As President Bush makes last-minute edits to his State of the Union speech it seems an opportune time to touch on some of the priorities Family Research Council will be pursuing in the 109th Congress. This list is certainly not exhaustive and I expect it to grow, but these 10 legislative initiatives speak to a spectrum of issues important to life, marriage and religious freedom.
Judges Judicial activism has threatened the constitutional form of representative democracy. The approval of judges who will uphold the law is the top priority for FRC.
U.S. Constitutional Amendment to Protect Marriage 2004 saw the passage of 13 state amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman (bringing the total up to 17). These amendments are vulnerable to activist judges who will only be curbed by an amendment to the United States Constitution.
Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act Science now shows us the obvious, that when an abortionist ends a baby’s life the baby feels pain. Potential mothers need to know this fact before they make a decision about an abortion.
Child Custody Protection Act Even though over thirty states have consent or notification laws in effect for parents before a minor can obtain an abortion, nefarious non-parent adults circumvent these laws, usually concealing criminal activity such as statutory rape. In a decision so life-altering, children need their parents involved. This measure would ensure that minor children cannot be transported across state lines for an abortion without their parents’ knowledge.
Cloning Prohibition Act Basic ethics requires the protection of human life from the Frankensteinian science of human cloning. Tied intrinsically to the issue of human cloning is that of embryonic stem cell research. Human life, even in its most nascent form, demands protection.
De-Funding Planned Parenthood Taxpayers are forced to pay hundreds of millions to “family planning clinics” such as Planned Parenthood. In effect, your tax dollars are keeping some abortion providers in business. This needs to stop.
Limiting Court Jurisdiction The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to limit federal court jurisdiction on any matter Congress designates. Congress must use this power to protect matters like religious liberties and the Pledge of Allegiance from activist judges.
Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act Did you know, thanks to a law passed over 50 years ago, that if your pastor speaks out publicly on an issue like marriage or abortion he could potentially be fined by the IRS? Religious leaders need to be freed of this threat. This measure would help restore the much-needed voice of religious leaders in America.
Family Tax Issues The tax code should provide incentives for marriage. A permanent elimination of the marriage tax penalty and expediting the expansion of the per-child tax credit are direct means for the government to strengthen the family.
Indecency and Enforcement Reform Indecency fines should be increased so the FCC is empowered to enforce commonsense decency standards that protect the public.
To view the legislative priorities individually, click on the link below.
Ten Legislative Priorities – 2005