Dear CWA of Washington Member,
These past two weeks have brought a whirlwind of activities for all pro-family organizations and especially for the Stand for Marriage Coalition. We have all worked very hard to alert our members to the dangers of SB 6239 and HB 2516 to re-define marriage for all Washington citizens without our right to vote on such a huge social and religious issue.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
That verse presents such a challenge to us to resist sliding into the comfortable ways of the world, nowadays called political correctness. Paul knew the temptation and he suffered because he chose to follow his Lord Jesus Christ no matter what the cost to him. May we have the same courage and commitment as Paul showed as our world slides away quickly from our Judeo-Christian foundation:
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacityto sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” James Madison, 1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia
Please pray for God’s wisdom and direction for His followers and for the humility to follow where He leads us.
CWA of Washington monitors bills related to our six core issues and asks you to consider the following bills, then contact your legislators with your own opinions. Choose one or all seven, but please pray, learn and take action in order to influence public policy! More information on each bill can be found at apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/.
URGENT LEGISLATURE ALERT! Tonight, Wed. Feb 1, 6:00 p.m. the Senate convenes and will be voting on the gay marriage bill. It is important that the Senate gallery be filled with citizens who oppose this legislation. If it’s possible that you will be able to attend, plan to to arrive early enough to ensure seating by 6:00 p.m. Many of you will not be able to attend because of prior church and family commitments. In this case, take this message to your Wed. evening prayer/ministry groups. Again, pray, believing for God to intervene in any way possible to confuse the debate and vote, or forestall the passing of this bill.
SB 6239/HB 2516 relating to providing equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and changing the domestic partnership laws, while protecting religious freedom
On January 23rd, the Senate Government Operations, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee and the House Judiciary Committee both held public hearings on their respective bills (duplicate companion bills). It was so encouraging to have the public-at least 1000 including many CWA members-come to Olympia and fill up not only the overflow hearing rooms but also the visitor galleries of the respective chambers. Thank you so much if you came, but also for your phone calls, emails, faxes and prayers!
The Senate Committee voted on Thursday to forward an amended version of the marriage redefinition bill to the Rules Committee. That amendment improved protection of pastors and their facilities. However, the committee majority refused to protect businesses owned by people of faith, thereby allowing anti-discrimination and hate crime laws to restrict our religious liberty. As in Massachusetts and New Mexico, Washingtonians of faith will undoubtedly now be targeted by activists to participate in same-sex marriages. The committee also rejected a motion to add a referendum clause to the bill, thereby denying a vote of the people before the bill becomes law.
As of 1/31/ the Senate bill 6239 Substitute has been placed on its second reading in Rules and can be sent to the Senate floor any day. The House version 2516 passed on 1/30/12 and awaits further action.
“When the definition of marriage is expanded to include everything, meaning the whole spectrum of possible couples, the result is that it ends up meaning nothing.” (CWA’s Marriage Matters brochure). In addition, remember that legalizing same-sex marriage means that, for the first time in history, government will formally approve the deliberate creation of motherless and fatherless homes for children. Is this what you want? Let your opinion be heard: 1-800-562-6000 or directly to your legislators whom you can find at this website: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
SANCTITY OF LIFE:
SB 6185/HB 2330 relating to preserving health insurance coverage for the voluntary termination of a pregnancy by requiring health plans issues on or after June 7, 2012, that provide coverage for maternity care or services to provide a covered person with substantially equivalent coverage to permit the voluntary termination of a pregnancy
As of 1/31/12, although the Senate bill 6185 went to executive session, there is no further action noted. A substitute House bill 2330 was passed out of executive session on 1/26/12, adding a new section stating that “nothing in this act affect the right of objection based on conscience or religion as set out in RCW 48.42.065 or 70.47.160.
CWA supports the sanctity of all human life, but these bills would force all insurance companies to deal equally with maternity care and voluntary abortion. The new section in the House bill appears to protect freedom of conscience and religion, but we would prefer this bill not be passed, due to its support of abortion. CWA opposes these bills.
HB 2448 relating to improving access to high-quality early learning programs
In Section 2 (3)(a) the bill specifically states that any providers contracting with the state under this bill (which will regulate all public and private preschools due to a new entitlement program) must be “free from religious instruction, activities, symbolism, ad control or influence.” In other words, if government dollars follow any child to a religion-based preschool, that preschool will no longer be allowed to include any religion.
This appears to be an expansion of government control aka public-school style over all preschools in the state, whether public, private or religious. It takes away parental choice. The bill also discusses “voluntary” early education, but there is a concern that it will lead to mandatory attendance. On p. 6, Sec 5 (4) there is reference to “further development of the Washington State Birth to 3 Plan”. This interference is unnecessary and detrimental of parental rights.
2448 passed in the committee’s executive session on 1/31/12. CWA opposes this bill.
HB 2380 relating to modifying the goals of a basic education
This bill redefines basic education in Washington away from an emphasis on global citizenry and toward strengthened individual achievement with emphasis on learning the foundations of our constitutional republic form of government rather than a global and multi-cultural approach.
This bill has been referred to the House Education Committee, but there has been no action on it, so if you agree with CWA that it is worthy of passage, please contact your three state legislators and ask them to move this bill. CWA supports this bill.
