

More from the Republican-American:

DeLuca vowed to fight to remove the Democratic provision from final budget. He also said the debate kindled a spiritual reawakening in himself.

"I have been a Catholic all my life, and I probably have not been one of those rah-rah Catholics. My wife is very religious. I haven't been, but this has reaffirmed my faith, and made me stronger in my faith, because I'll be damned if I am going to stand here and allow those people to brush this aside as if the Catholic Church is inconsequential, whatever they believe in is not important," DeLuca said.

The paper's editorial page takes apart the argument put forward by one proponent of the sneak attack and concludes with this:

Under these circumstances, Rep. Merrill's proclamation that Catholic hospitals are not a target sounds hollow.

Finally, Rep. Merrill needs to be aware she is jousting with the First Amendment, which provides for the "free exercise" of religion. The Catholic stand on abortion is centuries old and well known. The preservation of life in the womb is a major point of church dogma that she evidently wants to circumscribe with a tricky mandate.

If the Catholic hospitals mount a court challenge to this attempt to force them to dispense Plan B, how do Rep. Merrill and her Appropriations Committee colleagues expect to deny that the provision is nothing but government intrusion in the free exercise of religion?

Defenders of religious freedom rallied in front of the state's four Catholic hospitals yesterday:

WATERBURY -- More than 100 abortion opponents gathered in front of Saint Mary's Hospital on Sunday afternoon to protest Democratic legislators' inclusion of an emergency contraception clause in the state budget...

Republican Alderman Dennis Odle attended the Saint Mary's rally and denounced the legislators for including the section in the budget.

"The cause is important, but how this happened is also important," Odle said. "It was an under-the-table, unethical, dirty ploy that shouldn't happen in any party, anywhere.

FIC has said all along that the pro-abortion attack on religious hospitals is just one of a number of attacks on religious freedom in Connecticut to occur just in the last few months. Now, in addition to the renewed attack on the hospitals, there is the potential for another front in the war on faith in Connecticut: the confirmation of Peter Zarella as Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court. We hope that will not be the case, but we do note these items buried in an article on why the nominee "rattles some:"

Paindiris said Zarella has a strong Catholic and family background. "That's part of what makes him conservative," he noted. "Because of his strong character, he's going to convince people to go his way."...

[Zarella] also joined Sullivan, another devout Catholic, in dissenting in a ruling that paves the way for public access to reams of files in the mammoth Bridgeport diocese sex scandal case.

Will Justice Zarella's Catholicism be a point of contention in his confirmation hearings? Watch this space and your in-boxes for information on what you can do to counter the current attacks on religious freedom. Should new attacks appear, we will be responding to those as well.

Posted at 9:36 AM
March 31

[by Peter Wolfgang]

On Mar. 22 the AP quoted my reaction to the apparent death of the bill forcing religious hospitals to provide chemical abortions:

"The pro-abortion lobbyists are so hot for this bill," Wolfgang said. "We expect them to bring it up for an amendment."

Sure enough:

A measure that would require all hospitals to provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims got a second chance at life when Democrats slipped it into a catch-all state budget approved by a key legislative committee Thursday...

In its latest incarnation, buried deep in the thick budget under Section 33, hospitals would have to provide Plan B if they wish to share in $5 million set aside to help hospitals cover spiraling energy costs...

Republicans were outraged and said they had been blindsided...

"This is unbelievable," said Senate Republican leader Louis DeLuca. "If the lights were out, it would be a midnight assault on the Catholic Church."

We invite all our members to attend the rallies being held by CT Right to Life in front of the state's four Catholic hospitals this Sunday, April 2:



SUNDAY - APRIL 2   3:00 - 4:00 PM






On Sunday, April 2, there will be rallies at each of

the state's four Catholic hospitals starting at 3:00

PM and ending at 4:00 PM. Come to the Catholic

Hospital nearest you to stand up for religious


A bill in the state legislature would force Catholic

Hospitals to submit to state policies rather than to

follow Catholic moral principles in health care. If

the legislature can force Catholic hospitals to

violate their moral principles in one area, what

prevents the state from forcing them to violate any

other moral principles the state orders them to?...

Religious freedom is in our federal and state

Constitutions! But it must be defended!!!

Our nation was founded by people seeking religious

freedom - millions of Americans have died for it - now

it's our turn to stand and be counted!

SUNDAY, APRIL  2       3:00 - 4:00PM


For more information, call:  Connecticut Right to

Life Corporation   203-757-5213

Posted at 1:54 PM
March 30

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The Courant reports today on yet another United Church of Christ television ad designed to promote the UCC by smearing other churches:

The 30-second spot shows a traditional middle-class family at church looking skeptically at worshippers in the next pew who appear to be gay, African American, elderly or Middle Eastern. Suddenly, ejector seats blast those worshippers out of the church one by one.
"God doesn't reject people," the voiceover says, "and neither do we."

The hypocrisy of the self-proclaimed "tolerant" is nothing new to our members, as this letter in today's New London Day demonstrates:

We were quoted in the terrific article titled "Family Institute focused on issue of religious freedom," published March 23, which discussed the state forcing Catholic hospitals to dispense what is considered to be an abortion pill.

The article made scant reference to our opposition to homosexual civil unions, but that was enough for one reader. At 10 that night, a male made a nice call to our house, saying, "My husband and I can't wait for you to get the hell out of Connecticut." I'd like to offer The Day staff some questions for its next interview with homosexuals who demand tolerance:

You want Connecticut citizens who disagree with you to leave. Last week in San Francisco, the city's board of governors condemned a gathering of Christian teens, calling them "disgusting" and stating they "should get out of San Francisco." Is segregation a goal among homosexuals? How does that comport with your demand for tolerance?

You, a male, stated you have a husband. But homosexual marriage is not legal in Connecticut, so how can he be your husband? Can I consider a friend to be my father?

If someone called you late at night and wanted you to get out of Connecticut, would you consider that a hate crime? Would you call the police? Or would you consider the caller immature and irrelevant? How would you recommend the Sweeneys handle this (besides following your wishes)?

Do you see how bush-league and silly you look, demanding tolerance and offering discrimination in return? Do you see you've failed to silence the Sweeneys and that, with the wonders of the Internet, you'll continue to read letters to the editor from them, even though they've gotten out of Connecticut?

John A. Sweeney
Posted at 3:58 PM

[by Brian Brown]

In a further sign that pro same-sex "marriage" judges are beginning to grasp the havoc their arrogance has reaped on our nation's politics, the same court that legalized same-sex "marriage" in Mass. has ruled against extending that decision to out-of-state couples:

The court that made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage ruled Thursday that same-sex couples from other states cannot marry here.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled in a challenge to a 1913 state law that forbids nonresidents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be recognized in their home state.

"The laws of this commonwealth have not endowed nonresidents with an unfettered right to marry," the court wrote in its 38-page opinion. "Only nonresident couples who come to Massachusetts to marry and intend to reside in this commonwealth thereafter can be issued a marriage license without consideration of any impediments to marriage that existed in their former home states."

Eight gay couples from surrounding states, including two from Connecticut, challenged the law after they were denied marriage licenses in Massachusetts when they tried to wed after the state became the first to allow same-sex marriages in May 2004.

[Update: Peter Wolfgang will be appearing on channel 30 at 5:30 and Fox 61's News At 10 to discuss the Mass. ruling.]             

