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adoption Archives — Concerned Women for America

3-12-18 State Legislative Update – Faith-Based Adoptions and Hate Crimes (Again)

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Hate Crimes

Legislation is never considered dead until the legislative session is over. And that cannot be truer concerning the resuscitation of the “hate crimes” bill. Last Thursday, in a crafty maneuver, the “hate crimes” bill found new life by placing the “hate crimes” language into SB 373.  The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and is now in the Rules Committee. The bill would add additional punishments for crimes committed against protected classes of people based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, and more.

Please read our talking points concerning the dangers of “hate crime” laws. 

Should this bill pass, individuals in Georgia could claim, and courts interpret, that merely expressing one’s sincerely held beliefs is “intimidating” or represents a “threat” of force. “Hate crime” laws are already being used to intimidate and punish people who honor natural sexuality and value marriage as the union of one man and one woman. If a person speaks out against various sexual behaviors, they may be accused of “hate speech” and promoting “hate crimes.”

Action Item: SB 373 (committee substitute) is moving quickly and phone calls are needed immediately. Would you make three phone calls today to stop this very dangerous bill?

  1. Contact the Speaker of the House, David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), and respectfully urge him to stop SB 373 from moving forward. E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-5020.
  2. Contact Rules Chairman John Meadows, and respectfully urge him to stop SB 373 from moving forward. E-mail him and/or call his office at (404) 656-5141.
  3. Contact your state representative and urge him or her to OPPOSE SB 373 should it come to a floor for a vote. If you do not know who your representative is, click here.

Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Please pray for the Lord’s intervention on the hate crimes bill.  Ask the Lord to stop the bill in its tracks and claim Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Adoption and Foster Care Legislation

Status: SB 375, the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act”, is languishing in the House Judiciary Committee. SB 375 will ensure that the State of Georgia will continue to respect the special missions of faith-based child-placing agencies as this State has always done. Georgia has the constitutional duty to proactively protect the first freedom of the First Amendment for religious persons and their institutions.

Action: Contact Gov. Nathan Deal and urge him to put his support behind SB 375 and help move the bill forward. Use the Online Contact Form or call his office at (404)656-1776. Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.  

Please pray that Gov. Deal will recognize the importance of protecting faith-based adoption agencies. James 5:16 promises that, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director
CWA of Georgia

State Legislative Update: Faith-Based Adoptions and Marijuana

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Last Wednesday was Crossover Day in the state legislature. Crossover Day is the last day for bills to “cross over” from one chamber to the other and still have an opportunity to become law. Many bills we opposed (casinos and “hate crimes”) failed to pass out of either chamber so they are most likely dead. There are only ten days left in the 2018 session, and I wanted to update you on two bills that we will focus on until the end of the session.

Adoption and Foster Care Legislation
The House and Senate passed HB 159, the massive rewrite of Georgia’s adoption code which had not been updated since 1990. Because faith-based adoption agency protections were removed from HB 159, Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has introduced SB 375, the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.”  SB 375 will ensure that the State of Georgia will continue to respect the special missions of faith-based child-placing agencies as this State has always done. Georgia has the constitutional duty to proactively protect the first freedom of the First Amendment for religious persons and their institutions.

Status: SB 375 passed out of the Senate and is now in the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Action: Call or e-mail your state representative and urge him/her to support SB 375 if it comes to the House floor for a vote. Click here if you do not know the name of your state representative.  Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Watch for additional action items on SB 375 later this week.

Please pray that SB 375 will pass the House and that Gov. Deal will sign the bill. It will be an uphill fight to get this bill passed. However, James 5:16 promises that, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Marijuana
HB 764, a bill that would add intractable pain and post-stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of conditions that are permitted to be treated with THC oil (cannabis oil), passed the House and is now being considered by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Let’s Get Clear Georgia, who advocates preventing marijuana abuse, says this about HB 764, “Because so many persons will claim to have intractable pain, whether they do or not, including intractable pain as a condition will mean de facto recreational legalization of marijuana in Georgia.”   Educate yourself by reading 3 Reasons to Oppose Chronic Pain As Yet Another Condition.

Action: Call or e-mail your state senator and urge him/her to oppose HB 764 when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote.  Click here if you do not know the name of your state senator.  Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Pray that HB 764 will not move in the Senate.

Additional Legislation
We are monitoring several other bills on issues such as casinos, sex trafficking, pornography, and more. Click here for the latest updates on CWA of Georgia’s targeted list of bills.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  – Galatians 6:9

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director
CWA of Georgia

State Legislative Update: Adoptions, Hate Crimes, and Religious Freedom

By | Georgia | No Comments

The 2018 legislative session is at its halfway mark, and CWA of Georgia is actively representing you at the State Capitol on issues that are important to you.  I wanted to update you on three issues that we have been working on very closely.

Adoption and Foster Care Legislation
The House and Senate passed HB 159, the massive rewrite of Georgia’s adoption code which hadn’t been updated since 1990. Because faith-based adoption agency protections were removed from HB 159, Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has introduced SB 375, the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.”  SB 375 will ensure that the State of Georgia will continue to respect the special missions of faith-based child-placing agencies as this State has always done. This State has the constitutional duty to proactively protect the first freedom of the First Amendment for religious persons and their institutions.

Status: HB 375 is working its way through the Senate. I testified in support of SB 375 at the subcommittee hearing. It should be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week.

Action: Call or e-mail your state senator and urge him/her to support SB 375 when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote. Click here to locate your state senator.  Be sure to let them know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

Please pray that SB 375 will pass both the House and Senate and that Gov. Deal will sign the bill. The spiritual warfare is great on this bill. There are many who want faith-based adoption agencies and faith-based foster care organizations eliminated in Georgia.

Hate Crimes Legislation
Three state-level “hate crimes” bills have been filed in the Georgia legislature. HB 660 has been introduced by Rep. Megan Hanson (R-Brookhaven). HB 663 and SB 316 have been introduced by Rep. Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain) and Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah), respectively.  All three bills would add additional punishments for crimes committed against protected classes of people based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, mental disability, and physical disability.

Please read our talking points concerning the dangers of “hate crime” laws.

 Status: HB 660, HB 663, and SB 316 were heard in subcommittee this week, but no votes were taken. I testified at all three hearings in opposition to the bills. Read my testimony here.

Action: No action is needed at this time. 

Religious Freedom Legislation
The fight to pass modest religious freedom legislation still continues! SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that provides religious liberty protections for people of all faiths living in Georgia, is languishing in committee.

Watch this video that explains why Georgia must pass SB 233, a state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Action: No action is needed at this time.

Pray that SB 233 moves and that the Senate will have an opportunity to vote for the bill.

Additional Legislation
We are monitoring several other bills on issues such as casinos, marijuana, sex trafficking, and pornography. Click here for the latest updates on CWA of Georgia’s targeted list of bills.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  – Galatians 6:9

Once again, thank you for both your prayers and action.

Tanya Ditty
State Director