HB 2381 relating to public access to instructional materials used in public schools
How important do you think it is for us to have access to instructional materials used in our children’s schools? This bill clarifies the public’s right to access educational materials used in the public school classrooms, thus supporting parental rights to know what their children are being taught. CWA supports this bill.
Let your opinion be heard: 1-800-562-6000 or directly to your legislators whom you can find at this website: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
CWA of Washington appreciates your prayers for God’s wisdom and direction and your membership support which enables us to continue to promote and protect Biblical values in our state. Membership form is attached. Also, please consider becoming an active member of the state organization by starting or joining a Prayer/Action Chapter or Home Team or even the state steering committee. If interested, contact the state office.
In His Service,
Maureen Richardson, State Director
CWA of Washington 425-869-1923
P. O. Box 143 Woodinville, WA 98072
men and women live longer and better than singles do and a lot of the reason is the balance between male and female and the fact that God created man and woman to become one unit called family. No other combination fulfills that role, so we need to stand up for the Biblical definition of marriage, protect children and encourage men and women to renew their vows and stay married. Strengthening marriage is the answer, not diluting it by expanding the definition. The church, not government, is the vehicle to repair marriages. Encourage your pastor or priest to address marriage within the church and to engage in the battle to protect the Biblical definition of marriage. Please share CWA’s new brochure, Marriage Matters! Check it out on CWA’s national website: http://concernedwomen.org/images/content/MarriageMattersbrochureJan2012.pdf
Senate Bill (SB) 6239/House Bill (HB) 2516 relating to providing equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and changing the domestic partnership laws, while protecting religious freedom
(See Senate bill here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6239&year=2011#documents –click on “Original Bill”; House bill is a duplicate companion bill.)
CWA supports the Biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman only. This definition is time-honored and consistent with American tradition, woven into the fabric of our culture and consistent with the tenets of every major religion. Washington already has granted all but the title marriage through domestic partnership legislation, so this bill is merely an attack on traditional values and will incrementally but inevitably lead to severe requirements being placed on religious institutions despite the bill’s stated attempt to protect such institutions. Although religious leaders appear to be protected from being forced or sued to perform same-sex marriages, their properties are not so protected if (Sec. 7.(1) and (2) ) “the organization offers admission, occupancy, or use of those accommodations or facilities to the public for a fee, or offers those advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public for sale.” That means if ANY non-church group uses a church facility, that church cannot deny use to same-sex couples for a marriage ceremony. This is huge loop hole that will be attacked through the use of anti-discrimination and hate crime laws. It is simply a matter of time until those lawsuits begin and such litigation would bankrupt most churches.
The implications of the passage of these same-sex marriage bills are far reaching and numerous. Primary and immediate results will include the erosion of actual civil rights of freedom of speech and religion. This new law will embolden homosexuals to react more strongly toward any whom they perceive do not agree with their sexual choices and use the force of law against those of us who do not hate them, but do hold a Christian worldview that God loves us all just as we are but too much to leave us as He finds us.
Other questions to consider: Why is same-sex marriage so vital in a year when the state is faced with a huge budget crisis? Why should a tiny minority of citizens (1-3 percent) be allowed to redefine marriage for the rest of us? Do you realize that since the domestic partnership legislation passed in 2009, only one quarter of one percent of Washington citizens have taken advantage of this opportunity? What is the crisis for homosexual couples in 2012?
The hearing for the Senate’s bill (SB 6239) is scheduled for next Monday, 1/23/12, 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in the John A. Cherberg Bldg, Senate Hearing Room 2, in the Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee. The House bill has no definite hearing scheduled as of this writing but Monday afternoon is a possibility.
Please plan to attend and bring others with you to this hearing in Olympia. Plan to arrive early to be able to sign in opposing the bill or to get on the list to testify against same-sex marriage. If you plan to testify, bring twenty copies of your testimony to give to the committee members (Senate: seven; House: thirteen). Whether or not you testify, it is important to submit written testimony. After the hearings, we urge you to visit all three of your legislators. It is best to make an appointment, but be sure to at least drop by their offices.
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of you contacting your three state legislators NOW toll-free legislative hotline 1-800-562-6000. However, it is also very important to call your own district representatives at their offices. You will find that information on the Washington Legislature website www.leg.wa.gov/legislature. This website is the portal of all that’s going on at the legislature and provides you with bill information, committee agendas and public hearing schedules and contact information for legislators and state agencies.
1/23/12 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL HEARING: I need some CWA members to help me the day of the hearing. If you plan to attend the hearing, please volunteer; call 425-869-1923 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
CITIZEN ACTIVIST WORKSHOPS: CWA co-sponsors these educational workshops, scheduled for January 24, February 6 and February 20, from 9:00 10:00 a.m. plus a field trip to attend committee hearings. Sign up to receive confirmation and location: email@example.com or 425-869-1923 OR firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-208-3523.
PLEASE BE IN PRAYER ABOUT MARRIAGE IN OUR STATE! This is not about simply being nice or fair to homosexuals. Clearly as Christians, we are called to be respectful and kind toward all other individuals in order to be good witnesses. This is about our basic religious liberty to believe according to sincerely held values, not being forced to accept, promote nor participate in any lifestyle that is contrary to our faith. I have attached two articles for your education. Please read them and share them with others.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
In His Service,
CWA of Washington