Posted at 10:46 AM
March 28

[by Peter Wolfgang]

S.B. 46, an FIC-supported bill that would stop unsolicited sexually-oriented electronic messages targeting children, made it out of committee yesterday. In other good news, S.B. 699, a bill that would push Connecticut closer to the legalization of same-sex "marriage," died in committee. Thank you to all of you who e-mailed your legislators on these bills. Watch for future updates on what more you can do to help pass S.B. 46 during this year's "short" legislative session.

Unfortunately, H.B. 5597, the "transgender rights" bill, made it out of the Judiciary Committee by a wide margin. During the debate Rep. Arthur O'Neill asked why "sexual orientation" was added to a bill focused on "transgender rights." Rep. Lawlor conceded Rep. O'Neill's point before quickly changing the subject.

H.B. 5597 is another attempt to strengthen the hand of the plaintiffs in the same-sex "marriage" Kerrigan case. The statute that this bill would amend (CSG 46a-58) only references classes protected by the Connecticut Constitution and does not include sexual orientation.  If this bill passes it will increase the pressure on our state courts to force those courts to impose same-sex "marriage" by judicial fiat.

In other bad news, the pro-abortion attacks on religious freedom may not be over for this session:

The Plan B bill in Connecticut died in committee last week, but proponents are hoping to resurrect it later this session.

The same article notes Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan's anti-Catholic demand for the resignation of James Papillo without mentioning his semi-retraction on the Brad Davis program. The omission bolsters our concern that the lieutenant governor is saying one thing to pro-lifers and another thing to his anti-religious base (his website, which prominently displays the call for resignation, still makes no mention of Sullivan's retraction).

FIC members, watch your in-boxes for further information on what you can do to stop H.B. 5597 and any renewed assaults on religious freedom during the remainder of this session.

Posted at 2:30 PM
March 27

[by Peter Wolfgang]

My thanks to all of you who commented so kindly on my appearance yesterday on Fox 61's "Beyond the Headlines." I was a panelist during the segment on the "Plan B" bill, which would have forced Catholic hospitals to provide chemical abortions. Some of the best commentary on the death of that bill can be found, as usual, on the Republican-American's editorial page:

Right decision, wrong motivation. State lawmakers appear to have abandoned their quest to compel Roman Catholic Church-affiliated hospitals to dispense Plan B, a drug the church considers an abortifacient. Activists argued a rape or incest victim might be unable to get this morning-after contraceptive but have failed to produce an example. This really was about forcing religious organizations to toe the secularist line.

The clock ran out on the bill Monday afternoon. The Public Health Committee had to vote by 5 p.m. for the bill to move forward, but the measure was still being debated when the deadline arrived...

But the bill should not have failed because its timing conflicted with Sen. Murphy's electoral prospects. It should have failed because it sought unconstitutionally to bully a religious organization without materially benefiting anyone. It assuredly will be back during next year's session, when lawmakers will not have to concern themselves with getting re-elected. Voters should force candidates to declare themselves on this issue during the coming campaign.

Having failed--for now--in their efforts to coerce the Church, pro-abortion bullies are now taking aim at a conscience policy for Wal-Mart employees:

The state comptroller is once again threatening to exclude Wal-Mart pharmacies from the state insurance network if the retailing giant does not ensure distribution of the Plan B emergency contraceptive...

But a Wal-Mart spokesman said the chain would maintain its "conscientious objection" policy, which allows Wal-Mart or Sam's Club pharmacists who do not feel comfortable dispensing a prescription to refer customers to another pharmacist or pharmacy. The policy conforms to guidelines of the American Pharmaceutical Association and is similar to the policies of several other major pharmacy chains...

A Wal-Mart spokesman said Thursday that the company could comply with the state's requirements by referring the customer to a nearby pharmacy, or by having the customer's doctor phone the prescription in somewhere else. But Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said that sending patients to another pharmacy is not acceptable. "They have to make the drug available at the pharmacy where the patient goes," Blumenthal said. "Patients can't be shuttled from one pharmacy to another."

Bullying pro-family citizens under the guise of "fighting discrimination" does appear to be a top priority for Connecticut's dictatorship of relativism this year. There was a hearing on a "transgender rights" bill on Friday. A Mar. 16 New Haven Advocate article describes "transgendered" people as "a group that includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens, hermaphrodites and others who defy gender norms." The article also notes that "powerful gay and lesbian advocates"--who previously avoided the "trans movement" because it contradicted the "we're just like you" pro same-sex "marriage" campaign--are now helping to pass this bill.

The Associated Press carried FIC's response to the bill:

The Family Institute of Connecticut, a conservative group, opposes the bill.

"If this bill passes, it would prevent school systems from disciplining or declining to hire cross-dressing teachers," said Peter Wolfgang, a spokesman for the group. "People ought to have the right to be able to send their children to public schools where they won't be exposed to this sort of gender confusion."

That bill, and several others, must be voted on today or they will "die in committee." To contact your legislators to ask them to vote pro-family on these bills, click here.

Posted at 11:39 AM
March 23

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Yesterday's FIC Rally for Religious Freedom was a success, turning out a good number of people on a chilly weekday morning and earning some fair media coverage:

About 50 supporters of the Family Institute of Connecticut rallied on the steps of the state Capitol on Wednesday, vowing to keep the pressure on state legislators to protect religious liberty.
Though encouraged that a bill that would have required Catholic hospitals to prescribe Plan B or "morning-after" contraception to rape victims died in committee on Monday, Brian Brown, the group's executive director, said the fight was not over.

"We had a great victory on Monday: This bill died in committee because of your phone calls, because of your e-mails, because of your action," Brown said, to cheers and applause. "I don't want to ever hear you say it doesn't matter what we do. Monday showed that it does matter what we do."

The New London Day's Bethe Defresne also did some fair and balanced reporting:

When the Family Institute of Connecticut rallied Wednesday against abortion and same-sex unions at the state Capitol in Hartford, there was nothing new or different about its mission. There was a change, however, in its rallying cry.

This time the key words weren't traditional family values; they were religious freedom.

"It's all part of a seamless whole," said Peter Wolfgang, the institute's director of public policy, prior to the rally. But he acknowledged that there has been a shift in emphasis to religious freedom, necessitated, he said, by two recent events. One was proposed legislation, shelved on Monday, that would require the state's four private Catholic hospitals to offer rape victims Plan B, the so-called morning-after pill, which prevents pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of intercourse. The Catholic Church considers it a chemical form of abortion.

The other was a complaint lodged with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by a doctor at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, who was denied benefits by the hospital for his same-sex partner even though they were legally joined in a civil union.

Be sure not to miss the outstanding contributions of John and Wendy Sweeney in the Day piece. And there was this observation from the CT head of the pro-abortion group NARAL:

But challenges to abortion rights in South Dakota and Mississippi already may have had a ripple effect here [Connecticut], she said, judging by the "hostility" to proposed legislation requiring that Plan B be offered to rape victims, legislation she said should have been "a no-brainer."

FIC is pushing ahead on religious freedom, the Kerrigan case and several other fronts. And you can tell we are making progress by the up-tick in the Left's FIC scorn-o-meter:

More than that, [FIC's] arguments aren't very well grounded in religion, either. What does motivate them is politics...

If Brian Brown was a good Christian, he'd be spending his energy bringing CT together, and fighting for the less rich and the less powerful. Instead, Brian is a tool, fighting false battles for the benefit of those who care most about money-- and not about the average people who were the subject of Christ's teachings...

BTW - Family Institute's "rally" on the capitol steps was about as well attended as a Banks Committee meeting. The gay monks in baby blue with Jesus Hoppers were there though...

A post on a website devoted to politics accuses us of--gasp!--politics, gay rights advocates insult our supporters by calling them gay and, of course, there is the free religious advice. There was a time when liberals made serious contributions to the national dialogue. Now they're just funny.

Posted at 10:22 AM
March 22

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The AP already has a story up on our rally, which is set to begin in less than an hour:

Religious conservatives are hoping for more victories in this year's legislative session, following the death of a bill this week that would have required Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

The Family Institute of Connecticut, which fought the "morning after pill" legislation and last year's civil unions law, is now focused on defeating bills that would recognize same-sex marriages from Massachusetts and expand anti-discrimination protections for transgendered individuals.

They're banking on lawmakers being politically squeamish about having to vote on socially contentious topics as they face re-election in November.

"I think 2006 is going to be better than 2005 because it's an election year," said Peter Wolfgang, director of public policy for the institute.

The article quotes yesterday's FIC alert about not being lulled into complacency by our victory against the pro-abortion pill bill and then proves our point by quoting proponents of the bill:

"Just because a religion owns a particular hospital doesn't mean they get to set all the rules," said state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office is researching the issue to determine if a new law is even needed to require the hospitals to prescribe Plan B.

"We haven't reached a conclusion that current law already covers it," he said. "I think there's a good argument (with) the involvement of these hospitals in the state insurance program."

Blumenthal said no state official has yet asked his office to provide a formal opinion on what triggers the Catholic hospitals to be legally obligated to prescribe the pill.

How is it that those who hail legislative outcomes as an expression of democracy when it means the legalization of same-sex unions are the same people who try to do an end-run around the legislature when it kills a pro-abortion attack on religious freedom? Why, the same way those supposed champions of democracy could file a suit asking a court to impose same-sex "marriage" on Connecticut by judicial fiat, of course. The same AG who is researching new ways to attack religious freedom in Connecticut is also responsible for defending the state's marriage laws in that case. But he is not talking about the most important issue in the case:

The Family Institute of Connecticut, a group that opposes gay marriage, has asked to intervene in the case, claiming the attorney general's office is not vigorously defending Connecticut's marriage laws. The state Supreme Court has not yet ruled on whether the group can become part of the case.

Family Institute Executive Director Brian Brown, who was in court Tuesday, said his group believes the attorney general's office should be arguing about the effect of gay marriage on children.

"I'm very worried about how this is going to turn out," he said.

 Posted at 9:31 AM
March 21

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Despite the avalanche of pro-abortion propaganda in the Sunday Courant (see Don Pesci's must-read blog) the bill forcing religious hospitals to provide chemical abortions "died in committee" yesterday, sparing pro-abortion lawmakers the embarrassment of a losing vote. While the death of that bill is a significant victory for pro-family and religious freedom advocates, a number of threats still loom before the close of this legislative session.

We cannot be lulled into a false sense of complacency by yesterday's victory! Before the end of this week there could be public hearings on a bill to force Connecticut to recognize out-of-state same-sex "marriages" and a bill for "transgender (those who have had sex-change operations) rights" that would prevent school systems from disciplining or declining to hire cross-dressing teachers. The bill forcing religious hospitals to provide chemical abortions could also resurface as an amendment to another bill before this legislative session is over.

This is why it is so important to attend FIC's Rally for Religious Freedom tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of the state capitol. Forward this blog posting to as many pro-family people as you can, especially your church lists.

At tomorrow's rally, Brian Brown and other speakers will address the threats against religious liberty in our state and what those present can do to stop those threats. Following the rally, FIC Action will provide information and guidance to rally attendees as they lobby their legislators for the protection of our religious freedom.

We urge every pro-family state resident who reads this message to attend tomorrow's rally and to bring as many people as you can. The threats to our freedom are real--and growing. The time to stand up and make our voices heard is now.

Posted at 11:54 AM


[by Peter Wolfgang]

A bill designed to open the door for the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in Connecticut was referred to the Judiciary Committee this morning. S.B. 699, An Act Concerning Recognition of Foreign Contracts, would change state law to make same-sex "marriages" from foreign jurisdictions (Massachusetts, other countries) "not less than" the equivalent of same-sex civil unions in Connecticut. Current state law does not recognize same-sex "marriage" and our civil union law explicitly defines marriage as occurring between a man and a woman.

Indeed, that definition is the true target of this bill. With the same-sex "marriage" Kerrigan case pending in our courts, pro same-sex "marriage" activists are looking for any opportunity to pressure the courts to rule in their favor. If this bill were to pass it would weaken the legal definition of marriage, providing further ammunition to the plaintiffs in Kerrigan and setting the legislature up for still further legislation designed to push the courts toward a judicial imposition of same-sex "marriage."

FIC members should watch this space and their e-mail inboxes for information on what they can do to stop this latest assault on the sanctity of marriage in Connecticut.

Posted at 12:02 PM
March 16

[by Brian Brown]

You've seen the headlines over this past month:

A complaint of bias was filed against St. Mary's Hospital simply because it will not recognize same-sex unions. A bill at our state legislature would force religious hospitals to provide an abortion-inducing drug.

Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan has called for the resignation of Victim Advocate James Papillo for testifying against the pro-abortion bill and for committing the "thought crimes" of being a faithful Christian who opposes abortion and same-sex "marriage."

Catholic Charities in Massachusetts has been forced to stop adoption services because the state law demanding they place children with same-sex couples has no conscience clause exemption for religious organizations.

With the legalization of same-sex unions in Connecticut-and same-sex "marriage" in Massachusetts-anti-religious attacks on religious freedom have greatly increased. THE TIME TO STAND UP FOR OUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS NOW!

We must stand together. The anti-religious attacks on our freedom are not aimed at any one denomination, but at every person of faith who believes in traditional morality. If we do not stand up now, all our houses of worship will, sooner or later, come under attack. The Family Institute of Connecticut will be holding the Rally for Religious Freedom on Wednesday, March 22nd at 10:00 am on the steps of the state capitol in Hartford. We invite all our members to attend and to bring as many people with you as you can. Forward this message to every pro-family person you know!

Following the rally, we will lobby our lawmakers to stand up for our freedom. (Call ahead for an appointment with your legislators at these numbers: Senate Democrats: 1-800-842-1420; Senate Republicans: 1-800-842-1421; House Democrats: 1-800-842-1902; House Republicans: 1-800-842-1423. FIC's Brian Brown and Peter Wolfgang will be present at the state capitol to assist in your advocacy.) 
If we do not stand up to these attacks on religious freedom now, the threats to our most basic liberties will only grow worse. Please join us at the state capitol on Wednesday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. to defend our religious freedom.

Posted at 3:59 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

No wonder so many of you have forwarded Jeff Jacoby's Mar. 15 Boston Globe column to me: his wisdom regarding Massachusetts is directly on-point with everything we are fighting in Connecticut:

On March 10, Catholic Charities of Boston had announced that it was being forced to shut down its highly regarded adoption services, since it could not in good conscience comply with the government's demand that it place children for adoption with homosexual couples. Caught between the rock of Catholic teaching, which regards such adoptions as ''gravely immoral," and Massachusetts regulations, which bar adoption agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, the Boston Archdiocese had hoped to obtain a waiver on religious-freedom grounds. But when legislative leaders refused to consider the request, the archdiocese was left with no option but to end a ministry it had been performing for a century.

Whereupon the Human Rights Campaign issued its news release. It was headlined ''Boston Catholic Charities Puts Ugly Political Agenda Before Child Welfare," and a more perfect illustration of psychological projection would be hard to imagine.

For the political agenda driving this affair is the one favored by the Human Rights Campaign and its many allies in the media and state government: the normalization of homosexual adoption. So important is that agenda to its supporters that they will allow nothing to stand in its way -- not even the well-being of children in dire need of safe and loving families. Catholic Charities excels at arranging adoptions for children in foster care, particularly those who are older or handicapped, or who bear the scars of abuse or addiction. Yet the Human Rights Campaign and its friends would rather see this invaluable work come to an end than allow Catholic Charities to decline gay adoptions...

''As much as one may wish to live and let live," Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote in 2004, during the same-sex marriage debate in Massachusetts, ''the experience in other countries reveals that once these arrangements [same-sex "marriage"] become law, there will be no live-and-let-live policy for those who differ. Gay-marriage proponents use the language of openness, tolerance, and diversity, yet one foreseeable effect of their success will be to usher in an era of intolerance and discrimination . . . Every person and every religion that disagrees will be labeled as bigoted and openly discriminated against. The ax will fall most heavily on religious persons and groups that don't go along. Religious institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they refuse to compromise their principles."

The events of the last month indicate that the post same-sex unions "era of intolerance and discrimination" has now arrived here in Connecticut. Watch this space later today for an announcement on what you can do about it.

Posted at 1:01 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The Connecticut House of Prayer will be facilitating a number of prayer events around the state in preparation for the Global Day of Prayer on Pentecost, June 4th. For a listing of dates and venues, see the Pray Connecticut blog.

The Catholic Church will be holding Youth 2000: New England, a Lenten Retreat for High School and College students, March 31-April 2 at East Catholic High School in Manchester. To see previews and videos of previous Youth 2000 retreats click here and to attend the retreat at East Catholic High School contact Daniel Duarte at

Posted at 10:37 AM
March 14

[Peter Wolfgang]

S.B. 46--a bill that would stop unsolicited sexually oriented messages targeted at children's e-mail, cellphones, pagers and faxes--was reported out of the Legislative Commissioner's Office today. But if the Judiciary Committee does not vote on it by their "JF" date, Mar. 27th, the bill will likely die. You can help pass the bill by clicking here to e-mail members of the Committee and your own Senator and Representative.

We are also happy to report that a threat to the right to homeschool in Connecticut appears to be dead. We received this alert today from NHELD:

After waiting seven hours to testify at the legislature's Education Committee on March 13, 2006, homeschoolers informed the committee of the serious consequences to homeschool families of committee bill SB634, which proposed changing the current language of section 10-184 from "parents and THOSE who have the care of children" to "parents and legal guardians".  Changing the language effectively would have made it illegal for relatives such as grandparents to homeschool their grandchildren.

Education Committee Chairman Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, who opposed homeschoolers last session in their attempt to adopt a bill allowing parents to withdraw their children unconditionally from public school, this time, following the testimony, stated on the record that "he was convinced" and that "as far as he was concerned the entire bill was dead". Fleischmann added that some members of the committee may want to preserve the changes to a second portion of the bill that deals with residency requirements for children attending public school, but he added that it is likely the entire bill will be killed.

However, the fight to protect homeschooling may not be over for this session:

We still need volunteers to continue to keep the pressure on legislators to let them know that Rep. Arthur O'Neill will be proposing an amendment later in the session that will allow parents to withdraw their children from public school unconditionally. 

We will keep our members up-to-date on what they can do to help.

Posted at 3:22 PM
March 13

[by Peter Wolfgang]

It was a battlefield carefully chosen by Connecticut's pro-abortion establishment. But they did not count on a profile in courage, Victim Advocate James Papillo, offering public testimony exposing their effort to force Catholic hospitals to provide the "Plan B" pill for the pro-abortion attack on religious freedom that it is. Pro-abortion activists are now discovering to their dismay that they have inadvertently energized the state's pro-life movement:

Still, the intensity of the recent Connecticut debate over the availability of Plan B took even some longtime veterans of the abortion wars by surprise.
Leslie Gabel-Brett, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, told lawmakers there would be little opposition to the hospital access bill because "it seemed so fair."
"I didn't think it would erupt into this huge controversy," she said.

Was it the Left's gradual awareness that it picked the wrong fight that led the Courant not to post today's anti-Papillo editorial online? Either way, it didn't stop Connecticut blogger Don Pesci from noting the errors in the Courant's logic.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Sullivan has claimed that Dr. Papillo has backed off his testimony. Not quite:

But Papillo didn't seem at all contrite. He said he has "no regrets" and that he was just doing his job to protect all crime victims. If the political winds continue to howl around this issue, Papillo could find that his $97,850-a-year state job has become an early storm victim.

Journal Inquirer columnist Chris Powell notes that the pill bill has no rationale:

Despite the indignation affected by its advocates, there is no necessity for the legislation. None of Connecticut's four Catholic hospitals -- in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Waterbury -- is more than a few minutes from a non-sectarian hospital that happily provides contraceptive drugs.

And he shows why the argument made in the Englehart cartoon in Friday's Courant and elsewhere--that the state should cease to provide money to Catholic hospitals because of those hospitals' opposition to this bill--was so off-base:

But this argument is bogus. For state government's reimbursements to hospitals for treating the poor are hugely inadequate, always totaling much less than the cost actually incurred... So it would be a thrill to see the Catholic hospitals, at the direction of their bishops, respond to the legislation on emergency contraception by clarifying the whole situation -- by withdrawing from those reimbursement programs or even closing (if only temporarily) and thus shifting the social welfare burden entirely to the non-sectarian hospitals, which would be instantly bankrupted.

Posted at 4:04 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

FIC members should note a few items that appeared over the weekend. In another sign of the secularist assault on faith in New England, Catholic Charities in Boston has voted to discontinue its adoption services rather than be forced by law to place children with homosexual couples:

Calling it an issue of "religious liberty," Governor Mitt Romney today said he plans to file legislation to permit religious institutions to perform adoptions without violating the tenets of their faith.

Today, the board of Catholic Charities voted to stop doing adoptions because of state law which requires that gays be given equal consideration for the placement of children. Because of the Church's teaching, Catholic agencies may not provide adoptions to gay parents.

"This is a sad day for neglected and abandoned children. In this case, it's a mistake for our laws to put the rights of adults over the needs of children. While I respect the board's decision to stay true to their principles, I find the current state of the law deeply disturbing and a threat to religious freedom," said Romney.

The Courant is just now telling its readers about Congressman Chris Shays' Planned Parenthood-funded trip to Africa, which we discussed on this blog on Jan. 30th:

[Planned Parenthood state head Susan] Yolen said that although Planned Parenthood groups get federal money - the Connecticut branch expects to get about $1.5 million this year - the Shays trip had nothing to do with a bid for more dollars.

Sure it did. The trip keeps the dollars rolling in by keeping a powerful congressman on board as a mouthpiece for the agenda of the nation's largest abortion provider:

When Shays returned from his Africa trip, he wrote in an op-ed piece in the Stamford Advocate that "although it plays a role, the U.S.-encouraged policy of abstinence does not do nearly enough to address the widespread needs of women's reproductive health, or to slow the growth of HIV/AIDS."

The Sunday Courant ran articles demonstrating the heights it can reach when it reports respectfully on the state's religious conservatives and the depths that it too often sinks to when it treats us with disdain. Susan Campbell, an ex-fundamentalist who is still, after all these years, using her column to work out issues from her childhood, gives an example of the latter:

Certainly not even the most rabid member of Family Institute of Connecticut - or the local branch of Concerned Women for America - would call on violence as a means of solving the question of civil rights for homosexuals.

But because we dare to oppose the pro same-sex "marriage" agenda, Campbell says, any violence against homosexuals is still our fault. Ironically, the pro same-sex "marriage" activist Campbell quotes to support this fallacy once wrote on a website that acts of vandalism against pro-family churches were akin to "justice actions." And, of course, there is still no mention in the Courant of the man who was convicted of making a death threat against Connecticut Catholic lobbyist Marie Hilliard because of Marie's opposition to same-sex civil unions.

We should keep Susan Campbell in our prayers--not in the same spirit in which she says she prays for conservatives (see my Aug. 15 blog), but for real. Despite all her vitriol, Campbell comes across as--in Flannery O'Connor's wonderful phrase--"Christ haunted," and there is reason to hope that her theological journey will bring her to a destination that she did not expect.

Speaking of theological matters, the Courant's Sunday magazine ran an outstanding cover story profiling Fr. Michael McGivney, who may be on his way to becoming Connecticut's first canonized Catholic saint:

Connecticut's Catholic population is about 1.3 million, making it proportionately the fifth most-Catholic state. McGivney is largely a stranger even to many of them. But from a simple secular point of view, McGivney's potential sainthood amounts to this: Connecticut would have produced the nation's first male saint. His story would be the story of a local boy who made good - very, very good.

Joel Lang's article is an example of what the Courant can accomplish when it puts aside the liberal agenda and does serious reporting on the things that matter most in the lives of its readers. May there be many more like it.

Posted at 12:21 pm
March 10

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Reactions in defense of James Papillo have been coming in fast and furious over the last 24 hours or so. FIC sent an action alert yesterday inviting our members to e-mail their thanks to Dr. Papillo. Hundreds have already done so and you can too by clicking here.

Annie Banno, Connecticut state leader of Silent No More and a blogger on the remarkable After Abortion web site, provides data which raises questions about the morning-after pill itself while noting the anti-Catholicism behind the effort to push the pill on Catholic hospitals and the attack on Dr. Papillo.

Today's Courant cartoon by Bob Englehart raises further concerns about anti-religious bigotry. Mr. Englehart thinks the financial benefits of church/state relations only run one way. If all our Catholic hospitals closed tomorrow and the taxpayers were suddenly forced to pay the bill for all the uninsured folks that those hospitals provide for, he would discover how wrong-headed his cartoon is.

Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan has been telling Brad Davis' radio audience, and some of our members who have e-mailed him, that he is no longer calling for Dr. Papillo's resignation because Dr. Papillo has supposedly acknowledged that he was wrong. But there is nothing on Sullivan's website retracting his demand for resignation--and the original demand, which is even more obnoxious the most unflattering media reports of the Lieutenant Governor's press conference, is still featured prominently. Lt. Gov. Sullivan is telling his anti-religious constituency one thing while saying something different to religious voters who have expressed their unhappiness to him.

Noting that the abortion-inducing "contraception" pill bill would require religious hospitals "to act in direct contravention of their faith's tenets," it is the Waterbury Republican-American that, as usual, hits the mark regarding this week's events:

For any who believe in choice, that should be a telling point. Requiring Catholic physicians and pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill would be akin to requiring a kosher delicatessen to serve ham salad, or adding a public school requirement that all students pass a physical-education course in modern dance with no exemption for Protestant pupils who believe dancing is a sin.

However, on Tuesday, instead of respecting Mr. Papillo's choices, Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan called for Mr. Papillo to resign. Lt. Gov. Sullivan "accused Papillo of advocating for his personal beliefs and failing to fulfill the mission of his office," The Associated Press reported. Lt. Gov. Sullivan didn't cite specific rape victims who had wanted the pill in question but had been thwarted by a Catholic hospital. Might that not be because there aren't any?

On the morning-after-pill issue, Mr. Papillo made and explained a choice. But it wasn't Lt. Gov. Sullivan's choice. And, all too typical of all too many "pro-choice" partisans like Lt. Gov. Sullivan, daring to make a choice other than theirs simply could not be tolerated.

Posted at 2:36 pm

[by Peter Wolfgang]

S.B. 46--a bill that would create a child protection registry to help parents and schools stop unsolicited sexually oriented messages targeted at children's e-mail, cellphones, pagers and faxes--was referred favorably to the Judiciary Committee yesterday. The phone calls and e-mails of FIC members helped secure the support of Public Health, the committee where the bill first appeared and where hearings were held.

The pornography industry is furious about the progress of this bill. In an "Open Letter to CT Lawmakers" dripping with vitriol, one former online direct marketer tells our state lawmakers that they are "stupid" if they do not vote his way.

If [Unspam CEO Matthew] Prince gets his way, all legal, adult-oriented content will be priced out of e-mail.

As FIC members have already proved in the Public Health Committee, the voices of parents who want to protect their children hold more weight than what direct marketers hawking pornography and other "adult" products have to say. You can add your voice to those parents by clicking here to send an e-mail to Judiciary Committee members and your own state representative and senator asking them to vote "yes" on S.B. 46.

Posted at 10:52 AM
March 8

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Proponents of the bill to force Catholic hospitals to provide a pill that can induce abortions have claimed that it is about helping the victims of crimes, not a pro-abortion attack on religious freedom. Their pretenses have now been blown away by Lt. Gov. Sullivan's clumsy, over-the-top call for Victim Advocate James Papillo to resign:

HARTFORD - Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan and a top Democratic lawmaker called for the state's victim advocate to resign or be fired Tuesday, charging he is using his office to promote his personal religious beliefs...Sullivan said Papillo, who is also a Roman Catholic deacon, "crossed the line when he expressed his personal religious point of view" in testifying against the bill at a legislative hearing...

Sullivan also charged that Papillo has in private been "a vocal opponent of reproductive freedom and non-discrimination against people who are homosexual." According to Sullivan, Papillo's private views were the subject of newspaper articles, but Sullivan's staff was unable to provide any documentation of his allegations Tuesday.Papillo vehemently denied that he has ever used his office to oppose anyone's reproductive rights, and denied that he has ever advocated discrimination against homosexuals.
According to Papillo, he has given homilies in his West Hartford church in his capacity as a Catholic deacon that may have included mention of his personal opposition to abortion. He also said one of his homilies included a reference that some Catholic universities "are allowing organizations that promote homosexuality to exist on campus ... and I mentioned that it was against Catholic teaching."   

Lt. Gov. Sullivan is essentially arguing that being a Catholic is a disqualification for public office. Religious tests for public office are unconstitutional, but our lieutenant governor is not about to let the Constitution get in the way of a good witch hunt.

In fact, the statements made by Lt. Gov. Sullivan in his call for Mr. Papillo's resignation call to mind an equally disgraceful incident that occurred in Europe in 2004:

These questions came to a head last fall when Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's representative to the EU, was rejected as its commissioner for justice...Buttiglione's offense in the eyes of the EU is that he is a Catholic who agrees with the Church on disputed questions such as men having sex with men. No matter that at his hearings he made a clear distinction between what is immoral and what should be criminal; the dogma of the EU allows for no deviation, even privately, from the regnant secularism.

Substitute "James Papillo" for "Rocco Buttiglione" and "Connecticut" for "Europe" and George Weigel's observations in The New Europe: No Catholics Need Apply hold special relevance for our state in the wake of Lt. Gov. Sullivan's press conference:

What kind of polity is it that doesn't want a man like Rocco Buttiglione looking after the administration of justice and the protection of human rights?

A polity in which too many people believe that the God of the Bible is the enemy of human freedom.

A polity in which too many people believe that freedom is license.

A polity in which "anti-discrimination" has become the excuse for active discrimination against Catholics and others whose moral convictions ill-fit the relativist-secularist opinion mainstream.

A polity, in other words, like the new Europe. The demographers tell us that Europe is dying, physically. The Buttiglione affair tells us that Europe is now on life-support, morally and culturally.

Posted at 5:15 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Pro-family Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-Hartford) defeated an effort yesterday by pro same-sex unions Mayor Eddie Perez to purge her from the legislature's Democratic caucus. Today's Courant reports that Rep. Gonzalez's supporters bested Mayor Perez's supporters in the primary elections for Democratic Town Committee, which almost guarantees her re-election in November:

A brazen caravan of honking cars - some bearing photos of state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, one carrying Gonzalez herself - wound down Park Street Tuesday night to deliver, through cheers and the waving of Puerto Rican flags, a message to Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez: You lost....

The 3rd District race, and its results, have highlighted the acrimony between Gonzalez and Perez and, judging from the Gonzalez camp's victory, is a sign of Latino opposition to Perez as he seeks re-election next year.

Mayor Perez faces Latino opposition because he forgot the wisdom of his own Nov. 4, 2004 Courant op-ed, "Kerry Lost the Values Vote," in which the Mayor warned that "to regain status as the national majority party, [Democrats] must be willing to embrace those for whom faith in God is a key component of civic participation." Rather than following his own advice, Mayor Perez sided with pro same-sex "marriage" activists who told Rep. Gonzalez after her vote against civil unions that "we'll be sure that you're out" at the next election.

But instead of her defeat, yesterday's election provided a big victory for Rep. Gonzalez and a hint of potential trouble for the Mayor's own re-election efforts in 2007.

The elections in Hartford yesterday provide several lessons. It reminds those, like Mayor Perez, who fail to consider the pro-family values of Latino voters that they do so at their own peril. And it shows what can be accomplished when pro-family voters rally to pro-family leaders like Rep. Gonzalez.

Posted at 3:13 PM

[by Brian Brown]

Amid all the other battles raging for the future of the family in Connecticut, new information continues to emerge demonstrating why same-sex "marriage"/civil unions will be bad for marriage in Connecticut. Stanley Kurtz's careful rebutting of his critics helps to lay out the connections:

So Scandinavia leads the world in parental cohabitation and the legal equalization of cohabitation and marriage. Amazingly, even as he claims to defend marriage, Eskridge actually endorses this system. Meanwhile, Sweden has seen the birth of a political drive to abolish marriage and recognize polyamory. That doesn't look like "nordic bliss" to me. Also, Eskridge has absolutely nothing to say about the continued decline of marriage in Norway, the actual center of my Scandinavian case. And today we've learned that the effect of introducing same-sex partnerships to Sweden in 1987 unravels Eskridge's already weak statistical case there. Combine these Scandinavian examples with the Dutch experience, and it's clear that gay marriage weakens marriage itself.

As FIC and others have repeatedly noted, it is only in a society where the institution of marriage was already weakened that same-sex "marriage" could even become thinkable. So it is not a surprise to learn that Connecticut, which legalized same-sex unions in 2005, had the lowest marriage rate in the nation in 2004:

According to the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, the Nutmeg State had the nation's lowest marriage rate in 2004, at just 24.2 betrothals per 1,000 single women over the age of 15. The runners-up were also blue states: After Connecticut, the top marriage-phobic states are California (26.4 weddings per 1,000 single women), Pennsylvania (27.4), New Jersey (30.4), Massachusetts (30.4) and New York (30.6).

The author of the op-ed on marriage in Connecticut believes that the "paucity of weddings" in our state is not a problem. Maggie Gallagher explains why it is:

In a fascinating recent study, Lesthaeghe and a colleague looked for evidence of the Second Demographic Transition [skyrocketing out-of-wedlock births and collapsing fertility, leading, if present trends continue, to massive depopulation] in America. What states are leading indicators of SDT, as measured by postponement of marriage and children? California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and (the most extreme outlier of all) Massachusetts. Recognize this list? Except for Rhode Island, they are among the first states gay marriage advocates chose to pursue court-created gay marriage. What instinct led them to suppose that legal elites would be particularly open to the argument?

Stanley Kurtz recently argued that the explosion in Dutch illegitimacy is directly connected to a campaign for gay registered partnerships and gay marriage in the mid-1990s. It's a hard case to prove in the middle of a marital collapse of historic proportions all over Europe.

But I do think it is fair to say these two trends go hand in hand in this sense: Cultures deeply committed to "generativity" -- to the importance of men and women getting married and having children as a social norm -- tend to find the idea of gay marriage deeply disturbing, if not incomprehensible. Conversely, societies in the midst of devaluing the norms that sustain the generative family (in the name of attractive alternative values such as increasing expressive individualism and moral autonomy) will find gay marriage a natural fit, an idea that both expresses and reinforces their deepest moral preferences.

Gay marriage advocates here and abroad can expect to happily reap the benefits of the Second Demographic Transition. But as the consequences for Europe painfully suggest, maybe not for long.

Posted at 10:27 AM
March 7

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The front page of yesterday's Courant profiled one of the most important pro-family leaders in our state: Bishop LeRoy Bailey, Jr. of First Cathedral in Bloomfield. An excerpt:

Sunday's service was the first in a month of weekly tributes to mark Bailey's 35th pastoral anniversary...

First Cathedral - one of the largest, if not the largest, mega-church in New England - has grown from a congregation of about 5,000 in 1999 to about 11,000 in 2005. Hundreds of cars fill the parking lot on a typical Sunday, and several buses bring members in from Hartford. The expansive sanctuary has a state-of-the-art sound system and seats 3,000 in plush theater-style seats. Television screens throughout the hall project images of the altar and pulpit...

Bishop Edward Stephens Jr. says he has followed in Bailey's footsteps since the day he first heard him preach at a revival more than a decade ago.
"I was just enamored by his charisma, his ability," said Stephens, who is among a half-dozen pastors who are scheduled to visit and preach at First Cathedral this month in Bailey's honor. "Everything is an extension of him, and his vision."

FIC congratulates Bishop Bailey as he celebrates 35 years of faithful service to God and the people of Connecticut.

Posted at 3:09 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

That didn't take long. Just a few minutes ago I posted an item noting that Victim Advocate Papillo's job is probably in jeopardy for being so forthright and truthful in the politically correct atmosphere of our state capitol. Now I discover this story, which broke a little over an hour ago:

Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan called Tuesday for the resignation of the state's victim advocate over comments he made at a legislative hearing on emergency contraception...

Sullivan said James Papillo crossed the line when he spoke in opposition Monday to a bill requiring all hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to offer rape victims access to the morning-after pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

Pro-family citizens will resist efforts to oust Victim Advocate Papillo for having committed the thought crime of defending religious freedom at our state capitol.

Posted at 2:39 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Too rare for our state officials is the sort of courage displayed by Victim Advocate James Papillo in his public testimony yesterday:

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- State Victim Advocate James F. Papillo called on lawmakers Monday to oppose a bill requiring Connecticut hospitals, including Catholic institutions, to provide the "morning after pill" to rape victims.

Papillo, an ordained deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, also accused private victims' rights groups of attacking the church and religious freedoms.

He questioned any need for the bill and told the legislature's Public Health Committee that he has never received a complaint from a rape victim who was denied the pill from a Catholic hospital. Papillo has held the job for more than six years.

"What's being proposed here is a solution in search of a problem. Victims are not being denied services," he said, adding that Catholic hospitals refer victims to places where they can obtain the pills.

Papillo, who told legislators he was speaking as the victim advocate and not as a deacon, accused private advocacy organizations of using crime victims to further an anti-Catholic agenda.

"I see this for what it is. It is not a victims' rights issue. It is not a victims' services issue," Papillo said. "Victims here are being used as a hook to further an agenda they are hiding ... The issue is an attack on the Catholic institutions."

Activists for the bill are quoted questioning the "motivation" of Papillo's testimony and the AP responds by noting that he is a gubernatorial appointee, when his term expires and what his salary is. We can likely expect future pro-abortion efforts to remove from office this man who has so bravely spoken the politically incorrect truth in a place where such forthrightness is frowned upon.

Posted at 2:18 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Sunday's rally for religious freedom in front of St. Mary's hospital received good coverage in the Republican-American:

About 85 people, most belonging to Catholic or anti-abortion groups, waved signs outside Saint Mary's Hospital Sunday afternoon in protest of the bill, which was drafted by the state Public Health Committee last month and which was scheduled to be discussed this morning.

The protesters maintained that the bill, if passed, would encourage abortion and violate their freedom to practice their religion.

"Every year the General Assembly attacks Catholic religious freedom," Maryalyce Lee, president of Connecticut Catholic Alliance, said at the demonstration. "It's time for them to let us practice our religion like the First Amendment allows us to."...

[William] O'Brien [president of Connecticut Right to Life] also criticized Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's recent request that all Wal-Mart pharmacies carry emergency contraceptives. Blumenthal said last week that state employees will only deal with pharmacies that carry emergency contraceptives.

Sen. Louis C. DeLuca of Woodbury, the Senate Republican leader, attended the demonstration and criticized Blumenthal for his comments. The government, he said, is trying to tell Wal-Mart how to do its business.

"What Richard Blumenthal is doing is extortion," DeLuca said. "If you and I did it, we would get arrested."

Posted at 1:35 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The reaction from local pro same-sex "marriage" bloggers to an e-mail alert from FIC Action Committee (a separate entity) endorsing pro-family candidates in today's elections in Hartford helps to illustrate who are the true "haters" in this debate (see here and here). Here are just some examples of the fury expressed by liberal bloggers at the thought of pro-family voters in Hartford "meddling" in the politics of their own community:

Brian Brown deserves to burn in hell...

The homophobic campaign that is being run in the Hartford Democratic Town Committee primary is a disgrace. The corrupt crowd of Minnie Gonzalez et al. have teamed up with these radical intolerant creeps...Kudos to Perez, Mantilla and others for standing strong against these lowest of the low...Don't let these slimeballs get away with this smut.

And that is what the pro same-sex "marriage" elites think of you if you exercise your right as a Hartford resident to vote in today's election.

Posted at 11:48 AM
March 4

[by Peter Wolfgang]

Connecticut Right to Life will hold a rally tomorrow, March 5, at 3:00 p.m. in front of St. Mary's Hospital, 56 Franklin Street in Waterbury, to protest efforts by pro-abortion politicians to force Catholic hospitals to provide an abortion-inducing drug.

As I warned in yesterday's blog, Gov. Rell appears to be following the same script that she used when she flip-flopped on same-sex unions. Yesterday's news story had her saying the "Plan B" bill was unnecessary, but in today's story there is this:

Despite her opinion, Rell said, she would not rule out signing the legislation, if passed.

In a related development, Wal-Mart has caved into pro-abortion pressure and now says it will carry the morning-after pill. But the company did say that it would continue a conscientious objection policy for pharmacy employees who do now wish to provide the pill. Despite the fact that the employee will refer the customer to another pharmacist or pharmacy and that this policy is consistent with the tenets of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Wal-Mart's respect for conscience was too much for Atty. Gen. Blumenthal, who had this to say:

"I remain significantly concerned by their statement that the prescription may be declined under some circumstances. We will immediately ask Wal-Mart to clarify that it will dispense this covered drug to every woman with a prescription."

And this is the same man whom we are supposed to trust to defend Connecticut's marriage laws in the same-sex "marriage" lawsuit? He cannot even be counted on to defend religious liberty or freedom of conscience.

Pray that FIC's motion to intervene in the Kerrigan case is granted. And if you are able to, please do attend tomorrow's protest.

Posted at 10:28 PM
March 3

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The co-chairmen of the Education Committee, Sen. Thomas Gaffney and Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, have effectively killed the freedom-to-homeschool bill that we mentioned in our Feb. 20th blog. Efforts are already afoot to bring it back later in the session. We encourage all those who recognize the rights of parents to be the primary educators of their children to attend the meeting discussed below.


A joint meeting of NHELD, CHN, and TEACH is being held on March 8, 2006 at the Wethersfield Police Station Community Room 250 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield from 7:00p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss legislation that will be proposed in the current session of the General Assembly that will codify the right of parents to withdraw their children from school unconditionally and to homeschool them freely.  This is important even if you have a child you are already home educating or if you are not homeschooling at this time. 

Other education bills currently before the legislature will also be discussed.

The "withdrawal" bill will be proposed as an amendment during this session.  It is necessary to garner support for this bill as one means of preventing the State Department of Education and school districts from their covert attack on homeschooling by making withdrawal conditional.  This will eventually affect every parent because if they can make withdrawal conditional for homeschoolers, as they are doing now, then anyone who wishes to leave public school later on down the line will be subject to conditions they will have to meet in order to disenroll.  The Department is sanctioning school district threats of truancy and DCF investigations resulting in questioning of children on academics, review of curricular materials, and forced signing of affidavits swearing the parents will instruct their children "properly". 

Please join us for this important meeting.  It is free and open to anyone interested.  Your assistance is greatly needed and appreciated.

If you need directions, please search online map services or call the police station at (860) 571-2900.  There is parking in front of the police station, but not in back.  There is additional parking next door to the police station at a shopping center.  If you need more information, please contact Deborah Stevenson at or call 860-354-3590.

Posted at 2:35 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

We are pleased that Gov. Rell is "siding with" Catholic hospitals' efforts not to be forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs, but we note with trepidation that her comments are eerily reminiscent of her initial opposition to same-sex civil unions before she flip-flopped on that issue:

When asked if the proposed new law [forcing Catholic hospitals to provide the morning-after pill] is unnecessary, Rell said, "I don't think it's necessary, but I'd wait to see what the legislature decides to do on that bill."

The same article reported on a new development in the effort to force Wal-Mart to carry the morning-after pill:

In a related matter, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issued a legal opinion Thursday that all pharmacies in Connecticut that want to do business with people covered by state insurance plans will have to carry the emergency contraceptive, known as Plan B. Those insurance plans cover about 188,000 state employees, retirees and dependents.

I will be on the Electric Drum radio program tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. (94.3 WYBC) to discuss state efforts to force Plan B on Catholic hospitals and Wal-Mart, as well as the South Dakota law banning abortions. 

Posted at 12:53 PM

[by Peter Wolfgang]

The Select Committee on Children in the General Assembly is considering S.B.4, "AN ACT PROVIDING ADULT ADOPTED PERSONS WITH ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES" and will vote on the bill in committee on March 9. As written, this legislation would give adult adopted persons the right to obtain birthparents' confidential identifying information without birthparent knowledge or consent. Enacting this one-size-fits-all, mandatory-openness policy would disregard the promises of confidentiality made to birthparents when they placed for adoption by retroactively violating birthparents' rights to privacy. 

Further, S.B. 4 could have a destructive impact on the institution of adoption by eliminating the option of confidential adoption for all Connecticut women, without regard to personal circumstances or desires.  If a woman in Connecticut is facing unplanned pregnancy and either needs or wishes to maintain her privacy, she will be able to obtain a confidential abortion, but not a confidential adoption. According to national adoption data collected by the National Council For Adoption, there were only 15 infant adoptions for every 1,000 abortions in the state of Connecticut in 2002.

Encourage legislators to protect birthparent rights and preserve the option of confidentiality in adoption in Connecticut when considering S.B. 4.

Posted at 12:11 PM
March 2

[by Brian Brown]

Senate Bill 445, "An Act Concerning Emergency Health Care for Sexual Assault Victims," is one of the most direct assaults on religious liberty to be attempted by our state legislators in years. If S.B. 445 becomes law, it would force Connecticut's Catholic hospitals to violate their religious beliefs by mandating that those hospitals provide a drug that can induce abortions.

The Family Institute of Connecticut deplores the willingness of pro-abortion advocates to exploit sexual assault victims in order to further their own agenda. As a recent Waterbury Republican-American editorial noted, "This is a battleground carefully chosen by abortion-rights advocates, not an effort to guarantee access to a contraceptive that is already easy to get...If they can shame Connecticut lawmakers into forcing Catholic hospitals to provide Plan B [the "morning after" pill] by invoking victims of rape and incest, they will have achieved their goal of placing religious institutions on a slippery slope to acceptance of the abortion-rights agenda."

This attack on religious freedom in Connecticut--like the complaint of bias recently filed against St. Mary's hospital for refusing to provide benefits for the same-sex civil union partner of one of their employees--is an assault not just against the Catholic Church, but against the liberty of every pro-family religious institution in our state.

If we do not oppose these efforts to coerce us into violating our consciences, we can expect even greater attacks in the future. The time to stand up for our freedom is now, while we still can!

The Public Health Committee has scheduled a public hearing on S.B. 445 for Monday, March 6 at 10:00 am, room 1D in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Beginning at 9:00 am on Monday, you can also sign up to speak at the hearing (speeches are limited to three minutes). Even if you choose not to speak, please come to the hearing to show your support for religious freedom in Connecticut.

FIC members, watch your in-boxes for an e-mail alert on what more you can do to stop this outrageous attack on religious liberty in our state.

Posted at 3:54 PM
March 1

[by Peter Wolfgang]

I testified yesterday before the Select Committee on Children in favor of S.B. 46, An Act Establishing An Electronic Message Children's Protection Registry. The state Commissioner of Consumer Protection and Matthew Prince, CEO of Unspam, also testified for the bill. Trevor Hughes, executive director of the E-Mail Sender and Provider Coalition, testified against it and someone for CBIA said the group generally supports the bill but wanted to alter some of its language.

FIC has a key role to play in this fight. Congress has already acted by passing CANSPAM, a law setting a floor for a basic level of protection from inappropriate electronic messages. But it is the states that have traditionally exercised the power to regulate local standards of obscenity, morals and education. Connecticut should not abdicate that role in the case of the internet and other electronic media. Just as our state was a leader in passing "do not call list" laws, we must be a leader in protecting our children from those who would use electronic technology to prey on them.

The most disturbing part of yesterday's hearing was when the co-chairman, Rep. Michael Cardin (D-Ashford, Tolland, Willington), noted that "in the last 48 hours" committee members' in-boxes had been stuffed with e-mails about this bill, mostly in opposition to the bill and from out-of-state! The members of the Select Committee on Children need to hear from state voters asking them to protect children by passing S.B. 46! Click here to send a pre-written message to them and to your own Senator and Representative.

Here is my testimony:

Good morning Chairman Meyers, Chairman Cardin and members of the committee. My name is Peter Wolfgang and I am the Director of Public Policy for the Family Institute of Connecticut, an organization whose mission is "to encourage and strengthen the family as the foundation of society and to promote sound, ethical and moral values in our culture and government." I am here today to ask you to support S.B. 46, An Act Establishing An Electronic Message Children's Protection Registry.

This legislation will create a communication protection service that would allow parents and schools to register electronic contact points such as e-mail addresses, mobile phone numbers or instant messenger addresses to be off-limits to advertising for adult advertising products (i.e. pornography, gambling, alcohol and tobacco).

The percentage of children who receive inappropriate e-mail on a daily basis, according to Symantec Corp, is 80%. The percentage of sexual solicitations of children received over instant messenger or chat rooms, according to Pew Research, is 89%. Given these numbers it is not surprising to learn that 93% of parents believe spammers should face enhanced penalties for sending inappropriate content to children. Clearly, there is a need for this legislation.

That need was met in a bipartisan fashion in states where similar legislation was proposed. A registry bill was recently passed out of Georgia's Senate unanimously. In Utah and Michigan, the registry bill was passed into law unanimously.

To be sure, some objections have been raised. The pornography industry, for instance, has called the legislation unconstitutional. But there is a precedent for creating such a registry. In a 1970 case, Rowan v. U.S. Post Office, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutional rights of parents with children in their household who are under the age of 19 to register with the U.S. Post Office to prevent the delivery of adult matter to their mailbox. What Georgia's and Michigan's registry laws do--and what S.B. 46 would do for Connecticut--is simply extend that ruling to the online world.

It has also been said that the proposed registry would be too difficult to establish, too risky to maintain and too hard to enforce. But the same arguments were once raised against the do-not-call-lists that are now law. S.B. 46 will not conclusively solve the problem of spam or replace parents as the primary moral educators of their children, but it will give parents and schools a powerful tool for making the world safer for those children.

The Family Institute of Connecticut asks that you help those charged with protecting the innocence of Connecticut's children by passing S.B. 46. Thank you.

Posted at 1:32 PM
February 27


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